Category Archives: Baha’i

Musings on Dual Loyalty, Judaism as Zionism, and Anti-Semitism

Repost from the old site.

Always-perceptive commenter James Schipper makes some astute, terse and cut to the chase comments on my post, The “New Anti-Semitism.” In it, he moves beyond the typically vulgar anti-Semitism that much modern anti-Zionism descends into and offers a perfectly logical explanation for the dual loyalty accusation leveled at Jews.

He also brings up some very difficult questions about the differences between Judaism and Zionism and whether there is really any difference at all.

Schipper:

If criticism of Israel = anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism, then we should be proud to call ourselves anti-Semites.

What is really wrong with Israel? It is not such a bad country for Jews, or even for the Arabs in Israel proper. I would rather be a Jew in Israel than an Arab in any Arab country. Israel was born in sin, but so was every country in the Western hemisphere. Israel is oppressive in the occupied territories, but by historical standards, this oppression is hardly unique.

The real reason for opposing Israel is that it does not see itself as the country of its citizens but as the country of all the Jews in the world. According to Israel, Jews in other countries are living in exile, are really Israelis and should be loyal to Israel.

In other words, Israel expects the Jewish citizens of other countries to behave like Israel’s fifth-columnists, and that is exactly what Zionists outside Israel are.

No political party outside Israel should accept Zionists as members, and no government outside Israel should appoint Zionists to a senior government job. Instead, Zionist should be encouraged to put their bodies where their loyalties are: in Israel.

Suppose that Italy saw itself as the country of all Catholics in the world and expected Catholics everywhere to defend Italian interests, then it would be behaving exactly as Israel does. That would also be a good reason for non-Catholics in other countries to look at Catholics with suspicion and to regard Italy with hostility.

The late Arthur Koestler wrote in an essay that after 1948 all Jews should choose one of two options: go to Israel or abandon Judaism altogether. He is right insofar as Judaism implies Zionism.

Judaism has always posited that Jews are a people and that Israel is their promised land, which is also the position of Zionism. If Judaism implies Zionism, then Jews outside of Israel, it they want to remain Jewish, should emigrate to Israel or else detribalize and deterritorialize Judaism, which may be denaturing it.

Theological question: Why does Obama allow bad things to happen and evil people to prosper?

More seriously, why did Obama appoint a hard Zionist as his chief of staff? It is not a good sign.

I agree with several things in this post.

First of all, he attacks some of the usual broadsides leveled at Israel and dismisses them.

What I find disturbing, and many Zionists have noted this, is the particular vehemence many Israel-critics level at Israel’s oppression of Jews inside Israel, while they are silent or even supportive of even worse oppression by states against minorities outside Israel.

White nationalists think it’s awesome for Whites to treat non-Whites like shit, except when it comes to White Jews versus “muds” in Israel. Kurds in the Arab World are treated awfully bad, Berbers less so but still poorly, and the Shia are oppressed all over the Arab World. There is open oppression and violence against Christians in Egypt and Iraq.

Baha’i are treated horribly in Iran, Sunnis less so but still poorly, and the Ahwaz have some good beefs. Turks treat Kurds horribly in Turkey. Russia has massacred 20% of the population of Chechnya in what can only be termed a genocide. China’s treatment of the Uighurs and Tibetans is disgraceful. Treatment of Hindus in Pakistan is shameful, and NE Indian Asians are treated poorly by the Indian state.

Japan treats its Koreans, Burakumin and Ainu pretty badly. The Hmong are still treated like shit in Laos, and the Montagnards are not done well by Vietnam. Pygmies are openly genocided and cannibalized as a matter of custom in Zaire, and the Khoisan are nearly murdered at will in SW Africa.

There is a real genocide of Arabs against Africans in Darfur, and another one, Arabs versus Christians, has just ended in South Sudan. Africans are routinely enslaved by Arabs in the Sahel.

We could go and on, but you get the picture. What is disturbing about all of this is that most Israel-critics are either indifferent to, ignorant of or even supportive of, the maltreatment of minorities above. Zionists are correct that this is either ignorance or anti-Semitism.

