Tuesday, May 22, 2007

So now all the Yazidis are bad?

From the post Liberation on Digby's Hullabaloo:

This is about the young woman whose death was captured on film.

"in the eyes of many in her community in northern Iraq, 17-year-old Duaa Khalil Aswad's crime was to love a boy from another religion. She was a Yazidi, an insular religious sect. He was a Sunni Muslim. To Aswad's uncle and cousins, that was reason enough to put her to death last month in the village of Bashiqa."

"I think what is most amazing to me is that this doesn't take place in some tent in the middle of the desert or a stone hut. These people are not dressed in tribal garb --- they are wearing jeans and t-shirts and the whole thing takes place in a street in what appears to be a modern town. It isn't the Moqtada al Sadr brigade or Al Qaeda extremists ---it's not part of the civil war although according to the article, many Iraqis are trying to rationalize it as such. This is nothing but barbaric patriarchal violence perpetrated by our alleged allies, the Kurds, toward a teen-age girl"

Wow, where to start with this? Perhaps with the absolute ignorance of all facts regarding Yazidi history on the part of Digby. The girl's death was horrible, but saying that this "is nothing but barbaric patriarchal violence" is bullshit.

The Yazidis, the "insular religious sect" that she belonged to, have been a persecuted minority in Iraq and eastern Turkey from pretty much the time they started up until the present day. Being Kurdish, mostly, as well dosn't hurt....but in this case the conflict is between a long persecuted religious sect and the Sunni Muslims, also Kurds, who have historically been their oppressors.

Saying that it's not part of the civil war or that it doesn't have some sort of history behind it, is bullshit. The girl converted to the religion of her community's long standing enemies. The community reacted in a terrible way, but not in any way that we haven't seen between Shi'ia and Sunni. Simplistic ideas are usually wrong.

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