ERBIL, Iraq — Thousands of young female soldiers have taken up arms in recent months in the fight against Islamic State as the terror group attempts to expand across Syria and Iraq, killing and enslaving thousands of women and children in its path.
"Islamic State is planning to increase their territory as they did in Syria," 24-year-old Nasreen Kobani told The Christian Post. " ...They are fighting to be holy and qualify for Jannah (Islamic paradise), despite committing countless crimes against humanity. After they kill civilians, they mutilate their corpses, burn their bodies and cut out their eyes."
Many women from across the Arab world are standing up to defend their families, land and freedom. Today about 8,000 women from all over Syria, Iraq, Iran,Turkey and elsewhere have volunteered to join the YPJ, also known as the "Women's Protection Unit," which defends the Kurdish population of Syria and other innocent civilians, including Christians, from Islamic State. more >>
Women living in Saudi Arabia will make history later this year when for the first time they'll be allowed to vote.
"My message during my campaign is simple: Change the system. Change is life. The government has given us this tool and I intend to use it," said Haifa Al-Hababi, one of the 21 female candidates who is preparing to stand in the Dec. 12 municipal election as reported by Asia News.
Saudi Arabia's discriminatory male guardianship system continues to dominate the lives of women, despite government pledges to abolish it. According to Human Rights Watch, the system forbids women from obtaining a passport, marrying, traveling, driving, or accessing higher education without the approval of a male guardian, usually a husband, father, brother, or son. more >>
Various Jewish organizations have contributed funds to help rebuild a church located at the site where Christians believe Jesus fed 5,000 people by multiplying five loaves and two fish. The church was burned down in June by anti-Christian Israeli extremists.
Elijah Interfaith Institute, the organization which initiated a crowd funding campaign that has raised over $17,000, set out to rebuild the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha, Israel, in an act of good faith toward people of other religions. A representative for the group recently spoke out against the arsonists who are believed to be part of a Jewish extremist sect.
"If in the name of Judaism one could destroy, in the name of Judaism one should also rebuild," said Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein, the founder of the Elijah Interfaith Institute who started the fundraising campaign in a Huffington Post blog post earlier this month. more >>
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi repeatedly sexually assaulted American humanitarian worker Kayla Mueller before she died earlier this year in captivity in Syria, according to the victim's family. She got a chance to escape along with two Yazidi girls but she refused to join them lest her foreign appearance put them in danger, one of the girls has said.
"We were told Kayla was tortured, that she was the property of al-Baghdadi," Kayla's parents, Carl and Marsha Mueller, told ABC News on Friday, the day she would have turned 27.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi personally brought Mueller, who was captured in Sinjar, Iraq, last August, to the home of Abu Sayyaf, a Tunisian in charge of oil and gas revenue for IS, Al-Shadadiya. The top IS leader visited the home often to rape her. more >>
A major report on the systematic raping and sexual slavery practices of Islamic State terror group has shed light on the theological beliefs of the militants, many of whom believe that raping children and young girls is like a "prayer" that draws them closer to God.
The New York Times released a detailed and graphic report on Thursday that featured interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped IS captivity in Iraq. The victims, from the Yazidi religious minority group, shared how fighters would pray before raping them, and tried to justify their actions with the Quran, the Islamic holy book.
"He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God," one 12-year-old girl said. more >>
The Islamic State terror group has released 22 Assyrian Christians who were part of a group of over 200 believers kidnapped in February in raids on villages in the Khabur region in northeastern Syria.
The Assyrian Observatory for Human Rights has said the Christians were released due to "the tireless efforts and negotiations by the Assyrian Church of the East in the city of Hasakeh," and noted that there were 14 women among the hostages.