Al Monitor, May 23 2014
DAHUK, Iraq — When Nietzsche wrote “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” in 1885, he had to kill God to break the dichotomy between good and evil. In Iraqi Kurdistan, there was no need for that; adherents of Yazidism, the world’s most ancient monotheistic religion, already knew this.
According to this minority Kurdish group, Lucifer, the beautiful and vain angel of heaven, did not betray God and create evil, but simply manifested himself to the world, becoming the bridge between humans and the Creator. Melek Taus, as the Yazidis call him, is still worshipped in the Temple of Lalish, the sect’s holy site in northwestern Iraq. Yazidis consider themselves the direct descendants of Adam and perceive good and evil as the same faces of the same reality. Choosing the right side is up to each person’s soul.
This approach has caused nothing but pain for the Yazidi Kurds, who have been subject to many stereotypes in Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran, such as their supposed reluctance to education.