| The dreams of man|
|Disturbing your sleep|
The Yazidis are a (kinda) Kurdish group that for the most part kept to themselves, so little attention was paid to them until they made the headlines as DAESH began a genocide against them. According to an estimate from 2007, there are about 500,000 Yazidis in the world, mostly found in Armenia, Georgia, Syria, Turkey and Russia.
The Yazidi religion is a blend of Islam, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and pre-monotheistic traditions. Yazidis believe in one central creator god, who in turn created seven angels to do the managing of the world, the chief of whom is the peacock angel Melek Taus. They believe world history is cyclical, and God is reincarnated as one of three forms; a human-like form, a holy spirit, and something in between. Sound familiar?. The angels occasionally reincarnate as humans as well. "Good" and "evil" are internal to every human rather than external supernatural influences, and each person makes the decision as for which to choose.
They often baptize and circumcise their children, but it is not mandatory. Too much contact with outsiders is believed to cause impurity, to the point where unlike most religions, they do not accept converts. They do not accept any marriages outside caste. Eating lettuce is taboo, because the Kurdish word for lettuce, "khas", is the term Yazidis use for their saints.
Many local Muslims refer to them as devil-worshipers, due to a similarity of the story of their peacock angel Melek Taus to that of Iblis (Devil) in the Quran. In the Quran, all the angels were ordered by Allah to bow before Adam; all obeyed save for Iblis, who refused to bow, and was therefore punished by Allah for his disobedience. By contrast, Yazidis believe that Melek Taus was the only angel to refuse to bow before Adam, but instead of being punished for his disobedience, he was rewarded, and elevated above all the others.
Amidst the chaos, uncertainty, and violence of the insurgency, Iraqi Kurds made moves to shore up borders for what one day may become in independent Kurdish State. Iraqi tribalism is based on possession of land passed on within tribes by arranged marriages and ancient inter-tribal acknowledgement of tribal areas. Intermarriage between different tribes and faiths is rare to non-existant. Although the Kurds are a minority in the Yazidi homeland of Sinjar and Ninevah provinces, the Kurdish government in Irbil sought to exercise administrative control of Yazidi territories with assurances for their protection. In June 2014 the Islamic State blitzkrieg drove accross the Syrian border and captured Mosul. By August the Kurdish pershmerga guarding Sinjar and Ninevah withdrew, leaving Yazidis militarily unprepared and unprotected. The Yazidi genocide occurred at the hands of Daesh, and more than 5000 Yazidi women were taken from their home and given as slaves to the jihadists.
Yazidi mistrust of the Kurdish Irbil regime complicates a redrawn map in the post-Daesh era. Yazidis blame Kurds for false assurances of security. Kurds have seized Yazidi lands as the land was depopulated by genocide. Many Yazidis blame Daesh and the Kurds as part of a conspiracy to exterminate Yazidis and steal their land. This lingering mistrust is one of several dilemmas awaiting a post-Daesh peace settlement with new borders, assuming it ever occurs.
- An understandable belief given their history of oppression
- Background: the Yezidi - World news - The Guardian, August 15, 2007
- Tribal identity is determined by the tribe of the father. A female belongs to the tribe of her father or her husband. Iraq is famous for its first and second cousin marriages to keep land within the tribe. Forced marriages still occur in Iraq to either maintain tribe identity or cement alliances with neighboring tribes.
- http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54247#.WJatKO5lDMI The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCR) has detetmined genocide with intent has occured against the Yazidis. It should be noted, many Islamic republics have offered an Islamic Declaration of Human Rights to the UN General Assembly as an alternative to the so-called 'Universal' Declaration of Human Rights formulated in 1948 and is the basis of UNCHR's action.