There’s no good way to begin a news story about the atrocities of war. And for many, the unimaginable horrors perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State have reached the point of absurdity. We’ve grown numb to public executions, kidnapped children, and 8-year-old executioners. What will it take to make us finally act unequivocally?
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The Daily Mail is helping to spread the message. ISIS fighters took a Yazidi woman captive as a sex slave. After starving the woman for three days, they cooked and fed her her own son. He was only one-year-old.
The incident was part of a longer discussion of heinous acts perpetrated by ISIS as recounted by Iraqi MP Vian Dakhill.
Yazidis aren’t Muslims. The religious minority is, therefore, a target for ISIS. As they pose no real danger, the Yazidi are often taken as slaves or massacred.
The story is difficult to hear. It would strain credulity if there wasn’t already precedent for ISIS brutality beyond the pale.
Dakhill was interviewed by the Egyptian TV channel Extra News. “One of the women whom we managed to retrieve from ISIS said that she was held in a cellar for three days without food or water. Afterwards, they brought her a plate of rice and meat. She ate the food because she was very hungry.”
“When she was finished they said to her: ‘We cooked your one-year-old son that we took from you, and this is what you just ate’.”
The interviewer had to pause to wipe away tears as he took in the sickening details.
“One of the girls [that was rescued] said that they took six of her sisters,” she said. “Her younger sister, a ten-year-old girl, was raped to death in front of her father and sisters. She was ten-years-old.”
“The question that we ask ourselves is: ‘Why? Why did these savages do this to us?'”
The question has no answer. And yet there is an obvious solution to the problem. In spite of the harrowing stories of survivors, and the horrifying videos that ISIS itself releases, there is still no unified force willing to confront the problem head-on. Just what will it take to sway public opinion?