The night of 2nd-3rd August was one we should have anticipated: when the Kurdish nation suffered at the hands of people who have the same roots as the perpetrators of the Anfal of 1988, which was comparable to the Jewish Holocaust. On that dreadful, recent night when the Islamic State (IS) attacked Sinjar, no one knew they would come to the town so quickly and dramatically. Many people managed to flee but some did not. Some citizens of Sinjar, many of them women and children, were trapped by the criminal thugs of IS. Now the story of the tragedy of three sisters has come to light. Like hundreds of other Yazidi Kurdish woman caught by IS, they were raped. Later they managed to escape to Sinjar mountain to join their mother and father. The three sisters were traumatised. They asked people to kill them. When this was refused, they ended their lives by hurling themselves off the mountain.
IS has auctioned for sale more than 500 women in the market of Mosul. While they revel in the degradation of women, traditionally in Kurdish society women have been highly valued as the backbone of our families. The historian Charles Townshend (1) has written about our more tolerant traditions. ”In religious terms they were also diverse – some were Christians, some Yazidis and a few Jews – though they were overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim”. He judged the ordinary Muslim Kurds as “by no means fanatical’, and writes: “they treated their womenfolk with much more respect than do most Mohammedan races”.
These genocidal and barbaric crimes by IS forces mirror those of other gangsters and terrorist groups; they reflect other atrocities against women around the world. These poor Yazidi Kurdish women who threw themselves from Sinjar Mountain have conveyed the tragedy, sorrow, trauma and pain of too many woman in the 21st century. The world should be united to eliminate this terrorist group and wipe them out from everywhere. The IS should not be allowed to run away without any punishment: if they can get away with it today, they will inflict more tragedies on the streets of London and New York.
(1). Charles Townshend, ‘When God made Hell’, 2010, Faber & Faber Ltd
Arian Mufid (Mufid Abdulla) will no longer be using the surname Abdulla.