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This is the simple but effective Islamic State strategy to win hearts and minds


The men in the video appear tense as the conversion ceremony begins. They are Yazidis, followers of an ancient religion that originates in northern Iraq. But here, they are seen converting to Islam under the watchful eye of armed Islamic State (IS) militants.

After the ceremony the film cuts to a new scene where the men stand together in a group. The converts and the militants call on Yazidis who've fled their homes in the region of Sinjar to return to be "protected by the Islamic State." IS militants dressed in dishdashas welcome the Yazidi men as "brothers."

These men were likely spared death in exchange for their conversion. Hundreds of other Yazidis have been systematically executed in villages across Sinjar since early August, including 600 in the village of Kocho alone.

Later in the video, a man with a microphone interviews an IS militant.

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