30 October 2014

The Yazidis

The plight of the Yazidis achieved international attention several months ago:
Fears are growing for the 300 Yazidi women reportedly kidnapped by Islamic State fighters last week amid claims they would be used to bear children to break up the ancient sect's bloodline. The minority group is originally Aryan and has retained a fairer complexion, blonde hair and blue eyes by only marrying within the community. But in a furious bid to convert all non-Muslims, ISIS jihadists have vowed to impregnate the hostages
This week The Dish notes that "the plight of the Yazidis still isn't over."
On Mount Sinjar there are two Yazidi militias resisting the IS push. They told Rudaw that they had not received supplies for weeks. There are also YPG, PKK, and peshmerga fighters in the area as well. IS has cut off the supply routes to the mountain and the Yazidi forces are desperate for weapons and ammunition.
I found out more about the Yazidis from Wikipedia:
The Yazidis are a Kurdish ethno-religious community whose syncretic but ancient religion Yazidism (a kind of Yazdânism) is linked to Zoroastrianism and ancient Mesopotamian religions...

The Yazidis are monotheists, believing in God as creator of the world, which he has placed under the care of seven "holy beings" or angels, the "chief" (archangel) of whom is Melek Taus, the "Peacock Angel."...some followers of other monotheistic religions of the region equate the Peacock Angel with their own unredeemed evil spirit Satan, which has
incited centuries of persecution of the Yazidis as "devil worshippers." Persecution of Yazidis has continued in their home communities within the borders of modern Iraq, under both Saddam Hussein and fundamentalist Sunni Muslim revolutionaries. In August 2014 the Yazidis were targeted by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in its campaign to "purify" Iraq and neighboring countries of non-Islamic influences...

Yazidism is not an offshoot of another religion, but shows influence from the many religions of the Middle East. Core Yazidi cosmology has a pre-Zoroastrian Iranian origin, but Yazidism also includes elements of ancient nature-worship, as well as influences from Christianity, Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism, Islam and Judaism....

Both images cropped to fit without removing watermarks.  Top image (a refugee, not a hostage) from The Daily Mail.  Thumbnail image credit Feriq Ferec/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images via The Dish.


  1. "originally Aryan"

    As in Indo-Iranian or... "master race" Aryan?

    1. What's your point?? Your comment is a bit trollish.

    2. Really?

      You post a picture of blonde, light eyed inhabitants of the Middle East- not your usual phenotype from that area, and identify them as Aryan; 99.99% of people would associate that with... Germany, Hitler- "master race." They appropriated the term, just like they appropriated the swastika- both originally of Indus origin. So I'm asking one very legitimate, apropos and relevant question. Which is it when you refer to them as "Aryan?"

    3. This may/may not be of relevance...


  2. Here is a recent NPR : Fresh Air interview with British diplomat Gerard Russell who studies disappearing religions, including Yazidism, in the middle east.

    His recently published book is called Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms :
    Journeys Into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East

    Also I understand that "Aryan" is no longer the preferred nomenclature due to its association with the Third Reich, but I think it was clear from the context that there was no racist intent behind the article.

    1. Didn't mean anyone was being necessarily racist- just wanted to know specifically what context he was referring to when he used "Aryan," exactly for the reason you brought up! It is rather crucial to understanding their "origin."

  3. The Yazidis are quite unique. The Yazidis is the most ancient ethnic group in the entire western Asia. The Yazidis is a living record of the history of humanity.The Yazidis is a living reflection of a culture that vanished a long time ago, elswere in the region.They kept pretty much to themselves throughout the millennias. This is why they look quite different from all their southern neighbours (Arabs etc.). The Yazidis are just as endangered as a people, as Siberian tigers are in nature. It's the responsibility of all mankind to protect them and make shure their culture is preserved.


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