Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fr Georges Massouh: The Yazidis and the Right to be Different

Arabic original here.

The Yazidis and the Right to be Different

Yazidism is a deeply-rooted Kurdish religion which, like the ancient religions, believes in a multiplicity of gods who deserve to be praised and worshiped. It also believes in one god who is more powerful and greater than all the gods, Khodi Yazdan the absolute one who is infinite in existence, and the Peacock Angel, the greatest of the seven angels. Among the Yazidi gods we can mention as examples the sun god, the moon god, the god of horsemanship, the flood god, the god of springs, the god of love...

Yazidism is a religion that is closed in on itself. It does not permit discussion of its beliefs except within its own sphere. The Yazidis hide the secrets of their religion from others. This is affirmed in one of their holy books, where the Peacock Angel commands them, "O you who have followed my commandments, reject all sayings and teachings that are not from me. Do not mention my name and my attributes, lest you sin because you do not know what the foreigners [i.e., followers of other religions] will do."

As for the reasons that led Yazidism to choose to be closed in its transmission of its religious heritage, they are due to its adherents' holding fast to their beliefs under difficult historical circumstances, since they have endured the worst sorts of slaughter and persecution. Thus they are careful not to publish their books and religious texts out of fear that they might be improperly interpreted by others.

Yazidis believe in a duality of good and evil, since they believe that both are found in God's essence and that people must only answer the moral conscience's call to the ideal self in order to spread good and spit in evil's face. In this way, Yazidi dualism differs from Zoroastrian dualism, which believes in two gods, the good Ahura Mazda and the evil Ahriman.

In addition to this, there is the fact that Yazidis are accused of worshiping Satan, which led Ottoman governors and neighboring Kurdish Muslim tribes to persecute them and deem it licit  to take their lives and property. The most important fatwas issued against them came from Sheikh Ahmad ibn Mustafa Abu al-Sa'ud al-'Imadi, who was mufti during the reigns of Sulayman the Magnificent and Selim II in the 16th century. Since he was the official mufti of the empire, his fatwa legitimated the empire's declaring a religious war to exterminate them.

What Yazidis are being subjected to at the present moment is nothing new. Its roots can be found in Islamic history. ISIS and similar groups are not in need of new fatwas in order to behead Yazidis. They already have enough fatwas in order to carry out their crimes.

If a researcher wanted to delve into the Islamic heritage, he would find similar fatwas issued against the Druze, the Alawites and other sects. If it has been declared licit to shed the blood of Christians, who are among the People of the Book whom the Qur'an calls to be treated well in exchange for their paying the jizya, then it is no surprise that it is being declared licit to shed the blood of those whom some Islamic legal scholars-- including Qardawi-- regard as being outside Islam.

The responsibility for preserving religious diversity falls exclusively on Muslims, especially the moderates among them. It is the right of every individual in our countries-- including the Yazidis-- to believe or disbelieve in whatever one wants. No one has the right to eliminate another because of his belief or lack of belief. When will the moderates, who until now have remained quiet, rise up against this systematic distortion of Islam?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would, as a Muslim, agree with the Good Frier up to a point.
That point end at Stupidity.
When they were given protection the past by Saddam Hussain, which incidently they show no outward appreciation of, and it was taken away by the US Execution of their protector. Was it not in order, that sdomeone this Satan Worship colony, come to the reaization that a magnitude change was about?
As has been said in front of me, though no about me or to me directly, STUPID IS AS DOES!
But when one does or Does react or act according to life threatening situation...That Very Stupid.

In the case of the United States defense, possible after Obama over riding a 34 State Vote on Bi-Sexual Maariage. Being the Freemason that he is, another Pagan organization, perhaps he would like to invite them to come to the US and Join other Members of the Yazidis here?

We, the people of the United States lost control of our sanity, or Governance when we allow the Republican Party to elect a Dope Smoking Dumby with less votes than the Deomcratic front Runner. G.W. watch kicked out the USAF Pilot program a unreliable, and Obama, who by his lack of Understand of the US Constitution , NSA Epedition, Errors in History, and on and on, Makes me wonder who did his home work while he was in Havard, or is Harvard the pixs poor of a school?