Category Archives: Druze

The Reactionary Catholic Church Hierarchy and a Link to Secretive Syncretic Religions of the Middle East

The Catholic Church hierarchy nearly everywhere has been reactionary.  The Catholic Church had been in with the ruling classes in Europe forever. This was one of the main reasons why the Bible was never translated into the vernacular and why masses were always held in Latin. The people could neither read not speak Latin, hence there was a huge disconnect between the Church hierarchy and the people.

This is similar to many other religions, especially eclectic religions of the Middle East such as Yezidism, Alawism and Druze. In all of these religions, the secrets of the religion are usually held in secret by a priestly caste of mostly men, though the Druze actually have female priests. For a long time, the secret book of the Yezidis was thought  to not even exist except perhaps only in oral form – this is how secret it was. This ended when an actual copy fell into Western hands around 1900.

In all of these religions, the “real true” religion is in the hands of the priestly caste and they make sure not to tell any outsiders what the religion is about. Hence it has been very hard to get good data on any of these religions. The people are fed some watered down version of the religion that doesn’t mean much of anything and  if you ask the average Alwai, Druze or Yezidi what their religion is about, you will only get some diluted harmless synopsis acceptable for outside ears. Usually what the people say the religion believes and what it really believes are two different things altogether.

The Catholic Church was in with the rich and in Europe especially in the Middle Ages it was very wealthy. It was this extreme wealth that enabled the Church to build those huge architectural masterpieces we see in the form of Medieval churches across the north of Europe, especially in France and England. They sold the peasants pie in the sky when you die like religions always do. It was this anti-people, pro-rich philosophy that made Marx so hostile to religion. He was not so much against it because he was a materialist and he thought it was superstition; he was also against it because he thought it was reactionary.

The hierarchy of the Church remained reactionary all through the  20th Century. Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador and the four Catholic priests assassinated in 1989 at the start of the great guerrilla offensive (a crime that was plotted in the US ambassador’s office of the US Embassy two days before) were the exceptions to this rule. The Church hierarchy in Venezuela and Nicaragua remain rightwing and hostile to the Sandinistas and Chavistas to this very day. Same with the church hierarchy in Spain to the best of my knowledge.

1 Comment

Filed under Alawi, Catholicism, Central America, Christian, Christianity, Druze, El Salvador, Europe, History, Islam, Latin America, Latin American Right, Left, Marxism, Middle Ages, Nicaragua, Political Science, Regional, Religion, Shiism, South America, Spain, Venezuela, Yezidism

More on Israel and Its Neighbors, or How Christians Invented Suicide Bombing

Jason Y: So do you think Israel is more hated by its neighbors and people it oppresses than by the neighbors of Apartheid South Africa and the people it oppressed? Possibly the settler colonies run by Europeans had a mix of NAM’s who either liked them or didn’t. Perhaps Israel is unable to win any friends at all among NAM’s.

It’s because of how they act! South Africa, same thing. Look at how they acted.

First of all, about half of Israeli Jews are affectively NAM’s themselves! 50% of the Jewish population of Israel are Mizrachi Jews. These are the Jews of the Arab World. They are pretty much just Arabs who happen to be Jewish. Their culture is Judeo-Islamic as the Ashkenazi culture is Judeo-Christian. They lived around Muslims so long that they become rather Islamicized culturally.

Most of them have become some of the most fanatical Israelis of them all, but that’s another story, and they’re not all like that. They are caught between two worlds. They really are just Arabs who practice a different religion like Arab Christians. They have  IQ’s to match. Their IQ’s are ~90. Apparently they never went through the brutal selection for intelligence that occurred under Talmudic Ashkenazi Jews from 1000-1800. High Jewish IQ is the result of a direct selection for intelligence. However, now most of them ferociously deny being Arabs to the point where if you call a Mizrachi Jew an Arab, you might get punched.

There are not many non-Jews over there who liked Israel. There are practically no Arabs who like them. No Iranians like them. Even Turks and Greeks hate them, and they are not even in the neighborhood.

The Israelis are bullies. Have you ever noticed what happens when bullies bully lots of victims for long periods of time leaving the victims with no way whatsoever to fight back? The amount of absolutely insane and frequently homicidal rage that builds up in victims that are not allowed to fight back is terrifying. This is what is going on with the Arabs and Israel.

There some Israeli Druze who fight in the Israeli Army. Why the Israeli Druze support Israel, I have no idea because the Syrian, Lebanese and Golan Druze hate them with insane fervor. And Druze are so weird that if you ask me, they’re not even Muslims. That religion is completely outside of Islam for all intents and purposes, and Druze are very secular people.

Many Israeli Bedouins have sided with Israel for some crazy reason even though the Israelis treat them horrifically.

The Maronites in Lebanon have long been Israeli allies for complex reasons. For one, they hate Arabs with a passion, especially Muslim Arabs, and they insist that they are not Arabs, even though they are. They say they are “Phoenicians.” It’s bull.

The Gamalist Maronites are the people who first brought fascism to Lebanon. I mean the real deal. The ancestors of the present day leaders were open Nazi sympathizers. One had Nazi flags in his locker at school. I suppose they hate Arabs and Muslims and Israelis do too, so there’s your alliance. For many years, they served as a proxy army for Israel in Israeli-occupied South Lebanon. Many of them went to Israel after the occupation ended because they were afraid they would be killed as traitors in their own country. Incidentally, this Occupation is what created Hezbollah. That’s right. Hezbollah is Israel’s baby.

Now since then, this group of Maronites still hates Hezbollah, but things have calmed down. In the 1996 Israel-Lebanon War, the Maronites were officially neutral. Mostly they set up checkpoints outside their neighborhoods. They said they were defending them against Hezbollah. After that war had gone on for a while, even the neutral and formerly pro-Israel Gamalist Maronites started getting mad, and they said if they wear did not stop soon, they would take up arms against Israel themselves. They said they would not fight with Hezbollah but instead would fight separately.

A separate group of Maronites, the Aounists, are in an alliance with Hezbollah for some years now. So about half of even the Maronites in Lebanon are allied with Hezbollah!

During that war, the Israeli army went into a Christian village in South Lebanon in the middle of the night. They got about halfway into the village. The Lebanese Army was in the village and knew the Israelis were there but refused to come out and fight. That’s because the Lebanese Army is pretty useless.

The village appeared to be deserted. Every light in town went off when the Israelis came in and the whole place went dead silent. It was rather eerie. The Israelis got halfway inside the village, when out of nowhere the whole village opened fire on them with automatic weapons out of complete darkness. The Israelis rapidly retreated from this village. This village is 100% Greek Orthodox Christians.

There is a party with its own army called SSNP which is pretty much the party and army of the Greek Orthodox Christians in the region. It was SSNP who opened up on the Israelis. The SSNP are some of the most crazed and fanatical Israel-haters of them all, and they’re all Christians! During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, we saw mass suicide bombings for the first time. For some time, almost all of these suicide bombings were the work of SSNP fighters, often women. So you see that the suicide bombing phenomenon was largely started by Christians! If you want to know why the SSNP hate Israel so much, it’s because they are some of the craziest Arab nationalists of them all.

Israeli officers work alongside Turkish, US, British, Saudi, and Qatari officers inside Syria alongside Saudi, Qatari, US, British and Jordanian officers in Jordan to help the Syrian rebels. One of the main groups that those officers are helping in Jordan and Syria is Al Qaeda.

That’s one of the reasons Arabs on the street often hate the Saudi, Qatari, and Jordanian governments – they work with the Israeli military.

The Israelis and the Saudi Royal Family have long had some crazy alliance. I have no idea what it’s all about.

The Israelis and Jordan have some sort of an alliance.

Egyptian and Israeli officers work together in the Sinai at the Gaza border. That’s one reason a lot of people hate Sisi. His army works with the Israeli military.

