21 September, 2014

Religious intolerance today: Yezidi people in danger

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Category: Opinion, Religious Intolerance
Community Manager
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Yazidi - 21 sunWritten by Nelli Gishyan

Yezidis are considered to be one of the oldest nations in the world. Yezidis are distributed across the north of Mesopotamia. They chiefly inhabit Shangal and Sheikhan regions of the north-east of Iraq, Merdin of the south-east of Turkey and the north-west of Syria. From the seventh century on Yezidis have been persecuted by some Muslims mainly because of their religion and nationality. There are about two millions Yezidis all over the world. The aggression towards Yezidis and intolerance towards Yezidis’ religion contributed to centuries-lasting hostility between Yezidis and Muslims (Kurds, Arabs). In the late Middle Ages the “fat” was (in Arabic means sentences) against Yezidis. Driven by desire to avoid persecutions many Yezidis changed their religion and became Muslims. Continuous persecutions neighbors made Yezidis seek isolation. The language of Yezidis, which is the language of Kurds of north (Kumarjs), belongs to the Iranian language group. Yezidis believe in God (Xwade) and his trinity: 1st is Malake Taus, 2nd is Shikhadi, and 3rd is Yezid.
Malaki Taus (peafowl angel):

Yezidis believe that God created the Earth with the assistance of Malaki Taus. He is considered as either the Creator or the chief assistant of the Creator. Muslims consider this belief as a vivid manifestation of evil. It seems that this is the reason why Muslims call Yezidis unbelievers. It is worthwhile mentioning that this belief is thought to be the reason for hostility towards Yezidis centuries ago.


As it was mentioned before, the second great figure-of course, after Malaki Taus-in Yezidis’ religion is Shikhadi. Yezidis consider Shikhadi as the apostle of God and believe that he was created from the shadow of Malaki Taus. Shikhadi, as well as Malaki Taus, are considered to be the assistants of God and, in some cases, to be God’s functions. Yezidis often consider themselves to be Shikhadi’s descendants.


Ezid is the third great figure in Yezidis’ trinity. Some researchers are inclined to think that the emergence of this divinity is connected with the Ottoman khalif Ezid bin Muaviay. It is a historical fact that  in 680 during the Qerbalay war Ezid bin Muaviay defeated Mohammed’s grandchildren who were the main precedents to become khalif. Killing one of the grandchildren of the Prophet became the chief reason for Muslims to call Ezid the Criminal. In the reality Ezid bin Muaviay has no connection to the divinity Ezid. Nevertheless, this fallacious opinion contributes to even more hostility towards Yezidis from Muslims.

About two months ago, when “Islamic State” terrorist group occupied the second biggest city in Iraq (Musul), the prime-minister of Iraq and the only Yezidi woman deputy visited Minjari region that is inhabited primarily by Yezidis. Kurd prime-minister promised that Minjari won’t be occupied and that Kurd “Peshmarga” military squad will make sure Minjari is safe. Unfortunately, we saw the contrary. On the 2nd of August, Kurd military squad consisting of 8-10 thousand people left Minjari. That was strange given that terrorists were 3-4 kilometers away from Minjari ready to attack Yezidis. Closing the roads, Yezidis asked Kurds for arms in order to protect themselves. Kurds killed 4 youngsters in order to open the road-thereby leaving Yezidis absolutely unarmed. On the 3rd of August, from 3 to 5 o’clock in the morning, terrorists were killing children, men, old people, and women. 5000 women are enslaved. 15-50 thousand refugees escaped to Syria, 5-10 thousand to Turkey, 300-400 thousand to other regions in Iraq where other Yezidis help their compatriots. In order to save support the protection of Yezidis the following steps are recommended urgently:

1) To recognize these all on international level

2) To stop the Genocide of Yezidis in Iraq,

3) To provide Yezidis with humanitarian aid,

We all, Christians, Muslims and other religious and non-religious people should send the message that we do not ignore this kind of massacre of people based on any belief. We all believe that no-one can kill, harass nor hate another human being based on their religion or ethnicity.

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