Islamic State video shows dozens of Yazidis converting to Islam
An Islamic State video has emerged purporting to show
dozens of captured Yazidi people converting to Islam. The footage emerged
shortly after the group released a video showing one of its black-clad fighters
beheading American journalist James Foley.
The latest film titled “Hundreds of Yazidis convert to
Islam”, gives no indication of the bloodshed that prompted tens of thousands of
people to flee. In the video, two Islamic State fighters field questions in
Arabic. One of the fighters is a bearded middle-aged man dressed in black with
an AK-47 assault rifle. The other is dressed in a crisp grey military uniform
and camouflage cap.
“What has been said is the opposite of reality,” the
older man says. He also says that Islamic State has provided the Yazidis with
everything they need. “Men, women and children have converted and I was with
them and they are happy with their conversions,” he says.
He adds, “We advise the Yazidis to come down from the
mountain and convert.” This is a reference to Mount Sinjar, where thousands who
feared death at the hands of the militants took refuge.
“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.”
The video then shows dozens of Yazidis getting off a
bus, walking past a truck mounted with an anti-aircraft weapon and hugging
Islamic State militants. IS fighters had previously threatened members of the
ancient religious group with death if they failed to convert to Islam.
IS has been accused of killing hundreds of Yazidis
since the militants moved into the area of northern Iraq where the community lives.
More than 400 men were reported to have died in the village of Kocho over two
days and their families forced to move with IS militants to Tal Afar.