from the world's big
The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to two people, one a doctor and one a survivor of ISIS captivity, for their work in raising international awareness about wartime sexual violence.
- Dr. Mukwege is a Congolese gynecologist who has helped to treat thousands of survivors of sexual violence.
- Murad is a 25-year-old Yazidi woman who was taken captive by ISIS militants in 2014.
- Both have sacrificed their own personal safety to speak out against wartime sexual violence, the Nobel committee said.
Who is Dr. Mukwege?<p> Dr. Mukwege is the founder of the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a nation the U.N. has called the "rape capital of the world" and where more than 1,000 women are raped every day. The initial goal behind the hospital was to curb maternal mortality rates. </p><p> "But our first patient did not come to deliver a baby," Dr. Mukwege <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/10/06/496893413/doctor-who-helps-rape-survivors-is-shortlisted-for-nobel-peace-prize" target="_blank">said in a 2016 speech</a>. "She had been raped with extreme violence." </p><p> Since 1999, the Panzi Hospital has treated more than 50,000 survivors of sexual violence through a five-pillar holistic healing model that includes "<a href="http://www.panzifoundation.org/physical-care" target="_blank">physical care</a>, <a href="http://www.panzifoundation.org/psychosocial-support" target="_blank">psychosocial support</a>, <a href="http://www.panzifoundation.org/community-reintegration" target="_blank">community reintegration services</a>, <a href="http://www.panzifoundation.org/legal-assistance" target="_blank">legal assistance</a>, and <a href="http://www.panzifoundation.org/education-and-advocacy" target="_blank">education and advocacy</a> to address the root causes of violence." </p><p> "You just can't imagine how a smile, a simple handshake, to just tell them 'be encouraged' is important to them. To feel they are loved, to feel they can finally find love and affection," Dr. Mukwege told <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/05/europe/nobel-peace-prize-intl/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> in 2009. </p><script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p> Dr. Mukwege once described how seeing the recovery of young sexual violence survivors motivates him to keep working<br> </p><p> "The kids' strength to go on living gives me strength to go on taking care of them," Dr. Mukwege said in an <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vKDmZNeVAU" target="_blank">interview</a>. "It just tells you, 'It's all good.' You have got to keep fighting for life, you have got to keep on giving life, you have got to give hope to others." </p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rliKwDCnGws" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" width="727" height="409" frameborder="0"></iframe><p> The Nobel committee said that Dr. Mukwege's philosophy is "justice is everyone's business." </p><p> "Denis Mukwege is the foremost, most unifying symbol, both nationally and internationally, of the struggle to end sexual violence in war and armed conflicts," said Reiss-Andersen. </p>
Who is Nadia Murad?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODY5NDExOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MDgyMDQzN30.M7e-bcM0jHByoYgtgPx6QVwagDTRnE7PKkOw2U33Ys0/img.jpg?width=980" id="5b79c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2263d26ad05a59f744be1bfc847d7541" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Nadia Murad accepts the 2016 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, which she shares with Lamiya Aji Bashar, for their work in advocacy for the Yazidi community in Iraq and survivors of sexual enslavement by the Islamic State jihadists.
(Photo: FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)<p>In August 2014, ISIS militants invaded Murad's Yazidi community in the village of Kocho in Northern Iraq, a region that's long been home to the monotheistic religious minority. The militants told all the residents to walk to a school on the outskirts of town, and, upon arriving, separated the men from the women.<br></p><p>Murad, who was 19 years old at the time, watched as the militants murdered more than 300 men, including six of her brothers and step brothers. The militants took her, along with other young women, as a sex slave. The elderly women, presumably too undesirable or burdensome to the militants, were executed and buried in a mass grave that would later be discovered by Kurdish forces. </p><p> In an interview with <a href="http://time.com/4152127/isis-yezidi-woman-slavery-united-nations/" target="_blank"><em data-redactor-tag="em">Time</em></a>, Murad describes how some of the captured women committed or attempted suicide. </p><p> "I did not want to kill myself, she said. "But I wanted them to kill me." </p><p> For three months, Murad was held as a slave in Mosul by ISIS militants who beat her, burned her with cigarettes, and raped her after a failed escape attempt. One night in November 2014 her captor left a door unlocked and she managed to escape, eventually ending up in Germany through a program that helps relocate refugees. </p><p> Since her escape, Murad has been speaking out about the atrocities she and her fellow Yazidis suffered at the hands of ISIS, who consider the Yazidi to be "kafir" or nonbelievers. In 2015, she told part of her story to the U.N. Security Council. </p><p> "I cannot imagine how painful it must be every time you are asked to recount your experience," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power <a href="http://usun.state.gov/remarks/7055" target="_blank">said</a> to Murad after her testimony. "And your being here and speaking so bravely to all of us is a testament to your resilience and your dignity—and it's of course the most powerful rejection of what ISIL stands for." </p><pre class="redactor-script-tag" style="display: none;" async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></pre><p>It's <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/ceaseless-persecution-marks-the-yazidis-history/2018/10/05/6263dada-c8ae-11e8-9c0f-2ffaf6d422aa_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a730be4ba773" target="_blank">estimated</a> that, around the time of Murad's capture, ISIS militants killed more than 5,000 Yazidi men, captured about 6,500 women and children, and forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands more.