In Lapham’s Quarterly: The Anomaly of Barbarism

“For those baffled by ISIS, however, it cannot be only ISIS that is mysterious. So too must be much of modern history. ISIS has brought with it many atrocious assaults on civilized values: the sexual enslavement of women and children; the murder of gay men; the targeted killing of writers, cartoonists, and Jews; indiscriminate slaughter at a rock concert; and what amounted to the attempted genocide of the Yezidi. All of these acts of barbarism have modern precedents, many of them in the past century. The use of sexual violence as a military strategy featured in ethnic cleansing in Bosnia in the 1990s; during Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971; in Nepal, Colombia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and many other conflict zones.”

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