The Memorial to the Genocide of the Yazidis

By Rebwar Rashed:

With the benefit of hindsight we can acknowledge that the history of human beings is also a history of genocides, murder, arbitrary killings and judgments, unlawful confiscation of people’s property and all other kinds of mistreatment of human beings.

There are a few memorials in the world to the honor of the dead. The Korean War Memorial in South Korea is probably the largest in the world. There is of course a difference between a memorial for murdered people and a war memorial. The Rodina Mat statue is modeled after a symbol made during World War II to mobilize the Soviet people, but still is about a war.

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, is most likely the biggest in the world to be built for genocide, for an attempt to kill a whole nation.

The Holocaust was not a war between two armies. It was a war against a peaceful people just because they were Jewish people. It was a war against small babies, children, women, men and old people. They could have been sick, weak, wealthy, poor, a person of art, a carpenter or a pilot. There was no difference. The hate was dominated by an evil fascist ideology of Nazism.

Today I am sorrowing as I obviously cannot go back in the past and stop the disaster which will be remembered tomorrow August 3rd, that’s the genocide of the Yazidis, my people.

It was on the 3rd of August 2014 when the Islamic State, organized, equipped and trained by Turkey and some Arab States, attacked the peaceful Yazdis in Kurdistan. Thousands of people got murdered brutally; thousands became slaves and sex slaves. There were mass executions, and forced mass conversion to Islam in a state of humiliation and grave offence. ISIS confiscated properties and took over everything the Yazidis owned.

This is not the first time that the Kurdish people faced such a horrible and unforgettable massacre. The last century is the century of murdering Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds and other people with non-Islamic faith. The war against Feili Kurds by Saddam Hussein in the late 70´s and, the Anfal, the Helebce and, in the last two years, the war waged by Turkey against Kurds in Northern Kurdistan ( Kurdistan occupied by the Turks) where a few thousands, mostly civilians, have been murdered and a half of a million people been displaced, houses destroyed etc.Still the genocide of the Yazidis is different. The way they been murdered, enslaved, raped, sold, tortured, forced to convert to Islam, not only because they are Kurds, but specifically because they also belong to another faith, a non-Islamic faith. Again, as happened to the Jewish people many times before, they also do not want to convert to another faith by force.

We failed to stop the Islamic State when they attacked the Yazidis. We also couldn’t give them proper care when they fled for their lives. Their babies and their elderly died of hydration, lack of medication and food. No suitable clothes, no shelter, Nothing. They were not treated as human beings!

I know some good people have build statues, drawn paintings, performed orchestral pieces or just simply have sung songs for various of these horrible acts of hurting humanity. This of course is great, but nevertheless is not enough.
Iran and Turkey which has always collaborated and cooperated with each other against Kurdish gains and have at the same time a sectarian war to manage. Turkey and Iran are organizing Islam radicalism: Turkey the Sunnis and Iran the Shias. Both of them are waging war outside of their national territories. So, obviously there is a conflict of power, but there is also a balance of power. They solve their own disputes at the expenses of others.

The genocide of the Yazidis means many things, among them that as long as there is a radicalized Shia-Iran and a radicalized Sunni-Turkey, there will not be peace for other religions in Kurdistan. The number of Christians and Jews decreases day and day in the Middle East. Kurdistan is the only country in the area with a variety of old religions and sects. The attack on the Yazidis was also an attack on Christians, Jews, Yarsans, Shabaks, Zarathustra’s and also Kurdish Alevites which is a branch of Islam.

Iranian and Turkish intervention in neighboring countries has made armies of Islam. Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, Feminists, Liberals, people struggling for gender equality, human rights activists, homosexuals etc. are just vanishing. Erdogan, Turkish president and the Iranian Supreme Leader A. Khamenei, are organizing political Islam and mobilizing millions of people. The official cry is loud: Domestic and foreign conspiracy against the fatherland and Islam!

Despite President Trump´s decision to fight ISIS to the end, the Turkish aggression, intervention and occupation in Syria increases and its cooperation with Iran intensifies.

Yazidism, Christianity, Judaism, Zarathustrianism, Yarsans and so on are not “non-Muslim minorities” as the official ideology usually calls them. They are independent ancient religions and must be respected, have the protection of law and constitutional and structural rights and each must be seen as a religion. Period!

Reactionary Arab countries have taken Turkish and Iranian sides in this sectarian war. They are, due to their dictatorships and totalitarian natures, principally against pluralism, gender equality, multi cultural, civic and democratic rights. Iran and Turkey have therefore succeeded in using the Arabic masses, especially the youths, as their own foot soldiers, from Yemen to countries in Africa, Israel, Lebanon and Kurdistan.

The attack on the Yazidis was made mostly by Arab Sunnis, but with Turkish finance, intelligence, logistics and propaganda.

I have signed a memorial to the genocide of the Yazidis across my heart. It’s bigger than the world I see and I feel it with every single beat of my heart.

We who stand for freedom and liberty must engrave the Memorial to the Genocide of the Yazidis in our hearts. To sign the name of Malek Taous (Peacock Angel) across our hearts. Not just because we believe in it, but more to show our readiness as democrats to protect the “others”.

In memory of our Yazidi victims we must build a memorial to the genocide of the Yazidis on Mount Sinjar as a lesson in history. A memorial which could also remind us of the Feilis, Jews, Christians, Alawits and other oppressed.
In memory of our Yazidi victims we shall build a special center with professional skills for all rape victims who can barely breathe now even when they are free. The reunion with their loved ones is of course a great thing, but without professional and expert help the pain will soon penetrate the whole community.

In the memory of our Yazidi victims let us all put flowers everywhere on the Yazidi region; hopefully they will soon enjoy an independent canton of their own belonging to a greater region of the democratic confederate states of Kurdistan/Mesopotamia or whatever other name the people will choose.

Rebwar Rashed is Co-Chairman of the Kurdistan National Congress – KNK


2 Responses to The Memorial to the Genocide of the Yazidis
  1. Anantt
    August 3, 2017 | 00:37

    I stand with people of Kurdistan and pray to almighty to provide your people strength joy dignity courage peace may God bless you with independence

    • Rebwar Rashed
      August 4, 2017 | 11:40

      Dear Anantt,
      We need good friends and together we can make Kurdistan a good place for us all. Thank you. // Rebwar

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