Thursday, August 14, 2014

Religious minority previously "unknown" for a reson

It seems that a previously “unknown” religious minority in Iraq known as the Yazidis are the subject of a “human rights” crisis, forced to flee their homes after attacks by Islamic extremist ISIS insurgents. Who exactly are they? The news media certainly seemed too confused to describe them as anything other than an “religious minority.” But if you thought Mormons had strange beliefs, the Yazidi are beyond unusual.

The Yazidi religious sect is complex and hard to describe. But in a nutshell, it can be “explained” in the following manner: They view themselves as a separate entity apart from others of the human race—in fact, a totally different strain of organism, although to most people they seem “human” like everyone else; perhaps they occupy a different dimenesion of existence but require human form to survive in this world. Of course I’m being somewhat facetious here; the Yazidis do believe that they are descended from Adam, but not from Eve. The other half of their being is derived from the son of a “divine” being that is not human.

The truth is that the Yazidis’ religious beliefs require them to segregate themselves strictly from other people—much like the Amish in this country, except it is to prevent intermixture with another “species,” which explains why even at an estimated population of 100,000 or so (merely an estimate, because the guesses very widely), they were virtually unknown outside their principle communes in Iraq, Syria, the Caucasus and Iran. One can assume, however, that they have modified or “updated” their beliefs to accommodate the realities of the modern world.

The Yazidis do not believe in a “god” that resembles that of the Christian/Islamic/Jewish world—at least not in the sense of a “god” that requires obedience and adulation—just some “creator” who had nothing better to do and has no interest in his “creation.” There is a “divine being,” however, who appears to believers as a “peacock” and is charged—with the assistance of six other “angels”—to serve as a stand-in to be “worshipped” and keep the faith.  What that “faith” is, well, is not exactly clear. The religion is an amalgamation of religions of the region old and new: Christianity, Islam, and Jewish of course, but it also contains elements of ancient mythology-based cults like Manicheaism and Zoroastrianism.

The Yazidis reject the notion of evil and the concept of “sin” generally. There is apparently no “requirement” to atone for wrong behavior in the Western sense; the process of  reincarnation, from which a Yazidi can “transfer” into another body to another  less infected with impure elements until the soul is completely “pure.” Interestingly, the “peacock” divinity, named Tawûsê Melek, is recognized by Islam, but is viewed as “demonic”—which likely explains why Iraqis of both Islamic sects have been “reluctant” to come to their aid. However, the Western world is largely “tolerant” of religious beliefs—particularly if they are not radical Islam—and see only an oppressed people in need.

No comments:

Post a Comment