All, or most all, modern nations were born in sin.

This was due to the nature of the modern nation-building exercise, which typically involved ethnic cleansing or some sort of mass killing or genocide of any existing indigenous people, sidelining, subjection, forced assimilation (cultural genocide) or outright genocide against anyone not part of the dominant nation of the nation-state, and forced destruction of all languages but the one chosen by the nation-state or that is the dominant nation.

The Modern Left in the West, which has adopted Third-Worldism, minority-hugging and European hatred with gusto, errs in singling out Europeans for particular abuse in terms of nation-building. It’s been bloody and awful everywhere and at all times.

Schipper also points out that although Israel is oppressive in the Occupied Territories, by comparative standards, they are relatively mild. Considering the outrageous provocations and attacks of the Palestinians, I am amazed Israel has gone as easy on them as it has.

Arabs do not believe in fighting wars in a civilized manner, and the Geneva Conventions are regarded by them as Western comedy. Any Arab state faced with Palestinian-type provocations by non-Arabs would have been vastly worse than Israel.

Truthfully, just about every nation fighting an insurgency has been more horrible that Israel by orders of magnitude.

Consider this: according to counterinsurgency doctrine, enshrined by the US military and state and promoted by the US media and both US political parties, any civilian who “supports” an insurgency needs to be arrested, beaten, tortured and killed. All counterinsurgencies supported by the US have routinely massacred, mutilated and tortured to death insurgency “supporters.”

This has been true in every counterinsurgency in Latin America, in Indonesia in 1965, the US counterinsurgencies in SE Asia during the Vietnam War, the counterinsurgencies in Mozambique, Algeria and Angola, Russia’s counterinsurgency in Chechnya, India’s counterinsurgencies in India proper and Kashmir, in Sri Lanka against the Tamils, in Indonesia against the Acehese and East Timorese, in the Philippines against the NPA, and in Nepal’s recent Civil War.

In these counterinsurgencies, hundreds of thousands of “supporters” of insurgencies were murdered, tortured and mutilated, while the US cheered, poured in money and looked the other way.

In contrast, almost 100% of Palestinians seem to support the Palestinian insurgency. Clearly, Israel has not been going around killing “supporters” of the insurgency. If they did, they would have killed tens of thousands of Palestinians so far.

Considering the provocations of the Palestinians, Israel has fought one of the cleanest counterinsurgencies in modern times.

Zionists are correct that these criticisms of Israel, combined with support for to indifference to much worse behaviors by non-Jews, are evidence of either ignorance or anti-Semitism.

But Schipper does hit it on the head.

The reason to oppose Israel is that it is not a state of its citizens. Israel openly says that it is the state of all Jews on Earth, not of its citizens. Hence, it is perfectly reasonable for non-Jews in every nation on Earth containing Jews to look upon their Jews as possible traitors and dual-loyalists. Dual loyalty, rather than being an “anti-Semitic canard” as many Jews shrilly screech, is actually grounded in immaculate reason.

Schipper also suggests that the wall between Judaism and Zionism may be little more than a wall of sand, and one that has been hit by so many waves that there’s almost nothing left.

Although anti-Zionist Jews offer various reasons for their non-support of Israel, the fact remains that Judaism has always said that Israel is the land of the Jews. Assuming the Messiah returns tomorrow, even Naturei Karta is willing to head to Israel and become fervent Zionists.

Hence the uncomfortable notion, typically parroted by ferocious anti-Zionists and some vulgar anti-Semites, that it is not just Zionism that is the problem, but Judaism itself, is lent some troubling weight. I don’t want to go near this thesis because to be honest, I’m a pussy when it comes to the Jewish Question.

Schipper finally suggests that the Jews of the world either renounce Judaism or practice what you preach and head to Israel. Once again, troubling stuff.

There’s nary a trace of anti-Semitism in Schipper’s comments, but the issues he raises are toxic as Hell.

Just some thought-meals.

Enjoy.

