Catalina de Erauso | The yazidi genocide
It is striking that the mainstream media in Spain have totally ignored the Yazidi genocide that occurred in Iraq and Syria in 2014. Although both serious and yellow press often report or rather misinform on the Islamic caliphate, references to the Yazidi genocide are rarely found in the mentioned newspapers. And it is not easy to write a story that encompasses real information to make a first approximation of that crime´s magnitude committed by a group people that many Muslims label as non-Islamic and therefore not belonging to their religious community. Among other things, it is hard because every day that passes Yazidis and international organizations find Yazidi women with their children who were able to escape from Islamic barbarism. Some victims of ISIS, DAESH or other violent Islamic groups are still unable to speak out about what happened to them because they are deeply traumatized.
It is not the first genocide that the members of the Yazidi religious group who live today in Iraq and Syria survive. The genocide reported in this article is number 74 throughout history. Currently, it is estimated that the Yazidi community amounts to approximately a million Yazidis taking together those who live in their original enclaves and scattered throughout the world. The religious group professes a monotheistic religion and speaks mostly Kurmansh, an Indo-European language related to the Farsi or Persian language. After the 2014 genocide, the members of that ethnic group live scattered throughout the planet’s geography. In Germany, some 200,000 are counted where the current Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad lives. Yazidi society is patriarchal and one becomes a Yazidi by birth when both parents belong to that religious group. In this ancestral religion as old or older than Judaism, community members must participate in group membership rituals such as cutting three strands of hair from male children. The sheikh keeps one of them and dedicates it to the ancestors. The other two are kept by the parents. They also adore the black snake and according to their belief it is not a malicious being. On the contrary, it takes care of the houses and the Yazidis and Yazidis are not allowed to kill them. The sacred place of this religious group is in Lalish, assaulted in 2014. Although the Yazidis believe that they are the only ones who profess the true religion, they have peaceful relationships with members of other religions because God has given them the ability to decide their behaviors for which they are solely responsible. However, coexistence with other religions has been conflictive at certain stages of their history. Thus, Sunni Muslims with whom they have shared geographic space over many centuries have repeatedly accused them of being the devil´s worshipers. Depending on the hatred speech of leaders of certain religious communities, the Yazidí ethnic group has been decimated on numerous occasions throughout the centuries.
The most recent genocide has taken place in 2014 when Islamic State warriors entered Shingal, with a population of about 90,000 inhabitants, mostly Yazidis, and razed the city with the help of local collaborators. It was not a casual or spontaneous invasion. It had benn planned long in advance. The first thing they did when they entered that municipality was to separate the elderly from the young. Older men and women were murdered. Many of them were beheaded and buried in mass graves. Photos of an unknown cruelty circulate on the internet. The executioners pose full of joy with their beheaded. The men were murdered because, according to the Islamic warriors, they were of no use and old women because they neither could not be sold nor raped. Women were separated from their children. Women and girls over the age of 8 have been victims of the atrocities of ISIS soldiers, a violent Islamic group of many nationalities, including Saudis, Emiratis and also Europeans. These soldiers sold the kidnaped Yazidi women and girls in makeshift markets and also online to Yazidi. One can find at ease photos on the internet of Yazidi girls of about eight years old made up as prostitutes, dressed in sensual underwear and with fillings in their bras that are offered for $ 8,000 with the claim that they are virgins. When the warriros got tired of their sex slave, they traded with her and resold her. There are also videos of bearded men chatting leisurely dressed in white robes in a living room where a screaming woman who is being raped in the next room is being heard. None of the men has the instinct to go help the suffering woman. On the contrary, they laughed at her screams. Is that perhaps the pleasure the rapists feel? In another video that circulates through the networks, it can be seen how bearded men adorned with machine guns are exultant with joy because on that day they had their share of their prize for having fought for Allah. They make the statement that this prize is allowed in their religion. And it is not a false interpretation of the holy book. It is true. With a shy smile one of them asks: Where is my blue-eyed Yazidi girl?