53 Comments

Filed under Africa, Arab Nationalism, Arabs, Bedouins, Christianity, Culture, Druze, Egypt, Israel, Israel-Palestine Conflict, Jews, Jordan, Judaism, Lebanon, Middle East, Nationalism, North Africa, Orthodox, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Terrorism, War

Israelis Have Managed to Drive Hundreds of Millions of Their Nearest Neighbors to Near Homicidal Hatred of Them

Barack Thatcher: Robert, I am not criticizing the Palestinians.

I’m just saying logically, assuming the Jews aren’t going anywhere could protect them by taking them out of the range of Israeli missiles; taking them into the Gulf nations or wherever.

The problem is that it’s about hatred of the Jews (whether right or wrong), not a pragmatic defense of the Jews.

The Jews aren’t going anywhere.

I was just saying why not actually look for a pragmatic solution for this instead of idealistically holding out and waiting to right the wrongs of 40 years ago?

It was 70 years ago.

Israel does not generally shoot missiles or even drop bombs on Palestinian areas in the Gaza and West Bank. Sometimes they bomb some Hamas training camp in response to a rocket attack. The rocket attacks these days are never even done by Hamas. They are done by more radical groups, and Hamas does not approve of shooting rockets at Israel. But Israel says its Hamas’ fault whenever some nignog shoots a rocket!

When the battles in Syria carry over into the Golan via stray bullets, mortars or whatever, the Israelis will shell or bomb the Syrian Army in response! Israel says it is the Syrian government’s fault whenever the shooting war accidentally carries over to Gaza. Syria just has to sit there and let Israel shoot missiles and drop bombs on it all the time because if they shoot one bullet in response, Israel says they will level Syria. They bomb Lebanon all the time too, and they constantly fly jets over Lebanon to harass the Lebanese. Lebanon cannot do anything about it because if they shoot one bullet, Israel says they will turn Lebanon into Carthage. Lebanese hate Israel so much that to this day, Israel and Lebanon are still officially at war. No peace treaty or armistice was ever signed and of course Lebanon has no relations with Israel at all.

The Israelis are scum. I have nothing but the most sheer utmost hate for them. I wish they would just disappear of the planet. Israel is one of the most evil nations on Earth. I cheer whenever some Arab kills some of them. They deserve it.

They’re bullies. They’re not victims at all. They are the biggest bullies in the whole planet, and they scream all the time that they are the biggest victims on the planet. Bullies always do this. Bullies always say they are victims and they blame the person they are bullying, claiming that the victim attacked the bully first when that never happens. The bully attacks the victim, and then when the victim fights back, the bully screams, “You are an evil aggressor maniac attacking poor peaceful me for no reason.”

And then they retaliate against the victim even more because it drives bullies insane with hate whenever their victims start fighting back. I am not sure why that is, but maybe they see it as a “slave rebellion” of some sort.  Look at how harsh slave rebellions (rebellions of the victims) were put down by slaveholders (the bullies). Israel follows the exact same bully-victim paradigm that plays out in the day to day world among individuals.

Now I could pretty much care less about Jews in the Diaspora because to me they’re not the problem. Those scumbags squatting in Palestine are the problem. Sure some Diaspora Jews strongly support Israel, but most secular American Jews can hardly care less about the place. I have known many Jews and I had a Jewish girlfriend for many years. She and a number of other Jews acted like Israel was a huge headache that they wished would go away. They also said that Israel was full of Orthodox Jews, and you have no idea how many hate secular Jews have for those Ultra-Orthodox ones. They hate them! I do not know if the feeling is mutual. Most people are not aware of this intra-Jewish strife.

So the Jews who are the issue are the ones over in Palestine. These ones here are not squatting in Palestine, so I have no issues with them. I also do not really care about many of the criticisms of Diaspora Jews laid out by anti-Semites. The main arguments of the antisemites seem to rightwing or even reactionary in nature. A lot of antisemitism is coming from White racism or White Supremacism/White Nationalism.

I could care less what Jews think of White Gentiles and I doubt if Jews are the enemies of the Whites. Frankly, I would rather be ruled by the Jewish rich than by the US Gentile rich. See that Trump Administration? That’s what the Gentile rich act like in this country. The Jewish rich are not exactly wonderful people and the New York Times Jews make me ill, but I would much rather be ruled by Mr. Sulzberger than Mr.Trump. For an elite group, rich Jews are markedly leftwing. In fact, rich Jews may be one of the most progressive groups of rich elites on Earth.

The Israelis are the worst bullies on Earth. Everyone in the region absolutely hates them. All the Sunnis factions and all the Shia factions hate them, and some of those Shia factions are barely even Muslims. Hell, even the Druze hate them! The Druze in Syria, the Golan and Lebanon despise Israel.

A lot of Middle Eastern Christians are not wild about Islam, but a lot of them hate Israel too. This idiot Ted Cruz gave a speech to the Christian Arab Association of America. Perhaps he said something about Muslims. Those Christians might not be real wild about Muslims but they do not usually hate them as much as your average Trumpster Republican. I have known Christian Arabs from Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Most of them did not have much to say against Muslims, but they all (except for some Lebanese Maronites) hated Israel in a huge way.

Cruz made some mention of Israel saying something like our great friends in Israel, and the whole place turned into a mob scene. They stood up and booed him for whole minutes, and they nearly chased him off the stage to where he would have had to end the speech prematurely. Cruz had ignorantly thought that since Arab Christians were not wild about Muslims that they must like Jews like most US evangelicals, but he was sorely mistaken.

My local store got taken over by Syrian Christians and they hate Israel. I mean they hate hate hate hate hate hate hate them. They don’t say anything bad about Muslims and in fact they work alongside Yemeni Muslims right now. And those are Christians! If the Christians hate Israel that much, can you imagine how much Muslims must hate them. There are quite a few Commie atheist Arabs, especially Palestinians, Iraqis and Lebanese. I used to know some of them. They probably hate Israel more than anyone!Most of them were Arab nationalists and Arab nationalists hate Israel as much as the Islamists. I used to know an Iranian Assyrian Christian woman. In fact, I dated her for a bit. She basically hated Muslims for good reason. But she hated Israel just as much! She hated Israel. And she didn’t like Jews too much either. She was a bit of an antisemite. I knew a Syrian Christian once who was a wild, raving antisemite. I mean he sounded like a Nazi.

Even non-Arab Muslims hate Israel. I have heard that Turks really despise them and for some reason, I have heard that a lot of Greeks hate Israel too, maybe because there are Greek Orthodox Christians over there. Inside Israel itself, even the Arab Christians do not like Israel. The Greek Orthodox Priest of Jerusalem named Father Hanna used to praise Hamas and cheer for suicide bombings. I knew a Pakistani woman whose hatred of Israel was off the charts and he was an extreme antisemite to boot.

No Iranians like Israel. Even the secular Iranian nationalists who despise Arabs and Islam and claim to be Zoroastrians if they are religious at all have an extreme hatred of Israel. And a lot of them don’t like Jews either – the ones I knew were serious antisemites. I knew an Moroccan Muslim woman, relatively secular, who was always posting stuff about the Palestinians.

I knew an Egyptian Muslim man who told me that there would have to be another war to take out Israel once and for all. During the Arab Spring, at one  point a huge mob attacked the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. The Israelis were spirited out of there soon enough, but the riot went on for most of the day, and at the end, the embassy had been burnt to the ground. And I was told that many of those attacking the embassy were secular Arab Spring anti-Mubarak types, not radical Muslims at all.

Nobody likes those people! They’ve acted like such scumbags since they set up shop there that they are managed to earn the near-homicidal hatred of almost all of the hundreds of millions of neighbors for quite a few miles around.

