Nah, no coercion here.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Islamic State, a militant group that witnesses and officials say has executed hundreds of members of Iraq’s Yazidis, has released a video that seeks to show it enlightened hundreds of members of the religious minority by converting them to Islam.
The production was issued not long after the group on Tuesday released a video showing one of its black-clad fighters beheading American journalist James Foley, sparking international outrage.
The Yazidis, followers of an ancient religion derived from Zoroastrianism who are part of the country’s Kurdish minority, have paid the highest price for Islamic State’s dramatic advance through northern Iraq.
Islamic State militants, widely seen as more hardline than al Qaeda, storm into villages armed with machine guns and give Yazidis a simple choice: convert to Islam or die.
The Islamic State video, which the group called “Hundreds of Yazidis convert to Islam”, gives no indication of the bloodshed that prompted tens of thousands of people to flee.
In the film, Islamic State fighters say they are misunderstood as they sit on a wall in Mount Sinjar, the Yazidis’ ancient homeland.
Witnesses earlier told Reuters that residents who dared to stay hung white flags on the homes to show their complete surrender to Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria it controls and threatened to march on Baghdad.