Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met on Saturday 21-year-old Nadia Murad who had been held for three months in Iraq by ISIS as a sex slave.
The young Yezidi woman had requested to meet President Sisi less than two weeks after she gave a speech to the United Nations Security Council about her ordeal inside ISIS’ system of sexual enslavement.
According to a statement released by Presidency spokesperson Alaa Youssef, Murad and Sisi talked about ISIS’ atrocities against Yazidis in Iraq and how ISIS had hijacked Islam to further its agenda.
During the meeting, Murad personally told President Sisi about the horrors the Yezidi population in Iraq had been witnessing. Murad clarified that ISIS had been using the name of Islam despite Muslims and Yezidi people having lived peacefully side-by-side throughout history.
On his part, President Sisi welcomed Murad to Cairo and vowed support against ISIS to all people living in Iraq. President Sisi also strongly condemned ISIS’ actions and said that their acts have no relation to Islam.
Having recently called for continued reform in Islamic discourse, President Sisi assured Murad that Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni Islamic authority, is working to correct teachings about Islam in order to confront extremism. President Sisi also confirmed that Islamic civilization has historically protected all citizens of different religions and ethnic groups and has appreciated their contribution in all aspects of life.
Meanwhile, Murad said that she was hoping to meet with scholars from Al-Azhar to provide them with information about the atrocities and crimes committed by ISIS in the name of Islam. Murad asserted that Islamic countries should clearly denounce the atrocities committed in the name of Islam and should strive to protect minorities from these inhumane acts of violence.
Nadia Murad’s Story
Earlier this month, Murad traveled to New York City to testify in front of the United Nations Security Council about the plight of the Yezidi people and other minorities under ISIS. Murad had been living in Kocho, a village near northern Iraq, with her mother and siblings where she was a student. In August 2014, Murad was abducted from her home by ISIS and taken by bus to the ISIS stronghold of Mosul.
“Rape was used to destroy women and girls and to guarantee that these women could never lead a normal life again,” said Murad to the UN Security Council.
“They took us to Mosul with more than 150 other Yazidi families. In a building, there were thousands of Yazidi families and children who were exchanged as gifts. One of these people came up to me. He wanted to take me. I looked down at the floor. I was absolutely petrified. When I looked up, I saw a huge man. He looked like a monster,” continued Murad.
“I cried. I cried out, I said “I’m too young and you’re huge”. He hit me. He kicked me and beat me. And a few minutes later, another man came up to me. I still was looking at the floor. I saw that he was a little bit smaller. I begged him. I implored him for him to take me. I was incredibly scared of the first man.”
Three months later, Murad managed to escape ISIS’ enslavement but several of her siblings were killed.
“I implore you,” said Murad to the UN Security Council, “get rid of Daesh [ISIS] completely.”