ISIL recently released a video in which dozens of abducted members of Iraq’s Yazidi sect can be seen converting to Islam. This footage surfaced after the black-clad extremist group released a video earlier this month, showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley, who was abducted in Syria in 2012.
The Yazidis are adherents of an ancient religion that goes back to the period of the Mesopotamian Civilization. The religion stems from Zoroastrianism and naturally, ISIL militants perceive Yazidis as devil-worshippers.
Earlier news reports suggested that ISIL invaded villages in North Iraq, compelling locals to flee into the neighbouring Kurdistan area. Those who failed to flee or refused to flee were given the option to convert to Islam or be killed. During this time, reportedly, hundreds of Yazidi men were shot to death and several women and children were buried alive. Those who were not killed were taken in as slaves and raped repeatedly.
But, this recent propaganda video entitled “Hundreds of Yazidis Convert to Islam,” aims to overturn ISIL’s cruelty as exposed by Yazidis already. In the video, two Sunni fighters are seen replying to questions asked in Arabic from a third interviewer. The conversation reveals how, contrary to media reports, Yazidi captives are being provided with a good life.
“Men, women and children have converted and I was with them and they are happy with their conversions. We advise the Yazidis to come down from the [Sinjar] mountain [siege] and convert. If they stay on the mountain, they will die of starvation and thirst. This talk about aid from Western and crusader countries is all lies. If they convert, we will give them everything they need. They will live a happy life,” one of the men is heard saying.
Then, the video moves on to showing dozens of Yazidis getting off a bus and hugging ISIL militants. Thereafter, they are seen sitting on the floor of a school roofed with ISIL’s signature black flags.
“Right now you are infidels. After this, you will become Muslims and you will have rights. Repeat after me,” a militant is heard telling them.
Before the release of this propaganda video, ISIL was seen making a desperate attempt on social media to urge protesters at Ferguson to embrace Islamic extremism and fight against the American establishment.
Jihadists in Syria and Iraq as well as their sympathizers in the West were seen sending out messages on Twitter in support of hundreds of protesters demonstrating at Ferguson against police’s shooting of an unarmed black teenager in August. The tweets sent out by ISIL denounced the ways in which local police officers had tried to quell the violence at Ferguson, making references to past instances of police brutality and also creating the hashtag #FergusonUnderIS, with hopes of appeasing angry young protesters in the American neighbourhood.
In fact, ISIL’s attempts to reach out to angry youth in Ferguson did have some impact, as a person was seen walking around the streets holding a placard that read, “ISIS is here.” One is not sure whether the placard meant to establish ISIL had taken over Ferguson or compare police officials with ISIL militants but the extremist organization did everything in its capacity to imply the former.
Mujahid Miski, one of the many ISIL sympathizers in America, encouraged those who were part of the Ferguson protests to embrace radical Islam.
Some of the tweets he posted include:
“So how is democracy treating you guys? #FergusonUnderIS #Ferguson.”
“I thought u guys back in #Ferguson were supposed to be Free & that u had equal rights. I'd really like to know what changed? #FergusonUnderIS”
Miski also retweeted several tweets by other users who claim to support the spread of radical Islam in the United States.
Another sympathizing group, Amreeki Witness, sent out messages focusing on the alleged racial struggles of blacks in America. While one of its messages mocked the curfew that the police had imposed in the area, another message urged the minority black community to identify with ISIL’s apparent cause for justice and equality.
Photo Credit: Uncle Sam's Misguided Children