Laura Cesaretti

Freelance Journalist, Middle East and South Asia

Iraqi Yazidis push to end ‘devil worship’ stereotype

Feb
19

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. 

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This religion in Kurdistan is constantly under attack with conspiracies and lies

Feb
19

Your Middle East, July 19 2014

There is an old saying: “Kurds have no friends but the mountains.” To their fellow Yazidi minority, this is even closer to the truth. Situated mainly in the Sheikhan and Sunnjar area of Iraqi Kurdistan, this Kurdish sect has been regarded by locals and foreigners as “devil worshippers” and persecuted throughout history for the very same reason. Three mountains, Arrafat, Mshat and Hzrat, surround their Holy Site in the Lalish valley, which, in the past, was a hidden haven for Yazidism‘s followers.

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