'Disgusting': Sen. Boxer Shocked to Hear About ISIL's Sexual Abuse of Women

Susan Jones | December 10, 2014 | 8:00am EST
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Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) (AP Photo)

(Editor's note: Some of the testimony at Tuesday's hearing included sexually explicit language and references to "disgusting stuff," as Sen. Boxer put it.)

(CNSNews.com) - At a hearing on ISIL in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) expressed shock and dismay about a news report detailing the terrorists' enslavement and sexual abuse of women and girls.

Boxer told a State Department human rights official that her staffers had just handed her "the most shocking article" -- in Q&A format -- describing the circumstances in which non-Muslim women and girls may be taken captive and raped by ISIL.

"This is disgusting stuff," Boxer told Tom Malinowski, an assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labor at the State Department. She asked Malinowski to verify if the report was true. "If this is real, people need to understand this," she said.

"So, this kind of thing is absolutely real," Malinowski responded. "These things are happening. We have seen Daesh (ISIL) put out on its social media, on its Web site...these kinds of justifications before. It just shows the degree of depravity and just the baseness of the ideology that is at the heart of this..."

"Well, it's disgusting," Boxer said. "As a woman sitting here, and men who care about women, this is unreal."

As part of her exchange with Malinowski, Boxer -- chair of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee -- read from The Daily Beast article, which got its information from the Middle East Media Research Institute:

"They're claiming that they found a document with questions and answers that was posted (by ISIL), and it's just so shocking I can't even, you know, really read all of it," Boxer said. "For example, one question: 'Can all unbelieving women be taken captive?'

"The answer: 'There's no dispute among the scholars that it's permissible to capture unbelieving women,' and they list, 'i.e., Jews and Christians and polytheists.'"

Boxer continued with question 4: "'Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female captive?'"

"Answer," she said: "'It is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a female captive,' and they quote Allah, 'Successful are the believers who guard their chastity except from their wives or the captives of the slaves and their right hand (inaudible), for they are free from blame.' And they cite that.

"Question: 'Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female captive immediately after taking possession of her?'

"'If she' -- this is the answer, 'If she is a virgin, her master can have intercourse with her immediately after taking possession of her. However, if she isn't, her uterus must be purified.'

"I -- this is disgusting stuff," Boxer exclaimed. "So, I don't want to put you on the spot...but I would ask both of you (Malinowski and another witness), would you please try to work on this and get back to me? If this is real, people need to understand this. And time is kind of pressing," Boxer said.

Malinowski told Boxer that he's "seen much of that before."

Boxer then continued reading from the ISIL Q&A:

"How about this one," she asked. "'Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female slave who hasn't reached puberty?'

"'Yes, except if,' it says, 'If she is fit for intercourse. However, if she is not...' I can't even go on," Boxer said.

But the senator did go on: "'Can two sisters be taken together while taking slaves?'"

Then Boxer read the answer: "'It is permissible to have two sisters, a female slave and her aunt, or a female slave and her aunt from the mother's side, but they can't be together during intercourse, and whoever has intercourse with one cannot have intercourse with the other.'"

She went on to another question:"'Is it permissible to beat a female slave?'

"'It is permissible," the answer is, "'to beat a female slave, if it's a form of darb ta’deeb, disciplinary beating.'"

"And I'm just saying who's going to stand up to these people, if not us?" Boxer said. "And the truth is, there are people who are willing to take it to them. And what I like about what the president is doing is, he's working with those very people. And they know the area."

Later in the hearing, Malinowski said ISIL's treatment of women is "a negation of all values. It's -- it's an ideology that says join us and there are no limits. You can do whatever you want. You can kill. You can rape. You can take. You can steal. You can enslave.

"I do think there is, looking back on past patterns of atrocities, there is this recurring pattern that you see of mass rape and sexual violence because it is a... particularly brutal and unfortunately common way of trying to destroy a people. And so we've seen it in Bosnia. We've seen it in the Congo. We've seen it here again. So there's that phenomenon," he added.

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