Sunday, January 24, 2016

Rape to Convert Yazidis into Muslims

Photograph: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty
The Yazidis are a Kurdish people, followers of an old religion related to Zoroastrianism that blends elements of Islam, Judaism and Christianity with even more ancient practices, including sun worship.
But this belief decried as "devil worship" by Islamic State  has been used by the Daesh fighters to justify murder, enslavement and rape.
Yazidis once lived across the lands known as Persia, but over time, they have mostly settled in Northern Iraq. Until the IS jihadis swept through their territory in August 2014.
They were murdered in cold blood. Many escaped but just as many could not flee. As Yazidi spiritual leader Baba Sheikh said: "They took our girls, our homes and our families".
The IS have shown no mercy and this statement had been attributed to them in one UK newspaper: The IS “are crazy people…They even cut the throats of the babies. They want us, the Yazidis, to convert to Islam, but we refused”.
Last week, news reports carried the story of one Yazidi victim who had escaped from the clutches of the Islamic State as saying she was shown a letter that revealed that any captured woman will become Muslim if 10 jihadis raped her. [Note: CNN already reported a similar story on October 08, 2015].
In IS territory, Yazidi women are bought and sold for money, bartered for weapons, even given as a gift; but this is not a simple commercial transaction -- IS has made rape and slavery part and parcel of their theology.
In an online magazine, Dabiq, IS justified their abuses against Yazidis. It said: "Enslaving the families of the kuffar [unbelievers] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah [Islamic law] that if anyone were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur'an and the narrations of the Prophet."
According to a UN report, an estimated 3,500 people are being held as slaves in Iraq, by IS militants. The report claimed that the abuses “in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide”. And a majority of the victims come from the Yazidi community and are women and children.
In the name of Islam, they raped, they murdered and they slaughtered the innocents.
On Thursday, I was at Brussels Beer Cafe in Solaris Mont Kiara in KL's Jalan Solaris 3 and having a Hoegaarden with Tan Su Mei when I chanced upon my ex-Sunway University student, Marcus Tan. He was in one of my Marketing classes in August 2011 although he told me he didn’t finish the Management degree program that he was enrolled for.
I did not ask him why but I am glad that he didn’t abandon his tertiary studies altogether. Now, he is in his final year in the BA (Honours) in Communication – still at Sunway University. 

I was there in that neck of the woods to give support to Tan Su Mei who had her Art Therapy Exhibition at "The Mind Faculty" in adjoining Jalan Solaris 4.
These are her drawings she did in a little notebook that she shared with me:


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