ago, Islamic State fighters invaded my ancestral homeland of Sinjar, Iraq, and
waged a systematic ethnic-cleansing campaign against the Yazidi community.
Their campaign included mass executions, forced religious conversions and
widespread sexual violence. These attacks resulted in the massacre of Yazidi
men, women and children; the enslavement of nearly 7,000 Yazidis; and
displacement of more than 400,000 Yazidis to camps in northern Iraq.
was not the end of our suffering. As Sheri P. Rosenberg observed in a 2012
article, genocide is a process, not an event. The continued suffering, fear and
uncertainty in the Yazidi community show that the genocide process is ongoing.
About 350,000 Yazidis remain trapped in camps in northern Iraq. Yazidis in
these camps live in weather-worn tents without adequate access to food, water,
electricity, education or opportunities to work. They also lack basic health
care, including psychological support to aid in trauma recovery.
estimated 3,000 abducted Yazidi women and children are still missing, with
fears that some might have been sold to al-Qaeda affiliates — women and girls
to be sex slaves, boys to be trained as fighters. Others may have been forcibly
relocated to cities in other countries or have become collateral damage in
military offensives in the region. Though thousands of Yazidis have sought
asylum in Europe and elsewhere, foreign governments are approving fewer and
fewer asylum claims, making it more difficult for Yazidis to seek safety.
Yazidi people are not without hope. We want justice, we want to rebuild, and we
want to go home — but we cannot do so without support. As we approach the fifth
anniversary of the Yazidi genocide on Aug. 3, I call on the international
community to undertake concrete actions to support the repatriation of Yazidis.
recent speech at the State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious
Freedom, I outlined the necessary steps for the successful return and
rehabilitation of the Yazidi community. These include resolving Sinjar’s local
governance issues, investing in long-term sustainable development initiatives,
recruiting Yazidis into Iraq’s official security forces and prosecuting the
Islamic State for war crimes. These steps are not only crucial to helping the
Yazidis recover from the genocide but can also promote the rebuilding of trust
among the different communities in Iraq, ultimately supporting the process of
peace and reconciliation in the region.
estimate that 80,000 Yazidis have returned to Sinjar, local conflicts
complicate survival. The Islamic State’s collapse created a power vacuum,
opening the door for competing groups that occupy some portion of Sinjar but do
not have complete control. The situation is further complicated because of
disagreements between Baghdad and Irbil over governance and security in Sinjar.
The Yazidi people cannot return to their homeland when security risks remain
high. They must be given a voice, both in governance and over security
vie for strategic dominance, our community also suffers from a lack of
infrastructure. Investment in sustainable development initiatives in the Yazidi
homeland is vital. Funds are needed for rebuilding homes and public facilities,
such as hospitals and schools. According to the United Nations Development
Program’s Funding Facility for Stabilization 2018 Q3 Report, more than 90
percent of recovery projects in the region are underfunded, and the funding has
decreased by 41 percent since 2017. The UNDP identifies this gap as the most
significant challenge to stabilizing the area, and international support is
crucial for meeting these needs.
the Yazidi people deserve justice for the atrocities committed against them.
This year, Sweden called for support from European allies to establish an
international Iraq-based war crimes tribunal, modelled after the International
Criminal Tribunals in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, to prosecute Islamic
State fighters. The Syrian Accountability Project’s Report on the Yazidi
Genocide recommends an international effort to preserve the physical evidence
of Islamic State crimes, including archival documentation of Yazidi survivors
and their stories and protection of forensic evidence such as mass graves.
Moreover, the international community can help the Iraqi government locate the
still missing Yazidis or record their fate. Until the full scope of Islamic
State crimes are unearthed and justice is delivered, our people will continue
international community fought to defeat the Islamic State — but the job is not
done. Abandoning the Yazidis to a war-torn land and uncertain future allows the
seeds of further violence to take root. If the international community refuses
to exchange platitudes for swift action, the Islamic State’s genocidal campaign
against Yazidis will prevail.
Murad is a Yazidi activist and president of Nadia’s Initiative, an organization
advocating for survivors of genocide and sexual violence. She was awarded the
Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.
Source: Washington Post
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) prohibited the earnings of slave girls (through prostitution).
Narrated Ibn `Umar:
The Prophet (ﷺ) forbade the selling of the Wala' (of slaves) or giving it as a present.