Abdalaziz Alhamza – Exclusive – Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently
ISIS militant group dominated Raqqa province in early 2014, Raqqa was the first city entirely dominated by the group, ISIS tried since the beginning of its control to crack down on women, where it seemed that there was vigorous search by ISIS fighters for wives from the women of the city and the province in general, it seems that the group has intended to achieve several objectives through these marriages, first of all to achieve stability of its members and to ensure their survival in the land of the caliphate, as well as the promotion and consolidation of relations with the local population, and finally to address the anomalies and instinctive desires experienced by some members of the group.
Popular customs in Raqqa regarding to marriage were semi-traditional and inherited between generations, rural families prefer mating among relatives and cousins, where the custom which so-called (Alhayar) was prevailed, where the cousin shows the desire to marry the daughter of his uncle, so she refrain to marry from another man, this custom has been prevailed and effective on a large scale.
After agreeing to marry, the young man pays sum of money as dowry for the girl, it was estimated before the start of the revolution about (200 – 350) thousand syrian pounds almost equivalent to (4-7 thousand US dollars), the girl starts equipping itself and buy clothes and gold jewelry and some household items and everything she needs by this dowry, so concerts, weddings and banquets permeated the village and the area when there are marriages of one of their sons, and marriages periods were associated with harvests, due to the linkage between rural income and agriculture .
As for city and more civilized communities, the marriages were happening according to the traditions of every family, but the difference is not great from the habits in countryside, but more civilized for concerts, Raqqa had a privacy with respect to marriage concerts, it were mixed from both genders and were attended by relatives and acquaintances and lovers of both the bride and groom, and attendance were gleeful during the popular folklore songs associated with the water of Euphrates and inherited generation after another, where the Islamic moderate character was prevailed in the province.
With the outbreak of the revolution, a slight change has occurred in the marriage customs inside the province, where there has become indulgence on the amount of the dowry to some extent under the local currency collapse against the dollar, and the absence of concerts and weddings because of the massey and the pain experienced by some parts of homeland.
But with the beginning of the liberation and the control of rebel’s battalions on a wide regions and parts of the province, and the involvement of a large number of citizens of the city and the whole province within those battalions, and participation in the liberation process of the province from regime’s grip, where the period of calm and safety that followed the liberation has contributed to push young people to marry, the number of marriages has markedly increased under safety who feel it far away from the control of Assad regime and his army.
Along with ISIS group control of the city and the influx of foreign fighters to live in the land of caliphate, the group and its fighters sought to mix with people and integrate into the community, through proliferation in neighborhoods and search for wives from the women of the city, this matter was rejected by a large section of the people, where they said that they do not marry off their daughters from strangers.
ISIS tried through its restrictions to crack down women, in order to force them indirectly to marry from its members, by the following practices:
1. Commitment wearing Islamic dress, according to the perspective of the group.
2. Prevent the women from wandering without Muhram (close relative) inside towns and villages.
3. Prevent the women under the age of fifty from traveling only for health reasons.
4. Close the institutes and universities.
5. Prevent the girls from traveling to other regions to follow education.
6. Prevent the women from working without Muhram with her in the same workplace.
7. Prevent the women from going to the ovens.
8. Harassment of women who wandering in the city without Muhram.
There were many things that press on the people and push them to marry off their daughters from the members of the group, such as:
1. poverty plaguing the city in comparison with welfare experienced by those engaged in the ranks of the group.
2. high dowries offered by members of the group in exchange for marriage.
3. The prevalence of nepotism in the ranks of the group, prompting families to set up closer links with members of the group.
4. spread rumors about girls kidnapping, that prompted families to fear of shame.
With the increase in arrests against women by Hesba patrols, women working in the female battalions began offering offers to marry from ISIS members for those who are unmarried during periods of detention, so special centers have been opened for singles and widows who want to marry.
Many cases of harassment of women by members of the group have recorded, through intervention in the dress form, or saying some phrases that disclose the desire to marry ((our Lord has legalized sexual practice by marriage)).
ISIS members sought to look for wives for them by trying to set up friendships with the citizens in the city and the province, and put forth the desire of marriage and the search for a bride in front of them, and express their willingness to pay any dowry, as well as to push the preachers of mosques to urge and encourage people to marry off women from the Mujahideen.
The group sought through the management of refugees areas to push the people who are suffering from poverty and difficult living conditions to marry off their daughters.
All of these factors contributed in the marriage of daughters of some families from ISIS fighters, but through strange marriage contracts, so they do not know the character or the identity of the husband or even the identity of witnesses, everything they know about the husband is his nickname by nationality, such as (Abu Ahmed Iraqi – Abu Qatada Ansari – Abu Dardaa Tunisian), the thing which contributed to create a major problems in the identification of parentage after the death of their fathers, where a lot of these fighters died and left behind unknown parentage children, as well as in other cases, the fighter was transported to another place, so he gives up behind him wife who did not know about her husband more than his nickname.
Several escape cases have recorded for some families, because of fear of being forced to marry off their daughters from the members of the group, and in other cases there was rejected by the girls for such marriages, where one case was documented, despite of the great blackout which has been imposed by the family, the girl has committed suicide at last in the countryside of Raqqa, because of the desire of her family to marry from a fighter of Arab nationality.
A large section of ISIS members suffer from sexual anomalies and brutal instinctive desire for sex, except for sadism and perversion which they carrying already, and this things appeared through:
1. Buying strange underwear from their women, where they seek to buy underwear which carry a lot of anomalies nature.
2. Marry more than one wife, during short periods, and search for Sabaya (captives women) despite the presence of more than one wife.
3. Search for blue pills in order to increase their strength to have more sex.
4. Many cases that have been recorded from hospitals and physicians, about women who have been subjected to sexual practice in a brutal and abnormal manner.
All of these factors and circumstances mentioned above have formed a panic and fear to the girls and women of Raqqa, which the houses became their current tombs, because of fear from falling into the arms of the soldiers of the Caliph.