Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Shariah

ISIS female and children refugee camp: AL HOL CAMP, Syria

Waiting in limbo? Anyone cares?

By March 29, 2019

AL HOL CAMP, Syria — She left the Netherlands to join the Islamic State in Syria, and married a fighter here. He was killed, so she married another, who got her pregnant before he was killed, too.

This month, as the Islamic State collapsed, she surrendered with her son to United States-backed forces and landed in the sprawling Al Hol tent camp, which has swollen to the breaking point with the human remnants of the so-called caliphate.

“I just want to go back to a normal life,” said Jeanetta Yahani, 34, as her son Ahmed, 3, clung to her leg and shook with a violent cough.

The announcement a week ago that the Islamic State had lost its final patch of territory in Syria was a milestone in the battle against the world’s most fearsome terrorist network.

It also raised urgent questions about what to do with the tens of thousands of people who had flocked to join the jihadists from around the world and now have nowhere else to go.

Al Hol, a sprawling, isolated conglomeration of tents on rocky soil surrounded by a chain-link fence and armed guards, held about 9,000 people in December. As the Islamic State’s final territories fell, its population swelled to more than 72,000.

The population explosion has taxed the camp’s resources, leading to crowding and long lines for food, fuel and drinking water.

On a rare visit to the foreigners’ section of the camp on Thursday, a team of New York Times journalists found a miserable international tableau of lost women and children.

Along muddy, trash-strewn lanes between rows of white tents, we heard groups of women chatting in English, Russian, French, Dutch and Chinese. We saw blond- and black-haired children playing together in the mud.

A German woman told me she had come to Syria with her husband, a doctor. Now she had no idea where he was, and she was stuck in the camp with a baby in her arms and a curly-haired toddler gripping her leg.

But she did not want to return to Germany, which she considered an infidel country.

“I don’t want to raise my kids in a society that’s totally corrupt, where every sin is promoted,” she said, declining to give her name.

It was better to tough it out in Syria, she said. “This is temporary. The afterlife is forever.”

Although the Islamic State no longer controls the vast territory that that once stretched across Iraq and Syria, the women in the camp still followed its rules, wearing black gowns and face veils with slits for their eyes.

ImageMore than 9,000 camp residents are foreigners who are kept in a special section.
Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

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The camp’s Kurdish-led administration worries that the paucity of international support could help ISIS reconstitute itself.
Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

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Camp officials say they are too busy scrambling to provide tents and food to offer schooling or other activities for children.
Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

Their clothes were dirty, the hems and shoes caked with mud. Many toted toddlers with hacking coughs and runny noses. Other children sold cookies and soda their relatives had managed to bring in, or stood in long lines for food, drinking water and gas for generators.

Al Hol is the largest of three detention camps run by the Kurdish-led administration in northeastern Syria. Other camps dot Iraq and Libya.

Along with tens of thousands of Syrians and Iraqis, the Syria camps hold 12,000 foreign women and children, according to Redur Xelil, a senior official with the Syrian Democratic Forces, the United States-backed militia that fought the jihadists. The force also holds more than 8,000 fighters, including 1,000 foreigners, in its prisons.

A handful of places, including France, Russia and Chechnya have taken back tiny numbers of their citizens, mostly women, children and orphans. But most of the home countries do not want the caliphate’s former residents back, so they are stuck here, in a stateless, unstable territory.

The local administration lacks the resources to deal with them and worries that the paucity of international support could help the Islamic State reconstitute itself.

“There is little support, little response,” said Mohammed Bashir, a camp administrator.

This week, local officials called for the creation of an international court to try foreign fighters, but the idea has garnered little international support and the Syrian government would probably block it.

While determining the exact backgrounds of the women and children in the camps is difficult since many lack identification and use fake names, they are generally considered less dangerous than the men. But some were also combatants. And some still endorse the extremists’ ideology, making local officials reluctant to let them leave.

