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Mercy for the Women of the IS - the Widows and the Mothers

Since the Islamic State (IS) terror group collapsed in Iraq, the Guardian reports, some 40 foreign women of the group have been sentenced to death in Baghdad and dozens sentenced to life-terms, following mere 10-minute hearings in Iraqi courts.

However, this form of justice, in spite of the vile violence and atrocities committed by the IS, should not stand against the foreign widowed women, even though some of them might have willingly and freely joined the terror group. Conversely, it is very likely that many of these women were forced by their spouses to travel with them to both Iraq and Syria, at the height of the IS terror.

Therefore, justice cannot be effectively served by Iraq's 10-minute adjudication of the guilt or innocence of these women.

Noting that 40 foreign women have already received death sentences and that dozens have been sentenced to life imprisonment for their membership in the IS, the Guardian report, dated May 22, 2018, also cited the mitigating acquittal of at least one-Iraqi woman, whose defense was that she was forced by her brother to join the IS. Yet, Iraq, holding a sour and revengeful attitude toward foreign fighters of the IS, has continued to  mete out extraordinary sentences to foreign widows.

More than 40,000 foreign fighters from 110 countries are estimated to have traveled from Europe and Central Asia to join the IS at the height of its reign of terror in Syria and in Iraq. Of that number, 1,900 were believed to be French citizens and another 800 British citizens. 

As the IS collapsed in Iraq, some 1,000 women, widows of IS militants, were rounded up and jailed in Baghdad. Accompanying the women were 820 infants and unborn children. Foreign governments have failed to intervene on the welfare of many of the women, thus allowing Iraq to carry out a prejudiced judgment upon the lost souls.

But women, who have been misguided and controlled by their dead spouses to join IS, should not have to pay with their lives for any acts directed by their husbands. Therefore, the international community should intervene to mitigate the assurance that justice purportedly served in Iraq,  is tempered with mercy and the rule of law.