100 Comments

Filed under Anti-Semitism, Arabs, Christianity, Druze, Europeans, Greeks, Iranians, Islam, Israel, Israel-Palestine Conflict, Jews, Judaism, Lebanon, Liberalism, Middle East, Near Easterners, Palestine, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, Religion, Republicans, Shiism, Sunnism, Syria, The Jewish Question, Turks, US Politics, War, White Nationalism

“Ayatollah Khamenei: ‘Westerners Mourning French Tragedy Should Pause for a Moment,” by Eric Walberg

Great piece by Eric Walberg on Ayatollah Khamenei’s latest speech. Khamenei is a very wise man, and he doesn’t support terrorism against the West. He’s not a Salafi Jihadi. He’s Shia, and the radical Sunnis think that the Shia are infidel heretics who need to be killed. I enjoy his speeches, and I also enjoy those of the leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah.

Shia Muslims are generally a lot easier to get along with than Sunni Muslims. For one thing. they have been persecuted themselves by Sunnis for centuries, so they have an idea of what it means to be a persecuted on the basis of one’s religion.

In Hezbollah controlled areas of Southern Lebanon, the Shia leave the Christians completely alone. There are many Christian villages there, and Hezbollah lets them do whatever they want. They are not subject to Sharia or Muslim dress codes, and Hezbollah doesn’t enforce Sharia anymore even on the Muslims it controls. Shia Muslim women in Hezbollah controlled areas are not even obliged to wear a headscarf.

There are also Sunni, Christian and Druze members of Hezbollah, and the non-Shia Hezbollah members experience no discrimination.

You can go into Hezbollah-controlled areas of Southern Lebanon and walk into a bar and order a beer. It’s not a problem at all.

The Shia have always been the more progressive Muslim sect as, like Catholics, they believe that Islam is a living religion that must be continuously interpreted to keep up with the times. Hence, Islam is continuously being interpreted by Ayatollahs as Catholicism is constantly being interpreted by Popes to be relevant with the times in which Shia Muslims are living.

This leads to a lot interesting thinking and rulings. Iran’s Ayatollahs have decided that transsexualism is compatible with Islam, and one of the highest ranking Iranian clerics is a transwoman or a man who has now turned into a woman.

Prostitution is also quite common in Iran, and the Ayatollahs see prostitutes are more of a persecuted group of women who need protection than carriers of vice. Recently there has been a lot of talk among the Iranian leadership about making prostitution legal and housing prostitutes in houses with madams overseeing them.

This would be done under the rubric of temporary marriage, a Shia custom that allows Shia to have sex even outside of marriage.

In fact, in the extremely religious city of Qom, the headquarters of the religious clergy, there is a thriving prostitution scene, and the male religious students studying there regularly buy prostitutes. There are many prostitutes plying their trade in Qom.

This also is done under the rubric of temporary marriage. The male religious student simply selects a prostitute, and the two of them go to one of the many religious clergy in town and say they want to have a temporary marriage. The clergyman then grants them a temporary marriage lasting usually about three days.

The student and the prostitute then go somewhere to have sex. Somewhere often means one of the large local cemeteries where believe it or not, prostitutes ply their trade in the underground tombs! The three day marriage often lasts more like a couple of hours, as the two do the deed and then part.

A high ranking woman in the Iranian government has made use of temporary marriage to have sex with ~50 male clerics over the years. She has been quite outspoken about her religiously sanctioned promiscuity, and apparently the Ayatollahs are just fine with it too.

When it comes to Islam, the Shia are clearly a different bird altogether.

Ayatollah Khamenei: “Westerners Mourning French Tragedy Should Pause for a Moment”

by Eric Walberg

The leader of the Islamic Revolution has once again addressed Western youth who either for the most part are misinformed about Islam because of the bias in media and society in favor of Israel and Zionism, or are Muslim but living in a climate of Islamophobia and in desperation have drifted to the militant jihadist movement which began in Afghanistan in 1979 with US blessing and is now a permanent feature of world politics. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls on them to “reconsider the threat of terrorism in the world, its roots and to find a deep insight into Islam.”

The tone of the Ayatollah’s reflections is calm and friendly, the content intelligent and at the same time heartfelt. You can feel his spirit of universal love and his anguish at the suffering that terrorism brings. It is sad to note that Western media and politicians have an obsession against Iran despite Iran’s constant reaching out and attempts to help the West fight terrorism. The reasons, of course, are Iran’s staunch support for Palestine and its refusal to submit to the dictates of imperialism. Both unforgivable ‘sins’.

These are not rational reasons. Following 9/11, Iranian intelligence shared information with US intelligence – until President Bush found out and put a stop to it. Iran made intelligent proposals to resolve the nuclear energy stand-off for the past decade, all rejected by the US. The world is blessed by Iran’s support for Palestine, as the Arab states are just not up to the task.

Like his earlier appeal, once again the Ayatollah calls for dialogue on the most painful matters to “create the grounds for finding solutions and mutual consultation”, or the situations will continue to spin out of control.

For the Ayatollah, each life is important and each unnatural death is a tragedy. “The sight of a child losing his life in the presence of his loved ones, a mother whose joy for her family turns into mourning, a husband who is rushing the lifeless body of his spouse to some place, and the spectator who does not know whether he will be seeing the final scene of life – these are scenes that rouse the emotions and feelings of any human being…whether they occur in France or in Palestine or Iraq or Lebanon or Syria. The Muslim world shares these feelings and are revolted by the perpetrators”.

The supreme leader explained that Muslims have suffered far more than anyone else due to colonial occupation and the trauma that Israel inflicts daily on Palestinians. Westerners mourning the French tragedy should pause for a moment.

“If the people of Europe have now taken refuge in their homes for a few days and refrain from being present in busy places – it is decades that a Palestinian family is not secure even in its own home from the Zionist regime’s death and destruction machinery. What kind of atrocious violence today is comparable to that of the settlement constructions of the Zionist regime?

“This regime…every day demolishes the homes of Palestinians and destroys their orchards and farms. This is done without even giving them time to gather their belongings or agricultural products and usually it is done in front of the terrified and tear-filled eyes of women and children who witness the brutal beatings of their family members.

Shooting down a woman in the middle of the street for the crime of protesting against a soldier who is armed to the teeth – if this is not terrorism, what is? This barbarism, just because it is being done by the armed forces of an occupying government, is it not extremism? Or maybe only because these scenes have been seen repeatedly on television screens for sixty years, they no longer stir our consciences.”

The Ayatollah laments the ongoing invasions and violation of the Muslim World by the West, “another example of the contradictory logic of the West. The assaulted countries, in addition to the human damage caused, have lost their economic and industrial infrastructure. Their movement towards growth and development has been thrown back decades.”

The Ayatollah looks to the youth of today, who he hopes will be educated to understand the beauty of Islam, and its compatibility with both Christianity and Judaism, its long history of peaceful relations, its rejection of imperialism and colonialism. They must “discover new means for building the future and be barriers on the misguided path that has brought the West to its current impasse.”

The Iranian leader optimistically assumes that people in the West mostly understand of the true nature of modern politics. That Westerners understand the role of the US in “creating, nurturing and arming al-Qaeda, the Taliban and their inauspicious successors, [that] these forces behind terrorism are allies of the West, while the most pioneering, brightest and most dynamic democrats in the region are suppressed mercilessly.”

I wish his words reflected the reality that I see around me in Canada. People are willfully ignorant about these matters, not wanting to see their governments as guilty of nurturing terrorism. My goal in writing is to inform people in these matters, but it is hard to get the message out. It is primarily time-servers who are welcomed by the mainstream media to ‘inform’ citizens.

I admire the Iranian leader’s honesty in pointing out that it is Western ‘culture’ that promotes “aggression and moral promiscuity”, and tries to destroy other cultures. “The western world with the use of advanced tools is insisting on the cloning and replication of its culture on a global scale. I consider the imposition of Western culture upon other peoples and the trivialization of independent cultures as a form of silent violence and extreme harmfulness.”

