ISIS has killed over 250 women who refused to become sex slaves. But the violence against women is only part of the story. At least 18,802 civilians have been killed in Iraq in ISIS-linked violence in under two years. Millions of others have been forced from their homes and thousands more held as slaves. ISIS continues to commit “systematic and widespread violence and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law,” it said, adding that some of those act amount “crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide.”
ISIS continues to commit “systematic and widespread violence and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law.”
U.N. monitors recorded at least 55,047 civilian casualties as a result of the conflict between Jan. 1, 2014 and Oct. 31, 2015, with 18,802 people killed and 36,245 wounded, it said.
Over the same period, 3.2 million people became “internally displaced” including over one million school-age girls and boys.
“The persistent violence and scale of the displacement” limit their access to housing, clean water and education, the report said.
It also documented human rights abuses, saying some 3,500 people are believed to be held as captives, mostly women and children from the Yazidi religious minority who have been forced into sexual slavery.
U.N. human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein said the civilian death toll may be considerably higher. “Even the obscene casualty figures fail to accurately reflect exactly how terribly civilians are suffering in Iraq,” he said in a statement.
So should the United States respond? A quasi-ubiquitous Islamophobia, broadly casts a divisive web of suspicion and pain upon our 2.7 million innocent Muslim American neighbors, who interestingly are also derided by ISIS as docile “coconuts” for choosing to live here in freedom. It is those Americans, more than anyone else, that we should be celebrating and protecting for their choice to defy ISIS.