Monday, January 30, 2012


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?  

Geo Currents writes:

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.
And Yezidi truth adds: 

Even with all of their ostensible connections to other faiths, the Yezidis have for hundreds of years been under constant attack from Moslems who promulgate the idea that the Yezidi’s principle diety, Tawsy Melek, the “Peacock Angel”, is Satan. Moslems also contend that the Yezidis are not “People of the Book”, i.e., that they don’t have a sacred revealed scripture like the Holy Bible or the Koran at the center of their religion, so they claim justification in their massacre of them.

Or even worse, some Moslems have pronounced the Yezidis as heretics who were once orthodox Moslems – an allegation that puts them in the lowest rung of humanity. Over the course of 700 years, nearly 23 million Yezidi people have been murdered, thus bringing their civilization to the brink of extinction.
But really, who cares why?  Who dares ask why?  There are no "why's" when it comes to genocide.

Writes Yezidid Human Rights Org.

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.
It is the 21st century and we are accusing people of devil worship as an excuse to murder them.

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.

Who are Yezidi?

Yezidi Truth explains:

The Yezidis or Yazidis are a Kurdish speaking people who live principally in northern Iraq. They number approximately 500,000 – 600,000 with another 200,000 settled in other parts of the world. They are mostly a poor and oppressed people, but they have a rich spiritual tradition that they contend is the world’s oldest. They were the first people to be created in the Garden of Eden, which they claim is the area now known as Lalish in Iraq. From Lalish they dispersed to many countries in Africa and Asia, including India, Afghanistan, Armenia, and Morocco, and continue to share numerous links with them.

Originally from India and therefore related to the Hindus, they also have close connections with many other cultures and traditions they have lived among during their gradual migration westward to the Middle East. For example, they have close ties with the Zoroastrian religion they encountered in Persia, and they reflect some of the doctrines and rites of Islam which were integrated into Yezidism by the faith’s Sufi reformer, Sheike Adi, during the 11th century. Well before this time, as far back as 2000 B.C., the Yezidis were living in the Middle East and playing a role in the Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Jewish civilizations.
The Yezidis claim to have the oldest religion in the world, contending that the truth of this is reflected in the antiquity of their calendar. They can trace back their religious calendar 6756 years, thus making 2008 CE the Yezidi year of 6757. In relation to some of the other major religions, the Yezidi Calendar is 4,750 years older than the Christian or Gregorian Calendar, 990 years older than the Jewish Calender, and it is 5329 years older than the Muslim Calender.

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:


  1. 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)
  2. 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 )
  3. 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.  
  4. Both Men and Women have equal rights and responsibilities in the society
  5. 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
  6. 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.  

Yezidi Genocide

It has been estimated that 23 million Yezidis have been killed by Moslems and their other self-proclaimed enemies during the past 700 years.  And the Yezidi population continues to decrease.  Just 200 years ago was 2 million, but it is now estimated to be less than one million worldwide.  A current “incentive” to the ongoing slaughter is a belief that states that if a Moslem slays a Yezidi great awards await him or her in Heaven.  If a Moslem man slays a Yezidi he is told that he will be rewarded with 72 virgins in the next world.  Unless such “incentives” cease and this senseless killing is stopped the Yezidis could face permanent extinction.  If this happens, the world will not only loose a very peaceful and unbiased people, but an irreplaceable link to its past.  The Yezidis, who originally migrated to Iraq from India, are currently the caretakers of the oldest religious tradition on Earth.

A slaughter of the Yezidis occurred in April, 2007, when 23 of them were murdered by Kurdish Moslems. But this is only the most recent attempt at Yezidi massacre by Moslem extremists. Beginning nearly twenty years ago Saddam Hussein instigated a pogrom of Yezidi extermination by labeling them “Devil Worshippers” and thereby triggered whole scale persecution by the Iraqi Moslems. Throughout the Middle East it was no secret that Saddam Hussein’s goal was systematic cultural genocide of the Yezidis. Under his savage regime the Yezidis were uprooted from their villages, their farmland taken, and they were denied both jobs and medical care. Approximately 250 Yezidi villages near Mosul in the Sinjar Mountains were destroyed, and the river Dejela, which supplies the Yezidi communities with drinking water, was contaminated with poisons. All the sacred sites of the Yezidis were vandalized and threatened. Although this pogrom was lifted briefly following the US invasion and Saddam’s capture, the harsh conditions appear to be returning. Kurdish Moslems are currently blocking food supplies to the Yezidi villages and they continue to prevent the Yezidis from cleaning up the poisons in their water supply. Yezidis can not visit their relatives in many villages which have become Moslem controlled, and those Yezidis moving between villages risk both torture and death. Within the mosques adjacent to the Yezidi villages mullahs continue to speak about the “Devil-worshipping Yezidis” and encourage their conversion to Islam or murder.

