A major report on the systematic raping and sexual slavery practices of Islamic State terror group has shed light on the theological beliefs of the militants, many of whom believe that raping children and young girls is like a "prayer" that draws them closer to God.
The New York Times released a detailed and graphic report on Thursday that featured interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped IS captivity in Iraq. The victims, from the Yazidi religious minority group, shared how fighters would pray before raping them, and tried to justify their actions with the Quran, the Islamic holy book.
"He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God," one 12-year-old girl said. more >>
The Obama's administration said Thursday that it's investigating reports that Islamic State fighters used the banned mustard agent against Kurdish Peshmerga forces earlier this week near the town of Makhmour in northern Iraq.
CNN reported that U.S. officials have independent information that has led them to believe chemical weapons were used in the attack, but noted that more intelligence will need to be gathered first before conclusions are made.
Islamic State fighters have been battling government forces and Kurdish fighters for control over Iraq's northern regions. U.S. officials suspect that IS fighters most likely used mortar or rocket shells to deliver the mustard gas. more >>
An organization dedicated to stopping sexual exploitation has denounced Amnesty International's recent decision to support the decriminalization of prostitution.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has called Amnesty's recently approved resolution "irresponsible" and contrary to the global organization's fundamental human rights goals.
Dawn Hawkins, executive director of NCOSE, said a in statement that Amnesty "has failed to remain true to its mission of 'preventing and ending grave abuses.'" more >>
Republican presidential candidate and retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson was asked in a Tuesday CBS News interview to clarify whether he opposes abortion in the cases of rape, incest and when the mother's life is in danger. The argument that abortion is justified when the mother's life is at risk is misleading, he answered.
While appearing on "CBS This Morning," The 63-year-old Carson was asked to respond to comments made by Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who recently attacked billionaire Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his misogynistic comments against women. She tried to lump in other GOP presidential candidates by calling their debate comments against abortion as being as "offensive" towards women as Trump's misogyny.
Carson initially responded by explaining that women have been instrumental in his life and praised his mother, wife and colleagues he has worked with. But not being satisfied with his answer, co-host Norah O'Donnell followed up by saying that the doctor's campaign website is not clear on where he stands on abortion in the cases of rape, incest and when the mother is at risk of losing her life. more >>
The Islamic State terror group has released 22 Assyrian Christians who were part of a group of over 200 believers kidnapped in February in raids on villages in the Khabur region in northeastern Syria.
The Assyrian Observatory for Human Rights has said the Christians were released due to "the tireless efforts and negotiations by the Assyrian Church of the East in the city of Hasakeh," and noted that there were 14 women among the hostages.
Hundreds of kidnapped Arab Christians have been ransomed, tortured, beheaded and killed over the past year, including a priest who was chopped into pieces, in attempts to raise funds for radical Islamic terror groups and to strike fear into the hearts of Christians across the Middle East and throughout the world.
"Christians have become a form [of] currency in this tragedy," John Newton told The Christian Post. Newton is spokesman for Catholic relief agency Aid to the Church in Need. "I know of one priest who was kidnapped for two months ... they asked for a ransom of $120,000, which the family managed to raise and deliver. ... But hours later, the priest was killed and his body cut up, with pieces of him sent in a box to the family."
The process of trying to free kidnapped priests poses a difficult challenge. In many cases, Christian organizations are left in the dark with little information on who the kidnappers are or where the victims are being held. more >>