Yazidis Women Constant Suffering


Persecution, massacres, mass graves and intimidation, Yazidis are a religious and ethnic minority that faced all these horrors.

These prompted academics around the world to try to understand what this minority is, and it prompted me personally to write about them, based on my proximity to them and our presence in the same city.


Who Are the Yazidis and the Cause of Crimes Against Them

Yazidis are one of the most famous minorities in the Middle East. They live in northern Iraq near the Kurdistan region. They have their own Yazidi religion. They worship God and glorify the pious king. They have their own beliefs and religious rituals that they practice in the Kurdish language "Kurmanji"

Yazidi religion owns two sacred books, "Al-Jilwa" by Uday bin Musafir, who is considered the founder of this religion, and the black book, "Musaf Rush," which is the book in which the foundations and teachings of the religion.

There is one religious temple for the Yazidis, the Lalish Temple, located on Mount Sinjar, and it is the place where they practice worship and pilgrimage every year

The Yazidi religion is considered a closed religion, as the religion does not allow people not born of Yazidis to enter the Yazidi religion.

As for the inner community, it is divided into three classes: the general class, the "Al-Mured", then the "Pir", meaning the adults, who are the people of old ages, and then the upper class, which is the "Sheikh", the people who spread the teachings to the followers and lead them.

Different religious beliefs and special rituals, in addition to the Kurdish roots, all of these things made the Yazidis face religious and political persecution over the past ages, and the last of these crimes was when the Islamic state entered their regions.


Islamic State Attack

Devil worshipers and infidels, this is how the fighters of the Islamic State described the minority Yazidis when they entered Nineveh Governorate, inhabited by the Yazidis, which numbered 550,000 according to official statistics during the attack period six years ago.

During the attack launched by the Islamic State, in which thousands were killed in the first days of the attack and displaced 350,000 Yazidis from their home and about 7,000 were kidnapped, most of them women, as slaves, for sale and for sexual purposes.

After the displacement of thousands of people from the region and its complete fall into the hands of the Islamic State, its fighters blew up the homes of the Yazidis and the temples that they considered symbols of infidelity.

The Islamic State undertook the genocide of the Yazidis and the ethnic cleansing of this minority. After the retaking of these areas by the Kurdish forces, the investigators found more than 70 mass graves of the Yazidis.


Women Suffering

The fighters of the Islamic State kidnapped thousands of Yazidi women, and according to the testimonies of the survivors, the Islamic State fighters sold them in special markets for the sale of captives, and they were raped and tortured because of their religion.

The survivors also indicated that even underage girls were not spared from torture and physical and sexual violence by the fighters, as they were taught the teachings of the Islamic religion and embraced the Islamic religion under pressure from the followers of the Islamic state.

These measures came in order to continue capturing women and not to kill them, as the Islamic state refuses to live with the followers of other religions and to kill them.

Among the women survivors, Nadia Murad, the most prominent of the kidnappers, who spoke about their suffering during the kidnapping period, and she won the Nobel Peace Prize through her efforts to push the survivors to speak about their suffering and testify against the Islamic State.


Return of the Kidnapped and the Obstacles

Presence of the Islamic State in the region ended after a year of seizing the region, but the suffering of women and their families continued, as the Islamic State had about seven thousand of the kidnapped Yazidis remaining.

Kidnapped were transported from one place to another, especially when the fighting intensified between the government forces and the Islamic State fighters.

Government forces and Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria have worked to return the abductees, especially by the forces of the Autonomous Administration in northern Syria, where the last battles were against the Islamic State in the Syrian territories.

When women were liberated, they faced many obstacles, including the inability to return to their families at the beginning due to their forced marriage with Islamic State fighters, as the Yazidi religion rejects the Yazidis if they marry someone of other religions.

This obstacle ended after a decision by the spiritual father of the Yazidis to accept women.

As for children from a Yazidi mother and a Muslim father, they were not accepted, so many women were forced to dispense with their children and leave them in the refugee camps in Syria, this obstacle is also due to the religious closure of the Yazidis.


Current Situation

Thousands of Yazidis are still unaccounted for, either in the territories of Iraq or Syria, thousands were killed and others displaced to neighboring countries and to Europe. Investigations are still continuing to uncover the crimes committed by the Islamic State against the Yazidis.

Yazidis refuse to return to their areas due to fear and the shock effects of what happened, the unknown fate of their relatives, and the instability that exists in their areas due to the presence of many armed groups that differ in their orientations and loyalties.


Written by - Abduljalil Hage

Edited by – Adrija Saha

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