A video of an elderly man removing the veils from the faces of burqa-clad girls standing in a queue is making the rounds on social media. It has been claimed that this is a video of the modern-day sex slave market held by the terrorist outfit, ISIS. A member of parliament from Belgium, Darya Safai, along with many other users circulated the video while targeting Islam.
While tweeting the footage, Safai added that people should stand up for these women instead of further supporting the Islamization of Europe. (Archived link)
Twitter user @incognito_qfs also shared the video as showing an ISIS sex slave market. The user targeted Muslims and wrote that these slave markets would surely end if liberals and moderate Muslims put half of the energy they put in playing the victim card and disseminating the narrative of Islamophobia. (Archived link)
A user named Aishwarya also took aim at Islam by tweeting the viral video. They wrote, “This is the beauty of Islam. 10,000 Yazidi Muslim women were abducted by ISIA from Iraq and Syria and were kept as sex slaves to satisfy the lust of their terrorists.” (Archived link)
Alt News performed a Google reverse image search of a frame taken from the viral video using a VPN. We found that the video was uploaded by TikTok user @zhyarshano. The caption reads, “By: Aryan Rafiq, Art performance, The Unheard Screams Of The Ezidkhan Angels 2023”.
When we performed a keyword search using the terms mentioned in the caption of the Tiktok video, we found the Facebook account of artist Aryan Rafiq. On March 8, Rafiq had uploaded a post about the art performance titled ‘The Unheard Screams Of The Ezidkhan Angels’.
We contacted Aryan Rafiq for more information about this video. She explained that she was a Kurdish artist from Iraqi Kurdistan. This video was shot in the market of Erbil. She added that the performance was about Yazidi Kurdish girls who were sexually assaulted and sold in a slave market in Moselle, Syria, and Raqqa in 2014 by the Islamic State ISIS. She also revealed there were thousands of girls who were impregnated by ISIS terrorists, and their future was bleak. The play was based on the life of these girls. It was performed in the Erbil ke Bazar (Ibril Durg) area. During the performance, someone recorded this video and uploaded it on social media.
She said that she worked in the field of contemporary art, and her work revolved around violence against women, society and religion. There are a total of 11 models in her group, and she also shared an image of them.
On October 20, 2014, BBC News released an article titled, “Islamic State Slave Auction drama in London”. This report is also based on one such video. The play attempts to throw light on the atrocities committed by the Islamic State’s fighters in Iraq. It illustrates the time when terrorist organisations were at their peak and had seized control of large parts of Iraq and Syria.
Many media organisations have covered the kidnapping and enslavement of women by ISIS. The terror outfit itself had released an article in its English language publication ‘Dabik’ titled, “The Resurrection of Slavery Within an Hour”. The article justifies the slavery of women citing Islamic law. It was also published by The New York Times.
To sum it up, a video of an art performance by Kurdish actors filmed in Kurdistan was mistakenly shared as real by a number of social media users, including Belgian member of parliament Darya Safai.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.