The Yazidis are a Kurdish minority of seven hundred thousand people who practice an ancient religion that precedes Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and contains elements of all three.
Throughout history, Yazidis have been ruthlessly persecuted, most recently by ISIS, who consider them devil worshippers. Thousands of Yazidis were killed in northern Iraq in 2014 in an ongoing genocide to “purify” the region by ISIS. Thankfully the recent fall of Mosul and Raqqa, both former ISIS strongholds, have forced ISIS to retreat but over six thousand Yazidi women and children have been taken as prisoners. Yazidi women have been ransomed back to their families, forced into marriage with ISIS fighters, and openly sold and traded amongst ISIS as sex slaves. Some of these “women” are as young as nine years old. Many have been executed.
Enter the Sun Brigade, a battalion of Yazidi women created in 2015 by Yazidi folk singer Xate Shingali. Dedicated to overthrowing ISIS, many of the Sun Ladies were former ISIS prisoners themselves. Many are teenagers.
The plight of the Yazidi people, and Yazidi women in particular, was the inspiration for my novel THE DARKNET FILE.