He does “not deny the importance and value of cultural interaction, but warns against “inharmonious interactions”. That conjures up the image of Westernized youth sneaking into a Russian Orthodox cathedral or a Tehran public place and loudly promoting a Western ‘human rights’ agenda with Western photojournalists on hand, waiting to send some distorted image out on the internet. The upshot is either Russophobia or Islamophobia, whereas the real violation is of national dignity.

This shows that Western culture is in fact non-culture, and promotes apathy, decadence, or nihilism which oppresses us all today. But, disillusioned as I am with Western media and its brainwashing, I was heartened after the Paris bombings to hear sensible Canadians reject the jihadists’ plan to promote Islamophobia, forcing Muslims to join them in their will-o’-the-wisp Caliphate.

There are many Muslims in Canada now – eleven of them are members of Parliament in the ruling Liberal Party. A 30-year-old Afghan woman Maryam Monsef is Minister of Democratic Institutions. Muslims are first rate Canadians – hard working, quiet, educated, devout. They are slowly transforming Canada for the better, including acting as examples of what Islam can do to benefit society.

I am also encouraged by the election of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister, ousting the ultra-Zionist Iranophobe Stephen Harper. Muslim Canadians voted for Trudeau en masse. All eleven Muslim MP’s are Liberals. He has a silver bullet against terrorism: the only way to fight ISIS responsibly is to ‘do the right thing’, and expose their policy of violence as bad for Muslims, bad for everyone. Already thousands of communities across the country have pledged to sponsor Syrian families and are busy hosting fundraisers.

Terry Nelson, Grand Chief of the Southern Chiefs Organization, says Manitoba’s plans to bring refugees in from other countries should not be impacted by events in Europe. “There’s been an invitation for 2,500 Syrian people to be here in Winnipeg,” he said. “They should not be judged by a small minority of people that are terrorists. We live in the greatest country in the world. The most peaceful country in the world. We are blessed.”

The Ayatollah’s message is here.

18 Comments

Filed under Asia, Canada, Christianity, Colonialism, Culture, Druze, Europe, France, Geopolitics, Immigration, Imperialism, Iran, Islam, Lebanon, Middle East, North America, Palestine, Political Science, Radical Islam, Religion, Sex, Shiism, Sunnism, Syria, Terrorism, USA, Women, Zionism

It’s Either Assad or Chaos, Hell and Genocide

Found on the Internet:

It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If Assad falls and with him the government and the entire Syrian control structure – there will be no “happily ever after” where the “good and the moderate” form a democratic nation of unity. That never happens. Never. What does happen is slaughter (sometimes genocide), further war between “victorious” factions, and infighting followed by a failed state. The “good and the moderate” don’t get to be the kings of the ashes – that crown always ends up with the radical and the brutal.

There is no way to get rid of Assad and have a peaceful, friendly, moderate, democratic, human-rights oriented, pro-Western government take its place. It’s literally either Assad or complete chaos, much worse than the chaos we are seeing now.

It will be like Libya but only much worse. The forces in Libya only killed each other for several months in a war. That’s not a lot of time to build up hatreds. The Syrians have been going at it for four years in the most brutal way. Furthermore, there were almost no non-Sunni Muslim minorities in Libya. In Syria, fully 27% of the population is non-Sunni Muslim and 12% are not even really Muslims (if we say that the Druze are not Muslims).

And actually I think there will be genocides, especially of the Alawite Shia Muslims, who will simply be slaughtered en masse. There are 2 million of them to kill so it may take some time. There are also 1.7 million Christians in Syria, and I am not optimistic about their fate under a post-Assad regime. The fate of the 350,000 Druze is rather up in the air. There are also a small number of Ismaili Shia who would not fare well at all under a new regime. In fact, they will probably be killed.

And many Syrians support the regime – 70% in a recent poll. That’s 12 million enemy Syrians the new government will have to deal with. Al-Nusra often kills all government supporters when it takes over a town or village. The Free Syrian Army has done the same thing – massacring even whole villages of Sunni Muslims.

Even if Assad falls, I think a lot of pro-Assad forces will continue to fight for what the Assad regime stood for. Bottom line is even is Assad falls, the fighting will not end by a long shot. If we are lucky it will only be like Libya, but I am quite sure it is going to be much worse.

Leave a comment

Filed under Africa, Alawi, Christianity, Druze, Government, Islam, Libya, Middle East, North Africa, Regional, Religion, Shiism, Sunnism, Syria, War

Cruel People in a Cruel Land: Human Geography in Arabia

One wonders why a particular “megaculture” seems to have arisen in the Middle East where Druze, Alawi, Arabs, Jews and Persians seems to share a similar cultural mindset via diffusion, probably originally reflecting the nature of their homelands.

I am not sure what is going on here, but if you look at the region it is a pretty nasty area. Resources are poor and scarce. In resource poor regions, culture is often characterized by nomadic grazing, robbing and raiding cultures.

On the other hand, they can be extremely hospitable. This is probably also down to geography. We are talking about a desert here. In desert, what comes around, goes around. The inhospitable or selfish man is soon enough dead. Even if you are basically an opportunistic raider sort, you need to live by a desert code of kindness to strangers. Why? Due to a saintly conscience? No, due to your own needs.

Why must you be kindly and welcoming to the stranger wandering in from the desert? Because if you do not take him in, the desert is so harsh that he may soon die. Still, why take him in? Just to be nice? No. Because as you are a desert man yourself, you may soon find yourself in similar straits, wandering alone in the desert with only the kindness of strangers to rely on between you and the vultures. When you are wandering about in the desert, you want to be able to rely on hospitality to save your own life, so to return the favor in the interest of a general culture of needs-based reciprocity, you also take strangers in yourself, as you may soon be one yourself one day.

In the desert, you have your family, or you have nothing. There is no larger society. In fact, there is no society at all. Thatcher should have been born in the Najd. Yet the desert is a perversion and partial antithesis of Thatcherism. There is no real society, but you are a small-time collectivist, or you are a corpse.

Radical individualism in the desert will result in the deaths of all. This is why radical free market capitalism has gone over so poorly in the region. In this region, nobody wants this type of economics, not the Jews, nor the Arabs, the Persians, the Berbers or the Christians. Only the Lebanese Maronites, who insist that they are not Arabs and are instead Rome-gazing individualistic Europeans stranded in the Levant, promote Libertarianism and radical free-market economics. Everywhere else it is anathema. The Middle Easterner is a natural socialist.

Even the mindset of the Maronite is a conceit. Spend a bit of time around them, and in spite of all of the Europeanist posing and posturing, it becomes clear soon enough that these are children of Arabia as loathe as they are to admit it, and no quantity of statues of Mary will change that.

Hence families stay together for protection and form alliances against marauding strangers.

The desert is a cruel land, and it is not unusual for deserts to breed cruel and brutal humans. The Arabs are as harsh, unforgiving, cruel and brutal as the land in which they reside. They often show contempt for other living things – livestock get their throats slit, wild animals are often exterminated, plant communities razed – but in this way, they are only reflecting the desert itself. The desert itself kills the domestic and wild animals and wild plants that live there without even trying. In fact, the desert itself is a deathtrap, a sinkhole of murder and bones. The desert is a killer. That place isn’t even trying to keep you alive. The desert is trying to kill just about anything in it.

Anything surviving in the desert is there by wiles alone and not by the grace of the land. Hence the wily Arab, still alive and aging well in the blazing, blowing dunes.

11 Comments

Filed under Alawi, Anthropology, Arabs, Capitalism, Cultural, Culture, Druze, Economics, Geography, Iranians, Islam, Jews, Lebanese, Middle East, Near Easterners, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Shiism, Socialism

The Free Syrian Army Loves Israel

I have been telling you this for a long time now. You guys should listen to me.

So the “moderate rebels” of the FSA, who actually barely even exist, are for Israel and they will sell out Syria, the Arabs and remove proud Syria from the Axis of Resistance and become allies with Israel.