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The Yezidis – A Mysterious Kurdish Religious Sect

About two years after the publication of this post, I wrote an update to this article, Do the Yezidis Worship the Devil? which goes into much more detail about the religion.

Since hardly anyone has any idea about who or what the Yezidis of Northern Iraq are, an introduction is in order. The Yezidis are a minority religious group that lives in Northern Iraq, Eastern Turkey, Eastern Syria, Armenia, Northwestern Iran, Georgia, Russia and Germany.

Some estimates put the number of Yezidis at 100,000. However, Yezidi spokesmen say there are 600,000 Yezidis, mostly in Iraq. Other estimates put the number of Yezidis as high as 2 million. There are 10,000 Yezidi refugees in Germany. German Yezidis have created a home page to help introduce others to their religion, but unfortunately it is all in German.

The Yezidis are more of a religious than an ethnic grouping. All Yezidis are Kurds and they all speak Kurdish. In Iraq, most of them live north of Mosul and in the Sinjar Mountains near the Syrian border. There are also Yezidis in Tel Afar, Mosul and the city of Sinjar. Iraq’s Yezidis are seizing Iraq’s democratic moment to press for their rights for the first time.

Yezidis have long been persecuted by Muslims as heathens and devil-worshipers. Although it’s true that the Yezidis worship a peacock angel they call Lucifer, they are basically good, upstanding, moral people. They are not in any way analogous to the actual devil-worshipers who exist in the West, like Anton Levay’s Church of Satan (COS), etc.

Yezidis do not believe in Heaven or Hell and they do not regard Satan, who they regard as the Chief of the Angels, as evil. Instead, he is sacred. The Yezidis feel the Devil created the world and is de facto in charge right now. From the perspective of my life at the moment, those scenarios seem distinctly possible.

Yezidis are allowed to eat pork, unlike Muslims. But bizarrely, they cannot eat lettuce (because the Kurdish word for lettuce rhymes with their word for devil) or wear yellow. This dietary code is not often followed these days. The restriction on eating lettuce may have been due to outbreaks of E. Coli.

Like the Zoroastrians, Yezidis do not accept converts – a tendency which may result in the end of Yezidism with time. Yezidism shares many things with Zoroastrianism, and some commenters regard it as either a Zoroastrian sect or a religion with roots in Zoroastrianism.

My opinion is that a synthesis between Zoroastrianism, Islam, Judaism and pre-religious paganism is more accurate. It is likely the Yezidism predates all of these – Zoroastrianism, Islam and Judaism – in fact, it may be one of the oldest extant human religions.

Somewhat similar to the caste system of Hinduism, another ancient religion, Yezidis have seven levels of initiation, or classes. The classes are princes, sheiks, senators, seers, ascetics and the community of the faithful. The large faith community class makes up 70% of the community.

This split, with a small elite sect who retain most of the (oral) knowledge of the religion and a large majority of mere followers who are kept in the dark about most of the religion, is also similar to other “secret” religions in the area, including the Sabeans, the Druze and Alawi.

The Alawi of Syrian and Lebanon are a highly divergent Shia sect, a split-off from the extremist Nusairi split early in the history of Shiism. Although the Druze call themselves Muslims, it is probable that they are not Muslims at all, since their religion is so divergent. Instead, like Bahaism, the Druze religion is more properly considered to be related to Islam, rather than part of Islam proper.

The Druze date back to the 1100’s and also seem to be the result of a Shia split, similar to the split that birthed Alawism. Both sects persisted via extreme tribalism, refusing intermarriage, accepting no converts, keeping their religion secret, pretending to be Muslims to avoid persecution while still practicing the religion in secret, and especially, seeking shelter in the difficult, mountainous terrain of the Levant.

The Sabeans or Mandeans of Iraq are probably the last remains of the ancient Gnostic religion; they may also be former Diasporic Sephardic Jews who split off from Judaism in Iraq around the year 600. The Mandeans also worship the North Star, revere John the Baptist and consider Jesus Christ as the font of all evil on Earth!

