Radical Islam on trial
In the summer of 2014, Nadia Murad was a 21-year-old sex slave of the Islamic State. Her penultimate owner was a judge of ISIS. He raped her every day when he had the time. When he had guests at home, his guards would bring nice dresses and makeup for her to wear while serving tea. Then he would rape her loudly on the other side of wall for them to hear. She dreamt of seeing him on trial as were the Nazis at Nuremburg.
After her escape, she moved from refugee camps to settle with other Yazidis in Germany. Her persistence in bearing witness became heard by ever more powerful ears. She went to London and got an audience with Amal (Mrs. George) Clooney, the human rights lawyer, who filed a lawsuit with her as plaintiff against ISIS commanders. In December 2015, MSS Murad and Clooney addressed the first UN Security Council Hearing that was devoted to human trafficking. The UN made her ambassador for victims of human trafficking and genocide. She addressed forums and activist groups all over the world while ISIS still controlled millions of people. She probably gets by in half a dozen languages, but needed a ghostwriter for her book.
Together with Denis Mukwege, the Congolese gynecological surgeon renowned for repairing the damaged private parts of women abused by many factions of militias, she shared the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. The award was for “their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.”
She was a poor farm girl, still without a university education. Now, a word about her memoir: “The Last Girl.” Lit critics say that the images in remembrance are the raw material for the writer. Her ghostwriter, Jenna Krajeski, has harnessed those eidetic images into a narrative that is virtually a shooting script for a suspense movie. There is already a documentary movie (“On Her Shoulders,” 2018).
When International Criminal Court brings the Islamic State to trial, her narrative will be exemplary evidence of a sexual crime wave in action and of the bureaucracy that bought, sold and resold young women for sex and recruitment bait for joiners … and disposed of the unsaleable.
Caliph al-Baghdadi killed himself Oct. 27 to escape being put on trial. Thousands of ISIS members are in custody and being interrogated systematically. Thousands more are at large or trying to fade back into society. Early on, Western observers noted how computer savvy the militants were. Their slave markets kept digital records of their slaves names, their owner(s) and mug shots to return escapees to their owners that will corroborate the testimony of survivors.
When the trial comes, the courtroom drama will be a major event in the history of feminism and of radical Islam. Anchored by this book, it will become one of the iconic events of this decade.
Google will take you to her Nobel Peace Prize speech, given in Kurdish, translated into four Western languages and also to Scott Pelly’s “60 Minutes” interview with Murad and Clooney on Oct. 11, 2019. The latter is closed-captioned for the deaf.
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