Dohuk: At the Yazidi minority’s holiest site in Iraq, Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege pays homage to a spiritual leader who has decreed women raped by Daesh should not be stigmatised. The renowned doctor shakes hands with white-bearded Khurto Hajji Esmail, the Yazidis’ Baba Shaikh or spiritual leader, in the Lalish temple where two conical roofs symbolise the journey from earth to heaven. Yazidis are followers of an ancient religion with more than half a million believers in northern Iraq, but in 2014 Daesh kidnapped thousands of the sect’s women and girls as sex slaves. “In many communities, women are excluded - stigmatised just after being raped”, the 63-year-old gynaecologist told AFP, just ahead of his visit to the temple in Nineveh province. “But Baba Shaikh has said we are human... and women should not be stigmatised” after what they have suffered, he added. The sexual enslavement of Yazidis is a tragedy Mukwege is especially qualified to talk about. Congolese doctor helps Yazidi women overcome rape stigma I'm not sure how people are to accept responsibility for Daesh.