Marwa Khedr and Leah Sharibu. Two faces of the religious persecutions of the Islamists, who are justified in a Corano’s Sura bad interpretation, feel entitled to kidnap and rape the girls of another faith with impunity. Their gruesome, horrifying stories of victims of jihadist orcs are coming back in recent days in the desperate and dramatic accounts of relatives. Marwa is a child kidnapped in Iraq just 10 years from Islamic Isis terrorists who sexually enslave girls and women of Yazidi religion like her: the last time she was seen she was pregnant despite her very young age. Leah is a 15-year-old Christian kidnapped a year ago in Nigeria by the notorious Muslim militia of Boko Haram: unlike other female students released, she is still a prisoner because she did not want to abjure her faith and convert to Islam. Also to deal with the thousands of cases of persecuted Christians like the Nigerian girl, a transversal group of deputies and senators from various political groups was born in the Italian Parliament.
THE TERRIBLE HISTORY OF THE CHILD MARWA
In recent days, the Daily Mail has recalled the terrible vicissitudes of Marwa Khedr through the stories of an aunt who escaped her tormentors along with her two small daughters. Marwa was barely ten years old when the Islamic State jihadists broke into the Yazidi village in the Iraqi region of Sinjar about four years ago. The Yazidis represent a Kurdish-speaking religious minority in the Middle East and have become famous all over the world after the Nobel Peace Prize conferred to Nadia Murad, a girl who became a symbol of the human rights battle after being enslaved by the Islamic terrorists of the Daesh. Precisely the fundamentalist militiamen exterminated all the men of Sinjar and deported women and children to the other cities where they were separated by age because on the slave market they had different values and the most wanted were those between the ages of ten and twenty years. The tale of this horror-wise merchandise was made to the journalist Ian Birrell from Mahdya, aunt of Marwa who has just fled from Baghuz, the last stronghold of the IS caliphate, along with her daughters aged eight and nine. “The last time he saw his niece, she was huddled with the others in a market near Hardan, where she lived, before being taken to the Raqqa jihadist capital – reports the Daily Mail – Months later, a friend said Mahdya saw Marwa again and was pregnant, despite her young age – another grotesque sign of the barbarism inflicted by IS. It is not known where Marwa is now”.
OBEYED SLAVE TO AVOID THE SONS RAPE
“There are a lot of girls like her – added Ziad Avdal, a former teacher who runs secure homes for the Yazidis who escaped IS – It’s not just terrible she’s pregnant because these girls may have been raped by 100 men before they stay pregnant”. Mahdya is now 29 years old and is one of about 6,500 Yazidis kidnapped by Daesh militia, persecuted for their ancient religious faith as Christians. Almost half are still missing. Marwa’s aunt tells of having been sold, assaulted, forced to marry several times, under the threat of rape of her daughters by older men and to see them beaten with cables by jihadist brides. “I do not know how many times I’ve been sold,” Mahdya told the reporter. “A man only had me for three days, then he sold me again. They also kept me in a basement for two months. It was so dark that I could not distinguish day and night. ” Another militia who bought her to clean her house and cook decided after four months to marry her: “He told me that if I had refused or disobeyed he would have married my eight-year-old daughter or he would have sold it to another man” . At the beginning of February, they are sure that the grip of the Sdf Kurds has tightened around Baghuz and finally managed to escape from the besieged IS enclave and its latest husband, an Uzbek, after months of starvation. She was forced to eat sticks of animal excrement to survive. “I never thought I would survive,” he confided, telling the difficulties for the release of daughters who had grown up and indoctrinated by the fanatics of the Islamic State who had refused to join her in flight, fearing that the Kurdish liberating forces were without faith. “In the end, I had to tell them we were going to get food,” Mahdya said, revealing the trick she was able to get her away from the Islamic village. The IS until 2017 controlled a vast territory almost a quarter of England, but in recent days only 200 militants remained confined to a fifth of a square miles. Next to the two free yazidi daughters, the journalist also met another girl named Hayda who was very happy to take off her burka and wear normal clothes. He does not know his age because he was separated from his mother: is presumed only nine years old when, waiting to get married, she was forced to work as a maid in an Isis family where she was repeatedly beaten by Islamic women so as to provoke a scar on her cheek and on the back of the head. She also managed to speak for the first time in two years with her mother, who escaped two years ago from the fundamentalists of the Islamic State. “He was crying and I was crying,” Hadya said. “I missed her so much.” Soon they will finally be able to embrace each other again. While they are entrusting to prayer the Christian parents of the Nigerian student kidnapped last year by Boko Haram.
