When a group of men stumbled upon a heavily pregnant woman, they took a knife, cut open her stomach, and ripped her precious baby from her womb. However, as she lay dying, the mother was forced to watch her worst nightmare unfold as the men did the unspeakable to her newborn daughter just seconds after birth.
Although women from all over the world told their harrowing life stories at the Women in the World Summit, one testimony grieved the audience more than any other. As Feryal Pirali recalled the horrors she’s faced during her time as a Yazidi activist and interpreter, her retelling of one young woman’s survival details perhaps the most unspeakable inhumanity.
The New York Times reports that before Pirali fled Iraq in 2010, she witnessed her friend miraculously survive capture and gruesome torture by ISIS militants. The woman, who was heavily pregnant, told her family to flee ISIS without her, promising that she would catch up to them. Fearing she would slow them down, she stayed behind only to be caught by jihadists.
In a particularly heinous event, the fighters cut open the woman’s belly and ripped the live newborn from the mother’s womb. Just moments after the child was birthed, the Muslim militants raped the baby to death in front of the devastated mother. Dissatisfied with their level of brutality, the fighters then raped the dying mother and left her to bleed out next to her infant’s corpse.
“They raped the baby, and they raped her, and they thought she was dead so they left her behind,” Pirali recalled.
Incredibly, the woman somehow survived, although she must now live with the horrific death of her child and the physical and emotional scars they left on her.
“We are a people,” Pirali told the summit. “We are Yazidis and we’re not going to change our religion no matter what. My message is to save our people.”
Undeterred by the travesties she’s encountered, Pirali diligently serves as a translator for women like her unnamed friend to have their suffering told. At the summit, Pirali assisted Shireen Ibrahim, a Yazidi woman who was enslaved by ISIS and lived to expose their sinister actions.
While trying to flee ISIS in 2014, Ibrahim and her male cousin were captured by jihadists and taken back to her home in Kurdistan. During her captivity, half of her 40 family members were slaughtered. Agreeing to convert to Islam, the militants allowed Ibrahim to live only because of her repentance as required by the Quran.
After her capture, she concocted a clever plan to tell her captors that she was married to her cousin, hoping it would spare her from being sold as a sex slave. Her idea worked for several months until jihadists uncovered the truth and forced the pair to separate.
Ibrahim recounted being sold repeatedly to Muslim men, only being freed because her final master allowed her to leave when she fell severely ill. Today, she lives with some of her surviving relatives in a refugee camp in northern Iraq.
Religious minorities are being systematically slaughtered in Iraq and Syria while the world seems more concerned with apparent racism and Islamophobia in the West, most of which turn out to be hoaxes. Unfortunately, the only way many of these innocent civilians are going to be saved is by raising our voices louder than the selfish liberals who do nothing but protect these victims’ attackers.