Yazidis believe that they were the first people on the earth. The Yazidi people traditionally live in northern Iraq, particularly around the Nineveh and Dohuk provinces with large communities in Sinjar and Shekhan, where a number of their holy sites are located.
According to BBC report notes, modern linguistic and historical research clarification this group’s commonly used name is actually derived from the Farsi word “izid”, which means angel or deity and Ijidis means ‘worshipers of the God’ which is, in fact, just how the Yazidis describe themselves to outsiders.
The group has always been the target of hatred for centuries. Considered heretical devil worshippers by many Muslims including the advancing militants overrunning Iraq the Yazidis have faced the possibility of genocide many times over. They are being forced to convert, face execution, in part because of their unique religious heritage – a religion that is partly Islam, partly Zoroastrian, partly Christian, and even partly ancient animist beliefs.
Yazidis believe God made seven angels to help him create the world, Adam and Eve. He asked the angels to bow down before Adam, but one angel refused and fell to earth and became a peacock, known as Melek Tawwus or the Peacock Angel, who God eventually put in charge of the angels and the humans on earth.
It is due to this story of a fallen angel as a figure of worship that has led to the persecution of the Yazidis. Both Islamic and Christian traditions show the devil as a fallen angel, which leads many people to believe the Yazidis are devil worshippers.
In Quran there is a story similar to this which says that devil did not bow or submit to Adam, so the radical Islamists believe that the Yazidis are devil worshippers and therefore, according to their books in the Quran, they must be destroyed, they must be wiped out otherwise God would judge Muslims because they did not kill the Yazidis
The date August 3, 2014 is burnt into the collective consciousness of Yazidis. It is the day IS overran their homes in Sinjar, killing and kidnapping hundreds of people and destroying their temples, villages and even their cemeteries.
The Kurdish military forces, the Peshmerga, pulled them out entirely in the middle of the night, not warning any of them and left them at the mercy of ISIS. Around 10,000 Kurdish Peshmerga security force members, who were supposed to protect the Yazidis instead of fighting for them ran away the bullet. This also led to Anti-Kurdish feeling within the Yazidi community.
The anti-Yazidi violence is not new one. It dates back to the Ottoman Empire. In the second half of the 19th century, Yazidis were targeted by both Ottoman and local Kurdish leaders and subjected to brutal campaigns of religious violence. Yazidis have been the victim of more than 72 genocides. The Yazidis had been denounced as infidels by Al-Qaida in Iraq, a predecessor of ISIS, which sanctioned their indiscriminate killing.
Vian Dakhil, a Yazidi MP in Iraq, once broke down in tears, as she called on the parliament and the international community for seeking help “Save us! Save us!” from ISIS.
Where are Yazidis today?
This has forced Yazidi families to displace. Many Yazidi families have resettled in countries as far afield as Germany, the United States, Turkey and Australia. Australia has taken in Yazidi families as part of the 12,000 refugees the Abbott government committed to as a result of the conflict in Syria and Iraq. Others are still trying to seek asylum in European countries along with hundreds of thousands of other refugees and asylum seekers.
Yazidis are scared of going home and leaving the camps, returning to their land, because they say, ‘if our Arab Sunni neighbours, who we lived next to for decades, could turn on us the way they did on the day ISIS came in and carried out the horrific massacre and abduction, we will never be safe on our land so long as there are any neighbours who are different to us’, and there’s just this level of uncertainty about what their future is”
Connection of Yazidis with India and Hindus
In Yazidism, Yazidis marry only within their castes (total 4 castes like original hindus) and follow gotra system in a different terminology. They believe in recurring birth and death cycle. Their men do not circumcize, which is rare in middle-east. Yazidis also pray like Hindus with folded hands, at sunrise & sunset, facing the sun. During the festival celebration, Yazidi females light oil lamps in large numbers. They wear a mark on forehead while entering their temples (similar to bindi or tilak).
Fire worship is given highest priority in Yazidism, similar to Havan in Vedic tradition. Yazidis are also having Hindu style temples with conical structure. The peacock angel that Yazidis worship are not found in any middle-east country. They are found in India. Also, Yazidis use oil lamps with Peacocks on top, which is a custom in India.
Source : National Geographic