On the other hand, you have the Islamists, who are more or less all Salafi jihadi global jihad types, and most of them are connected with Al Qaeda in one way or another.

3 Comments

Filed under Druze, Israel, Middle East, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Syria, Terrorism, USA, War

Syria Sitrep August 10, 2014

Assad is not winning the Syrian War, but he is not losing either. The war is more or less stalemated, but ISIS has been gaining ground in the east.

At this point, nearly 100% of Syrian minorities are with Assad. At one point, there were Alawites fighting Assad and Christian divisions of the Free Syrian Army, but that’s all history. Druze also are 100% with Assad.

Syria is full of all sorts of armies and militias everywhere you look. There are a number of militias or armies fighting on the side of Assad which are out of Assad’s control. Many of these are guerrillas behind enemy lines. There are also independent Alawite, Christian and to some extent Druze pro-Assad militias.

There really are no secular or moderate rebels anymore. The Free Syrian Army started out that way, but they have grown more and more Islamist. None of the rebel forces are friendly to Christians, Alawites or Druze at this point. It really is a choice between Assad and a hardline Sunni Islamist regime.

This is an unbelievably vicious and cruel war with many deaths on all sides. There are no angels here. Both sides are fighting extremely dirty. The “secular” Free Syrian Army massacres entire towns of Alawites and chops off the heads of 7 year old Alawi girls. The FSA love to chop off heads, and there are many photos of FSA troops holding up severed heads. Syrian Christians now regard the FSA as the enemy.

Assad is fighting with extreme cruelty. Many civilians are killed by bombs and shelling, and entire enemy held cities are destroyed.

Both sides execute POW’s. Rebels usually execute POW’s right away, but Assad prefers to torture rebel suspects to death. For instance, in the PFLP-GC controlled Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, there has long been heavy fighting between anti-Assad rebels and pro-Assad militias (PFLP-GC militia itself). Government forces bomb and shell the camp. Nearly 175 Palestinian men from the camp have been captured by the regime on charges of being rebels. All have been tortured to death.

Incredibly, ISIS sells oil to the Syrian government from the large oil fields they control.

Rumors that ISIS is a project of the Syrian or even more weirdly the Iranian government appear to lack evidence. ISIS kills many Syrian soldiers so it is hard to see how Assad would want to see his own troops slaughtered.

However, the US and Turkey were supporting ISIS out of the US Embassy in Istanbul until recently. ISIS is a CIA anti-Assad project in coordination with Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar gone haywire and out of control. Frankenstein is up and walking on his own, and he’s coming for the mad scientists who made him.

Heavy fighting between ISIS and a rebellious Syrian tribe in the Deir Al Zour region in the east. Heavy casualties.

Fighting continues between ISIS and other groups, especially ISIS and Al-Nusra. However, Al-Nusra also battles the Islamic Front, especially around Aleppo. And they also fight alongside them in the same city.

There are definitely all-Kurdish militias inside of ISIS.

The Syrian War is a scene of nearly complete chaos, countless militias, everyone fighting everyone, towns changing hands all the time, alliances made and broken, allies fighting alongside each other and then shooting it out, new militias constantly being formed, collapsing or merging into other groups, and extremely heavy casualties on all sides.

It is a complete mess, and it is very hard to figure out what exactly is going on anywhere at any time.

1 Comment

Filed under Alawi, Christianity, Druze, Iraq, Islam, Jordan, Kurds, Middle East, Near Easterners, Race/Ethnicity, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Shiism, Sunnism, Syria, Turkey, USA, War

Do the Yezidis Worship the Devil?

Repost from the old site. This is a very, very long piece, so be warned. But the subject, the Yezidi religious group, is extraordinarily complex, as I found out as I delved deeper and deeper into them.

They are still very mysterious and there is a lot of scholarly controversy around them, mostly because they will not let outsiders read their holy books. However, a copy of their holiest book was stolen about 100 years ago and has been analyzed by scholars.

I feel that the analysis below of the Yezidis (there are various competing analyses of them) best summarizes what they are all about, to the extent that such an eclectic group can even be defined at all. The piece is hard to understand at first, but if you are into this sort of thing, after you study it for a while, you can start to put it together. There are also lots of cool pics of devil and pagan religious art below, for those who are interested in such arcana.

See also the companion piece, The Yezidis, a Mysterious Kurdish Religious Sect. This piece was written two years after that one when I realized that the prior piece had barely touched the surface of this very strange religious sect.

The Yezidis, a Kurdish religious group in Iraq practicing an ancient religion, have been accused of being devil worshipers by local Muslims and also by many non-Muslims. I wrote about the Yezidis in depth in a previous post; see them for more background on these interesting people.

The Yezidis appeared in Western media in 2007 due to the stoning death of a Yezidi teenage girl who ran off with a Muslim man. The stoning was done by eight men from her village while another 1000 men watched and cheered them on. Afterward, there has been a lot of conflict between Muslim and Yezidi Kurds.

As Western media turned to the Yezidis, there has been some discussion here about their odd religion. For instance, though the local Muslims condemn them as devil worshipers, the Yezidis strongly deny this. So what’s the truth? The truth, as usual, is much more complicated.

The Yezidis believe that a Creator, or God, created a set of deities that we can call gods, angels or demons, depending on how you want to look at them. So, if we say that the Yezidis worship the devil, we could as well say that they worship angels. It all depends on how you view these deities.

In the history of religion, the gods of one religion are often seen as the devils of another. This is seen even today in the anti-Islamic discourse common amongst US neoconservatives, where the Muslim God is said to be a demonic god, and their prophet is said to be a devilish man.

Christian anti-Semites refer to the Old Testament God of the Jews as being an evil god. Orthodox Jews say that Jesus Christ is being boiled alive in semen in Hell for eternity.

At any rate, to the Yezidis, the main deity created by God is Malak Taus, who is represented by a peacock. Although Yezidis dissimulate about this, anyone who studies the religion closely will learn that Malak Taus is actually the Devil.

On the other hand, the Yezidis do not worship evil as modern-day Satanists do, so the Satanist fascination with the Yezidis is irrational. The Yezidis are a primitive people; agriculturalists with a strict moral code that they tend to follow in life. Why do they worship the Devil then?

First of all, we need to understand that before the Abrahamic religions, many polytheistic peoples worshiped gods of both good and evil, worshiping the gods of good so that good things may happen, and worshiping the gods of evil so that bad things may not happen. The Yezidis see God as a source of pure good, who is so good that there is no point in even worshiping him.

In this, they resemble Gnosticism, in which God was pure good and the material world and man were seen as polluted with such evil that the world was essentially an evil place. Men had only a tiny spark of good in them amidst a sea of evil, and the Gnostics tried to cultivate this spark.

This also resembles the magical Judaism of the Middle Ages (Kabbalism). The Kabbalists said that God was “that which cannot be known” (compare to the Yezidi belief that one cannot even pray to God), in fact, the concept of God was so ethereal to the Kabbalists that mere men could not even comprehend the very concept. A Kabbalist book says that God is “endless pure white light”. This comes close to my own view of what God is.

Compare to the Yezidi view that God “pure goodness”. The Yezidi view of God is quite complex. It is clear that he is at the top of the totem pole, yet their view of him is not the same as the gods of Christianity, Islam, Judaism or of the Greeks, although it is similar to Plato’s conception of the absolute.

Instead, it is similar to the Deists. God merely created the world. As far as the day to day running of things, that is actually up to the intermediary angels. However, there is one exception. Once a year, on New Years Day, God calls his angels together and hands the power over to the angel who is to descend to Earth.

In some ways similar to the Christian Trinity of God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost, the Yezidis believe that God is manifested in three forms.

