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Pope Makes Historic U.S. Congress Address; Pope Francis on Religious Extremism; Yazidi Woman Kidnapped and Raped by ISIS; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired September 24, 2015 - 14:00   ET




CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: from Washington where Pope Francis tackles the big issues yet again as he delivers that

historic speech to Congress.


POPE FRANCIS: I am most grateful for the invitation to address this joint session of Congress in the land of the free and the home of the brave.



AMANPOUR: Congress applauds and standing ovations, but the pope speaks on what's a tragic day for Islam as more than 700 pilgrims were killed in a

stampede at the annual hajj in Mecca. Reflections later in the program.

Also ahead, as Pope Francis blasts the brutal atrocities committed in the name of God, our exclusive interview with a Yazidi girl bought as a sex

slave by an American ISIS fighter.


BAZI: (through translator): There was nothing left to do to me. They did everything.


AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour.

A moment in history today: for the first time ever, a pope on the floor of the U.S. Congress, taking a powerful message directly to American



AMANPOUR (voice-over): Francis was cheered as he made his way inside the packed chamber. But that didn't stop the pope from gently delivering some

tough words on divisive issues for the United States: climate change, poverty and wealth, marriage and the death penalty.

On the issue of immigration, the pope pulled no punches.

POPE FRANCIS: We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners because most of us --


POPE FRANCIS: -- because most of us were once foreigners.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Saying it like it is to a packed chamber that still hasn't enacted immigration reform, but on a tragic day for the Muslim world

as well, with more than 700 pilgrims dead in a stampede at Mecca during the hajj. The pope urged tolerance and understanding between religions.

And instead of sitting down to lunch later with Washington's elite, His Holiness left the halls of power to break bread with the poor and the



AMANPOUR: And as Pope Francis prepared to address Congress, I sat down with Archbishop Joseph Kurtz. He's the president of the powerful U.S.

Conference of Catholic Bishops and he told me that Francis is not here to take political sides but to bring his unique, powerful, pastoral voice to

the table.


AMANPOUR: Archbishop Kurtz, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: You were there to greet the pope when he arrived. You have been with him along most of his trip so far.

What have you been talking to him about?

KURTZ: Well, first of all, he's very energetic. It's amazing that he's able to greet people when he came off the plane Tuesday.

When I had a chance to greet him, of course, President Obama was introducing him, and he looked up at us and he said, "Oh, two presidents,"

and he was referring to my role as president of our bishops conference.

And we all laughed. That scene was captured a little bit.

AMANPOUR: He is going to address a joint meeting of Congress.


AMANPOUR: And he comes having first, out of the box, talked about immigration.

Does he have an agenda?

KURTZ: Well, he has the agenda that a pastor of souls has. So he also comes, perhaps, to be a moral voice. He's not coming to take particular

political laws but rather, I think, he's saying we need to make sure we see the person first. So of course his heart is very much with immigrants.

And he said to us bishops yesterday, now, be very open, be open to people. And we have done that for generations with our church, in being open to

welcoming people when they come to the United States.

AMANPOUR: It was an amazing moment during the papal parade in the Popemobile where, all of a sudden, you saw one of his security picking up

this little girl and taking her to meet the pope.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): It turns out that she is Hispanic and her name is Sofia Cruz.

KURTZ (voice-over): I heard.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): And she actually handed him a letter --

KURTZ (voice-over): I heard.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): -- saying that every day she goes to bed terrified that her undocumented parents are going to get deported.


AMANPOUR: That's a pretty powerful thing to have happen here in Washington.

KURTZ: Well, my gosh, there was the perfect example where someone coming through the line, I'm told --


KURTZ: -- he said, I want to meet this young lady. And so he did.

And I think he will touch her heart; she touches his heart and, once again, he says to people of goodwill, when you're making laws and when you're

reaching out, remember the person. These are real people being affected. They are not machines or things to be moved around. They are real, real


AMANPOUR: And what about climate change?

Most of the world believes what the pope said, that there is no time to lose in dealing with this great imperative. Again, though, here, it is

taken in a very political manner.

How does he prepare for his pastoral doctrines to be parsed politically?

How does he defend against that?

KURTZ: Well, first of all, he comes with a moral voice. He comes not as a scientist, but he seeks to use the best of science. And he comes with a

moral authority, which the church -- when I was in seminary, we used to say, in matters of great urgency, take the safer course.

