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In Iraq Minorities look to post-jihadist future

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An Iraqi Shabak girl stands next to her house which was destroyed by the Islamic State group in Baz Gerkan village
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A Christmas tree stands on a roundabout in Bartalla in northern Iraq, its base adorned by posters of Shabak martyrs killed in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Now that victory has been declared against the jihadists, Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities are taking the future into their own hands.
In Baz Gerkan village, where fighting damaged or destroyed most of the houses, Shabak residents have rebuilt their school themselves.
A few kilometres (miles) away, they have restored the shrine of Imam Rida, the eighth of Shiite Islam’s 12 imams, which was blown up by the Sunni Muslim jihadists who consider Shiites to be heretics.
Shabaks, who number around 60,000 in Iraq, have their own language and say they first settled in the Arab country several centuries ago from northern Iran.
Their places of worship, such as those of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities, were targeted by IS, and many fled their homes during the three years of jihadist occupation.
An Iraqi Shabak man at the door of a mosque destroyed by the Islamic State group in the village of Baz Gerkanplay

An Iraqi Shabak man at the door of a mosque destroyed by the Islamic State group in the village of Baz Gerkan

 (AFP)

There are now only 400,000 Christians in Iraq against more than one million before the US-led invasion of 2003, making up three percent of the country’s population along with Yazidis, Sabeans and Shabaks.
Today, several months after the entire northern province of Nineveh was retaken from the jihadists, churches and monasteries have been restored.
And for the first time in four years last December, Christmas carols were heard.

Yazidis rebuild their temples

The Kurdish-speaking Yazidi minority has also managed to rebuild 20 of 23 temples destroyed by the jihadists in the ​​Bashiqa area, east of Iraq’s second city Mosul.
“All this was done thanks to donations from Yazidis and other inhabitants of the region,” said Hilal Ali, who is in charge of the Yazidi sites of worship.
Mutassem Abed, 47, is a Shiite who joined the Hashed al-Shaabi coalition of paramilitary units following a call to arms in 2004 by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq’s most senior Shiite cleric.
The Hashed was formed specifically to counter the rise of IS in the country, and played a key role in the jihadists’ defeat in 2017.
Now that the fighting has ended, Abed is looking to his future.
Hashed al-Shaabi fighters man a checkpoint in Bartalla east of Mosul on January 10, 2018play

Hashed al-Shaabi fighters man a checkpoint in Bartalla east of Mosul on January 10, 2018

 (AFP)

“We must rebuild a sanctuary that is even more beautiful and even bigger, to say to IS that it did not win,” the Shabak fighter told AFP, wearing a parka over his uniform.
Life may slowly be returning to normal, but many checkpoints have been set up, usually manned by members of Hashed units from the Shabak, Turkmen, Christian or Yazidi minorities.
Iraq is relying on local forces to maintain security on the ground, after declaring in December that the war against IS had been won.
Such fighters know the local people, speak their languages and can easily spot any intruders, commanders say.

Fighters with local knowledge

“Even before IS, other terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda tried to chase out minorities,” said Zein al-Abidine Jamil, a Shabak commander with the Hashed.
Another Bartalla Shabak, a policeman manning a checkpoint in the old part of Mosul, recalled the days when he could only enter the city under escort.
“Mosul? I went there on patrol. But never in a personal capacity. A lone Shiite? That would have been madness!” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Sunni Muslims are a minority in Iraq, but in Mosul they form the majority and also have a presence in villages around the city.
The Shabak minority has a small Sunni community within it. But, residents say, many of them joined IS and were killed. Others fled with their families, joining the ranks of the displaced.
Shabak boys clear rubble around their house in the village of Baz Gerkan east of Mosul on January 10, 2018play

Shabak boys clear rubble around their house in the village of Baz Gerkan east of Mosul on January 10, 2018

 (AFP)

Today, several months after Nineveh province was rid of IS, “we are directly responsible for the security of citizens”, said Jamil.
Because of their local knowledge, such fighters were a major asset to the armed forces in their fightback against IS.
But human rights groups have charged that some minorities targeted by the jihadists were themselves guilty of abuses.
In December, the New York-based Human Rights Watch accused Yazidi fighters of executing 52 civilians in apparent revenge killings after capturing territory from the jihadists.
HRW said those killed included women and children, and came from eight families of the Sunni tribe Al-Bu Metewut who were fleeing clashes between IS and pro-government militias north of Mosul.

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Ike Ani is a Freelance writer whose quest constantly is to relate happenings around the world to human daily living. He's also a song writer and singer, Acoustic Guitarist, and Teacher.

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L. A Prisoners Infect Themselves With Coronavirus To Get Early Release (VIDEO)

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A group of silly L.A area prison inmates were very eager to contract the dreaded coronavirus .

They attempted this because they believed that would trigger their ticket out of prison.

According to the L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva who made the startling revelation Monday, said about twenty-four (24) inmates at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic attempted (and somewhat succeeded, apparently) to infect themselves way back in mid-April 2020.

The Sheriff revealed that their department saw an increase in spike in confirmed cases out of nowhere.

He said that when they investigated, they found a high number of inmates living in one block of the prison appeared to be deliberately trying to infect each other with COVID-19 any way they could from behind bars.

When Alex Villanueva played the surveillance footages he and his team combed through carefully , and it showed several inmates hanging out in a common area and passing around what Alex described as a hot cup of water, as well as one face mask they’d each put on all in hopes of getting sympathy from a judge to spring them from the facility and let them go home.

But it turns out, their little ploy worked but, only halfway.

Villanueva reported that 21 of the inmates (out of 50 in the block) caught the ‘Coronavirus.

“What they won’t catch is a break” said the Sheriff.

Watch the Video HERE

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COVID-19 LOCKDOWN: 12 Year Old Albino Girl Suffers Eye Problems After Hawking Veggies In Abuja (PHOTOS)

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A very sad Facebook post greeted Nigerians from Abuja showing a 12 year old Albino Girl Grace, who started developing sight problems after Hawking Veggies under the scorching sun in Abuja.

The Facebook post stated that the little girl was asked to hawk the veggies by her aunt whom she lives with.

Below are the Screenshots of the Facebook post:

This sad news has sparked an outrage by well meaning individuals who spoke against such cruelty and insensitivity of the said girl’s aunt.

what do you think of this? Drop your comments below.

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“Buhari is Made In London” – Reno Omokri Blasts Presidency On Nigerian Made Products

The Buhari administration has been known for enforcing the Nigerian people to patronize Nigerian made goods though without much strategy to make life easier while this transition to economic growth is enforced.

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Reno Omokri Nuggets

The Buhari administration has been known for enforcing the Nigerian people to patronize Nigerian made goods though without much strategy to make life easier while this transition to economic growth is enforced. Many Nigerians have tagged it a harsh move that is insensitive and inhumane but moreso, Reno Omokri has singled out signals of hypocrisy in the President of Nigeria by outlining certain traits of family moves of the President that shows that he(Buhari) as the No.1 citizen has no regards for anything made in Nigeria but yet wants other Nigerians to embrace Nigerian made goods.

Reno Omokri ‘s tweet reads:

His kids schooled in England. His wife just returned from a 3 month UK stay. His daughter gave birth to his grandchild in Spain (made in Spain), yet
@MBuhari
, who is London, wants us to patronise made in Nigeria!

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