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Women and children who fled the last area of the Islamic State’s control arriving at a screening point in the desert last month.
Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

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Women and children leaving the last area controlled by the Islamic State by bus to reach camps run by Syrian Kurdish militias.
Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

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An injured woman waiting last month to leave the last area controlled by the Islamic State.
Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

More than 9,000 of Al Hol’s residents are foreigners who are kept in a special section, which I visited with a photographer on Thursday.

As soon as we entered, women approached us to ask if we could help them return to their countries or find missing loved ones.

“Are you from the Swedish Red Crescent?” a woman asked, trotting away after I said no.

“I am from a country that no one knows about, so I will never get out of here,” said a woman from the Seychelles.

Spotting strangers in the camp, Lisa Smith, a former member of the Irish Defense Forces, said hello but declined to be interviewed.

Some women still clung to the jihadists’ ideology.

A 22-year-old Chechen woman who identified herself only as Um Aisha described life in the caliphate as “all very good.”

“There were brothers who believed in Shariah, an Islamic state, and it was not like this,” she said, pointing disapprovingly at two female aid workers wearing pants.

The woman’s husband was killed in an airstrike on the Islamic State’s final pocket this month, she said, but she did not think the jihadists’ project was over.

“Our brothers are everywhere, in Germany, in Russia, in America — we believe that al-Dawla al-Islamia will come back,” she said, using the group’s Arabic name.

Others expressed regrets.

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As the ISIS families flooded in, camp workers scrambled to put up enough tents to house them, crowding families together to protect them from an unseasonably cold and rainy winter.
Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

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The women and children in the camps are considered less dangerous than the men, but there are still fears that Islamic State ideology will spread.
Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

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Children make up about two-thirds of the camp’s residents.
Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

Galion Su, from Trinidad, stood near the camp’s gate with her face uncovered, hoping to get out and look for her teenage son, who had been arrested by Kurdish forces in January.

Her husband brought them to Syria in 2014 and the couple divorced soon after, leaving her struggling to care for her son.

“I was like a whore in the Dawla,” said Ms. Su, 45. She had married four men, she said, each on the condition that they let her keep her son.

When the jihadists tried to force him to fight, she dressed him as a woman and fled, but Kurdish forces arrested him when they discovered the ruse, she said. Now, she had no idea where he is.

“I just want to be normal and go back to a normal society, sleep in a nice bed, eat nice food, watch TV and laugh,” she said.

Children make up about two-thirds of Al Hol’s residents. Some are orphans. Many described in detail and with little emotion how their fathers had been killed. All had witnessed violence, and some had been taught to practice it.

Camp officials say they are too busy scrambling to provide tents and food to offer schooling or other activities, much less to deal with people’s psychological problems or to re-educate children trained by the jihadists. The challenge is intensified because some parents still endorse the jihadists’ ideology.

“The mentality is the same. Nothing has changed,” said Mr. Bashir, the camp administrator. “The children are innocent, but when they end up in the camp, they will learn what their parents teach.”

As the sun set after a rare sunny day on Thursday, we found ourselves surrounded by hordes of children playing. A group of Turkish boys played a rowdy game of soccer while children from Iraq, Egypt, Russia and elsewhere pelted one another with fistfuls of gravel.

Image

Most of the home countries of the camp’s residents do not want them back, so they are stuck in a stateless, unstable swath of northern Syria.
Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

Image

Determining the exact backgrounds of the women and children in the camps is difficult, since many lack identification.
Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

Image

Women and children who fled the last ISIS-held area in southeast Syria waiting to be screened last month by Kurdish and coalition forces in the desert near the village of Baghuz.
Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

Standing atop a latrine, an Iraqi boy with a toy rifle shouted, “The Islamic State has invaded!” Training his sight on another child, he threatened, “I’m a sniper. I’ll shoot you in the head right away.”

Nearby, two toddlers got into a fight and fell to the ground punching each other while a 10-year-old boy who was missing his right leg looked on. He declined to give his name or say where he was from, and responded to questions with short answers.

How did you lose your leg?

“A plane. Shrapnel.”

What do you want to do now?

“Get a tent and stay in it. Or maybe a house.”