We used to call it trusteeism (ph) -- it's a corruption of a Latin word. But always take the safer course.

And I think he's saying to us, listen, this common home that is ours, we need to give this home to the next generation, take the steps that are

necessary. I guess the urgency is not just to talk about it but he encourages us to do something.

AMANPOUR: Has he been surprised to get the kind of reaction that he's getting?

In other words, his whole visit has been cast in a very political prism, people already predicting that what he says about climate, what he says

about immigration, what he says about the poor, when he criticizes unfettered capitalism on which this country was built, that a certain group

are going to dislike it, are going to feel very uncomfortable.

KURTZ: Well, first of all, our nation wasn't built on unfettered capitalism, it was built on capitalism and on the need for economic growth.

However, I will say this, that we do need to listen to the whole message of our Holy Father.

A few months ago, when we had the rollout, if you would, of "Laudato Si," I jokingly commented, I said, "We're showing it today, but I've heard

commentaries on it three weeks ago."

People hadn't read it and they were already forming their opinion.

So --

AMANPOUR: This is an encyclical on the -- ?

KURTZ: The encyclical -- I should have said that, the encyclical on really our common home and on Catholic social teaching. I think what our Holy

Father is saying is, let room for my full message and do not -- and he's saying that not just to politicians. He's saying it to the average person.

But take time to listen to all that I say and allow me to listen to all that you say.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about the message to the bishops, because it was the first time -- I don't know whether it'll be the only time -- that he

deals with the issue of the sexual abuse scandal in the church, which has rocked this church to the point that it's sent people out of the church.

And obviously the pope wants to bring people back to the church.

KURTZ: Exactly.

AMANPOUR: He addressed them as crimes and he said, this must never happen again.

KURTZ: He did.

AMANPOUR: But the problem is that many of the victims' groups say that, actually, even the existing laws, the existing protections are not being

properly implemented, that there are lots of priests who've been accused, who are just being removed from their diocese or their parishes in the

United States and sent over to those in Latin America.

"Global" posted a big investigation on that.

What do you say to people who say the pope is still not doing this tough enough, is still not taking a tough enough stance?

KURTZ: Well, he uses the term healing. And I think he looks at each person who may be harmed by what he rightly calls a crime, a crime of

abuse. He talks to the bishops about restoring authority and trust. He uses the word trust.

So once again, I think he's focusing on the individual. And each individual is going to be unique. We know that.

But the -- the harm done can only be undone by healing. And so -- I believe our Holy Father is reaching out to people.

I can say -- I can't speak for every country in the world or even every diocese in the United States, but within the Archdiocese of Louisville,

where I serve, we really are intent humbly, with but we really are intent in addressing issues.

There's no one who is serving within the archdiocese who -- no priest or layperson, leader, who has a credible charge of abuse against them. That's

something we all should be doing.


KURTZ: And I believe that's the direction that we're going on. And our Holy Father is very, very strong on that. But he does emphasize healing

and the fact that we do need to listen to one another.

AMANPOUR: There seems to be a certain amount of uncertainty, a certain amount of -- some might even say fear that the pope is set to change the

direction of the church. They say that this is the biggest threat to conservatives and traditionalists in the last 50 years.

Is it a threat to traditionalists?

What is the pope up to?

KURTZ: Well, I think -- let's look at what has actually happened. Our Holy Father has made more transparent the financial dealings. He's just

appointed someone to bring together, in the Vatican, a communications.

He began through, with Cardinal O'Malley, a special council that's dealing with the issues of abuse that you raised earlier. So the things I believe

he's doing are pastoral efforts to try to respond to the needs of the people.

And one of the things that he's recognizing is the globalization of our church; our church is growing in many places, but it's growing in Africa,

in Asia, in many places. And there needs to be a recognition of where the leadership is coming from. I think that's a good thing.

I've participated in a couple of the synods. And the one last year was the first one on marriage and family. And I'll be going next month for three

weeks to Rome.

And I think our Holy Father is saying, I do want to listen. He listened to our suggestions last year.

You probably have seen some of the changes that have occurred, not to doctrine, but rather to the manner in which an annulment, a declaration of

nullity, can be more available to people, that things are removed that perhaps were not essential. I favor that.

Our Holy Father, though, is wanting to be in dialogue. He wants to hear what people say. And I see that at the synod.

