By Mark Ellis
An Iraqi woman held captive and raped by ISIS fighters was liberated after she became pregnant. When she was released recently, she resolved to carry the baby to term.
She also decided she will never tell her son who the father is.
“He’s my son, he’s not the son of ISIS,” Umm Al’aa* told CNN. She says the child will be just as much a part of the family as her other sons and daughters.
After all, a child should not be killed for the sins of his or her father, the Scripture teaches.
Now 40, she was already a mom and grandmother when ISIS gained control of her town in the Ninevah plains in 2014, according to CNN.
While her neighbors supported the fighters, she and her family refused to pledge allegiance to the group, which made them a target.
ISIS militants often dropped by their home to threaten and harass them. On one visit, they attacked her daughter.
“They came and beat [her],” she told CNN. “They tore off her headscarf and ripped her clothes.
“Let’s rape her,” one of the attackers snorted. “But one of them, the top guy, the big one, he did not allow them to. He said: ‘We want the mother.'”
A few days later, the same men approached Umm at the market.
“They told me to get in the car, and when I got in I thought they would slaughter me,” she told CNN.
But the attackers had other plans. “You will be our slave,” she was told.
Umm was held captive for 18 months, “like a dead person, but they had not killed me yet.”
Towards the end of her captivity, she was beaten and raped.
“I tried to fight, I cried a lot,” she told CNN. “There was a lot of pain, I was beaten a lot, but I couldn’t do anything.”
At the time she was liberated from her captivity she was pregnant with a son.
When the time came for his birth, Umm decided to name the baby Mohammed, after her husband.
But tragedy struck shortly after his birth. Her husband was killed November 2nd during fierce fighting on the edge of Mosul.
“He loved me a lot. My best memory of him was how much he loved and respected me,” she told CNN. “Yes we
are poor people, but we were happy.”
In choosing life, her son Mohammed will grow up surrounded by the love of his mother and half-brothers and sisters.