Jewish Journal

More religious bloodshed in Iraq

by Brad A. Greenberg

August 15, 2007 | 1:23 am

Think Sunnis and Shi’ites have it bad as they shed each other’s blood in Iraq? Well, consider the plight of the Yazidim, a small religious group whose members are considered infidels by both Muslim sects.

In April, armed militants dragged 23 Yazidi members off a bus and executed them, presumably in retaliation for the Yazidi “honor-killing” of a co-religionist who was caught dating a Sunni man. As Sunni and Shi’ite militants have been swept out of Baghdad, they’ve relocated to the once tame Kurdish north, and Tuesday they simultaneously set off four bombs that have killed upwards of 200 people in mostly Yazidi villages.

“It looks like a nuclear bomb hit the villages,” an Iraqi officer told the NY Times.

But who are the Yazidim and why are they paying for their beliefs with blood? MSNBC offered a much better explanation of the groups beliefs. (Let’s just be clear: so-called “honor-killings” should not be justified by any religion.)

... could increase pressure on small communities such as the Yazidis, a primarily Kurdish group with ancient roots that worships an angel figure considered to be the devil by some Muslims and Christians. Yazidis, who don’t believe in hell or evil, deny that.

The Islamic State in Iraq, an al-Qaida front group, distributed leaflets a week ago warning residents near the scene of Tuesday’s bombings that an attack was imminent because Yazidis are “anti-Islamic.” The sect has been under fire since some members stoned a Yazidi teenager to death in April.

Wikipedia offers this. (Photo of Yazidi temple: Wikipedia)
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