The International Community Responds to the Islamic State’s Heinous Acts of Inhumanity

By Courtney Cox

After footage of the beheading of a second American hostage surfaced, the United States declared war on the self-proclaimed ‘Islamic State’ (IS) this week. Concurrently, the twenty-seventh session of the United Nations Human Rights Council launched to discuss dire humanitarian issues. In the opening session, the Council prioritized crimes against humanity at the hands of IS. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, urged the international community to combat the ruthless bloodshed in the regions targeted by IS.
BBC reports that IS is coercing religious conversions, and consistently executing those who refuse to acquiesce on a massive scale. Yazidi, Turkmen, Shabak, Kaka’i, Sabeans and Shia communities have been specifically targeted. Horrific accounts of violent abuse and the detainment of women and children (who are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse) have also come to light. To date, thousands of civilians have been killed, and over a million have abandoned their homes. The vicious acts of IS reek of genocide and warrant a sense of international urgency.