Twenty-seven refugees who have survived religious persecution met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday. One woman at the event was Nadia Murad — a Nobel laureate who was forced to flee to Germany after ISIS attacked her Yazidi community and killed members of her family before trafficking Murad and others. She escaped and became the first woman from Iraq to win the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting against abuse and sexual violence. Murad is also part of the first court case against Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria on charges of genocide and sexual violence being litigated by Amal Clooney.
After she was introduced to Trump, Murad told him her story and how she came to be part of the group of people he was meeting with that day. She explained how even though ISIS no longer poses a threat to her home, going back is not as simple as booking a plane ticket. “Now there’s no ISIS, but we cannot go back [home] because the Kurdish government and the Iraqi government, they are fighting each other [over] who will control my area,” said Murad. “They killed my mom, my six brothers.”
“Where are they now?” Trump asked. Murad repeated herself, responding, “They are in the mass graves in Sinjar. And I’m still fighting just to live safe. Please do something.” Murad has spent years speaking out against ISIS for the rape and trafficking of thousands of Yazidi women. “And you had the Nobel Prize. That’s incredible. They gave it to you for what reason?” Trump asked, prompting Murad to explain her plight again.
The exchange has gone viral as people criticize Trump for his response to Murad. Many question if Trump even knows who Murad is, what she has gone through, her activism, or whether he cares enough to find out. Others claim that his response to Murad is conflicting with his claims that he cares about combating sex trafficking.
Murad pressed on and said there are still 3,000 Yazidi women and children missing including her niece, nephew, and sister-in-law. Trump responded by promising to look into it.