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How ISIS Justifies Its Culture of Rape and Sex Slavery

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Rape has become a central part of the religious beliefs of members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremist group, according to a chilling new report in the New York Times.

The report found that men in ISIS believe sexually violating women and girls of the Yazidi religious minority is sanctioned, and even encouraged by the Quran. “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,” a 12-year-old rape victim told the Times.

These incidents of rape are bound in a larger, formal institution of sex slavery within the group, which can be used as a recruiting tool for young men.

Read more at the New York Times.

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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com