An inscription of the Christian Trinity, the father, or God, as an old man with a beard; Jesus, a young man, and the Holy Ghost, here depicted as a winged creature similar to Malak Tus, the winged peacock angel. Compare to Yezidi reference for Šeiḫ ‘Adî, Yazid and Malak Tus (Father, Son and Holy Ghost)

The three forms are the peacock angel, Malak Tus; an old man, Šeiḫ ‘Adî (compare to the usual Christian portrayal in paintings of God as an old man with a long white beard); and a young man, Yazid (compare to the usual Christian paintings of Jesus as a healthy European-looking man with a beard and a beatific look – a similar look is seen in Shia portraits of Ali).

Since there is no way to talk to God, one must communicate with him through intermediaries (compare to intermediary saints like Mary in Catholicism and Ali in Shiism). The Devil is sort of a wall between the pure goodness of God and this admittedly imperfect world.

This is similar again to Gnosticism, where the pure good God created intermediaries called Aeons so that a world that includes evil (as our world does) could even exist in the first place. On the other hand, Malak Tus is seen my the Yezidis as neither an evil spirit nor a fallen angel, but as a divinity in his own right.

One wonders why the Malak Tus is represented by a bird. The answer is that worshiping birds is one of the oldest known forms of idol worship. It is even condemned in Deuteronomy 4: 16, 17: “Lest ye corrupt yourselves and make a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air.”

More likely, the peacock god is leftover from the ancient pagan bird-devil gods of the region. The ancient Babylonians, Assyrians both worshiped sacred devil-birds, and carvings of them can be seen on their temples. The Zoroastrians also worshiped a sort of devil-bird called a feroher.

A winged demon from ancient Assyria. Yezidism appears to have incorporated elements of ancient Babylonian and Assyrian religions, making it ultimately a very ancient religion. Note that devils often have wings like birds. Remember the flying monkey demons in the Wizard of Oz?

The pagan Phoenicians, Philistines and Samaritans worshiped a dove, and the early monotheistic Hebrews condemned the Samaritans for this idol-worship. The pagans of Mecca also worshiped a sacred dove. Pagan Arabian tribes also worshiped an eagle called Nasar.

What is truly odd is that peacocks are not native to the Yezidi region, but instead to the island of Sri Lanka. The Yezidis must have heard about this bird from travelers and incorporated it into their religion somehow.

In the Koran, both the Devil and the peacock were thrown out of Heaven down to Earth, with the Devil and the peacock both suffering similar punishments. So here we can see Islam associating the peacock with the Devil also.

In popular mythology, peacocks tend to represent pride. Note that the Koran says that the Devil was punished for excessive pride (compare with a similar Christian condemnation of excessive pride). Peacocks are problematic domestic fowl, and tend to tear up gardens, and so are associated with mischief.

The Yezidis revere Malak Tus to such a great extent that he is almost seen as one with God (compare the Catholic equation of Mary with Jesus, the Christian association of Jesus with God, and the Shia Muslim association of Ali with Mohammad).

Malak Tus was there from the start and will be there at the end, he has total control over the world, he is omniscient and omnipresent and he never changes. They do not allow anyone to say his name, as this seems to imply that he is degraded. Malak Tus is the King of the Angels, and he is ruling the Earth for a period of 10,000 years.

They also superstitiously avoid saying an word that resembles the word for Satan. When speaking Arabic, they refuse to use the Arabic shatt for river, as it sounds like the word for Satan. They substitute Kurdish ave instead. Compare this to the Kabbalist view of God as “that which can not even be comprehended (i.e., spoken) by man.

In addition to Malak Taus, there are six other angels: Izrafael, Jibrael, Michael, Nordael, Dardael, Shamnael, and Azazael. They were all at a meeting in Heaven when God told them that they would worship no one other than him. This worked for 40,000 years, until God mixed Earth, Air, Fire and Water to create Man, as Adam.

God told the seven angels to bow before Adam, and six agreed. Malak Taus refused, citing God’s order to obey only Him. Hence, Malak Taus was cast out of Heaven and became the Archangel of all the Angels. Compare this to the Christian and Muslim view of the Devil, the head of the angels, being thrown out of Heaven for the disobedience of excessive pride.

In the meantime, Malak Taus is said to have repented his sins and returned to God as an angel. So, yes, the Yezidis do worship the Devil, but in their religion, he is a good guy, not a bad guy. They are not a Satanic cult at all. In Sufism, the act of refusing to worship Adam (man) over God would be said to be a positive act, one of refusing to worship the created over the creator, as in Sufism, one is not to worship anything but God.

The Yezidis say that God created Adam and Eve, but when they were asked to produce their essences, Adam’s produced a boy, but Eve’s was full of insects and other unpleasant things. God decided that he would propagate humanity (the Yezidis) out of Adam alone, leaving Eve out of the picture. Specifically, he married Adam’s offspring to a houri.

We can see the traditional views of the Abrahamic religions of women as being sources of evil, tempters, sources of strife, conflict and other bad things. The Yezidis see themselves as different from all other humans. Whereas non-Yezidis are the products of Adam and Eve, Yezidis are the products of Adam alone.

Eve subsequently left the Garden of Eden, which allowed the world to be created. So, what the Abrahamic religions see as man’s greatest fall in the Garden, the Yezidis see as mankind’s greatest triumphs. The Yezidis feel that the rest of humanity of is descended from Ham, who mocked his father, God.

Compare this to the Abrahamic religions’ view of women as a source of corruption. Christians say that Eve tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden, causing them to be tossed out. In Islam, women are regarded as such a source of temptation and fitna (dissension) that they are covered and often kept out of sight at all times. In Judaism, women’s hair is so tempting to men that they must shave it all off and wear wigs.

The Yezidis say they are descended directly from Adam, hence they are the Chosen People (compare to the Jewish view of themselves as “Chosen People”).

Yezidism being quite possible the present-day remains of the original religion of the Kurds, we must acknowledge that for the last 2000 years, the Yezidis have been fighting off other major religions. First Christianity came to the region.

As would be expected, the Nestorian Christians of Northern Iraq, or “Nasara” Christian apostates, as an older tradition saw them, hold that the Yezidis were originally Christians who left the faith to form a new sect. The Nestorians and other ancient Christian sects deny the human or dual nature of Jesus – instead seeing him as purely divine.

This is in contrast to another group also called “Nasara” in Koran – these being the early Jewish Christian sects such as the Ebionites, Nazarenes and Gnostics, who followed Jesus but denied his divine nature, believe only in the Book of Matthew, and retained many Jewish traditions, including revering the Jewish Torah, refusing to eat pork, keeping the Sabbath and circumcision.

Mohammad apparently based his interpretation of Christianity on these sects. The divinity of Jesus was denied in the Koran under Ebionite influence. The Koran criticizes Christians for believing in three Gods – God, Jesus and Mary – perhaps under the influence of what is called the “Marianistic heresy”. At the same time, the Koran confused human and divine qualities in Jesus due to Nestorian influence.

Finally, the Koran denied the crucifixion due to Gnostic influence, especially the apocryphal Gospel of Peter. The local Muslims, similarly, hold that the Yezidis are apostates, having originally been Muslims who left Islam to form a new religion.

There is considerable evidence that many Yezidis were formerly Christians, as the Christian story holds. Šeiḫ ’Adî, one of the tripartite of angels worshiped by the Yezidis, was a Sufi Muslim mystic from Northern Iraq in the 1100’s. He attracted many followers, including many Christians and some Muslims who left their faith to become Yezidis. Yezidism existed before Šeiḫ ’Adî, but in a different form.

Šeiḫ ’Adî also attracted many Persian Zoroastrians, who were withering under the boot of Muslim dhimmitude and occasional massacre in Iran. Šeiḫ ‘Adî (full name Šeiḫ ‘Adî Ibn Masafir Al-Hakkari) was a Muslim originally from Bait Far, in the Baalbeck region of the Bekaa Valley of what is now Eastern Lebanon.

