Friday, 8 August 2014

The Yazidis are a

minority religious group found mostly in the Kurdish speaking area of Iraq. There are also communities of Yazidis to be found in Syria, Georgia, Armenia and Turkey. There are also groups in a number of European Community countries - particularly Germany - as well as the United States. There are even a small number in Australia.
Although they worship a monotheistic God they are not Christians or Muslims. Their religious beliefs seem to have roots in the ancient Zoroastrian religion.
I know very little about it. What I do know is that they are a minority group and, like many other minority groups, they get persecuted for being "different".
There is a Yazidi refugee family in the local district. People here tend to confuse them as Muslim because the wife wears a head scarf. Say "they are Yazidis" and people here have no idea what you are talking about. It is hardly surprising. The local community knows very little about such minority groups - if anything at all.
I occasionally have a halting conversation with the wife at the library or in the supermarket. Both places are strange and wonderful to her even now but she can barely enjoy them because of her anxiety about what is happening at "home".
The situation in their home country has recently become much worse. The war in Iraq caused many of their fellow Yazidis to flee to Syria. Now there is also a war in Syria some of them have returned to Iraq - only to be further persecuted by the Islamic extremists there.
And the reports are of some of the worst persecution I have ever been unfortunate to hear about. I cannot write about it here except to say that the words "rape", "mutilation", "torture", "deprivation", "murder" and more barely begin to describe the atrocities which are occurring there. The words "flee", "convert" or "be killed" do not begin to describe the horrific decisions the Yazidis are having to make. Their entire culture and very existence is under threat.
I was trying to explain this to someone a couple of days ago. He just couldn't get the point at all. His attitude was "so what?" It wasn't that he wasn't concerned by the physical aspects of what was happening to them but he couldn't understand that the cultural, religious and social aspects were equally distressing.
The world will be a much poorer place if we lose yet another culture and another way of thinking to the horrors of war and extremism. What is under threat is much more than even the stranding of innocent victims of war on a mountainside without water, shelter or food horrific and terrifying al though that is - and we need to understand and be aware of that.


Philip C James said...

The people I really cannot tolerate are intolerant people...

What gives anyone the right to order others to conform to their way of thinking and kill them if they don't?

And if ISIS don't agree, we should bomb the beards off them.

N.B. 'bots, do not read the above as the paradox will fuse your logic circuits.

catdownunder said...

You are intolerant of intolerance sir? Glad to hear it!

Anonymous said...

I don't like intolerance either ... but hypocrites are not welcome in my life either.