In Yezidism, marriage across classes is strictly forbidden, again reminiscent of Hinduism. However, people do marry across caste nonetheless. Although the new Iraqi regime is basically a puppet regime of US colonialism, at least the Yezidis do have three members of the new Iraqi Parliament, all elected on the Kurdish list.

Saddam’s regime persecuted the Yezidis first for being Kurds and second for their religion as they were viewed as heathens. Yes, Saddam’s regime was not completely secular. Under Saddam’s extremely racist, fascist-like, Sunni Arab Nationalist regime, Yezidis, Kurds, Assyrians, Shia and Turkomen were all persecuted by the Ba’ath Party.

For instance, Assyrian Christians were denied an identity by the Baath and referred to as “Kurdish Christians”. The Baath forbade the use of the Assyrian or Turkoman languages in the schools. Yezidi religious studies have been banned in Iraq since 1963, the year of the Baathist coup.

In its censuses, Baathist Arab nationalist racists called the Yezidis “an Arabic people”, clearly a falsehood. Saddam’s racist Arab regime engaged in ethnic cleansing of the Yezidis on several occasions. Usually, the Yezidis were driven off their land onto other lands, and their land was given to nearby Arabs.

In 1978, 126 Yezidi villages in Sinjar were “collectivized” into 10 villages while 10 villages near Dahuk were destroyed and the villagers were forced into another village. The new villages created for the Yezidis lacked even basic health care, and it was hard to earn a living. Arab invaders who colonized Yezidi lands forbade the Yezidi from herding animals, and the new villages the Yezidis were pushed into lacked decent pasture.

In 1997, two Yezidi teachers from Elqush were arrested by Saddam’s intelligence services and tortured until they agreed to stop teaching the Yezidi religion.

In the same year, in Ayn Sufna, Baathists stole 1,500 Yezidi properties and gave them to Arab and Kurdish tribes in the region. Saddam’s army surrounded a Yezidi village in 2000, but left after the Yezidis staged a defiant demonstration.

In the no-fly zones formed by the allies in the Kurdish Regional Government area of Iraq instituted after the Gulf War, the Yezidis have fared much better than they did under Saddam.

They liberated many villages that were seized by Arab colonists and today in school, classes in the Yezidi religion are even taught in areas where there are good numbers of Yezidi pupils. However, since the US invasion, the Yezidi situation in some ways has worsened.

The entire north of Iraq has come under the control of Kurdish racist fascist parties, the KDP and PUK. These parties are lately promoting a sort of Kurdish Sunni racism which attacks Sunni and Shia Arabs, Shia, Christian and Yezidi Kurds and Assyrian Christians – in short, everyone who is not a Sunni Kurd.

The racist Sunni Kurds succeeded in preventing large numbers of all of these groups from voting in the election in February 2005.

In the case of the Yezidis, Kurdish racists never even allowed polling stations to open in a number of Yezidi zones. Racist Sunni Kurds have been attacking and ethnically cleansing Assyrian Christian villages in the north for decades now, a process which accelerated when the Allies granted the Kurds their Kurdish Zone in 1991.

This is a continuation of long-standing Kurdish Sunni Muslim racism against Assyrian Christians extending back to the 1920’s. In that decade, Kurdish Muslims gleefully slaughtered huge numbers of Assyrians in a naked display of Islamist bigotry that reached genocidal proportions.

Formally, the Yezidi religion was founded in the 1100’s by Sheikh Uday bin Masafel al-Amawi. Uday was born in Damascus but died in Shaikan in northern Iraq. His tomb in Shaikan is now Yezidism’s holiest site. As noted above, many scholars trace Yezidism to one of the world’s oldest extant religions, Zoroastrianism, founded in ancient Persia.

Traditionally, Yezidism is variously regarded as either an offshoot of Zoroastrianism or Shia Islam. Those who say the Yezidis are Shia hold that they are an extreme Shia “Sevener” Ismaili sect similar to the Druze and the Alawi (see discussion of the Alawi and Druze above).

