Humanity Complicit In Genocide Of Yazidis

Because genocide was my secondary emphasis of study as a university student in which I earned the equivalent of a minor in The Study of Genocide, genocide has always been a concern of mine — especially so, because of the systematic persecution of my religious brethren in Iran, the Bahá’ís, which has occurred since the mid-1800s.

The Islamic Revolution in Iran has intensified the genocide of the Bahá’ís. Such persecution makes me acutely aware of other religious minorities who are persecuted, as is the case with the Yazidi, who are an ethnic and religious minority primarily located in Iraq.

“The Yazidis are monotheists believing in God as creator of the world, which he has placed under the care of seven holy beings or angels, the chief of whom is Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel,” according to Wikipedia and verified by other sources.

Prior to the genocidal campaign waged against the Yazidi by the Islamic State in 2014, the website Yazda said that of the 600,000 Yazidi in the world, 400,000 lived in and around Sinjar and another 200,000 lived in Nineveh and Dohuk.

All these areas have been ravaged by war, and Yazidis have suffered unbelievable torments on a Biblical scale.

“The fall of Sinjar led to the chaotic exodus of all Yazidis from Sinjar District where at least 150,000 fled to the autonomous Kurdish Region and thousands became entrapped on Mt. Sinjar and its adjacent villages,” according to Yazda. “The surrounded Yazidis endured grim conditions with little food or water for many days. The assistance that came in the form of U.S. airstrikes and extraordinary help from Yazidi rescuers and Syrian Kurdish Protection Units (YPG) finally broke the desperate siege on Mt. Sinjar. Many more people, mostly children, infants and the elderly, died of dehydration and exposure during their ordeal on the mountain and the evacuation process.

“This catastrophe displaced the vast majority of the Sinjar District population to Iraqi Kurdistan, Syrian Kurdistan, and Turkey. Moreover, Yazidis from the Nineveh plain towns of Bashiqa, Bahzani, Mahad, Shikhan and other villages were forced to flee as well when their areas {were} left undefended.”

Many Yazidis have been executed and buried in mass graves. The genocidal savages have even enslaved thousands of Yazidi women and girls, some of whom have chosen suicide to escape repeated rape. Yazidi girls and women suffer the abuse and humiliation of being “sold” with “price tags” affixed to them at slave markets.

Many Yazidis have attempted to escape to Europe. Some have died in the process. Even when they reach Europe, they are met with a climate of intolerance and fear, as well as a lack of understanding of who the Yazidi are.

The deaf ear by most of humanity to the plight of the Yazidi has its roots in official denial of genocide.

I remember a U.S. State Department spokesperson saying, as the genocide raged, that the August 2014 crimes against the Yazidi had not risen to the level of genocide. I wrote to her to inform her of the definition of genocide; that indeed, it was a genocide. To claim otherwise was an affront to humanity. She didn’t write back. Nor did she rein in her ridiculous commentary about there not being a genocide. (Eventually, the State Department admitted it was genocide.)

Genocide is defined in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Genocide is a crime against humanity.

Crimes against humanity are defined by the International Criminal Court as “any of the following acts committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: murder; extermination; enslavement; deportation or forcible transfer of population; imprisonment; torture; rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity; persecution against an identifiable group on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious or gender grounds; enforced disappearance of persons; the crime of apartheid; other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious bodily or mental injury.”

Media are also partially complicit in this ignorance. In America, major media have mostly abandoned significant foreign reporting — preferring, instead, panels of pundits who treat news as a sport and mostly waste time talking about the political divide in America. If they feature foreign correspondents at all, they often feature reporters who report from the safety of cities or capitals far removed from the wars and genocide.

Of course, anyone interested can just Google “Yazidi” and find information; however, the absence of continued coverage on major news networks and websites, and in print media, is disconcerting.

It’s as if the Yazidi don’t matter.

But they do. They matter for me, for you. They matter because they are our brothers and sisters. They are God’s children, too.

Words, however noble and well-meaning, mean little when the Yazidis’ tears continue to flow.

In future years, humanity will suffer the disgrace of its collective inaction and its complicity in allowing the arming and funding of a genocide that used murder, rape, torture and mass execution as weapons of war on a scale not seen since The Holocaust.