by Jean-Jacques COURTEY, Doctor in Economic Geography, Ph. D
In spite of what might be misunderstood in the West, because of the curious confusion displayed by some media, Yazidis are not Christians of Orient. But they are helping Iraqi Christians (and Chiite Muslims also) to escape death in Iraqi Kurdistan, their Peshmergas being themselves under Djihadist attack. The word "Yazidi" seems to come from the old Iranian word "Yazata", which means Angel, and underlines the pecularities of this cult.
And observers are saluting the humanitarian and military help of America, UK and France, as well as EU for promised weapons, to protect those people from new massacres by Djihadists in Iraq.
Americans with their air military support have allowed Kurds to launch a successful counter-attack on Djihadists to retake Mossul and its dam so necessary for electricity, and to take over the very important oil-field of Kirkouk.
Yazidis themselves are pointing out the harsh and spiteful behaviour of the latters is connected to religious intolerance, as they are considered like "miscreants". But religion cannot explain all this madness, as even Chiite Muslims are killed by Djihadists.
Presently, after the Djihadists' offensive of the beginning of August, a remaining part of Iraqi Yazidis are still besieged in the Sinjar mountains (Northern Iraq), while Erbil, capital of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan where 120 000 Christians took refuge (with numerous Chiites also), is the door of Western help. Sinjar Djebel is the same very place Yazidis protected Christians of Orient from massacres in the end of Ottoman era (1915 - 1918).
In fact Yazidis have got their own and unic religion, which can even appear quite unusual.
They believe God, they call Xwede, has finally forgiven Lucifer's rebellion : as a being of light, he just refused originally to bow before a creature of clay, Adam, and to serve him ; and he had to leave Heaven for that, and not because he was bad.
Since that time, treacherous human beings have made so much mess, and committed so many awful slaughters and ignominies as for them, that it wasn't so difficult for God to give his pardon to Lucifer, otherly denominated "Malek Taous".
Above that, Malek Taous defended himself cleverly towards benevolent Xwede (God), by quoting that it's him who ordered not to bow in front of anyone else.
His unstoppable logic lead him then to be completely forgiven, and to retake easily his position in the Sky at the side of God.
Malek Taous ("the Peacock Angel") is the chief amongst the seven Angels created by Xwede ("God"). This can refer analogically to the seven Elders of the galaxy, or more simply for human beings to the seven Archangels of the Bible.
As a matter of fact, Yazidi religion is a mixture of various elements taken from the three religions of the Bible (Jewish, Christian, and Muslim - Sufi), but also in a more entangled way from Zoroastrism and then the cult of Mithra.
The latter is important to quote, as Roman Christianism has also got historically strong connections with Mithraïsm in its initial edification.
The very old cult of Yazidis, with a calendar dating back 4750 years BC, has adaptated itself to a changing and unstable environment in order to survive. And that's why it appears so syncretic.
Yazidis have got two holy books : the "Kitêba Cilwe" (Book of Revelations, about Malek Taous), and the "Mishefa Res" (Black Book, concerning the creation of universe, with the seven Angels).
But saying it is in fact the old Medic religion updated might not be sufficient, as it appears to plunge its origin in Sumerian times, if following its calendar and clay tablets.
And the Sufi reform of Cheikh Adi in the XIIth century just gave it its modern and definitive shape. But we musn't forget it constitutes a religion on its own, as Yazidis practice endogamy and monogamy (not polygamy).
What might appear strange and paradoxical for a Westerner, is that Malek Taous in this unexpectedly "Unified Sky", is thus the top representative of God towards human beings !
He has to look after them even, according to the holy books quoted above, and to accomplish his divine mission in our galaxy.
If this breaking news was known in France in the XIIIth century, the tragedy of Cathars (Albigenses) might not have happened !
Strangely enough in this cult, nobody is wearing clothes of blue color. Blue can appear only in the beautiful feathers of the Peacock Angel ("Malek Taous").
De facto, this syncretic cult is astonishingly confusing for Western people, when they have the chance to discover it through the present crisis in Iraq.
Yazidis are lead by a Mir ("Prince") and a Baba Cheikh (a kind of Pope). There are also numerous Cheikhs ("High Priests") or Pirs ("Elders") and Faqirs ("Dervishs"). And having God (Xwede) and Malek Taous on the same side, can be very puzzling for the Western mind.
