Note: Repost from the old blog. This is a horrible video that was very famous a couple years ago. A 17 year old Yezidi girl was tragically stoned to death by a crowd of 1000 Yezidi men for eloping with a Muslim man. Many of the participants took pictures of the good clean fun with their cellphones. It is at points like this that my tolerance for cultural relativism halts. Be very careful before you decide to watch this. It’s pretty bad.
Warning: Graphic content. Viewer discretion advised.
Original video here. Thanks to Not Ready For My Burqua for this one.
This video of a Kurdish Yezidi woman being stoned to death by her relatives for running away with a Muslim man and converting to Islam is one of the most disturbing videos making the rounds these days.
This incident occurred around April 10, 2007, in the Yezidi village Ba’shiqa, near Mosul, not in Mosul itself as many news reports are saying. Doa Khalil Aswad, 17, a Yezidi student from Ba’shiqa, had fallen in love with her neighbor, a Muslim Kurdish shopkeeper. Then she ran away from home to marry him and converted to Islam.
This is shameful and forbidden, according to the Yezidi religion, an ancient religion that combines aspects of Gnosticism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mithraism and Judaism, but likely predates all of the above.
It is thought to be one of the oldest religions on Earth, possibly dating back 10,000 years or more. See an old post of mine, The Yezidis, a Mysterious Kurdish Religious Sect, for detailed information on this fascinating religion.
The girl was apparently sheltered in the home of a Muslim cleric for several months to keep her away from enraged townspeople. In early April 2007, her family encouraged her to return home on the promise that her relatives had forgiven her for her mistake. But it was all a ruse.
This video shows what happened when she came home. A group of up to 1000 Yezidi men ambushed her on her way home, grabbed her and threw her to the ground. A small group of the men, about a dozen or so, all members of Doa’s extended family, then partially disrobed her and stoned her to death, while cellphone videocameras recorded the sordid deed for all time.
In the video, she is partially disrobed, attacked with stones, then taunted and kicked until a man finishes her off with a rock to the head. If you look at the video closely, you can see she is still in pretty good shape up until between 41-44 seconds into video, when a man steps up and bashes her over the head with a large concrete block. After that, she is bleeding badly from the head and never moves again.
The stoning went on for 30 minutes until the girl finally died. She was probably partially stripped to symbolize how she had dishonored her family and her religion by marrying a Muslim and converting to Islam. At the end of the video, you can see one of the men covering her legs with a jacket.
It is interesting that they think it is shameful to have a girl’s bare legs showing in public, but it is not shameful at all to brutally murder a girl in public.
After she was killed, her body was taken outside of town, burned, and buried with the bones of a dog, to show how worthless she was. An autopsy showed she died of a fractured skull and spine.
This is not the first time the Yezidis have killed one of their women for such an offense. A few months ago, another Yezidi woman converted to Islam and her family killed her with a single bullet to the head.
Kurdish police at the scene who apparently went along with the whole outrage. After a while, Kurdish Army soldiers came by and refused anyone entry to the scene of the crime. There was a significant blowback from this barbaric incident.
Many local Yezidi religious figures, to their credit, condemned this bit of depravity. Unfortunately, local Muslims went nuts afterward, attacking Yezidis and their institutions in response to “the killing of a Muslim woman”. Never mind that these same Muslims would gleefully kill any Muslim who dared to convert out of Islam…
The Muslims of Kurdistan are incredible hypocrites about this stuff, as usual for Islam, a religion that oozes hypocrisy from its very essence. Four months ago, a Muslim girl and a Yezidi man eloped. Local Muslims set fire to Yezidi homes in the village where this took place. They also found the girl, brought her home, beheaded her.
So…let’s see now…non-Muslim women get to run off and marry Muslim men and convert to Islam – no problem. But a Muslim woman goes off with a non-Muslim man and marries him, they get to kill her and then burn down the non-Muslims’ villages? You call that a religion? Is this the Islam of Kurdistan? Are Kurdish Muslims proud of the behavior of the Muslims of Kurdistan?
Iraqi Al Qaeda stopped a bus full of Yezidi workers in Mosul, separated the Yezidis from the others, drove the bus to (Kurdish) Eastern Mosul and executed 23 Yezidis in broad daylight. Attackers shouted “God curse your Devil!” a reference to the fact that many Muslims think that Yezidis are devil worshipers.
The Islamic State of Iraq, which is just a fake name for Iraqi Al Qaeda, took credit for the attack in this statement, where they threatened “the worshipers of Satan” (read: Yezidis) in general. Nice people. Kurdish Muslims and local Sunni Takfiris issued threats to the Yezidis of Kurdistan.
On April 26, 2007, a Yezidi baker and three of his Yezidi workers were murdered in Mosul. Two days later, two Yezidi policemen were murdered. The Takfiri group the Mujahedin Army ordered all Yezidis in Mosul to either convert to Islam, or be killed if they wish to stay in Mosul. Otherwise, they need to leave the city.
Over 800 Yezidis fled Mosul University after local Muslim animals issued the typical Muslim “convert or die” orders. Yezidi workers also fled Mosul. In addition, Yezidis were attacked at their workplaces and dormitories in Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaimaniyah, inside the Kurdish Autonomous Zone. Most fled back to their Yezidi villages. In Bashiqa, Yezidis ordered Muslim residents of the town to leave.
“Convert or die”, of course, is an ancient Muslim tradition that most other religions do not engage in in recent years. In 2007, the fundamentalist jihadis in Baghdad’s Dora District told the local Christians to pay the jizya tax and become dhimmis, convert to Islam, or be killed. Consequently, many Christians fled.