Where?

“I don’t know.”

Mustafa Ali contributed reporting.

Follow Ben Hubbard on Twitter: @NYTBen.

What else do you need to know about Islam?

10 Things I BET You Did Not Know About ISLAM.

1. We can eat pork…… 
depending on the circumstances. By default, the meat of pigs is haram (unlawful) in Islam. However, there are exceptions where it can be consumed in dire circumstances. A clear example would be a “do or die” situation. Literally.

2. We can pray in Hebrew

or in Cantonese. Or in Russian. Or in sign language or just about ANY language in the world! Yes, as Muslims, you are encouraged to learn Arabic as the Quraan (Sacred Book) is written in Arabic (here’s why).

If you have a language disability or you are just really comfortable in your native language -relax. God gets it. Baby steps.

3. WE DECLARE JIHAD!!!! (On ourselves)

Pay attention to the simplest breakdown of this word that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Jihad = Struggle

Struggle = to strive to achieve or attain something in the face of difficulty or resistance

The Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him – says “The greatest Jihad is the Jihad against yourself.”

A highly respected scholar defines this best –

” Declare your Jihad against 13 enemies you cannot see. Egoism, Arrogance, Conceit, Selfishness, Greed. Lust, Intolerance, Anger, Lying. Cheating, Gossiping, Slandering. If you can master & destroy them, THEN you will be ready to fight the enemy you can see. ” – Imam Al Ghazali

4. We dont follow the Shariah ALL the time

The Shariah is the law by which Muslims abide by. BUT, as much as it is law – it is also a guideline. To be misUSED as and when in accordance to the situation and the context and background of the people. I suppose this is why we were created with brains?

Muslims are strongly encouraged to use their intellect, wisdom coupled with knowledge of the sacred texts and books to ascertain the right from wrong using the Shariah as guidelines.

5. Arabs are NOT Muslims.

Ok so maybe some are. But get this. Arab is an ethnic group. Not a religion.

There are different types of Arabs depending on where they are from – White arabs, Black Arabs, Lebanese, Moroccan, Sudanese – the works. And then, there are Christian Arabs, Jewish Arabs, Buddhist Arabs.

And wait, I’m not finished yet.

There are Chinese Muslims, Indian Muslims, Scottish Muslims, African Muslims, White Muslims, Black Muslims, Brown Muslims, North Pole Muslims and did i mention Arab Muslims??

Islam does NOT belong to a particular ethnic group or language or country or race or type of people and it NEVER will.

ANYONE can enter its sphere.

6. We have 290,786 different sects.

Relax. Keep Calm and Read on. Thing to remember before continuing from this point is –

NEVER confuse Islam (The Religion) with Muslims (the followers).

Moving on – Muslims are every where. It is impossible to have 1 ring to rule them all.

Last night, over dinner – my friend gave a really wise analogy for this. Coffee!

It comes from..uhh.. the Coffee Plant. Cultivated in over 70 different countries. It is then processed and the seeds are roasted to varying degrees depending on the desired flavour.

People drink coffee in a million different ways resulting in a million different taste that suits the individual. You may hate the coffee i drink and i may not fancy yours. But, its the same source! So.

Compare this with the Muslims. You have people following Islam from all over the universe. 7 continents. 196 (recognized) countries. A million different races, cultures, background, history. It’s impossible to expect everyone to conform to being 1 type of Muslim.

So there are what we call Madhab (Mazhab, School of Thought) which has 4 different ..thoughts. Some Muslims (Not Islam) also have different sects. Shia and Sunni being the famous two.

What is amazing about this is the very fact that it is mentioned in the Quran. Diversity is to be celebrated and it is a Mercy from God 🙂

Ok wait, so how do you decide what or where to belong to?

In the last sermon of the Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him – he says

I am leaving you with the the QURAN and my SUNNAH, if you follow them you will never go astray

As long as the Quran and Sunnah (practices/teachings of Prophet Muhammad) are heavily relied upon as examples and the way of life, i reckon you’re in safe hands.

