You are here

Is Sex Slavery Sanctioned in Islam?

Is Sex Slavery Sanctioned in Islam?

Date Published: 
Tuesday, 8 September, 2015

In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

Before and after the rape, the man prostrated himself in prayer. “He told me,” said the girl, “that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God.”


A scripture-based religion is not simply what its adherents (and others) would like it to be; it has a discernible content. While Christianity and Judaism allow for the development of doctrine, there is no similar provision in Islam. The vast majority of Muslims believe that scripture must be interpreted in the literal sense, and, if one does that, one cannot easily dismiss the Islamic State’s teachings about sex slavery.

For a long time, many Western citizens have deceived themselves about Islam. They were sure that jihad was primarily an “interior struggle” rather than a religious war. They denied that Islamic law prescribed the death penalty for apostasy. Contrary to all the evidence, they persisted in believing that there is no compulsion in the Islamic religion. Now, by refusing to believe that there is a theological justification for sex slavery, they are in denial again. One wonders how much more evidence they will require.