How is it that someone like me who prides themselves on knowledge aboout such things knew nothing about the on going genocide of the Yezidi people until it was brought to my attention by a "facebook friend?" I should be ashamed...and I am.
The world that keeps saying never again, that keeps saying it won't turn its eyes away again, that keeps saying there will be no more genocides, that world has totally ignored a genocide that started centuries ago and continues today.
As is stated on the GeoCurrents site,
The situation of the Yezidis also gives the lie to humanitarian claims that the global community will “never again” sit by while entire ethnic groups are targeted for removal or extermination. When it comes to such politically inconvenient examples of ethnic cleansing as that suffered by the Yezidis, the typical reaction is to look the other way, or to dismiss the community as too small to merit consideration.
Yes, everyone has either participated or looked away. The Yezidi have been targeted by Muslims, by Turks, by Kurds, by Iraqis, by all of those around them. The West has looked away, the left has looked away, the right has looked away, the East has looked away, the capitalists have looked away, the communists have looked away.
Is it because the Yezidi refuse to compromise their beliefs, religion and culture? Is it because they are an inconvenient people in an inconvenient part of the globe?
And Yezidi truth adds:
On the rare occasion when the Yezidis are mentioned in the U.S. media, they are generally passed over as insignificant, forming as they do only a few percent of Iraq’s population. Such reporting is misleading: Yezidis number between 500,000 and 750,000 globally, with as many as 650,000 living in northern Iraq. Another 60,000 northern Iraqis follow the related Shabak faith, while as many as a million in Kurdish Iran adhere to a similar sect called Ahl-e Haqq (or Yârsân). Mehrdad Izady calls this complex of religions Yazdânism, which he regards as a survival of the pre-Islamic beliefs of the Kurdish people. He also includes the faith of the Alevis of eastern Turkey. The Alevis—heterodox Shiite Muslims who don’t worship in mosques and do drink alcohol—number some 15 million, on par with the global population of Mormons or Jews.
But really, who cares why? Who dares ask why? There are no "why's" when it comes to genocide.
Writes Yezidid Human Rights Org.
It is the 21st century and we are accusing people of devil worship as an excuse to murder them.
In the past 20 years to present, especially since the internet has become the easiest way to find information regarding whatever a person wishes to search for. We have seen that more than 99% of the writers accusing the innocent Yezidi as devil worshipers, this is absolutely pure fiction. During the Saddam’s era, the Yezidis were misclassified as Arab in ethnicity by his political force. Although Saddam has gone, but the KRG (Real Dictators) has come to power in Northern Iraq since 1991, and they also are forcing the innocent Yezidis to be misclassified as Kurdish; again this time under KRG’s brutal and dictatorial system. All these are misleading, untruth, and pure fiction information about the innocent Yezidis (Ezdae). Because of all these misunderstanding the truth about the Yezidis, we have been attacked more than 73 of times in the past 1000 years to present, therefore we (Ezdae) have lost millions of innocent Yezidis in those brutal and inhumane attacks against this most indigenous and peaceful nation in the world today.
Some are more political in their hatred.
A Journey Deep into Struggle writes:
In recent years the threats are mainly from militant Islamist groups, like Al Qaeda who views them as infidels. Terrorism has driven Yazidis from Mosul, where their numbers were once strong. Violence has even reached their smallest villages. In 2007 a set of bomb trucks killed hundreds of Yazidis This current situation affects the Yazidi’s rites and traditions preventing people from coming to Iraq for their required pilgrimage to Lalish.
Can anything be done, does anyone have an idea of what to do.
Lots of things can be done. The same things we on the left advocate for every other oppressed people everywhere should go for these people as well. I don't know why the left has ignored the Yezidi people although I can unfortunately think of some reasons which to me are quite distasteful.
The Yezidi Human Rights Organizations demands:
FOR THE YEZIDIS HUMAN RIGHTS
- The Yezidis must have the rights of religion and ethnic identity completely separate from the Kurdish and Arabs, and both should respect and recognize this identity (Yezidi Identity)
- The Yezidis' holy places such as Lalish must be under the UN protection, because the KRG is preventing those innocent Yezidis who are not accepting the "Kurdification" from visiting it (Holy Lalish )
- The Security, Police, Military forces and Administration in the Yezidis regions must be formed from the Yezidis, so they can protect the regions from any “Terrorists” actions.
