A Brief Explanation about Yazidi People

Jamil Qawal

Since overtaking a large portion of Iraq in 2014 by ISIS , Yazidi people had been systematically killed and kidnaped. It can be said that Yazidis were not known by the world before then. Now, Yazidi Religion is known by almost all the world.

The most remarkable question is that who are Yazidi People?

Well, Yazidis are a religious and ethnic minority, with as many as 700,000 worldwide. Vast majority of them live in the north of Iraq. Most consider themselves Kurdish on account of their spoken language “Kurdish”, but after forcing a big number of Kurdish people to convert to Islam, Yazidi people regard themselves as Yazidi after the name of their own religion “ Yazidi”, which combines aspects of Islam, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism.

It is difficult to determine how old Yazidism is. Many scholars place its origins in ancient Mesopotamia, or in the beginning of civilization in what is today Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. However, being Yazidi , you have to born Yazidi, just opposite to other religions, where you can convert to their religions . Also, according to their tradition, Yazidis are forbidden to marry people from outside community. Again, Yazidi religion divide into three castes; Murid, means “ followers”; Sheikhs, means “ religious”; and Pirs means “ elders”. According to their traditions, marriage to a person outside of their own caste is forbidden.

At around 3000 BC, other religious groups migrated to Iran and India, leaving early Yazidis to settle and form communities. Similar to Islam and Christianity, Yazidism is monotheistic, which believe in one God.

Although it is not an Abrahamic religion, yet Yazidi believe in much older supreme god, called “Yazdan”. According to Yazidi scripture, this supreme deity created the universe and entrusted it to seven angels, chief of whom is Tawsi Melek or peacock Angel.

Yazidis see Tawsi Melek as intermediary between man and the divine. Also, they revere him for his independence and ambivalence. In Yazidi scripture he refuses to submit to Yazdan who disavows him, but then forgives him. This Story is often compared to Quran’s account of Satan. Many Muslims accuse Yazidis of being devil-worshippers. Their worship of Tawsi Melek is why Yazidis have been the subject of marginalization and violence for hundreds of years.

In 18th and 19th centuries, according to Yazidi scholars, Ottoman and Kurdish leaders attempted to eliminate the Yazidi minority through forced conversions and mass murder, resulting at 73 genocides, including the last recorded one in 2016, after finding several mass graves.

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