Oecumenism we practice more and more in Europe and in France notably, even in its widest conception, has never gone as far as putting on the same side God and the most beautiful of all Angels, Lucifer, because of a divine pardon supposedly granted.
Such a revelation could really shake the very basis of belief, in the highest levels of the Church and of quite opposed structures if it was true...or not !
After all, human beings are far to be like Saint Thomas : even they can see something unusual, like a picture of an humanoid walking taken by NASA on the surface of our Moon full of tunnels last month, they will try to find any twisty explanation, not to admit that they are certainly not unic in their neighbourhood !
The estimations of the Iraqi Yazidis before the offensive of Djihadists of the so-called "Califat of Syria and Iraq", were numbering between 600 000 and 1000 000 people.
But the figures are too elastic according to the sources, to be taken strictly.
And a lot of them didn't wait for the Western help to escape abroad, anywhere they could, the nearest place being Turkey.
About the numerous victims of this new Iraqi crisis, it is very difficult to know exactly their precise number, as they include not only Yazidis, but also Christians of Orient, and even Chiite Muslims.
If you can find also Kurds (whom Yazidis are a part) in Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaïdjan and Russia, there were also waves of emigration to the USA, Canada, Germany, France, and UK mainly.
Worldwide, Yazidis should represent all together around 2.5 million people.
In Yazidi religion, the problem of Evil is not properly connected to Lucifer, otherly called Malek Taus, or "Shams" ("the Sun"), the carryer of light. This ambivalent intermediary of Xwede (God) is mainly considered as good or even very good ; and this point is ignored by Djihadists, who are not aware of the pardon granted by God to Lucifer, or simply refuse this revolutionary revision - yet not new at all since the XIIth century.
Evil on Earth then, is straightly connected to human beings themselves, and particularly their out of control soul. In Yazidi view, only intelligence can finally overcome the bad aspects of human soul to choose Good instead of Evil. Strangely, they don't point out much the heart. So then, if a human being can take control of his soul, the Good is winning : consciousness is safe. Otherly seen, there is a constant fight inside human beings between cleverness and idiocy (being "as dumb as a sack of hammers") or stubborn ignorance, with strong obvious results at large !
Yazidis believe in metempsychosis. And the transmigration of the soul can reserve animalistic ultimate surprises. So if you have been bad, it could be really useful to know a secret mantra to escape it !
With Yazidis everything seems mixed up, and not only the precise number of them who actually took refuge in the Sinjar mountains (between 3000 and 5000, after an American re-estimation in the reduction). Americans are certainly aware that the Kurds may have a strategy for Kurdistan to pass from autonomy in a desagragating Iraq, to an idea of independence, even it couldn't be done on the whole territory of traditional Kurdistan (including also parts of Iran, Syria, and Turkey).
And Westerners particularly, might feel uneasy and lost when they discover that their beliefs are upside down. Perhaps they should leave the question to the Sky itself, or take it as a lesson of philosophy.
Saint John himself if he was still there, would be disturbed, and his "Apocalypse" a bit shaken.
Nevertheless, the prophet of Patmos is remaining quite right when you take on account the period of great confusion and chaos the world is knowing presently : as for what's happening with oceans and seas, or even funny weather, he didn't fail by predicting it !
The right answer lies probably in the Third Secret of Fatima (Portugal), delivered in 1917 to three children (Lucia, and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco), which leaked in 1963 in the German review "Neues Europa", with the cardinal importance of Russia, designed by Maria The Virgin as "the whip of God" ! Strangely, some Russian lorries of humanitarian help to Eastern Ukraine are displaying her image presently. Instead of stirring up squabbles, Kiev oligarchs could respect that at least, in between two bombings of unhappy civilians in Donetsk or Lugansk : by the way, isn't forbidden by the Conventions of Geneva of August 12th, 1949, to bomb civilians ?
A solution for the Russian humanitarian help could be for Ukraine to calm down for negociation, and to allow the white lorries blocked on the border to pass in several times, to master the flow ! Humanitarian rules are universal, and then have to apply everywhere and for everybody.
So then, the Sky is definitively not unified, and as Lucia of Fatima was saying : "Blind people started to lead others !"