The following is a chronology of many of the 72 major attacks on their civilization that the Yezidis have endured since the seventh century A.D.:

630 AD. The Moslems started a series of wars against the Yezidis by killing and abducting many people.

637 AD A major war was instigated against the Yezidis, and then Moslems burned and destroyed much of their territory.

980-81 AD Islamic Kurdish armies surrounded the Yezidis living in the Hakkar region. They promised the Yezidis mercy if they surrendered to them but failed to keep their promise. Instead, most of the Yezidis were massacred. Those who survived were forced to convert to Islam.

1107 AD About 50,000 Yezidi families were destroyed during a period of Moslem expansionism.

1218 AD The Mongols under the leadership of Hulagu Khan reached the Yezidis and slaughtered many of them, but the Mongols met strong resistance from the Yezidi warriors and eventually retreated..

1245-52 AD Hulagu Khan’s armies resumed their battle against the Yezidis and slaughtered thousands of them.

1254 AD A conflict occurred between the Moslem Bader al-Din Lolo, the “Mayor of Mosul,” and a Yezidi leader named Sheikh Hassan. Bader al-Din’s men captured Sheikh Hassan, executed him, and then hung his naked body on a Mosul gate where it could be seen by many other Yezidis. This event led to a war which the Yezidis lost, forcing them to flee to the mountains and leave behind their lands, villages, and temples. Everything the Yezidis left behind was destroyed. Even their most sacred shrine at Lalish was desecrated, with the bones of their greatest saint, Sheikh Adi, being taken from his tomb and burned in front of the unbelieving Yezidis.

1414 AD A Persian leader named Jalal al-Din Mohammed bin izidin yousif al-Halawani led an armed force against the Yezidis who were living in the Hakkar Mountains. His raid was supported by Kurds in the area. Most of the Yezidis descended from Sheikh Adi’s followers were killed, and the remaining bones of Sheikh Adi were taken from his tomb and burned in front of Yezidi hostages.

1585 AD A Kurdish leader named Ali Saidi Beg from Botan province attacked Yezidis living in Sinjar and killed more than 600 of them. The Yezidi women were abducted and raped by the conquerors in front of the Yezidis’ captured soldiers.

1640-41 AD Yezidi villages near Mosul were looted and other Yezidi villages were attacked by Ahmed Pasha, a Turkish Moslem Ottoman governor, along with 70,000 armed soldiers. Hundreds of thousands of Yezidis were killed.

1648 AD The Yezidi Sheikh Merza revolted against the Ottomans controlling Mosul who had previously beheaded his two brothers. The Ottoman general Shamsi Pasha was then summoned from Turkey to attack the Yezidis. Many Yezidis lost their lives and Sheikh Merza was beheaded.

1715 AD Hassan Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Baghdad, attacked the Yezidis with a huge army in order to punish them. Those Yezidis who were not killed were forced to flee into Syria. Pasha made an alliance with the local Arabs and then continued to attack the Yezidi unmercifully.

1733 AD The Ottoman Ahmed Pasha destroyed the Yezidi villages in the Zab river area and committed mass killings. This raid was followed by one under the leadership of Hussein Pasha that completely destroyed the Yezidi villages and forced 3000 Yezidis to convert to Islam.

1743 AD The Persian leader Nadir Shah guided his troops into Yezidi territory near the Zab River, about 30 kms west of Mosul. They looted the villages and captured most of the Yezidis as hostages. Those that refused to obey were instantly killed.

1752 AD An Ottoman pasha named Sulaiman Pasha attacked the Yezidis in Sinjar. His campaign of killing and looting lasted two years. Three thousand Yezidis were killed and 500 women were taken as hostages.

1767 AD An Ottoman pasha and mayor of Mosul, Amin Pasha, had his son lead troops against the Yezidis living in Sinjar. He demanded the Yezidis to bring him 1000 sheep. When they brought only 800 he ordered his men to slay a large number of Yezidis.

1771 AD Bedagh Beg, one of the Yezidi leaders from Sheikhan, revolted against the Ottoman mayor of Mosul because he sought to convert the Yezidis to Islam. The Mosul Mayor allied with Bairam Beg, a Moslem Kurdish leader, to kill Bedagh Beg and most of his men.

1774 AD The Ottoman Mayor of Mosul, Sulaiman Oash, attacked the Yezidis in the Sinjar area. The Yezidi villages were looted and destroyed.

1779 AD The Ottoman Mayor of Mosul sent more military units into Yezidi territory of Sinjar. They looted and destroyed the villages and killed many Yezidi.

1785 AD The Ottoman Mayor of Mosul, Abdel Bagi, attacked the Yezidis in Sinjar to punish them. The Moslem soldiers were at first defeated, but then they allied with some Arab forces and routed the Yezidis.

1786-87 AD Yezidi ruler Cholo Beg and his forces went to war with the Moslem Kurdish leader of Imadiyah. Cholo Beg lost the battle and many Yezidis were killed.

1789-90 AD Ismael Beg, the Prince of Imadiyah, killed Cholo Beg and replaced him on the Yezidi throne with one of his relatives, Khanger Beg.  When Khanger Beg retired soon afterwards, Hassan Beg, the son of Cholo Beg, was crowned in his stead. Hassan continued the rebellion of his father by revolting against the Imadiyah Prince Kifbad, during which soldiers from both sides were killed in great numbers.