Since the killing of Doa, honor killings exploded in Kurdistan, and men seem to think they have the license now to kill women for any reason they want. Even previously, honor killings and female self-immolations were occurring at a rate of about one a day in Kurdistan.
Female self-immolations are often actually murders by men disguised as suicides. In other cases, the women are pressured to kill themselves for having violated the family’s honor.
The Yezidis do worship Malak Taus, a blue peacock archangel, whom the Muslims mistake for the devil. In the Abrahamic religions, the archangel, of king of the angels, was condemned by God and sent to Hell, where he now rules as the Devil. Since the Yezidis worship the archangel, Muslims conclude they must be worshiping the Devil. However, the Yezidis vociferously disagree that Malak Taus is the Devil.
Yezidi cosmology is mostly secret and highly complex, but upon analysis, it appears that they may be right in that they do not worship the Devil at all. The holy books are only accessible by a tiny elite, are guarded, and outsiders are not allowed to access them.
However, recently, a copy of the Yezidi Holy Book was captured and translated and attempts were made to analyze the religion. The book and the analyses of it can be read on the web. I have read them but I still don’t understand the religion. Most Yezidis are only told part of their religion and the secrets of the religion are kept from them.
The situation with the Alawi, the sect that rules Syria, is similar. There are also parallels with the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, when services were done in Latin in part because the commoners could hardly understand the language. The idea was that keeping the common folks ignorant of even their religion was a good idea, as they lacked the skills necessary to properly understand it.
Yezidi culture and religion is derived from the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism. Like the Zoroastrians, the Yezidis still have a backwards caste system. I believe they have seven castes. Marriage to non-Yezidis is strictly forbidden, as is marriage across castes.
An excellent progressive analysis of this killing and why the Yezidis stoned this woman can be found here. Dr. Showan Khurshid, a PhD student of political theory at Cardiff University in Wales, takes on Muslim, Kurdish and Yezidi culture and gives them all the appropriate lashings that any progressive ought to mete out to these backwards societies. Khurshid is a Kurdish intellectual from Kirkuk (biography).
He has some interesting views – the thinks that Turkomen, Yezidis and Assyrians should all have their own ethnic cantons inside Kurdistan. He has unleashed some superb attacks on Islam from a progressive point of view (most anti-Islam polemics suffer from a pro-imperialist, pro-neoconservative, pro-colonialist or pro-Zionist mindset). Kurdistan needs more thinkers like Khurshid.
Two more Yezidis were killed and Yezidi buildings were set on fire in the unrest that followed the stoning. To their discredit, a number of Kurdish Muslim clerics issues fatwas sanctioning attacks against Yezidis for the stoning. Yezidis then rioted at the local KDP Headquarters, destroying furniture, throwing stones and setting cars on fire.
Not counting the 24 Yezidis killed in Mosul in the bus incident, another 192 Yezidis have been killed since the invasion, mostly by Islamists who have issued the usual charming “convert or die, infidels” orders to Yezidis in general.
Since Yezidis tend not to convert, they are being killed. Excuse me? Is there any other religion on Earth that issues demands that non-practitioners of the religion either convert to the religion or be killed? You call that a religion? For how long have Muslims been ordering non-Muslims to “convert or die”? From the start of Islam. When will they stop? Can Islam be reformed?
Honor killings are very common in Iraq. In the Sunni Muslim areas, one woman a day was being killed in honor killings recently. They have gotten much worse as Islamists have taken over Iraqi society. In the Kurdish north, they are also very common, even though the Kurds are supposedly more secular.
The outrageous crime of female genital mutilation is epidemic (60%) in Kurdistan, while being uncommon in much of the Arab World. It is widely practiced in Egypt (70%) and Yemen (20%) but these areas have strong African influence. Outside of Africa, FGM is uncommon, despite attempts of anti-Arab propagandists to smear Arabs with this practice.
There is a bit of FGM amongst Bedouin tribes in Palestine, Israel (in the Levant it tends to take less more trivial forms) and Saudi Arabia and there is some amongst the Bedouin in Southern Libya, although Qaddafi has tried to quash it. Other than that, FGM is mostly confined to Sub-Saharan Africa, where it tends to be associated with Islam, with a locus on the Horn of Africa for some reason.
Propagandists screaming about FGM and Islam are being disingenuous. FGM, while associated with Islamic Africa, is best seen as an Africanism. Hence the FGM epidemic in Kurdistan is both curious and outrageous.
Although this killing was done by tribal Yezidis, honor killings tend to be associated with Islam. They are common in Morocco but not in the rest of North Africa – they are rare in Libya, Tunisia (there has not been an honor killing in 16 years in Tunisia) and Algeria. They are unheard of in all of Muslim West Africa, Bangladesh and Indonesia, for some odd reason.
They are very common in Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq. They are common in the Kurdish areas of Turkey and in Iran. They are also very common in Afghanistan, Somalia and Pakistan (there is a veritable honor killing epidemic in Pakistan).
Although the Kurdish government has supposedly introduced reforms to try to crack down on the insane barbarism of honor killings, the crimes are almost never investigated, much less prosecuted.
Muslims say that honor killings have nothing to do with Islam. That may be true, but why have they persisted mainly in Muslim areas, and why is it the Islamists who always defend them so much?
If you, like me, regard honor killings as the nadir of barbarism and beastliness, you might want to check out the Stop Honor Killings webpage.
Predictably, this crime is being used by the Muslim-haters to bash Muslims, as if Muslims did it, when in fact it was done by Yezidis.