He came to Mosul for spiritual reasons. He was said to be a very learned man, and many people started to follow him. After he built up quite a following, he retired to the mountains above Mosul where he built a monastery and lived as a hermit, spending much of his time in caves and caverns in the mountains with wild animals as his only guests.

His followers were said to worship him as a God and believed that in the afterlife, they would be together with him. He died in 1162 in the Hakkari region near Mosul. At the site of his death, the Yezidis erected a shrine and it became one of the holiest sites in the religion. However, Šeiḫ ’Adî is not the founder of Yezidism, as many believe. His life and thought just added to the many strains in this most syncretistic of religions.

The third deity in the pseudo-“Trinity” of the Yezidis is a young man named Yezid. They say they are all descended from this man, whom they often refer to as God, as they sometimes refer to Šeiḫ ’Adî. In Šeiḫ ’Adî’s temple, there are inscriptions to both Šeiḫ ’Adî and Yezid, each on opposing walls of the temple. In a corner of this temple, a fire, or actually a lamp, is kept burning all night, reminiscent of Zoroastrianism.

There is a lot of controversy about what the word Yezid in Yezidi stands for. The religion itself, in its modern form, probably grew out of followers of Yazid Ibn Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan, the 2nd Caliph in the Umayyad Dynasty of Caliphs. Yazid fought a battle against Mohammad’s grandson, Hussayn, in a battle for the succession of the Caliphate.

Hussayn’s followers were also the followers of Ali, the former caliph who was assassinated. The followers of Hussayn and Ali are today known as the Shia. The Sunni follow in the tradition of the Umayyads. In a battle in Karbala in 680, Hussayn and all his men were killed at Kufa and the women and children with them taken prisoner.

To the Shia, Yazid is the ultimate villain. Most Sunnis do not view him very favorably either, and regard the whole episode as emblematic of how badly the umma had fallen apart after Mohammad died.

Nevertheless, there had been groups of Sunnis who venerated Yazid Ibn Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan and the Umayyads in general in northern Iraq for some time even before Šeiḫ ’Adî appeared on the scene. Šeiḫ ’Adî himself was descended from the Umayyads.

Reverence for Yazid Ibn Muawiyah mixed with the veneration of Šeiḫ ’Adî in the early Yezidis. It was this, mixed in with the earlier pagan beliefs of the Semites and Iranians discussed elsewhere, along with a dollop of Christianity, that formed the base of modern Yezidism. But its ultimate roots are far more ancient. Yezidism had a base, but it was not yet formed in its modern version.

Here we turn to the etymology of the word Yezidi. It is possible that the figure of “Yezid”, the young man-God in the Yezidi trinity, represents Yazid Ibn Muawiyah. By the mid-1200’s, the local Muslims were getting upset about the Yezidis excessive devotion to these two men. In the mid-1400’s the local Muslims fought a large battle against the Yezidis.

To this day, the top Yezidi mirs are all related to the Umayyads. Muslim scholars say that Yezid bin Unaisa was the founder of the modern-day Yezidis. Bin Unaisa was one of the early followers of the Kharijites, an early fanatical fundamentalist sect that resembled our modern-day Al Qaeda and other takfiri Salafi-jihadi terrorists. Bin Unaisa was said to be a follower of the earliest Kharijites.

These were the first Kharijites. Early split-offs from Ali’s army, they took part in the Battle of Nahrawan against Ali’s forces outside Madaen in what is now the Triangle of Death in Iraq. In 661, the Kharijites assassinated Ali, one of the penultimate moments in the Sunni-Shia split.

At some point, bin Unaisa split from the Kharijites, except for one of their early followers who were following a sect Al-Abaḍia, founded by ‘Abd-Allah Ibn Ibad. He said that any Muslim who committed a great sin was an infidel. Considering his fundamentalist past, he developed some very unorthodox views for a Muslim.

He said that God would send a new prophet to Persia (one more Iranian connection with the Yezidis), that God would send down a message to be written by this prophet in a book, and that this prophet would leave Islam and follow the religion of the Sabeans or Mandeans. Nevertheless, he continued to hold some Kharijite beliefs, including that God alone should be worshiped and that all sins were forms of idolatry.

In line with this analysis, the first Yezidis were a Kharijite subsect. The fact that bin Unaisa said that the new prophet would follow Sabeanism implies that he himself either followed this religion at one time or had a high opinion of it.

Muslim historians mention three main Sabean sects. They seemed to have derived in part from the ancient pagan religion of Mesopotamia. They were polytheists who worshiped the stars. After the Islamic conquest, they referred to themselves as Sabeans in order to receive protection as one of the People of the Book (the Quran mentions Jews, Christians and Sabeans and People of the Book).

One of the Sabean sects was called Al-Ḫarbâniyah. They believed that God dwelt within things that were good and rational. He had one essence but many appearances, in other words. God was pure good, and could not make anything evil. Evil was either accidental or necessary for life, or caused by an evil force. They also believed in the transmigration of souls (reincarnation).

It is interesting that the beliefs of this sect of Sabeans resemble the views of modern Yezidis. So Yezîd bn Unaisa believed in God and the Resurrection Day, he probably respected angels and the stars, yet he was neither polytheistic nor a true follower of Mohammad.

At the same time, he lined himself up with those People of the Book who said that Mohammad was a prophet, yet did not follow him (in this respect, he was similar to Western non-Muslims who acknowledge Mohammad as the prophet of the Arabs).

Although most orthodox histories of the Yezidis leave it out, it seems clear at this point that Yezîd bn Unaisa was the founder of the Yezidi religion in its modern form and that the Yezidis got their name from Yezîd bn Unaisa. This much may have been lost to time, for the Yezidis themselves say that Yezidi comes from the Kurdish word Yezdan or Êzid meaning God.

After naming their movement after Yezîd bn Unaisa, the Yezidis learned of Šeiḫ ‘Adî’s reputation, and become his followers, along with many Muslims, Christians and Iranians.

Like their founder, the Yezidis believe in God and the Resurrection, expect a prophet from Iran, revere angels and stars, regard every sin as idolatry, respect Mohammad as a prophet yet do not follow him and at the same time pay no attention to Ali (recall that the early Kharijites assassinated Ali). Being opposed to both Mohammad and Ali, bn Unaisa is logically despised by both the Sunni and the Shia.

The fact that the Yezidis renounced the prophet of the Arabs (Mohammad) while expecting a new one from Iran logically appealed to a lot of Persians at the time. Hence, many former Zoroastrians, or fire-worshipers, from Iran joined the new religion, surely injecting their strains into this most syncretistic of religions.

There is good evidence that many Yezidis are former Christians. The Yezidis around Mosul go by the surname of Daseni, of Dawasen in the plural. It so happens that there was a Nestorian diocese in Mosul called Daseni, or Dasaniyat. It disappeared around the time of Šeiḫ ’Adî. The implication is that so many of its members became Yezidis that the Diocese folded.

Furthermore, many names of Yezidi villages are actually names in the Syriac (Christian) language, more evidence that many Yezidis are former Christians.

Adding even more weight to this theory, the Yezidis retain two Christian customs – the baptism and the Eucharist.

The Yezidis must baptize their children at the earliest possible age and the priest puts his hand on the child’s head as her performs the rite. Both customs mirror the Christian baptism precisely.

When a Yezidi couple marries, they go to a local Nestorian Church to partake of the Eucharist. The cup of wine they drink is called the cup of Isa (Jesus). The Yezidi have great respect for Christian saints and houses of worship, and kiss the doors and walls of churches when they enter them.

When a Yezidi woman goes to the home of her bridegroom on wedding day, she is supposed to visit every every religious temple along the way, even the churches. On the other hand, Yezidis never enter a mosque. Sadly, the Yezidi reverence for Christianity is not returned by the Eastern Christians, who despise the Yezidis as devil-worshipers.

