WORLD VOICE: ISIS And Birth Control

WORLD VOICE: ISIS And Birth Control


By BetteDavisEyes at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Sex trafficking has been a huge issue in developing countries and an alarming issue has surfaced with regard to ISIS fighters and women they’ve captured. It has come to light that ISIS fighters use birth control to continue raping their captives.

A recent article has uncovered that women who are taken by ISIS become sex slaves. These young girls are part of the Yazidi religious minority who have been taken from their homes in northern Iraq to essentially provide sex for their captors, at any time. What’s even more disturbing is that young girls who are captured are being forced to take birth control pills to avoid getting pregnant. The origins of this unbelievable method stems from an old Islamic law, whereby a man has to ensure that his victim is not pregnant before having intercourse with her.

The reason behind dispensing birth control to these girls is to allow these fighters to share or sell the girls without the risk of any pregnancy. The fighters dispense oral or injectable contraception, or sometimes both, to ensure that no girl could get pregnant.

In the case of M., a sixteen year old victim whose captor was not convinced that she was not pregnant after being questioned, forced her to ingest a version of the morning-after pill by one of her buyers, which caused her to bleed. In addition, he injected a dose of Depo-Provera, an injectable contraceptive, on her thigh, to further ensure she would not get pregnant, before proceeding to rape her. What is surprising is that out of the 700 victims who have been treated for rape, only 5% have gotten pregnant while they were enslaved.

One of the ways women could get around this obscure law was a period of sexual abstinence by the captors during a woman’s menstrual cycle. This was an option that was deemed acceptable by the Islamic law, but not all Islamic fighters followed the rule and some were unaware of it or chose to ignore it. These women never know if their suffering from these men will result in more rapes or abandonment once they’re deemed as useless.

The plight of these women are filled with so much pain and suffering. It is unconscionable that these women be treated like animals to be shared or disposed of once their purpose has been met. As a Mom who can’t imagine the danger and barbarism they are subjected to daily, I can only pray that they escape their situation without further damage to their physical, mental and emotional psyche.

To view the original article that inspired this post here.

Had you heard this story? What do you make of it?

This is an original Post written for World Moms Blog by Tes Silverman of PinayPerspective

Photo Credit: By BetteDavisEyes at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Tes Silverman

Tes Silverman was born in Manila, Philippines and has been a New Yorker for over 30 years. Moving from the Philippines to New York opened the doors to the possibility of a life of writing and travel. Before starting a family, she traveled to Iceland, Portugal, Belgium, and France, all the while writing about the people she met through her adventures. After starting a family, she became a freelance writer for publications such as Newsday’s Parents & Children and various local newspapers. Fifteen years ago, she created her blog, The Pinay Perspective. is designed to provide women of all ages and nationalities the space to discuss the similarities and differences on how we view life and the world around us. As a result of her blog, she has written for and has been invited to attend and blog about the Social Good Summit and Mom+Social Good. In addition, she is a World Voice Editor for World Moms Network and was Managing Editor for a local grass roots activism group, ATLI(Action Together Long Island). Currently residing in Virginia Beach, VA with her husband, fourteen year-old Morkie and a three year old Lab Mix, she continues to write stories of women and children who make an impact in their communities and provide them a place to vocalize their passions.

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SAUDI ARABIA: A Conversation with My Kids on Terrorism and Muslim Identity

SAUDI ARABIA: A Conversation with My Kids on Terrorism and Muslim Identity

Children of Mama B 600

Mama B’s 3 children and dog, Camden, on a stroll in the Saudi Arabian desert.

It occurred to me the other day that I have never talked to my children about terrorism. I actively try to make sure they don’t see the news or hear me talking about the world we are smack in the middle of. So I wanted to know what they knew, as a 13-year old and a 10-year old, about terrorism.

Below is the transcript of the conversation I had with my children a few days ago. To give you a little bit of background my son has moved this year to an international school with children from all over the world. So while being older he is also exposed to a lot of nationalities including Americans. My daughter goes to a Saudi school and is exposed to many Arab nationalities.

A Conversation on Terrorism with My Sons

Me: Who are the terrorists?

S: Da’ish (ISIS). They are people who claim to be muslims and to be killing ‘B’Ism Allah’ (in the name of God) but they’re just murderers.

J: Like in France they say, “I’m muslim! I’m muslim!”, and start killing people and now everybody hates us.

Me: Do you really think everybody hates us?

J: Yes.

Me: Like who?

J: The Americans.

Me: Why do you think the Americans hate us?

J: Because they are voting to kick the muslims out of America, and they won’t let us in if we go. I saw it on the news. (Apparently, I am not doing as good a job of keeping them away from the news or hearing about the news, as I thought.)

