(CNSNews.com) – Nadia Murad, a young Yazidi woman who escaped enslavement and torture by ISIS and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Iraqi government, testified before Congress Tuesday about her experiences and the pressing need for Muslims to condemn the radical terrorist group’s ideology.
“I am not saying that ISIS represents the Islam,” Murad told the Senate Homeland Security Committee with the aid of a translator, “but ISIS is using the Islam to commit these crimes, and this needs to stop as an ideology first. Many people in the area they had the choice to leave when ISIS came, but they were happy to join the Islamic State when they came.”
“I delivered this message to Egypt and to Kuwait because this, what is happening, is been happening under the name of Islam,” she explained, “people there they have a sympathy, and they said this does not represent us, but we have not seen that Daesh has been labeled as infidel group within Islam from any Muslim country.”
Murad referenced her December trip to Cairo saying, “I ask the leader of al-Azhar in Cairo is to say that ISIS is an infidel group within Islam, and he has not committed to it yet.”
“Many families in Iraq and Syria when the Yazidi women and girls were escaping to these houses, they could’ve helped them, but no, they seized them, and they give them back to the militants,” she recalled.
“The racism should not be practiced against Islam, she said, “but these crimes have been committed under name of Islam, and the Muslim must be the first one to resist this.”
“I don’t like anyone to be attacking an entire religion, for example the family that liberated me in Mosul,” she added, “but at the same time, this is being committed under the name of Islam.”
Murad’s own harrowing experience began when she was taken by ISIS fighters from her village of Kocho in Northern Iraq at the age of 19 in August 2014.
“I was one among the thousands of the women who were taken to Mosul,” she testified, recounting, “he first thing they did in Mosul was after distributing us to the fighters was to taking us to the court and have us convert by putting our hand on the Quran.”
Murad said that she “was raped and sold and abused” but counts herself lucky “because girls at age of nine were raped as well.”
“Only in two hours in my village more than 700 men were killed. Among them were six of my brothers, and same day, my mother was killed too for no reason but for having a different religion,” she said.
“I know what is going on now with more than 3,000 Yazidi women, girls, and children who are still in captivity,” she emphasized in her testimony. “When I was held for every hour that passed I was very happy and grateful for that, if I was not sold, if I was not raped, one hour was counted for me and every hour was counting for me.
“I do not enjoy the feeling of the freedom, because those who committed these crimes have not been held accountable,” she said.
“The Yazidis, all the religious minorities in Iraq, they are unable to protect themselves in Iraq and Syria. If a country as strong as your country cannot protect the citizens in Orlando or in Belgium or in France, how can a small minority like us protect ourselves, who are, we are in the heart of the land where the radicals are?” she asked.
Murad told the committee that she was “heartbroken” by the terrorist attack in Orlando, “because for the same reason, for no reason, they were killed, and they were abused just the way I was.”
“But I wasn’t surprised by this,” she added, “because I knew if ISIS was not stopped, they will deliver their crimes everywhere.”