By Charles Dunst
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is famous for its beheadings of Western journalists as well as its obscene use of child soldiers. A lesser-known piece of ISIS’s terror is the extremists’ sex trafficking. Recently, they released a pamphlet describing their sex trafficking policy, which brought the issue to light.
The pamphlet states that ISIS targets women and children, most often from the minority Yazidi religion. The kidnapped women and children are often sold for as little as $25 or kept as slaves. Not only does ISIS kidnap these women — they actually condone their rape. To make their point clear, the organization handed out these pamphlets in the city of Mosul.
The Islamist group maintains that they have the right to kidnap, rape and sell women of all races. While many of the residents are horrified, they state that, “we cannot do much about it.” In the pamphlet, ISIS enumerates one thing as the “gravest of sins” — running away from one’s master. But ISIS is not the only organization that implements human trafficking as a source of terror.
In April, Boko Haram attacked a secondary school in Chibok, taking an estimated 276 female students. Three of these girls escaped and have given chilling testimony of their kidnapping. For example, they stated that the fighters “threatened to kill us all the time.” Another time, the fighters told the girls, “to stand in this place if you want to die. The choice for us to live was get on the truck and go with them.”
At this point, the girls had become completely reliant on their captors to survive, which is a common means by which captors institutionalize their captives.
More close to home, there is significant sex trafficking presence in the United States. For example, at the yearly Super Bowl, thousands of prostitutes are trafficked to the host city. As the Huffington Post states, in 2010, “10,000 prostitutes were brought to Miami for the Super Bowl.”
Why is this so? At the Super Bowl, there is an influx of fans, which stimulates an optimal landscape for pimps looking to boost their profits. But it is the massive crowds at the Super Bowl that allow for the practice to go largely unnoticed.
Clemmie Greenlee, a former sex trafficking victim, explains that there was pressure to meet her captors’ demands at large-scale events — such as the Super Bowl. “If you don’t make that number (of sex customers), you are going to dearly, dearly, severely pay for it,” Greenlee stated. “I mean with beatings, I mean with over and over rapings. With just straight torture.”
This is an absolutely detestable practice, and one that is not just an issue overseas, but right at home, at the most American event of all — the Super Bowl.