Reports of thousands of rapes in the Syrian civil war have been documented by human rights groups who are monitoring the situation on the ground. A deputy of the Chief Mufti of Syria has issued a religious decree that it is permissible and even encouraged to rape the daughters and wives of rebel troops and supporters.
The Syrian civil war, which has already entered its third year, has left more than 130,000 dead and millions of people homeless or displaced. This new edict issued by Sheikh Abd al-Rahman Ali al-Dala, aide to the chief mufti of Syria, who is loyal to President Bashar Assad, will only make matters worse.
When asked about how Syrian soldiers should treat rebel women, Al-Dala said that soldiers loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad have permission to marry unmarried and married women who are sisters and mothers of rebel soldiers. He said that the Syrian soldiers are not required to perform any type of official ceremony to be considered “married” to the women. Al-Dala said that the edict of rape is intended to serve as the women’s punishment for not reporting the rebels to the government. Now rape has religious approval, as well as secular.
According to testimony from captured soldiers and captains before they were executed, rape was very common long before the religious edit. The system in place is that Syrian soldiers are to bring the attractive girls to their commanders for evaluation. The evaluations are to see if the captains want to rape them or if the soldiers can have her.
The soldiers do not discriminate between secular women or religious muslims covered in face veils. Rape has been employed as a common practice by the army, well before Al-Dala’s official religious support was granted.
This is not saying that the rebel army is not doing the exact same thing to Syrian troops. There are also reports that al-Qaeda rebels have also been forcing Druze and Christian captives to convert to Islam or die.
With no end in sight to the Syrian Civil War, no one is expecting the reports to get any better.