ISIS: Professional kidnappers of the world

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In June, a video came out displaying Ahmed, a 14-year old Syrian boy being tortured by IS, according to BBC. After two men tricked him into planting a bomb near an IS meeting place, Ahmed was taken hostage immediately. Blindfolded, Ahmed was hung by his arms, lashed and electrocuted for 48 hours as a means of interrogation. They would have killed him, but his executioner allowed him to escape, according to BBC.

The terrorist organization, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has committed acts that some Americans would consider atrocities.

When IS captures people, their fates tend to be gruesome. Victims are exposed to many different forms of violence, including being thrown off of buildings, burned, drowned, or beheaded, explained Eisikovits. He went on to say that IS will also cut off the hands of its captives when they commit smaller offensives and will make their punishments showy and intimidating.

Last year, IS generated twenty five million dollars from ransom payments, according to BBC.

Former Suffolk Professor Mudafer Al-Ziyadi who is originally from Iraq and taught Islamic philosophy believes that IS is being funded from the United Arab Emirates.

Profiting off kidnappings is not a central concern from IS because they already have billions of dollars coming in from the UAE and from the Saudis, shared Professor Mudafer Al-Ziyadi

Professor Nir Eisikovits is in the Philosophy department and Director of the graduate program in Ethics and Public Policy. He received his Bachelor of Laws from the College of Management School of Law in Israel and explains the two purposes of kidnappings that are performed by IS.

“There’s two populations that we hear about a lot being kidnapped, one is the Yazidi women and children and the Yazidi Zara, and that’s a non-Muslim religious sect, said Professor Eisikovits.

“Many of its members are living in Iraq and there are actual IS members kidnaping them and the purpose is that they are being kidnapped into sexual slavery essentially the women and girls,” he said.

Nazand Begikhani, an advisor to the Kurdistan Regional Government on gender issues, told CNN more than 2,500 Yazidi women were taken by 2014. Narin Shiekh Shamo, a Yazidi activist in Iraqi Kurdistan has gleaned the names of more than 4,601 women who were missing in 2014, according to CNN News.

“These women don’t have actual standing of persons for them, so it’s allowed to do that,” said Eisikovits.

“My understanding of ISIS theology, is that they are trying to reinstate what’s called Sharia law, what would have been the law code in existence immediately after the death of the Prophet Mohammed, not taking into account culture and progress in history over time as many other Muslim groups do,” said Reverend Amy Fisher from the Interfaith Center.

Other victims to ISIS kidnappings are young boys and men. Eisikovits explained the amount of children being abducted and forced into being child soldiers for IS has increased. In some parts of Africa children are being abducted by the affiliates of IS as well.

“Child soldiers are so traumatized that for a short time at least, they can serve as a disciplined fighting force and obviously in the long term it creates extreme psychological damage so one hope by the kidnapping machine is to create enlistment and create recruits,” said Eisikovits.

“IS has strategic idea that it has to create zones of savagery all across the Middle East; in which there would be so much fear and so much violence. Part of which, is it helps create that people would sort of flock to it as the holy agency that could provide order, so that’s part of what’s behind how they punish as well,” said Eisikovits.

“They consider themselves to be holy warriors,” said Eisikovits.“IS represents a perversion of what Jihad means,” he continued.

Al-Ziyadi explained these acts, killings, slaughtering, and bloodlust, are based on well-known verses from the Quran that were cut out of the books entirety. These verses are the ones stating that the best way to fight your enemy is to create fear in the heart of your enemy.

He continued, “I can tell you that the verses that denounce violence that denounce the attacking of people who are not attacking you are overwhelming than these cut off verses.

“A lot of non-Muslims do not understand the basic concepts of Islam, but tend to only see certain groups that come to the focus of the media without looking at the whole picture, which can in fact produce what is now being called Islamophobia,” says Reverend Fisher.

Eisikovits will give a talk on the rise of Isis on Oct.15 at 1 p.m. in the Poetry Center of the Mildred Sawyer Library.

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