8/12/14, "Fleeing child abduction, slavery, rape and theft in Iraq," Irish Times, Lara Marlowe.
"A Christian woman forced to flee Mosul describes the terror there."
"“My neighbour in Erbil has a two-year-old daughter. They said, ‘Give her to us. We will raise her.’
My neighbour cried and pleaded for half an hour. Then they forced the baby’s father to kiss their shoes, to humiliate him.”
Stories of gang-rape by jihadists, a practice known as “jihad al-nikah” or “sexual jihad,” abound. It was allegedly “legitimated” by a religious leader in Tunisia to help the Islamic State recruit young men. Sunni girls in Mosul have reportedly died by suicide rather than accept multiple forced “marriages”.
Members of the Yazidi community who met French foreign minister Laurent Fabius in Erbil at the weekend told him some 500 Yazidi women have been kidnapped and 50 were taken to Mosul to be sold as slaves. The Yazidis are Kurdish-speaking people from a Zoroastrian religion, considered infidels by the Islamic State. “They have fared worse than the Christians,” says Mariam. “They are massacring Yazidis and raping their women.”
Displaced Yazidis are believed to number 400,000.
Some 120,000 Christians have fled Mosul and surrounding Christian villages. “A few days ago, Da’esh were 20km from Erbil,” Mariam says. “The Peshmerga (Kurdish militia) were running from them. Because of the American air strikes, they’ve pulled back a little.”
Some commentators say Obama is reinforcing the Muslim perception that the “crusader” west has intervened only because Christians are in danger. “All the other communities in Iraq have militias,” Mariam says. “Christ opposed violence. We have no guns. We need protection.”
Mariam was cheered by Mr Fabius’s vague promise to arm the Peshmerga. “But the Peshmerga alone are not strong enough to face such a challenge,” she says. “When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, 32 countries joined a coalition to drive the Iraqi army out. Why isn’t there a coalition of 32 countries now, to liberate northern Iraq?”
France appears to be having second thoughts. “Organising the departure of Christians from Iraq is tantamount to accepting the victory of the jihadists,” Mr Fabius said in Erbil on Sunday. “It’s like saying the Christians have no future in their own country.”
Most of Mariam’s family have already moved to Europe or Jordan. “I love Iraq and I love Mosul,” she says, her voice breaking. “We have been here for 2,000 years. Our churches, our history are here. When you take the Christians out of Mosul, you cut the last roots of our existence.”" via Free Rep.