“While we read history, we make history.”
-George William Curtis.
HISTORY IN THE NEWS: DEVOTED TO THE DEEP ORIGINS OF CONTEMPORARY EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD.
BULLETIN: The Yazidis of Kurdistan, whose religion is a mixture of most of the major faiths of the Middle East, are the latest target of Sunni Islamist militants in Iraq. The Yazidis and other minorities, having already suffered under the Arab nationalism of modern Iraq are now faced with radical Islam.
IN THE NEWS TODAY: Four truck bombs converge on Qahatinya, 75 km west of Mosul, killing 200. The bombings, most likely carried out by Islamist terrorists, were a concerted attack on the Yazidis. The Yazidis are a Kurdish syncretic sect which reveres an archangel (the 'Peacock Angel') falsely believed by many Muslims and Christian to be Satan. The attack was an indirect result of the recent US troop surge. Since US General Petraeus mounted intensive security operations in Baghdad, Sunni Islamists have been forced to move their terror operations to outlying regions, especially the Kurdish north of Iraq.
FROM PAST INTO PRESENT: Lying between Asia, Europe, Africa and the Indian subcontinent, the ancient Middle East was a point of convergence and intermixture of myriad religions and cultures. The Hellenistic period produced a first stage of syncretism in which the classical Greek religion was mixed with Jewish and Persian elements. Pagan survivals of Persian Zoroastrianism lived on with Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Northern Iraq, the crossroads ancient east-west and north-south trade routes, was a confluence of major cultural streams and gave birth to a variety of sects and ethnicities. Hundreds of fragmentary, syncretic religions have survived , however small their numbers, to the present day. Thus, in a historical sense, the Yezidis may be seen as typical or the region rather than as an anomaly. In modern times, however, a Muslim majority in combination with the statist tendency of secular, Pan-Arab nationalism, has tended to marginalize and often to persecute local minorities. Yazidis were persecuted in Iraq soon after the country's independence in 1932. Under Saddam Hussein, the isolation of the Yazidis from the Kurds formed part of his strategy of divide and rule. Now, as "infidels", they are victims of the Sunni supremacism of terror groups linked to al Qaeda.
2000 BC- Yazidis believed to exist in northern Iraq. they will develope into a syncretic faith of pagan, Sabean, Shamanistac, Manichaean, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian and Islamic components.
1130 (circa) Sheikh Adi Abin Mustafa, a Muslim Mystic reforms the Yazidi sect with elements of Sufism. Though a Muslim mystic, Yazidis revere Adi as a saint who became divine after the transmigration of his soul.1935- Yazidis refuse militiary service on grounds of pacifism. The Iraqi army arrests, court martials and hangs several leaders of the Yazidi protest.
1979-2003- though theYazidis are Kurds, Saddam Hussein isolates them as part of a strategy of divide and rule.-2003- after the US invasion, the Kurds move to include the Yazidis to increase their numbers, though Yazidis do not consider themselves to be Kurds.
-the Yazidis, protected by US troops from Sunni Islamists as well as from Kurds, consider the US to be their liberators.
2007- (circa February)- in the town of Bashika, a Yazidi girl with a Muslim boyfriend converts to Islam. Yazidis from Bashika stone her to death.
April 22- after a video tape of the Bashika stoning is broadcast, Islamist extremists take 23 Yazdi men off a bus and execute them near Mosul.
2007- August 14- four truck bombs kill over 200 in the Yazidi town of Qahatinya in Kurdish northern Iraq.
FOR A TIMELINE OF THE HISTORY OF IRAQ, see: US Troops In Baghdad Build a
Wall.... 4/20/07 and scroll to end.
PREVIOUS POSTS ON IRAQ:
US Troops In Baghdad Build a Wall.... 4/20/07
Moqtada al Sadr Returns to Iraq 5/25/07
Sunni Mosques Burn 6/14/07
HISTORY is the thing we most frequently forget when trying to find our way out of the world’s troubles. If this blog was of use to you, please leave a comment describing how it was helpful and how it might be improved