A better analysis is to regard Yezidism as a syncretic mix between Zoroastrianism and Shia Islam.

Others note Judaic traits in the Yezidis; some suggest that the Yezidis are former Jews who broke away from Judaism and formed a new religion. Indeed, some theorists that the Kurds in general are former Jews. See Rabbi Joe Katz’s Eretzyisroel site for more on that interesting theory, which may have some validity.

The best analysis would leaven the Zoroastrian-Shia syncretism of Yezidism with dollops of Judaism and tablespoons of ancient paganism, while noting the Yezidism is probably older than any of its parts, except for the pagan.

Oddly enough, the Yezidis have a monk and nun class, men and women who dress in white and have taken a vow of celibacy. Yezidis are also said to be sun worshipers, in another similarity with Zoroastrianism.

A famous Yezidi, Sharfadin, has a tomb in Sinjar. Sharfadin also serves as a personified sun god. Note that sun-worship is one of the most ancient of human religious tenets, dating back to the Egyptians and probably beyond.

The leader of the Yezidis is a prince called mir, or mireh shekha. The Yezidi religion is passed down orally through families and officially, there are no Yezidi religious texts. However, closer analysis seems to reveal that there are a couple of Yezidi holy books, but they are hidden by followers, and their existence is denied to outsiders.

Outsiders have somehow managed to get a hold of a couple of copies of these holy texts, or at least parts of them, and they have been published, both in print and on the Internet. Some say that these supposed Yezidi holy texts are actually fakes, and that no extant holy texts exist, as all knowledge is oral.

I glanced through the material in these texts along with an analysis of them. Shall we say that Yezidism is an immensely complex religion and that this article does not begin to tickle out an understanding of it?

Kakaism is another Kurdish sect that is very similar to Yezidism. It arose 1000 years ago in northern Iraq due to conflicts between the Umayyad rulers of Islam and the Zoroastrian priesthood. Kakais, like Yezidis, are forbidden from cursing Satan on religious grounds. Hence, many Muslims see them, like the Yezidis, as devil-worshipers. There are 300,000 Kakais in Kurdistan.

This research takes a lot of time, and I do not get paid anything for it. If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a a contribution to support more of this valuable research.

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Fastest Growing Religion

Muslims love to lie and say it’s Islam.

Forget that.

It’s Baha’i by a long shot.

Christianity is growing very fast too, but not as fast as Islam. And in Black Africa, Islam is probably losing millions every single year, all because Gulf Arabs are so racist they won’t spend money to keep up the mosques. Most of the loss is converts to Christianity. Probably 15% of Muslims who move to the UK leave Islam. Islam is not growing due to conversions. It’s mostly due to a very high Muslim birthrate.

Baha’i is supposed to be a pretty cool religion, but I doubt if “the Bob” or whoever he was really got shot to death in the mid-1800’s in Persia and then miraculously came back to life. That’s one of their beliefs.

Baha’is are mercilessly persecuted in Iran. The Shia just out and out kill them. They are considered the lowest scum on Earth because they are seen as Muslim heretics. You think Muslims hate infidels? Polytheists are worse, and the most hated of all are the schismatic Muslims who preach what mainstream Islam regard as overt heresies.

The Ahmadiya in Pakistan and India are similarly despised and mistreated. The fundamentalists hate the Alawi in Syria too as de facto heretics, but the Asad ruling elite has gone to great lengths to say that Alawis are just regular Muslims.

The Druze are also hated by fundamentalists, but they are so hardass, gun-crazy and suicidally homicidal in Lebanon that everyone pretty much leaves them alone. They believe in reincarnation, so they are not afraid to die. They were some of the most insane fighters of all in the Civil War.

The Sunni fundamentalist beef against the Shia is that the Shia are heretics. That’s a really hard to case to make, seeing as the Shia are practically the original Muslims. It’s like these idiot Protestant fundamentalists who say that Catholics are not Christians. Hell, they are the original Christians, come on. Them and the Othodox. One church, two branches, East and West, and they healed their schism long ago.

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