Rev. Franklin Graham, president of the international Christian
relief group Samaritan's Purse. (FNC screenshot.)
In reaction to the Islamic State reportedly giving away captured "slave girls" as prizes for memorizing parts of the Quran during the month of Ramadan, Reverend Franklin Graham said the jihadists are trying to show that they "most closely follow true Islam," and he questioned why President Barack Obama has "allowed" these types of atrocities "to continue."
As reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute, the Clarion Project, and Fox News, the Islamic State apparently tweeted an announcement (see below) on June 19 that it was holding a Quran memorization contest in honor of the month of Ramadan (June 17 -July 17) in the Al-Barakah province in Syria.
As translated by the Clarion Project, the announcement, in part, reads, "Province al-Barakah, ISIS Announcement, To the Soldiers of the Islamic State in all of the departments in the province of el-Baraqa ... The department of dawa in the mosques announces the beginning of a tournament to memorize suras from the book of Allah."
It then lists that the first three prizes will be "a slave girl," and that the next six "winners," in descending order, will get monetray prizes. Fourth place, for instance, gets 100,000 Syrian lira ($462)."
"The evils of radical Islam continue to horrify us," said Rev. Graham in a June 23 post on Facebook. "ISIS is now giving sex slaves as prizes for memorizing the Koran. This shocking practice of giving away human beings as prizes is called 'sibya' and was announced on ISIS Twitter accounts just a few days ago in honor of the beginning of Islam's month of Ramadan, which is observed by Muslims all over the world."
"ISIS wants to demonstrate that they are the ones who most closely follow true Islam," said Rev. Graham. "These women and young girls who were captured at war face unbelievable atrocities. Join me in praying for an end to ISIS's reign of terror in the Middle East and a halt to their expansion around the globe."
"At this time we don't need to put more American troops in harm's way when we have people who want to fight for their own freedom," said the evangalical minister. "Let's help them defend themselves."Rev. Graham then asked, "President Barack Obama, why have you allowed this to continue? Why don't you support the Kurds and the Yazidis and others like them with the wherewithal to protect themselves?"
An announcement tweeted by the Islamic State about its Quran
memorization contest during Ramadan, with the first three prizes to be
"a slave girl." (Photo: MEMRI and The Clarion Project.)
According to numerous reports, including from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, as well as media such as the BBC, The Jerusalem Post, The Telegraph, The Guardian, and The New York Times, hundreds, and possibly thousands of Yazidi and Christian women, even as young as 12 years old, have been captured by the Islamic State and then bartered or sold as sex slaves.
The U.N. News Centre reported on June 18 that a Yazidi slave girl was sold for "the value of a pack of cigarettes." Zainab Bangura, the U.N. secretary general's special representative on sexual violence in conflict, also reported that "the most difficult moment was actually in Jordan, where I was told about a girl who, for the last four years, had been married 22 times. She is 21 years old, and every time this marriage is arranged, they had to do a surgical operation to her, to be able to rebuild her virginity so that she can become a virgin for her next marriage. Twenty-one-year-old girl, married off 22 times, stitched 22 times just so that somebody can make money on her.”
The Jerusalem Post reported back in December, "Women captured as slaves by [Islamic State] have been sold in markets in Raqqa. Some are sold to individual men. Others are kept by [Islamic State] in rest houses and face multiple rapes by fighters returning from the battlefield."
The Clarion Project said that thousands of women have been captured by the Islamic State and forced into sex-slavery, many of them sold in marketplaces. The group, which monitors radical Islam and other forms of extremism, said that some reports have come in of Yazidi girls killing themselves rather than endure sex-slavery. A nurse reported, "The bodies of some who committed suicide were thrown to the dogs," stated the Clarion Project.