Thursday, February 18, 2016

Who are the Yazidis?

YAZIDI WATCH: Who Are the Yazidi "Devil Worshipers" and Why Is ISIS Trying to Slaughter and Enslave This Ancient Minority? Part One (Brian Glyn Williams, HuffPo).
As we drove through the mist-covered hills of Iraqi Kurdistan with Thamer, [Professor Adam Sulkowski] explained that his people worshipped one Creator-God, just like the surrounding Muslim Kurds and Arabs as well as Christian groups (These ancient Christians, largely known as Assyrians, have also been targeted for annihilation by Al Qaeda in Iraq and ISIS and their community has dwindled since the 2003 U.S. invasion from 1.5 million to about 200,000 today). The Yazidis' God is known as Khude and is all forgiving and merciful. God-Khude created himself and seven archangels led by Melek Tawus, the Peacock Angel. Melek Tawus was sent to earth to create life from the primordial chaos and act as an intercessor between man and God. The first human had been created without a soul, so Melek Tawus blew the breath of life into him. He then turned Adam towards the Sun, symbol of the Supreme Creator, which Yazidis, like ancient Mesopotamians, still worship.


So far we felt this story seemed innocuous enough. There is nothing in this ancient myth of creation that warrants centuries of repression by Ottoman Turkish authorities and now slaughter by ISIS.

But it is the sad fate of the Yazidis that the story of Melek Tawus has eerie parallels with the story of Shaytan, the fallen jinn (genie) of Islam who is known in English as Satan. ...
For the many past posts on the Yazidis, their Gnosticism-themed religion, and their sad fate in the Middle East in recent years, see here and links. Some substantive posts about their religion and culture are here, here, here, and here.