At the same time that over 700 journalists were covering the Gaza conflict earlier this week, there was little detailed media interest in the the mass slaughter of Yazidis and Christians in Iraq who, according to many sources, are on the brink of genocide by terrorists in the Islamic State.
In my daily list of reading today was the report that 80 more Yazidi men had been killed in northern Iraq. BasNews, a Kurdish news media website reported that the massacre rook place in the village of Kojo some 20 km south of Sinjar after it came under attack by the Islamic State radicals. If the example of the Prophet Muhammad is followed, the term men will include any male child who has reached puberty. This could result in children as young as 11 or 12 being slaughtered. All women and children, presumably with the exception of pubescent boys, were taken as ‘slaves’. The Qur’an and hadiths (apostolic witness statement) consider slavery as an exceptional but necessary condition to be implemented in specific limited circumstances. Only children of slaves or non-Muslim prisoners of war could become slaves, never a freeborn Muslim, and this explains why Yazidi men are killed and all females and pre-pubescent males are held captive.
This is Islamic custom as set out in the Qur’an: Surat an-Nisa 4:24 “And forbidden to you [sexually] are wedded wives of other people except those who have fallen in your hands.” The last part of the Sura refers to slaves taken in Jihad.
Islamic jurisprudent Sayyid A’La Abul Maududi, wrote in The Meaning of the Quran. (vol. 1, p. 319) commenting on this verse, explained that is it lawful for Muslims to marry women prisoners of war even when their husbands are still alive.
Condemnation of IS came a few days ago, when two senior United Nations officials protested in the strongest terms the “barbaric acts” of sexual violence and “savage rapes” the armed group had perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control.
In a joint statement from Baghdad, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence (SRSG) in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov urged the immediate protection of civilians. The officials condemned, in the strongest terms, the explicit targeting of women and children and the barbaric acts that IS has perpetrated on minorities. Acts of sexual violence are grave human rights violations that can be considered as war crimes and crimes against humanity, they warned. “We are gravely concerned by continued reports of acts of violence, including sexual violence against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov said. “Atrocious accounts of abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov stated, pointing out that some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery. Mr. Mladenov called on regional Governments and the wider international community for the immediate release of the women and girls held in captivity and to support the Government of Iraq’s efforts to protect its citizens. He pledged that his Office would closely monitor the situation to ensure accountability and advocate for support to the survivors of the “barbaric acts.”
Thus it seems apparent that terrorists from the Islamic State – and make no mistake, they are terrorists not jihadis – are massacring all males from puberty upwards and taking the women as slaves, which will likely include being used as concubines.
In the midst and in light of this, columnist Matthew Parris has seen fit to tell his those reading his column that no one should “let the interventionists piggyback their misguided miltary [sic] desires on the back of a humanitarian disaster” . Brave words, apparently, though I wonder what this nation is becoming, what sort of ideals and morals we espouse, when we ignore genocidal massacres and war crimes as it is better not to get involved.
In his article, topped with a smiling photo of himself, Parris said “The Kurdish region does not yet face an existential crisis” he says, “Nothing decisive is about to happen. There is time to think.” Think? What about the massacres, the women who are being raped and the children that have to witness this? Must we tolerate this form of Islam and its inhuman behaviour and just think?
Their is witness testimony to this appalling depravity from a regional source: “They arrived in vehicles and they started their killing this afternoon,” senior Kurdish official Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters.“We believe it’s because of their creed: convert or be killed.” Following the massacre of the male population Yazidi women were kidnapped from the village, another Kurdish official told Reuters.
Add to this caustic cocktail the ‘Stop The War’ coalition, some of whom I’m sure mean well, but ‘Stop The War’ seems to be becoming synonymous to ‘Stop The War Where Muslims Are Concerned’. I have good reason to make that comment: Have you seen them yet protest one Muslim-led war (sorry jihad) or, like me, have you seen an anti-West agenda in much of the protest?
In a recent letter of support from students’ organisations to ‘Stop The War’ (STW), over one-third of the office-holding signatories were Muslim. From a fatih population that comprises around 5% of the demography of Britain, to occupy over one-third of the Student Union’s official positions in local branches gives an indication of the organisation and support of Muslims behind STW. Do you see these people protesting the war in Iraq on Yazidis or Christians now? If these were Muslims being slaughtered by another religion, they would be out in Trafalgar Square today.
If the protests of STW were balanced and fair you could applaud the motive, but they aren’t. Did you ever see protests about Al-Qaeda from STW? Did they protest the war in Darfur? Why is STW focussed only on democratic countries as the instigators of war? What message does our reluctance to take military action send to extremists? Obviously one that we take no effective action to stop them slaughtering populations that can never be replaced; it rids the region of the ‘problem’ of religious and ethnic diversity by obliterating the minority element.
We need to stop and think, Mr. Parris, yes we do, but not when innocent people are being slaughtered, when even governments and supra-national bodies are claiming that genocide is likely a part of the Islamic State’s purpose. The people of the world need to protest about the very purpose and methodology of the Islamic State, the peaceniks should try and imagine their family being ravaged like this and there should be a worldwide military coalition to round up this filth and mete out justice to them. That is how it should be done, Mr. Parris, not by letting them get on with it.
United States Secretary of State John Kerry has seized on a “stomach-turning” photograph of a seven year old Australian boy holding a severed head in Syria to push for United Nations action on foreign Islamists returning from the Middle East.
Describing the photograph as one of the most grotesque images the world has ever seen, Mr Kerry said the US and Australia would ask a UN meeting next month to examine ways to address the threat from the returning jihadists.
The disturbing photograph was posted on Twitter by Khaled Sharrouf, an Australian jihadist in Syria, and shows the man’s son holding a decapitated head.
“This image, perhaps even an iconic photograph… is really one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photographs ever displayed,” Mr Kerry said.
“That child should be in school, that child should be out learning about a future, that child should be playing with other kids, not holding a severed head and out in the field of combat. This is utterly disgraceful and it underscores the degree to which ISIL [now Islamic State] is so far beyond the pale with respect to any standard by which we judge even terrorist groups, that al-Qaeda shunted them aside.” Speaking in Sydney, Mr Kerry said he and his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop would push the UN to consider ways to prevent fighters returning to their home countries and causing “chaos and havoc”. Analysts estimate that thousands of foreign fighters from across the world have flocked to join the fighting in Iraq and Syria.