Protect Yezidis in their Kurdish Homeland
This petition had 5,708 supporters
You will already be aware of the terrible plight of the Christians and Shi’ites of Northern Iraq following the occupation of Mosul by Islamic State (IS) forces. We would like to draw your attention to the parallel, and potentially even more disastrous, fate faced by the small Yezidi community after the IS capture this weekend of the town of Sinjar. Two hundred thousand people, mainly Yezidis have fled their homes.
The Yezidi religion is an offshoot of ancient Iranian beliefs, with later Islamic and Christian influences. Once widespread across the region, they now flourish only in Sinjar and Sheikhan where their holiest site of Lalesh is located. Yezidis have long lived in harmony with their neighbours, but for IS they are not ‘People of the Book;’ they are sometimes wrongly thought to be 'devil-worshippers' and thus have been singled out for particularly violent oppression and murder.
Yezidis have been protected in recent years by the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) and its peshmerga forces, but their retreat before IS leaves the Yezidis exposed to forced conversion or death, and their sacred shrines subject to certain destruction. Thus a unique, ancient religion could face extinction in its homeland in the coming weeks. Given the current situation even genocide cannot be excluded.
We call on the policymakers of all Western Nations, and on all concerned NGOs, to take all possible measures to assure the survival of the Yezidi community in its ancient homeland, and to channel all possible humanitarian aid to the KRG.
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