AMANPOUR: Archbishop Kurtz, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

KURTZ: Thank you very much.


AMANPOUR: So a major change of tone coming out of this Vatican under this pope. And his message of compassion and religious tolerance contrast

starkly, though, with what too often actually takes place.

And up next, my exclusive interview with the young Yazidi girl who escaped the brutal hands of ISIS in Syria and she is determined to save others from

her own harrowing experience. We'll have that after a break.



BAZI (through translator): We were never able to eat something until we were feeling that we would fall down from not eating anything. We would

cry the whole day. We would just ask them to get us out of that hellhole.


AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

We are in Washington, where Pope Francis has used his first address to the U.S. Congress to highlight what he calls the disturbing and worrying rise

of religious violence and extremism.


POPE FRANCIS: Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, shaded in brutal atrocities --


POPE FRANCIS: -- committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual devotion or

ideological extremists.


AMANPOUR: And so next week, that very same Congress, those very same lawmakers will hear the harrowing testimony of a young girl, a victim of

violent persecution and repeated rapes.

She goes by the pseudonym, Bazi. She's a 20-year-old Yazidi, who was captured by ISIS when they attacked Sinjar in Iraq last summer.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): She was bought, imprisoned, raped and abused by an Islamic State militant for five months. He told her he was from the United


Bazi was eventually saved by Khider Domle, who helps Yazidi women escape the clutches of this terror group. His incredible work has been turned

into a documentary film which will be released here early next year.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Activist and professor Khider Domle, armed with only a ballpoint pen and a burner phone, has made it his mission to

rescue these girls from ISIS.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's described the building she's in so that they can go and rescue her.

DOMLIK: Yesterday she was very sad. She told me, Hadid, are you going to do something for us or not?


AMANPOUR: Bazi and Professor Domle are in Washington now to tell Congress about her ordeal and the crimes that she endured. They spoke to me

exclusively before their testimony.

First, here is Bazi's story. We have hidden her face to protect her identity.


AMANPOUR: Bazi, what did they do to you?

BAZI (through translator): There was nothing left to do to me. They did everything.

AMANPOUR: Can you tell me?

BAZI (through translator): They separated me from my family. They got me married by force. They took my nephew by force from me and they were

hitting him in front of me. And I was raped by them forcefully.

AMANPOUR: And when you say them, many people?

BAZI (through translator): Abu Abdullah al-Amriki.

AMANPOUR: So he was an American.

BAZI (through translator): Yes, he was American.

AMANPOUR: Describe the American.

What did he look like?

BAZI (through translator): He was very white. He was a little bit taller than me with a black beard, black hair. I also saw his own family. He had

a wife and two children, a son and a daughter.

AMANPOUR: Americans?

BAZI (through translator): They were American as well. He showed us his family with videos and photos, but his family lived in the U.S. because he

was taking videos and taking photos and sending to them.

AMANPOUR: Did he tell you why he was doing this to you?

BAZI (through translator): The reason was because we were not Muslims. He was telling us we should go back to the prophet's age where we forced

everyone to become Muslim. Everybody should be a Muslim. Either being a Muslim or die. Get killed or die.

AMANPOUR: I heard you say kafir. They called you infidels.

BAZI (through translator): Yes, that's what he was telling us.

AMANPOUR: You said he bought you. Describe that process; what does that mean, he bought you?

Where were you?

BAZI (through translator): When they separated us in Sinjar, they took us by groups to Raqqa. In our group there were eight. When they took me to

Syria to Raqqa, they took me to a farm and I saw a big group of girls. We were all in a farm, in a house. So we all met there.

People would come and buy us as groups. Mostly in that farm, we were bought as groups of 10.

So each group of 10 was sold to a specific person.

So this American, Abu Abdullah, he bought me with nine others, took us all to his house, sold the nine others and kept me for himself.

AMANPOUR: And he repeatedly raped you, you said.

BAZI (through translator): Yes.

AMANPOUR: I read that they would pray before and after, is that what happened to you?

To so-called make themselves clean after raping a non-Muslim?

Is that what happened to you?

BAZI (through translator): That's true. Daily, he would pray five times a day. Before raping me, he would pray for 15 minutes or a half an hour.

And after that, even if it was 2:00 am, 3:00 am, after raping me, he would go take a shower and pray again.


AMANPOUR: You're only 20 years old, how did you have the strength to survive?

