A former ISIS sex-slave who became pregnant after multiple rapes named her baby boy "Jesus" -- even though she believed she was carrying a "small ISIS man".
Nihad Barakat Shamo Alawsi was 15-years-old when she, along with thousands of other Yazidis, was kidnapped by the terror group in her home town of Sinjar in northwest Iraq in 2014.
The militant group took her to Syria and then to Mosul, Iraq, where she was tortured for weeks. She was taken as a sex slave by one man who died two weeks later, and then sold to another man who already had a wife and another Yazidi sex slave.
After multiple rapes, the teenager became pregnant.
"I thought I was carrying a small IS man," she told the Sydney Morning Herald. "When I got pregnant I thought that I am weak and I am wondering and asking myself, 'Why did this happen?'"
"I disassociated from the surroundings. I felt 'I am lost' but one day I managed to get a phone to call my family and from that moment I clung to the hope again."
Despite attempts to induce a miscarriage, Nihad gave birth to a baby boy. She called him "Issa"-- the Arabic name for Jesus.
When her son was just three months old, Nihad managed to escape after the baby's father decided to marry her to his cousin. Sadly, she was forced to leave Issa behind. She told the outlet that in July, her child will be two.
However, even if Nihad had been able to take Issa with her, her people would have rejected her son, she says.
"He is part of me but he's something from those criminals and he represents those criminals. Even if I managed to meet him again, my family and all the Yazidi people would say 'This is a member of ISIS'," she said.
"I used to carry him and I used to hug him and play with him but I have never forgot my family and I was thinking all the time about returning to my family."
After fleeing, Nihad contacted her family and was eventually rescued by Steve Maman from The Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq (CYCI). Now, she lives in Australia and hopes to be granted a protection visa by the end of the year before completing her studies, reports the Herald. Eventually, she wants to become a teacher.
Now 18, Nihad said she is committed to telling the world about what she endured and the ongoing persecution her people face. "I want all the people to imagine the misery that we have passed through."
And while she is on the road to recovery, Nihad doubts she will ever be the same again: "Despite all the difficulty that I have suffered, I have decided to continue my life and to be a success but the sadness inside us is so deep," she said.
Nihad is just one of thousands of Christian and Yazidi women in the Middle East who suffered at the hands of Islamic State militants who, under Islamic Law, are permitted to capture and forcibly make "heretical" women sexual slaves.
The Independent notes that a disturbing pamphlet distributed by the terrorist group deemed it "permissible" to rape a female slave "immediately after taking possession of her" and "permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn't reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse".
The Yazidi faith combines aspects of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, even though it predates them by about 1,000 years. It also includes some elements of Zoroastrianism and some Sufism. The religion is often mistakenly equated to devil worship, which has led to violent persecution of its people