Me: Do you think all Americans feel that way?

J: Well Anya doesn’t… (Anya is my best friend in NY.)

Me: You know, saying that all Americans hate us is like an American saying all Muslims hate them.

J: That’s what I heard.

Me: Don’t believe everything you hear. The loudest voices are usually the ones saying the most controversial and hateful things. Good news hardly ever makes the news. You’ll never see a piece about how people are getting along and how the majority of the world wants to just live in peace.

S: Actually many people have a change of heart when that muslim guy was saying, “Hug me if you trust me.” He put himself in a vulnerable position. People could have punched him. People could have hurt him, but he trusted people.

(He is referring to the viral video of a man standing blindfolded in the middle of the street with a sign saying something along the lines of “I am a muslim, and I trust you. If you trust me, hug me” It was a very touching clip as so many people hugged him that day).

J: I worry mama that if we meet people and we get to know them and we liked each other but they didn’t know we were actually muslim then we tell them I feel like they won’t like us that much or something bad will happen… But what I’m most scared of is you know how they say they are muslim and they kill people? What if they do it to us?

S: The most people the terrorists are killing are muslims!

J: Mama I’m scared.

Me: Why do you think this is happening? What do you think they want?

S: They want money or world domination.

J: I don’t want to talk about this anymore.

I didn’t realise they thought of all of this, any of this, at all. Here, in Saudi, as is the case in most of the Arab world, we eat sleep and breath politics and news. It’s hard not to when it is happening all around you, live and direct, in your time zone and within earshot. So I really shouldn’t be surprised at all when my children are exposed to it.

Events of terrorism are causing so much confusion as my children cannot marry what these people are doing in the name of their religion to what their religion is actually teaching them.

Now they have to understand a world where the image of their faith is so twisted it no longer resembles anything they have learned or seen around them. And understand that they may be judged, and, yes, hated, by some people because of it.

My Own Childhood Experience

As children we were lucky enough to travel to Europe and America. We have always been stereotyped as “rich arabs”, despite the fact that we looked and acted very average. Or “loud arabs”, despite the fact that we were always soft spoken and respectful. Or “rude arabs”, despite the fact that my mother taught us the importance of manners because we learned that our religion is how we treat people.

At the age of 12 in a camp in Vermont I got asked if I had an oil well in my backyard, if we rode camels, and if we lived in tents. I said yes to all of those questions because it was funny. And I explained that in modern days now we live in two story tents. Everyone laughed.

Later that day at camp, one of the girls asked me in the bathroom if it was true that we cut off the genitals of men who rape women. She said she hoped it was true as her sister got raped, and she wished someone would have cut off his genitals. Pop went my little bubble right then and there. I remember hoping it was true. I, in fact, had no idea if it was or wasn’t. (It isn’t in case you are wondering).

In University, despite the fact that I was a Saudi young woman living in London and studying graphic design, when I got engaged I still got asked by one of my professors if I was forced to. Because I am an Arab woman they decided I must be an oppressed woman.

Generally, I grew up with people thinking I was filthy rich, oppressed, or backwards. But I never had people fearing me or hating me because of my religion. The stereotypes that my children deal with today are different and religious based.

As is the way of the world — the masses get punished for the deeds of the few. I see my little children, and myself, as ambassadors for our religion and our country. But I do resent the fact that my 10-year old daughter thinks that telling people her religion will make them hate her.

Have you had to talk to your kids about terrorism? Have you ever been discriminated against because of your religion?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by World Mom, Mama B., of Saudi Arabia. 

Photo credit to the author. 

Mama B (Saudi Arabia)

Mama B’s a young mother of four beautiful children who leave her speechless in both, good ways and bad. She has been married for 9 years and has lived in London twice in her life. The first time was before marriage (for 4 years) and then again after marriage and kid number 2 (for almost 2 years). She is settled now in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (or as settled as one can be while renovating a house). Mama B loves writing and has been doing it since she could pick up a crayon. Then, for reasons beyond her comprehension, she did not study to become a writer, but instead took graphic design courses. Mama B writes about the challenges of raising children in this world, as it is, who are happy, confident, self reliant and productive without driving them (or herself) insane in the process. Mama B also sheds some light on the life of Saudi, Muslim children but does not claim to be the voice of all mothers or children in Saudi. Just her little "tribe." She has a huge, beautiful, loving family of brothers and sisters that make her feel like she wants to give her kids a huge, loving family of brothers and sisters, but then is snapped out of it by one of her three monkeys screaming “Ya Maamaa” (Ya being the arabic word for ‘hey’). You can find Mama B writing at her blog, Ya Maamaa . She's also on Twitter @YaMaamaa.

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