Alone, Abandoned, Enslaved and Degraded : Where is the Conscience of the World?
"We are grateful and honoured to receive the Sakharov , but the EU can and must do more. The European Union must call this what it is: a genocide of our people."
"The EU must call for its prosecution and international accountability for ISIS, for example before the International Criminal Court, Tribunal, or a special court."
"We ask that the EU and all those concerned with the fate of Syria and Iraq establish a safe zone to protect the Yazidis, Christians and other vulnerable minorities in Sinjar and the Nineveh Plain."
"If the world can’t protect the Yazidis in our homeland, we ask Europe to give us a safe new home."
Yazidi women, Nadia Murad and Lamiya Ali Bashar
|Nadia Murad (left) and Lamiya Aji Bashar were awarded the EU's Sakharov for Freedom of Thought|
It has been years since the world was alerted that the Salafist Islamist terrorist group was targeting in particular the Yazidi population of northern Iraq when the town of Sinjar and villages and towns around it were attacked, sacked, thousands of Yazidi men and boys slaughtered while women and girls were taken captive to be sold at slave markets. Those who could, managed to escape and made their way up nearby Mount Sinjar where the West averted its eyes and the Iraqi and Syrian Kurds launched a rescue, leading many of the Yazidis to safety.
But many more Yazidis were left to languish on the mountain, families attempting to sustain themselves and to remain out of the clutches of ISIL. They remain there yet. Islamic State took pride in its slavery of an estimated seven thousand Yazidi women, to be apportioned among its fighters and sold on the slave market to raise funds for their exploits and purchase of guns, bombs and drones. The Islamic State has a Department of War Spoils, where it takes authority from the Koran and contracts are notarized by Islamic courts.
The Yazidis are distant relatives of the far more numerous Kurds, who have been offering them haven. They speak a version of the same language. It is their religion that earns them the contempt of ISIL, a combination of early Christianity, Islam and Judaism, worshipping a Peacock Angel and considered to be pagan. They harm no one. They take pride in their heritage and traditions. Theirs is not a proselytizing religion, nor do they intermarry outside the Yazidi tribe.
They campaign now in the free world for justice and relief. Hoping to move the consciences of those they believe can help them rescue their enslaved and tormented people, to release their homeland from the clutches of the Islamist jihadis, and to bring to justice those who have decreed they must be killed as heretics, or as the Islamic State has it, their continued existence "is a matter that Muslims should question as they will be asked about it on Judgement Day".
Nadia Murad, born in a village in Iraq, was captured at age 21, enslaved and continually raped. She had been witness to six of her brothers and stepbrothers being murdered, along with her mother. Lamiya Ali Bashar, 18, was abducted by ISIL and passed from one to another once her village was captured in 2014. When she managed her escape with a handful of other young women in 2016, a landmine exploded where two of the girls died and her face was scarred and she was left blind in one eye.
When Boko Haram abducted hundreds of girls from their school in Nigeria in Chibok, the world was horrified and outrage was expressed everywhere. The First Lady of the United States declared herself one with the Chibok girls, demanding they be released, placing pressure on the government of Nigeria to launch a rescue. No similar rise of righteous indignation emanated from Michelle Obama at the fate of the Yazidi girls and women, nor have groups who agitate for women's rights taken up the plight of the Yazidi women.