<br></p><p> "For eight months, they separated us from our mothers and our sisters and our brothers, and some of them were killed and others disappeared," Murad told <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/05/europe/nobel-peace-prize-intl/index.html" target="_blank">CNN in 2017</a>. </p><p> Murad is the 17th woman to win, and the second-youngest recipient of, the Nobel Peace Prize. </p><p> Reiss-Andersen said both winners have put their own personal security at risk by combating war crimes and seeking justice for victims. </p><p> "Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims," Reiss-Andersen said. "Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others." </p><p> As of Friday morning, it wasn't clear whether Murad was aware she had won the award; the committee couldn't reach her by phone. Dr. Mukwege was reportedly in the middle of surgery when he found out he had won. </p><p> "For almost 20 years I have witnessed war crimes committed against women, girls and even baby girls not only in my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also in many other countries," he said. </p><p> "To the survivors from all over the world, I would like to tell you that through this prize, the world is listening to you and refusing to remain indifferent. The world refuses to sit idly in the face of your suffering." </p>
Religion influences politics more now than it did 50 years ago. Are we going forward or backward?
Religion influences politics more now than it did 50 years ago. To help explain how we moved seemingly backward from global secularism to increased religious involvement in public policy, Professor of International Politics Monica Duffy Toft explains the threefold story of failed modernization, democratization, and globalization, and how they propelled religious figures and ideas into the political arena once again. Monica Duffy Toft's work at the Center for Strategic Studies is made possible through funding from the Charles Koch Foundation. The Charles Koch Foundation aims to further understanding of how US foreign policy affects American people and societal well-being. Through grants, events, and collaborative partnerships, the Foundation is working to stretch the boundaries of foreign policy research and debate by discussing ideas in strategy, trade, and diplomacy that often go unheeded in the US capital. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org.
When it comes to ISIS, terrorism, and global and domestic instability, America has been its own worst enemy.
For the last 25 years, the U.S. has based its foreign policy on a sense of primacy and idealism rather than restraint and realism, says William Ruger, Vice President for Research and Policy, Charles Koch Foundation. Ruger asserts that the U.S. failed to recognize the human and economic cost of international military and political intervention. "We've really opened up all kinds of challenges in this attempt to open up an exemplar for the Middle East. We actually have created an exemplar," he says, "an exemplar of what can go wrong if you engage in the world without first thinking carefully about what is necessary for American safety, and what the unintended consequences of our behavior could be..." The Charles Koch Foundation aims to further understanding of how US foreign policy affects American people and societal well-being. Through grants, events, and collaborative partnerships, the Foundation is working to stretch the boundaries of foreign policy research and debate by discussing ideas in strategy, trade, and diplomacy that often go unheeded in the US capital. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org.
Global security expert Richard A. Clarke explains the traits of a "Cassandra"—someone who predicts colossal disasters—and why people very rarely listen to their warnings.
Before Bernie Madoff got caught, before Hurricane Katrina and Fukushima devastated cities, and before ISIS formed, there was an expert for each one of those events warning people in power that it would happen. What did those powerful people do? Absolutely nothing. These experts are called 'Cassandras' in hindsight, because as global security expert Richard A. Clarke explains in a previous Big Think video: "Cassandra in Greek mythology was a woman cursed by the gods. The curse was that she could accurately see the future. It doesn’t sound so bad until you realize the second part of the curse, which was no one would ever believe her. And because she could see the future and no one was paying attention to her, she went mad." So how can we graduate from sheepishly identifying Cassandras in hindsight, to recognizing and acting on their real predictions before the impending chaos hits? It's tough because everyone and their uncle is trying to get in on the prediction game. Who can you trust? Fortunately, Clarke and his research partner R.P. Eddy have used case studies to build a detailed template of the four aspects that determine whether we can avoid a Cassandra event: the quality and personal traits of the Cassandra themselves, the reaction of the audience or decision makers in power, the nature of the predicted event (is it too ridiculous to believe?), and the critics of the Cassandra. Even today, there are potential Cassandras predicting events that could be catastrophic to humanity this century. Can we learn from our mistakes in time? Richard A. Clarke and R.P. Eddy's new book is Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes.
New research claims religious terrorism is on the rise, and it appears that it's going to get worse before we see a decline in such horrendous acts.