News By/Courtesy: Sonika Sekhar | 20 Jan 2020 0:00am IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
  • THE YAZIDI COMMUNITY
  • ISIL

The Yazidi community is a small community with an uncertain ethnic origin that are the indigenous communities of Iraq, Syria and Turkey. They are a separate and distinct ethno-religious group of people. These people can be traced from the practice of the Zoroastrian faith. Many of the modern Yazidis believe themselves to be a part of the Kurdish community.

The Yazidis follow the religion of Yazidism, which is personal and restricted to their own community. They believe in one God, that is, monotheism.

The Yazidi community is unfortunately a victim of genocide at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, more popularly referred to as ISIL. This genocide began in August, 2014, with the aim of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to eliminate any non – Islamic presence around the areas where they dominate.

The Yazidi community has faced religious persecutions since the time of the Ottomans who were against the faith of this community. The Ottomans were keen of the conversion of the Yazidis to Islam, that is, the Sunni religion. After the decline of the Ottomans too the persecution continued as the Yazidis have had conflicts with the Sunni Muslims leading to bombings and massacres, a well known one being the Mosul massacre in 2007.

With the increase in the power and territorial victories of the extremist militant group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the religious persecutions faced by the Yazidi community worsened. With the declaration of the Yazidis being devil worshippers, fear amongst the community spread resulting in most of the Yazidis attempting to flee Sinjar, the area captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Many of these people were trapped on Mount Sinjar, which caught media attention all around the world.

The greatest peril that has fallen on this community is on the women whose safety was shattered by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The human rights of the Yazidi women have been blatantly disregarded as they have been picked up from their homes, only to be raped and sexually assaulted after the abduction. These women have been trafficked and treated as sex slaves. Women who convert to Islam are sold as brides. Those who refuse to convert are tortured and sexually violated, ultimately being murdered by the ISIL. This continuous oppression that the Yazidi women have had to face has resulted in numerous suicides as their only alternative is to be continuously raped by not only one, but more often than not, many men of the ISIL.

One such woman who spoke up against the ISIL is Nadia Murad. She escaped after her abduction from her home in Kocho, after being held for three months. Nadia Murad is a female human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for the enormous contribution that she has given towards the safety and security of women who are subject to abuse and trafficking.

However, till date, the retaliation is still ongoing, with various women who have trained and become a part of the Kurd-Yazidi coalition forces. The battle is on and will continue till religious persecution is stopped.

 

Section Editor: Prithvijit Mukherjee | 20 Jan 2020 8:54am IST


Tags : HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

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