The funeral of the spiritual leader of the Yezidis in Iraq

The funeral of the spiritual leader of the Yezidis in Iraq
The funeral of the spiritual leader of the Yezidis in Iraq

Today, Friday, the Yazidi community in Iraq mourned its spiritual leader, Baba Sheikh, the keeper of the temple for a quarter of a century, and who is known for adopting a tolerant policy towards the survivors of his sect, whose sons have suffered at the hands of the extremist ISIS.
In the summer of 2014, this religious minority, in its historic home of Sinjar, was subjected to a horrific massacre at the hands of ISIS, which turned thousands of its women into slaves and their children into enslaved soldiers in atrocities that the United Nations classified as “genocide.”This minority, whose history stretches back 4,000 years, prohibits the marriage of its women from outside the community, and if it is decided to apply the ancestral law, Yazidis who forcibly married their captors cannot return to society.

But in the face of an exceptional situation, Baba Sheikh, who died on Thursday evening at the age of 87, led the Supreme Yazidi Spiritual Council to call in an unprecedented way to welcome the survivors.

Nadia Murad, a 26-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a former captive, called out on Twitter Baba Sheikh, who she said “was a beacon” to enlighten her community and that he “treated Yazidi survivors with love and respect.”

In Baghdad, the authorities paid tribute to the “man of peace” who had always called for brotherhood and love, and officials said that his son, who had been prepared for this long ago, is expected to replace him once the week of mourning ends.

They explained that the job is purely spiritual, while social and political affairs are in the hands of the Yazidi Emir Hazem Tahseen Bey, who was appointed in July 2019, after the death of his father.

Mourad works alongside Lebanese-British lawyer and activist Amal Clooney with international bodies to bring ISIS crimes to justice.

The small Kurdish-speaking Yazidi community that practices an esoteric monotheistic religion devoid of a holy book has been persecuted for centuries by extremists who consider followers of the religion worshipers of “Satan”.

The Yazidis who are holed up in their stronghold in Sinjar in the Iraqi mountainous north, believe in special beliefs and worship 7 angels, the most important of which is the king of the peacocks, “the angel of the peacocks”, and their number reached 550 thousand in Iraq in 2014, with a total of 1.5 million around the world.

After 3 years of the jihadist organization’s occupation of their areas in 2014, about 100,000 people left the country and others were displaced to Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to the Kurdish authorities, the jihadists have kidnapped more than 6,400 Yezidis and Yazidis, and only half of them managed to flee or survive, and the fate of the others remains unknown.

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