- Both Men and Women have equal rights and responsibilities in the society
- The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) must end its use of militias force against the Yezidi civilians, including assimilations of Kurdification; attacks and bribes to the Kurdification involving behind the seen. Moreover, KRG must stop land seizures of Yezidis regions; agricultural farms; arbitrary arrests and imprisonment; torture; assassinations; expulsions; curfews; travel restrictions in Northern Iraq; abuse at checkpoints; raids; collective punishment; and other violations of human rights
- The international community should be able to support the Yezidi efforts to promote democracy and Yezidis human rights, while understanding that this aim cannot be even partially achieved under occupation of KRG and its militia forces. They must get out of our regions…
Surely someone cares. Outside of the Yezidi themselves, frightfully few.
It took one lone women to call my attention to the genocide which is and has been taking place partially on my watch.
That is shameful.
I can only say I am sorry for my ignorance and I will try to open my eyes.
As should you.
The first article below is a bit of history is from Yezidi Truth. The second history is from AINA.
However, in this sorrowful list of peoples destroyed by Turks Yezidis, a distinctive and native nation on the territory of the Ottoman Empire, are actually never mentioned. Meanwhile, even an incomplete list of settlements of Yezdistan (a territory in the north of Iraq), where Turkish vandals slaughtered Yezidis, is quite and quite impressive: Sinjar, Sinoun, Gobal, Dgour, Gali Ali Bage, Dhok, Zorava, Karse and Bare, Siba, Tlizer, Tlzafe, Khrbade Kavala, Grzark, Rmbousi, Sharok, Tlkazar, Tlbanta, Kocho, Khotmi, Mosoul, Rndavan, Amadia. Over 200,000 Yezidis were slaughtered in these settlements.
Yezidis were also destroyed by Turkish soldiers on the territory of Western Armenia, where they had been living in harmony with Armenians for ages. Below is the mournful list: Van region -- 100,000 innocent victims; Moush region -- over 60,000 victims; Erzroum region -- 7,500 victims; Kars region -- 5,000 victims, Sourmalu -- 10,000 Yezidi victims… The list is never-ending and tragic.
Side by side with deportation and massacre the Turkish government forcibly turned Yezidis, who profess original religion connected with worship of the Sun, into Islam. The Turkish historiographer Katib Tchelebi states that in 1915-1918 about 300,000 Yezidis were massacred on the territory of the Ottoman Empire. However, according to verified data, those years over 500,000 Yezidis were slaughtered by Turkish and Kurd barbarians, and this sinister fact has not been condemned by the progressive countries of the world.
Undoubtedly, politicians and specialists must know how many Yezidis became the victims of the Turkish state in various settlements.
Before the beginning of the World War I, according to the sources, over 750,000 Yezidis resided on the territory of the Ottoman Empire, and over 500,000 of them were massacred by Turks. 250,000 more were forcibly deported and found shelter:
- in Iraq, in the vicinity of Sinjar Mountain, 100,000.
- in Turkey, in the regions of Batman and Diarbeqir, 12,000.
- in Syria, in the settlement of El-Kamishli, 15,000.
- in Armenia, 12,500.
- in Georgia, 3,000.
Nowadays the Yezidi people scattered by the whole territory of Northern Asia and Near East require the reestablishment of justice and recognition of events of 1915-1918 as Genocide. We are convinced: defiance of historic crimes against mankind will inevitably result in a precedent for new crimes. Actually, it is already taking place. In August and September of 2007 over a thousand of innocent Yezidis, peaceful inhabitant of the region, were destroyed in the north of Iraq, in historical Yezdistan.
We appeal to the U. N., the U. N. Security Council, Presidents of the U. S. and Russia, heads of the European states, President of Turkey and urge:
To restore historical justice and condemn the genocide of Yezidi people, which took place in the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1918.
National Union Of Yezidis Of The World