BAZI (through translator): The first time he raped me, he tried to rape the other girl who was with me, but I told him since I already felt raped,

I don't want the other one. So I became responsible for the other one. I told him, you do this to me, you can have me. Please don't hurt her. And

don't do anything to her.

AMANPOUR: And he didn't?

BAZI (through translator): I never let him do anything to her. When he was raping me, I was convincing him not to do anything to her. I told him

to treat her as a servant for him because he was a sheikh, an emir. So he would just have her as a servant. So I convinced him the whole time until

we were able to escape from his house.

AMANPOUR: Can you tell me more about the Abu Abdullah al-Amriki, the American who took you, you said he was white.

Where did he say he came from in the United States?

BAZI (through translator): All that he told me was only that he was an American. He never said where from America he is. He also mentioned to me

that he was a teacher and he was showing me his photos, the photos of his family and videos. And he also mentioned to me that he visits them every

once in a while.

AMANPOUR: Did he speak to you in Arabic?

How did you understand him?

BAZI (through translator): He spoke to me in Arabic but his Arabic was broken. And he also told me that it has been four years since he became

Muslim. He converted and he came to that place, to Syria.

AMANPOUR: Did he tell you why he was in Syria, why he was joining ISIS?

BAZI (through translator): He was talking in a bad way about the church. He said I wasn't awake in my life before until I converted to Islam. He

said this is the right path for me and for everyone to live on this planet, to become Muslim.

AMANPOUR: What was a day like every day while you were captured?

BAZI (through translator): We were only worried about our families. We were never able to eat something until we were feeling that we would fall

down for not eating anything. We would cry the whole day. We would just ask them to get us out of that hellhole.

But for five months, we were captured by them, me and the other girl, my friend. We never saw the sun until we escaped.

AMANPOUR: Well, Bazi, we are very glad that you are safe and thank you for telling us your story.

How do you feel that people, like the pope, the president, very high-level people, are talking about the case of the Yazidis, people like yourself?

BAZI (through translator): Everybody talks about this subject because it's sensitive. It has been over a year. We have over 3,000 people still

captured by ISIS. But when it comes to talking about it, when it comes to the action, nobody does anything.

AMANPOUR: Thank you. Thank you for telling us your story.


AMANPOUR: Truly horrifying to listen to that. And Bazi would not be here were it not for the remarkable efforts of Professor Khider Domle and the

partnership organization Hardwired, which campaigns against religious oppression and helped bring the pair here to the United States.

Professor Domle told me what makes Bazi's story really stand out.


KHIDER DOMIE, MINORITY RIGHTS ACTIVIST: We have a lot of such a case like this but, Bazi, she's one of the unique because it's American because we

never heard that an American with ISIS and he's being participated to by a woman and used them as sexual slavery. Because of that, we come here,

through help of Hardwired to tell the U.S. administration and Congress this thing is still ongoing happen, still we have more than 3,000 women and

children in captivities, so we need something to be done to stop this genocide through -- against the Yazidis.


AMANPOUR: Indeed, they are trying to get that legally enshrined as genocide and taking this case also and others to the International Criminal

Court. And you can watch more of that interview online at

And after a break, we imagine the fragile nature of faith as two of the world's religions feel the strain of pilgrimage. Security surges for the

pope and tragedy in Mecca. That's next.





AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world where the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics urges respect for religious diversity.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): His pilgrimage to the United States goes off without a hitch as the faithful descend on Washington to see the pope and

hear his prayers.

While in Mecca, making the annual hajj, the ultimate pilgrimage for the 1.5 billion Muslims, disaster strikes despite huge security measures. At least

700 people were killed and the number may rise. And another 800 have been injured after a crowd surge, a stampede crushed many under foot at a packed

religious rite. A true horror happening across the world as, here in Washington, Pope Francis called for religious tolerance and unity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The pope of the holy see.

POPE FRANCIS: We must move forward in a way that, as one, we might renew the spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the

common good.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): As they count their dead and injured in Saudi Arabia, in Washington, D.C., Pope Francis continued his mission of mercy,

blessing the homeless and feeding the hungry in the heart of the world's richest and most powerful nation.


AMANPOUR: And we will continue to follow this pope. Tomorrow, it's the United Nations and we'll be there with his speech to the General Assembly


And that is it for our program tonight. And remember you can always see all our interviews at and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for watching and goodbye from Washington.