THE YOUNG CHRISTIAN PRISONER FOR FAITHFUL CHRIST
“We have faith in God and we know that He can bring us back Leah. So we will not give up”. These are the words spoken at the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church Suffering from Rebecca, the mother of Leah Sharibu, the 15-year-old kidnapped by the Boko Haram islamist guerrillas on the afternoon of 19 February 2018 together with 110 other students aged between 11 and 19 in a college in Dapchi, in the north-east of Nigeria. In the following March, 101 girls were released, while others died at the hands of the jihadists. Leah is the only one still hostage because, as the extremists themselves explained to her mother, she did not want to convert to Islam. “We are strong in Christ and we will not stop asking for our daughter’s release” says Nathan Sharibu, the father of Leah, who together with his wife thanks ACS and all the Christians who have expressed their solidarity in the world. Next to the couple, there is the pastor Gideon Para-Mallam, guardian and spokesperson of the family. “Leah’s parents are strong, but suffering in their hearts is great. Today we have prayed together on this sad anniversary”. The religious known as the young Christian represents a model for all his peers: “a heroine of the Christian faith of the twenty-first century and a symbol of the resilience of this area of Nigeria in which Christians have suffered persecution for a long time. Through the abduction of Leah, God is sending us a very strong message. Christianity will never be destroyed, neither by Boko Haram, nor by any force in the world “. Together with the Sharibu lords, the pastor also prayed today for all the other girls – both Christian and Muslim – still hostage to the “African Taliban”.
THE INTERPARLAMENT GROUP FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS
And just as in Nigeria the tragic story of Leah Sharibu appears, in Rome is born the interparliamentary group for the “Protection of religious freedom of Christians in the world”. Forty-one members of the Chamber and the Senate of Lega, Fratelli d’Italia, Forza Italia, Cinque Stelle and the Misto Group will animate this reality has important objectives: “to facilitate the return of Christians in the Middle East in their lands of origin after the escape due to wars and Islamist terrorism, support for concrete projects for the establishment of these communities and their peaceful coexistence with other ethnic-religious components, the promotion of freedom of worship in the treaties bilateral agreements that are signed with those countries in which the Christian community suffers serious forms of discrimination and persecution “. The intergroup was presented the last week to the press room of the Chamber by the Biellese deputy Andrea Delmastro delle Vedove, head of Fratelli d’Italia in the Foreign Affairs Committee, in the presence of Fouad Abou Nader, president of the Nawraj organization that supports the Christians of Lebanon, of the journalist Sebastiano Caputo, president of the Italian branch of the SOS Cristiani d’Oriente foundation, of Federica Celestini of Modavi Onlus and of journalist Gian Micalessin, war correspondent and author of betrayed Brothers. The tragedy of Christians in Syria. “The group was born under good auspices, as Delmastro announced that a two million euro fund is going to be set up to finance the relocation projects of Christians who fled from the Middle Eastern areas battered by attacks and attacks and by those who have known the domination of the Islamic State – highlights the report of NBQ – In this regard Delmastro recalled the persecutions perpetrated by Islamists against the Christian communities in Syria, Iraq (especially in the Nineveh Plain) and Egypt and highlighted that before the right to be welcomed there is that to live in peace in the land where we were born. For this reason, the basic aim of every initiative will be to rebuild the Christian presence in the regions of the Middle East “. And it was precisely the Brethren of Italy who recalled the most important data from the latest report of Aid to the Church in Need: about 300 million Christians who suffer serious or extreme violations of religious freedom in 38 countries of the world; 15 thousand faithful attacked during religious services and 1,200 churches destroyed in 2018; about 61% of the world’s population living in states where religious freedom is severely restricted. In this framework the group will also work to include the theme of religious freedom in all bilateral treaties, with particular attention to relations with China, North Korea, Arab countries and in general those with a Muslim majority. Finally, the issue will also be placed in the perspective of EU enlargement to those Balkan countries shaken by ethnic wars and affected by Islamic fundamentalism. “The true driving force behind the intergroup initiative is the Italian branch of SOS Cristiani d’Oriente, a humanitarian association founded in France in 2013 following the takeover of Maalula by Al-Nusra (then the Syrian rib of Al-Qaeda). The aggression to the Christian village where the Aramaic is still spoken provokes a movement of solidarity organized by a group of young people who, over the years, have structured themselves into one of the main realities of cooperation and development in Syria and Lebanon”.
Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio
GOSPA NEWS – CHRISTIANS PERSECUTIONS
DAILY MAIL – THE CHILD SLAVE
ACS – LEAH, THE BOKO HARAM’S YOUNG PRISONER
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