Uncovering Iraq's Secret Sex Trade: The Disturbing Truth Behind Shia Clerics and Child Prostitution

Uncovering Iraq's Secret Sex Trade: The Disturbing Truth Behind Shia Clerics and Child Prostitution

In a country already plagued by war and violence, the people of Iraq are facing yet another issue that is shrouded in secrecy and exploitation. A recent investigation by Arabic journalist has uncovered a disturbing network of child prostitution, run by Shia clerics in some of Iraq’s holiest shrines.

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Iraq's Secret Sex Trade: Temporary Marriage

The practice known as pleasure or temporary marriage, allows a man to pay for a short-term wife. But what started as a way for men to help vulnerable women, has turned into a horrifying system of abuse and exploitation.
Undercover footage and victim testimony reveal how these clerics procure young women and girls for male clients, and are even willing to conduct ‘pleasure marriages’ with children as young as 13 years old. This dark secret has been hidden for years, and this is the first time it has been captured on camera.
Credit: Reuters
In a country where more than a million women have been widowed and 1.5 million people are still displaced due to war, these clerics have found a vulnerable population to prey upon. They target widows, refugees, and poor families, promising them marriage and financial support. But in reality, they are being lured into prostitution.

Iraq's Secret Sex Trade: What reporters said?

An Arabic journalist spoke to around 25 women and girls who shared their stories of being exploited through pleasure marriages. Many of them feared reprisals if they showed their faces, as these clerics hold immense power in their communities.

One of the reporters for the investigation went undercover in Baghdad with a hidden camera. He posed as a potential client and approached several clerics in the city, asking if they would conduct a pleasure marriage. Shockingly, many of them said yes.

Iraq's Secret Sex Trade: Involvement of Islamic Clerics

One cleric even had authorization from the Ministry for Shia Affairs and a license to conduct marriages from the Ministry of Justice. He told the reporter that it’s better not to have a written contract for the pleasure marriage, as it would make it easier to cover their tracks.

But it’s not just clerics like Sheikh Hussein who are involved in this disturbing trade. The investigation spoke to around 20 men who admitted to participating in pleasure marriages to gain sexual access to women. Some of them even confessed to paying for pleasure marriages with children under the age of 18.

Iraq's Secret Sex Trade: Child Prostitution

This practice has been condemned by many as a form of child prostitution. However, some clerics argue that it is sanctioned by Islamic law and can even be beneficial for couples. They claim that pleasure marriages provide a way for men and women to engage in sexual relations without committing adultery.
But this defense holds no weight when considering the fact that Iraq’s most senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, has previously written that sexual touching is permitted in temporary marriages with children under the age of nine.

Iraq's Secret Sex Trade: Involvement of higher authority

When approached for clarification on his stance, Ayatollah al-Sistani’s office stated that this stance has since been changed and is no longer valid. However, the damage has already been done as these clerics continue to exploit vulnerable women and children under the guise of religious practice.

One brave former cleric who has spoken out against the abuse of pleasure marriages, now lives in exile in London after receiving death threats. He claims that this practice goes against Islamic principles and only serves the desires of men.

It’s clear that this practice is not about helping vulnerable women or promoting religious values. It’s about men using their power and influence to gain sexual access to young girls and women. It’s about exploitation and abuse in the name of religion.
The uncovering of Iraq’s secret sex trade is a wake-up call for authorities to take action. Women and children should not be subjected to this kind of abuse and exploitation, especially in a country already facing so many other challenges.

Iraq's Secret Sex Trade: What we can do?

As individuals, we can also help by raising awareness and speaking out against these horrific practices. We must stand together to protect the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their gender or social status.
In a country that has already seen so much suffering, let’s work towards ending the exploitation and abuse of the most vulnerable members of society. It’s time to shed light on the truth and put an end to Iraq’s secret sex trade.

- Article by OFXHub.com Team

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