CAIRO: Nadia Murad, a Yazidi Iraqi who escaped slavery from the Islamic State (IS) group, Nadia, said in a Sunday interview at the Youm7 headquarters, the militants’ wives accept the rape of kidnapped girls, and she called on President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and al-Azhar to put an end to the terrorism of the militant group.
Murad escaped from ISIS captivity after three months of being held as a sex slave.
“None helped me [to escape]…I was in a house of a militant’s aunt…they are happy with Daesh (IS) and the state,” said Murad, 21, who was abducted from her village in Iraq in August 2014.
Murad met with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi Saturday, where she told him her story and relayed the plight of other Yazidis under Islamic State group control.
“I chose to come to Egypt and meet with President [Sisi] because we know that he is against terrorism… I asked him to protect us” she said during her interview with Youm7.
Murad said she had been convinced that ISIS will not end one day, adding that President Sisi gave her hope that the group will be defeated.
Murad said she thanked Sisi for his offer to her and her family to come and live in Egypt, but said she plans to return back to her home country and live in Mosul.
She continued saying that she would not stop her support for Yazidi people and woman who face rape and humiliation, adding “I will reach out to any place, despite how far it is, to continue my message.”
“ISIS does not represent the Islamic religion,” said Murad, who is planning to meet with Azhar scholars and request that they work to prevent youth from joining the group.
ISIS militants refer to religion in their “genocide” of Yazidis that many of the ethno-religious group believes that “ISIS is Islam,” she added.
She further wants to send a message to Muslims in Iraq and Syria “to help free girls [from ISIS].”
Combating ISIS is “better ideologically; however, the military way is needed,” Murad added.
Murat Ismail, the head of the humanitarian relief NGO Yazda, who accompanied Nadia in the interview, said that ISIS has enslaved more than 5,800 people, most of whom are women and children, and that his organization has received around 860 women and girls who are all victims of sex slavery.
“What ISIS did with Nadia and the other women is systematic. When they came to Sinjar…they were prepared with trucks to carry the women,” Ismail added.
He talked about the psychological and health problems the victim women face “due to the violence inflicted on them during rape,” besides, that many of them do not have a place to live in.
He noted that some 2,100 have been freed from ISIS captives so far, as the group tends to sell the girls. “Many families cannot afford paying the group to get their girls back,” he noted.
He also referred to violations practiced against minorities in other countries, voicing his condemnation to “persecution of Kurds in Turkey.”
Murad said that she tried to escape twice, and was successful her third time, when a driver took her to a district in Mosul.
“I sheltered in a house in another district and asked the family for a help,” noting that she managed to speak to her brother, who lives in Kurdistan. Her brother sent money to the family with money, and they managed to issue a passport with an Islamic identity.
“They dressed me with a veil and took me to Karbala,” she said.
She noted that none tried to help her escape, although some of ISIS militants’ daughters had asked their parents to allow the enslaved girls to call their relatives but the militants had refused.
ISIS daily life
IS took the houses of Christians and Shiites, who fled their brutality, as their headquarters.
“Their main activities were fighting and torturing girls. IS is a power with weapons and everything…they have no weak point,” Murad said.
“After their fight, some militants want to rent girls while other would like to sell others,” she noted that the women and girls in Syria have been bargained in big halls, but in Mosul, they sell girls in the courts.
“When the first militant who took me asked to marry me; I asked him if I converted to Islam, would he leave me alone, and he replied ‘No, if you converted to Islam and did not marry to any one of the state you would be considered a disbeliever.’”
Additional reporting by Nourhan Magdi and Samar Samir.