1792-93 AD The Ottoman Mayor of Mosul, Mohammed Pasha Al-Jalili, destroyed and burned eight Yezidi villages in the Sinjar area.

1794 AD The Ottoman Mayor of Mosul resumed the attack on a village in Sinjar called Mehrcan to punish the Yezidis. But he failed and lost the ensuing battle.

1795 AD The Ottomans sent Sulaiman Pasha to Sinjar’s Yezidi villages. With the help of the Kurd Prince Abdullah Beg Kahin and the Abdulrahman Pasha Prince of the Sulaimania Kurdish government, he looted, incinerated, and completely destroyed the Yezidi villages. He also abducted and kidnapped 60 Yezidi women and 650 domestic animals.

1799-1800 AD The Mayor of Baghdad, Abdul Aziz Beg Al-Shawi, destroyed 25 Yezidi villages in the Sheikhan region. Both women and children were abducted and 45 Yezidis were executed. Their heads were then brought to Baghdad as symbols of victory.

1802-3 AD The Mayor of Mosul, Ali Pasha, brought the administration of the Yezidis in the Sinjar region under his strict control. In doing so he found it necessary to attack some rebellious Yezidis from the north while overseeing an Arab raid on them from the south. The attack lasted for several months, during which several Yezidi villages were razed. The surviving Yezidis agreed to accept the rule of Ali Pasha even though they were forced to convert to Islam. When more Yezidis rebelled in 1807 the battle was resumed and 50 Yezidi villages were destroyed.

1809-10 AD The Ottoman Mayor of Baghda attacked the Yezidis in Sinjar. His army looted Sinjar, Mehrkan, and other Yezidi villages. Many Yezidis lost their lives.

1832 AD Bader Khan Beg, the Moslem Kurdish Prince of Botan, tortured and killed the Yezidi leader Ali Beg. The Moslem Kurds then committed an unprecedented massacre of thousands of Yezidis while destroying their villages. Many Yezidis tried to escape by traveling across the Tigris River. Most of them could not swim and were either drowned or captured. Those that were captured were given the option of converting to Islam or dying as martyrs.

1833 AD The Kurdhis ruler of Rawandez attacked the Yezidis at Aqra in accordance with a religious mandate from Mulla Yahya Al-Muzuri, a Kurdish Moslem leader. Five hundred Yezidis were killed in the upper Zab region. The Sinjar area was also attacked with many Yezidi lives lost.

1838 AD The Otoman Mayor of Diarbeker attacked the Yezidis in the Sinjar region and killed many of them. In the same year, the Ottoman Mayor of Mosul Tayar Pasha attacked the Jaddala area of Sinjar and ordered the Yezidis to pay taxes. When Tayar Pash sent envoys to the Yezidis in Mehrkan village to hear the complaints of the Yezidis, the envoys were killed. Tayar Pasha sought vengeance and invaded the Yezidi villages. In order to protect themselves, the Yezidis withdrew to caves and tried to fight back by ambushing their enemy. Tayar Pasha had lost many men and he eventually retired back to Mosul. Peace was resumed in the Sinjar area.

1892 AD The Yezidis were attacked by the Ottoman leader Omer Wahbi Pasha. He gave the Yezidis the choice of converting to Islam or paying higher taxes, or death. The Yezidis resisted and Omar Pasha, in alliance with the Moslem Kurds, attacked the Yezidis in the Sinjar and Sheikhan regions. About 15,000 Yezidis were either killed or forced to accept Islam. The Pasha then attacked Lalish and the tomb of Sheikh Adi, carrying away to Mosul the sacred relics of the Yezidis. For seven years following this time the Lalish pilgrimage sanctuary was used as a Moslem school.

1906 AD The Mayor of Mezory, Mr. Saddeq Al-Dammalogi, received an order from the Mayor of Mosul to remove all Yezidis from Lalish and use the temple there as a Moslem school. The Yezidis were persuaded to leave Lalish for one year.

1914-17 AD During the First World War the Yezidis assisted more than 20,000 Armenian people who fled from the Ottoman Turks.

With sincere thanks to Ali Seedo Rashi, President - Yezidi Cultural Association in Iraq for his source article: “The Yezidism”.

The Unknown Turkish Genocide Of Yezidis

Yerevan -- In 1915-1918 the upper circles of the Ottoman Empire, taking advantage of the conditions of the World War, organized and realized genocide of Turkey's national minorities. During a few years the Ottoman Empire actually completely slaughtered the native peoples of the country: Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks. Nowadays the world is aware of numerous facts and details of these terrible atrocities committed by Turkey's authorities endowed with state power. The world's most progressive countries condemned the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire on the state level and mark mournful data of the Genocide's beginning together with Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians.

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:

  1. in Iraq, in the vicinity of Sinjar Mountain, 100,000.
  2. in Turkey, in the regions of Batman and Diarbeqir, 12,000.
  3. in Syria, in the settlement of El-Kamishli, 15,000.
  4. in Armenia, 12,500.
  5. 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

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