As if the number of atrocities committed by the Islamic State (commonly referred to as ISIS) against women wasn’t already astronomical, a report out of Mosul, Iraq, adds the killing of another dozen women to the body count and another incident to the ever-growing list. The infraction committed by these women? They were part of a protest against ISIS and its general practices.
Asharq Al-Awsat, an international Arabic newspaper based in London, reported July 19 that women took to the streets of Mosul, Iraq, to demonstrate for the first time against the ISIS militants who have controlled their city since 2014. The women united to protest against the Islamic State’s extremist practices. But their organized protestations were short-lived as ISIS members attacked the crowd, shutting down the demonstration with arrests and summary executions.
According to Saeed Mamozini, who heads the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s branch 14 in Mosul, the protest was “aggressively blocked” when ISIS militants shot 12 women and arrested an undetermined number of their fellow demonstrators.
But this has often been the ISIS answer to any show of dissatisfaction, protest or rebellion against their authority, which is based on a fundamentally extreme interpretation of Salafist (or Wahhabist) Sunnism. The abuse, depredations, and killings of women have become almost routine.
And the extremists have brooked no dissent, especially among women, since ISIS announced its caliphate and created the Islamic State in easter Syria and northwestern Iraq in June 2014. In September of that year, the Daily Mail reported on the execution of a human rights activist that had condemned ISIS for destruction of religious icons and called the religious bigots on Facebook. Samira Salih al-Nuaimi was tried before a Sharia court of law for apostasy, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq. She was found guilty and subsequently tortured for five days and before her sentence of public execution was carried out.
As horrible as it may seem, the ISIS’ treatment of women, especially those they consider inferior, infidels, or apostates, knows no bounds of sordidness. In September 2015, CNN reported on the practice of raping captured women, a practice supposedly condoned by the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. One young woman, a 22-year-old Yazidi (a minority religion prevalent among Iraqi Kurds) woman, told the news agency that she was shown a letter stating that if ten Muslim men raped her, she would then be Muslim herself. After that the extremist raped her, he passed her along to 11 other men.
And when they refused to become sex slaves for ISIS? Many were reportedly killed.
According to an Inquisitr article in June, 19 Yazidi girls were burned alive by their ISIS captors for refusing to become their sex slaves. They were killed as a group in a public execution, set afire while inside a massive cage.
But that number was just a small contingent of those women who have died at the hands of ISIS. In April, it was announced that hundreds of Kurdish women had been executed by extremists for refusing to enter into arranged marriages (read: sex slavery) with Islamic State militants. A Kurdistan Democratic Party official told AhlulBayt News Agency that an estimated 250 women had been executed if they refused the proposals.
All of the atrocities had been carried out in the city of Mosul.
As Asharq Al-Awsat noted in their report, coalition troops led by the Iraqi defense forces are tightening their stranglehold on the city of Mosul in an effort to retake it from ISIS. After several hours of fighting, Iraqi forces had established control over Al-Awsaj, a village south of Mosul. Commander of the Peshmerga in Makhmour, Rashad Kalali, told the paper that Al-Awsaj was the last stronghold of ISIS in the area, acknowledging that Iraqi forces had killed approximately 20 ISIS fighters in taking the village.
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