Women who managed to escape tell heartbreaking testimonies. They tell how they were shown in the markets as if they were cattle so that potential purchasers could taste them in public markets. When they were bought, they became their slaves, sex slaves. They narrate how they were being raped by them. Sometimes just the buyer, on some other occasions in a gang. The victims tell how they defended themselves from the rapes with screams and movements. The rapers appear to be oblivious to the mood of the women they are just raping. Some of the survivors tell how ISIS soldiers commented that they were going to rape a 9-year-old girl. An older Yazidi told them not to rape her. ISIS soldiers raped the 9-year-old girl, her eyes are clouded with tears when she remembers that scene. Why are they raping them, I wonder? The answer is not easy. It is a mix of primitive macho patriarchy, xenophobic supremacism and deep illiteracy. But worst of all, itis the rape of women whom they consider infidel. Yazidi women are infidel in their opinion and rape is legitimized in the Qran, their religious guidline. The legitimation comes from the fact that Muslim believers are allowed to keep slaves. And they can “take them”, that is, rape them if they wish. Those patterns of behavior have been passed down from one generation to the next. Neither Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism nor, of course, the Yazidi religion legitimizes the rape of women and girls. If we stop to think that the beheadings and the sale of slaves took place in public places, we must ask ourselves if the people who witnessed these atrocities tried to help the Yazidi victims. The survivors report that Sunni neighbors did not help them when ISIS gangs assaulted Sinjar. On the contrary, some neighbors took the opportunity to expose them to the gang of sadists welcoming them with food and drinks. And worst of all is what some survivors related. ISIS fighters wives were at least as cruel as the warriors themselves. A survivor recounts how a wife kept a Yazidi slave still for her own husband to be able to rape her. I am speechless.
But what does it mean for a Yazidi woman to have had sexual intercourse with a man who is not her husband? Throughout history, this behavior has meant the expulsion of the Yazidí community. However, the survivors of the Yazidi holocaust were not only raped multiple times individually or in gangs, but some of them had children as a result of the repeated rapes. Some have returned with three children. And they have returned because the religious leader of the community has allowed them to return, having concluded that the women who survived could do nothing against these attacks. The Yazidi community will have to learn to deal with this issue and to honor survivors appropriately. When they return to their communities of origin, the Yazidi female survivors often burn the veils in public. Those pieces of clothing imposed on them by their executioners. An added problem they now face is that of religious affiliation because these children are biologically children of ISIS jihadists. The Islamic religion is transmitted on the patrilineal line, while the Yazidi one is transmitted on both lines. Both father and mother must be Yazidis. Well, as if the genocide were not enough, the Iraqi authorities are registering these children as Muslims. Isn’t the Iraqi government admitting that ISIS and DAESH jihadists are full-fledged Muslims by registering those children as Muslims? I comment this because there are many voices that affirm that such warriors have nothing to do with Islam. The mothers of these children refuse to educate them as Muslims because they do not profess or confess to that religion. Note that the Yazidi community is not an open community because inter-religious marriages are prohibited and proselytizing is non-existent. No one can convert to Yazidism if he comes from another religion. And that is the big difference with Islam. The spread of Islam, jihad, is an obligation of every Muslim. They can do it with the word, with their deeds or, if all this does not work, with the sword. And rape is a way of spreading Islam, as the result of these rapes children are born who, according to their criteria, are Muslims. In addition, they practiced forced conversions to Islam on children and women who were taken as prisoners. The surviving children relate how they were forced to recite coranic verses by heart and were punished if they made a mistake. Those who did not want to convert were ruthlessly executed and buried in mass graves. Some Yazidi women who publicly refused to convert committed suicide because they did not want to embrace the Islamic faith.
At the moment, the Yazidi community through its representatives is asking the Iraqi government without much success to prosecute ISIS militants, but the government is not making any noteworthy efforts. Armenia has been the first country in the world to recognize the Yazidi genocide. Shamefully, Europe is still staring into space.
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Note: This is an experiment. It has been partially translated with google translator.