Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Massacre of Iraqi Yezidis



Kurdistan TV via Reuters TV/Reuters

A video grab of a Yezidi child and woman wounded in a suicide bomb attack rest in a hospital in Duhouk in this August 15, 2007.



Last week, two men were publicly stoned in Kirkuk. The local police witnessed the stoning without taking any action to stop the barbaric murder. The two men belonged to the Iraqi Yezidi minority. Belonging to a minority has become a crime in Iraq.

The Yezidis always kept a low-profile. I'm not sure the low-profile was by choice or because their religion is shrouded by mystery according to most Iraqis. The mystery built a wall between the "mysterious Yezidis" and the "mainstream Iraqis." When I lived in Iraq, I had a misconception of the Yezidis. It's partially because I've never met a Yezidi. I was left with the general Iraqi concept of Yezidism. Thanks to the Internet, I now have a better understanding of this Iraqi minority.

On April 2007, Yezidis drove the local and international attention to them after the stoning of a Yezidi girl who converted to Islam. A brutal incident that shocked the world. The incident started the recent cycle of violence against the Yezidis.

The incident wasn't only brutal and in violation of women's rights. The incident paved the road for vengeance against most Yezidis, who had nothing to do with any crime. In a country that has forgotten the meaning of forgiveness and reconciliation, the stoning of the girl was the only excuse needed to target innocent Yezidi children, women and men.

Who was responsible for the massacre of more than 300 Yezidis on Tuesday? It depends on whom is asked. I don't care for any of these various theories. I'm more interested in hearing other Iraqis' condemnation of the crime. I'm interested in learning mainstream Iraqis are willing to stand up for their less-fortunate countrymen, who happen to have different beliefs than their own.

Iraq won't be worth a penny if it loses its minority communities to violence, murder and emigration.



Yezidi Related Links:

Chaldean Thoughts:
The Yezidi Religion In Iraq.

About.com:
Alternative Religions profiles: Yezidism

Jane Arraf:
Flying In and Out of Tragedy.

The Gaurdian:
Among the Yezidi, a people in mourning.

NPR:
General Calls Attack on Yazidis 'Ethnic Cleansing'

Michael Yon:
Lost in Translation: Yezdinar Village, Iraq

Michael Totten:
The Beginning of the Universe.

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