In this image from Oct. 1, 2018, fans of slain former beauty queen, fashion model and social media star Tara Fares left flowers and candles at her grave in Najaf, Iraq
Toggle caption Photo by AP/Anmar Khalil

Zahra Ali for the Washington Post: What headlines missed about the cause of recent murders in Iraq


This year, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to 25-year-old Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman from Iraq, and Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege for their activism against sexual violence in war. In 2014, Murad survived the massacre of her village, Kocho, in northern Iraq and the systematic enslavement of Yazidi women. Her mother and six brothers were killed by Islamic State militants. Many hope this prize will draw attention to the ongoing plight of Yazidis and all victims of the Islamic State, thousands of whom are still reported missing or remain in captivity.

Recent weeks have also seen the assassinations of two prominent Iraqi women, human rights defender Suad al-Ali in Basra and social media star Tara Fares in Baghdad. Both were shot on the street in broad daylight.

And while coverage of these atrocities raises important issues, sensationalized news reports often divert attention from the structural conditions that made the killings possible in the first place.