A blind, Christian woman from Iraq boldly refused an Islamic State militant’s demand that she convert to Islam — and lived to tell about it.
Mariyam Petrayus, who is among the 6,000 who have fled western Mosul in recent weeks amid Iraqi forces’ efforts to free the city, now lives in the Sewdinan refugee camp. And the woman, who appears to be in her 50s, told Kurdish media outlet Rudaw in an interview published this week about the harrowing moment an Islamic State militant demanded she convert to Islam.
While Petrayus could have surely been killed for her refusal, she somehow survived the contentious exchange.
“He told me ‘Why don’t you convert to Islam? Why are you Christian?'” Petrayus said. “I told him that everyone is on their religion, and nobody leaves their religion.”
But she wasn’t done there. Petrayus went on to tell the man, “I do not want to become one like you,” referring to him and his Islamic State allegiance. When he responded by asking “why” and demanded to know what’s “wrong” with him, she boldly continued.
“I told him, ‘You don’t say your prayers, you kill humans, you earn haram (sinful) earning, and you harass people,'” she recalled. “He said, ‘Me? ‘I said, ‘Yes.'”
Somehow, Petrayus survived the exchange and, according to her account, never bowed to the militants’ demands. She has since fled west Mosul, making the long journey to the refugee camp. Watch her describe the ordeal here.
As USA Today reported, the battle over Mosul continues, with Iraqi government forces making strides three years after the Islamic State took the city by storm.
Other Must-Read Stories: