Aug 18 2012
By Ali Shattab
Azzaman, August 18, 2012
A small and secretive Iraqi community in Iraq says Kurds have desecrated one of their cemeteries as well as a shrine in the northern Kurdish Province of Dahouk.
The community known as Yazidis have their habitat in Kurdish rugged mountains where they have been practicing their religion and preserving their culture and heritage despite centuries of persecution mainly at Kurdish hands.
“The authorities in the Kurdish region have destroyed one Yazidi temple and desecrated one of our cemeteries,” said Farhan Jajjo, head of the Yazidi Movement for Reform and Progress.
“The Kurdish regional government has demolished one of the holiest Yazidi shrines in the Province of Dahouk under the pretext of archaeological excavations,” he added.
The Yazidis are not Muslims nor Christians. In Muslim eyes they are regarded as infidels because they take the devil or Satan in Christian and Muslim eyes as their saint.
There have been persistent attempts by Kurds to force the Yazidis to integrate into their own society despite resistance by Yazidi groups like Jajjo’s movement.
The Yazidis normally bury their dead close to their shrines and the demolition Jajjo said has led to the desecration of many graves.
A senior Kurdish official denied Jajjo’s claims.
Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish representative in Baghdad said the claims by Jajjo could not be substantiated on the ground.
But Jajjo said he would seek central government help to hold Kurds accountable for their violations of Yazidi rights.
However, the Kurdish region falls outside central government’s jurisdiction and it is not clear how Baghdad can exert influence in a region which has become a semi-independent entity within Iraq.
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