And please, BRING YOUR BRAINS WITH YOU. If some guy tells you to bomb yourself & kill others so you will earn yourself 50 women fanning you while you sip on halal wine in paradise -then…. USE. YOUR. BRAINS.

7. Women Rights & Islam is a SYNONYM.

Surprise!! Here’s a rhetorical trivia! Guess the FIRST University in the world?

The University of Al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco. Founded by Fatima al-Fihri in 859. SHE founded it. SHE founded the FIRST UNIVERSITY.

It was lawful. It was encouraged and heck yeah it was celebrated! Women(Muslims or Non) Rights existed over 1400 years ago.

Our Lady Khadijah, peace upon her – was a successful entrepreneur. SHE HIRED the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to work for her.

The best scholar of hadith (traditions) was our Lady Aisha, peace upon her. The men had to go to her and study FROM her. When all of civilizations demeaned women with ideas of them carrying original sin, burying of female infants, treated as sex slaves,not allowed to pursue education, Islam removed ALL of that and was the FIRST to introduce fair distribution of wealth and property to women.

The Sacred Book itself declares numerous versus of how women are integrating, equal halves of the human race.

Guess how Islam decides who is BEST in character??

The best of you are those who treat your wife best.

All ma ladies in the halal club put your hands up!

8. Prophet Muhammad LOVES you & he loves Jesus too!!!

When people tell me “But..Jesus loves you!”  Im like..yeah, i know. I love him too. We ALL love Jesus, peace be upon him.

Thing is, do you know that Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him loves you too!? Unconditionally. Whether or not you hate him. or love him.  or dont even know him. Don’t ask me how.

That’s just how it is and you can’t run away from this. He was the epitome of humanity just like his brothers- the prophets, peace be upon them, before him. He loved ALL of creation. About the animals of the earth, he said,

Fear God of your treatment of these animals who cannot speak

My favourite example of his mercy is the following story.

After praying at the Kaabah (Sacred House) (Also quite possibly THE most sacred symbol in Islam) –the prophet and his companions sat nearby to rest. A bedouin passing by the village,went right up to the Kaabah and started urinating.

The companions who were with the Prophet, started to draw out their weapons but the Prophet stopped them and said “No, let him finish”. After the bedouin released himself, the Prophet walked up to him and introduced himself. They then got into a conversation of where he was from etc…small talk basically. At the end, the Prophet then explained to him the significance of the Sacred House to the Muslims.

Mercy. Mercy. Mercy. Lovveee. There are infinite more examples where this came from. 🙂

9.We want world peace as much as you do

All of our people have died in wars and evil agendas of sick minded humans. Our sisters have been raped and abused and killed. Our men have died in wars and have their throats slit alive and beheaded.

Hold up. If you read the above – ‘our sisters’ and ‘our brothers’ as our muslim sister/brother, you’re wrong.

I meant our Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim brothers and sisters. All of humankind. Every one from every religion and even those without a religion. Too many people have died in vain. Too many children have become orphans.

The media is doing a fantastic job at dividing us. And it does not help when a stupid do stupid things in the name of a certain religion or group thereby portraying all of the group as such.

I don’t know who you are and I don’t care where you are from. If you’re up to fight for world peace and destroying oppression and establishing justice and peace for all in the world- then I  am with you. And I assure you, the lovers of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, are with you too.

10. WE ARE A HAPPY BUNCH!

Despite the crazy shiz going on in the world – one must persevere.

Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, said

Which actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of human beings, feed the hungry, help the afflicted, lighten the sorrows of the sorrowful & to remove the sufferings of the injured.

So because i want you to get the right information, i’m going to leave you with some seriously amazing stuff and work from Muslims all over the world so you KNOW the REAL Islam.

There is a LOT more where that came from.. but since this is off my head, im going to need a few more days to work on this. Oh and you should check out this video.

Note: Islam one of the heretics Christian-Jewish sects https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/islam-is-one-of-the-%E2%80%9Cheretic%E2%80%9D-christian-jewish-sects/


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