Murad vs. ISIS: Rape as a weapon of genocide
© 2019 by the Association for Middle East Women's Studies This article analyzes recent Iraqi texts, some authorizing and others condemning rape as a weapon of war. The focus is on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) perpetrators of sexual violence, their Yazidi victims, and two women's demands for reparative, restorative justice. Held in sexual slavery between 2014 and 2015, Farida Khalaf and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad published testimonials that detail their experiences. Determined to bring ISIS rapists to justice, they narrate the formerly unspeakable crimes that ISIS militants committed against them. Adjudicated as a crime against humanity at the end of the twentieth century, rape as a weapon of war, and especially genocide, no longer slips under the radar of international attention. This study argues that the Yazidi women's brave decision to speak out may help break the millennial silence of rape survivors.
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