They revere both Jesus and Mohammad as religious teachers, not as prophets. They have also survived via a hefty dose of taqqiya, or dissimulation, in this case pretending outwardly to be some species of Shia Muslims.

This is common for minority faiths around the region, including the Alawi and Druze, who have both proclaimed at the top of their lungs that they are Muslims and have hidden to the aspects of their religion which would cause the Muslims to disown them at best or kill them at worst. The primary Islamic influence on the Yezidis is actually Sufism, not Shiism per se.

There are traces of other religions – Hinduism may possibly be seen in the five Yezidi castes, from top to bottom – Pir, Shaikh, Kawal, Murabby, and Mureed (followers). Mureeds are about on a par with Dalits or Untouchables in Hinduism. Marriage across castes is strictly forbidden, as it has been disapproved in India.

On the other hand, pre-Islamic Iran also had a caste system, and the base of the Yezidi religion seems to be derived from Persian Zoroastrianism. The Yezidi, like the Druze and the Zoroastrians, do not accept converts, and like the Druze, think that they will be reincarnated as their own kind (Druze think they will be reincarnated as Druze; Yezidis think they will be reincarnated as Yezidis).

The Yezidis can be considered fire-worshipers in a sense; they obviously got this from the Zoroastrians. The Yezidis say, “Without fire, there would be no life.” This is true even in our modern era, if we substitute “electrical power” for fire, our lives would surely diminish. Even today, when Kurdish Muslims swear on an oath, they say, “I swear by this fire…”

Many say there is a resemblance between Malak Taus and the Assyrian God Tammuz, though whether the name Malak Taus is actually derived from Tammuz is much more problematic. Tammuz was married to the Assyrian moon goddess, Ishtar. But this connection is not born out by serious inquiry.

Ishtar the Goddess of the Moon, here represented as a bird goddess. Worship of birds is one of the oldest forms of pagan idolatry known to man. What is it about birds that made them worthy of worship by the ancients? The miracle of flight?

Where do the Yezidis come from? The Yezidis themselves say that they came from the area around Basra and the lower Euphrates, then migrated to Syria and then to Sinjar, Mosul and Kurdistan.

In addition to worshiping a bird-god, there are other traces of the pre-Islamic pagan religions of the Arabs in Yezidism.

They hold the number 7 sacred, a concept that traces back to the ancient Mesopotamians. The Yezidis have seven sanjaks, and each one has seven burners of the flame, their God created seven angels and the sculpture carved on the temple of Šeiḫ ’Adî has seven branches.

The Sabeans, another ancient religion of Mesopotamia who are now called star-worshipers by their detractors, also worshiped seven angels who guided the courses of seven planets – it is from this formulation that our seven days of the week are derived. In the ancient religion of Assyria, Ishtar descended through seven gates to the land of no return. The ancient Hebrews likewise utilized the number seven in their religion.

An ancient seven-armed candelabra, a symbol nowadays used in the Jewish religion, with demonic sea monsters drawn on the base.

The Yezidis worship the sun and moon at their rising and setting, following the ancient Ḥarranians, a people who lived long ago somewhere in northern Iraq. Sun-worship and moon-worship are some of the oldest religious practices of Man. The ancient pagans of Canaan worshiped the Sun.

At the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, the religion practiced there had little in common with Talmudic Judaism of today. For instance, the horses of the Sun were worshiped at that temple (see II Kings 25: 5, 11). The ancient Judeans, who the modern-day Jews claim spiritual connection with, actually worshiped the “host of heaven” – the Sun, the Moon and the Planets. So much for “the original monotheists, eh?

In Babylonia, there were two temples to the Sun-God Shamas.

Another pre-Islamic Arab pagan belief is the belief in sacred wells and sanctuaries that contain them. The springs contain water that has curative powers. The holy water found at the Zamzam Well in Mecca is an example; even to this day, Muslims bottle the water and carry it off for this purpose. Often sacred clothes are used to make these pilgrimages, because ordinary clothes are thought to contaminate the holy site.

In pre-Islamic days, when the pagans circled the rock at the Kaaba, they were completely naked. In Islam, men and women are supposed to remove their clothing and wear a special garb as they circulate around the rock. In Mandeanism, both men and women go to the Mishkana, or tabernacle, take off their clothes, and bathe in the circular pool. Emerging, they put on the rasta, a ceremonial white garment.

At the temple of Šeiḫ ‘Adî, there is a sacred pool. The Yezidis throw coins, jewelry and other things into this pool as offerings. They think that Šeiḫ ‘Adî takes these things from time to time. And they must remove their clothes, bathe and wear a special garment when they visit the holy valley where this temple resides.

The ancient Arabs also worshiped trees. There were sacred trees at Nejran, Hadaibiya and Mecca. The pagans hung women’s ornaments, fine clothes, ostrich eggs, weapons and other items.

Similarly, the Yezidis also worship trees. They have their favorite trees, and sick people go to these trees and hang pieces of cloth on them, hoping to get well, and believe that whoever takes one of these down will get sick with whatever disease the person who hung the cloth had.

An inscription of a sacred tree from Ancient Babylonian civilization. Trees were worshiped not just in ancient Arabia; they were also worshiped in Mesopotamia.The Christian Trinity combined with the pagan Tree of Life, in an interesting ancient Chaldean inscription that combines pagan and Christian influences. The Tree of Life was also utilized in Kabbalism, Jewish mysticism from the Middle Ages. Nowadays the symbol is used by practitioners of both White and Black Magic. Radical Islam is committing genocide once again on the Christians of Iraq, including the Chaldeans.Yet another Tree of Life, this time from ancient Assyria, an ancient civilization in Mesopotamia. The concept of a tree of life is a pagan concept of ancient pedigree.

The ancient Meccans used to worship stones. At one point the population became so large that they had to move out of the valley where the Kaaba resided, so when they formed their new settlements, they took rocks from the holy place and piled them outside their settlements and made a sort of shrine out of these things, parading around the rock pile as they moved around the Kaaba.

In Palestine, there were sacred wells at Beersheba and Kadesh, a sacred tree at Shekem and a sacred rock at Bethel. As in animism, it was believed that divine powers or spirits inhabited these rocks, trees and springs. This tradition survives to this day in the folk religion of the Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese.

The Yezidis also have certain stones that they worship. They kiss these stones in reverence.

When the Yezidis reach the goal of their pilgrimage or hajj, they become very excited and start shouting. After fasting all day, they have a big celebration in the evenings, with singing and dancing and gorging on fine dishes.

This hajj, where they worship a spring under Šeiḫ ‘Adî’s tomb called Zamzam and then climb a mountain and shoot off guns, is obviously taken from the Muslim hajj. Mecca has a Zamzam Spring, and pilgrims climb Mount ‘Arafat on hajj.

The shouting, feasting, singing, dancing and general excitement is typical of a pagan festival. The non-Yezidi neighbors of the Yezidis claim that Yezidis engage in immoral behavior on this hajj. No one knows if this is true or not, but if they do, it may be similar to the festivals of the Kadeshes discussed in the Old Testament, where people engaged in licentious behavior in their temples.

Although the Yezidis have a strict moral code, observers say that they allow adultery if both parties are willing. That’s pretty open-minded for that part of the world.

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.

53 Comments

Filed under Alawi, Arabs, Asia, Assyrians, Babylonians, Christian, Christianity, Comparitive Religion, Deism, Druze, Ebionites, Gnosticism, Hinduism, History, Iran, Iranians, Iraq, Iraqis, Islam, Islamic, Judaism, Kabbalism, Kharijites, Kurds, Lebanon, Middle East, Middle Eastern, Near Easterners, Nestorian, Orthodox, Paganism, Palestine, Philistines, Phoenicians, Race/Ethnicity, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Reposts From The Old Site, Sabeans, Samaritans, Satanism, Saudi Arabia, Shiism, South Asia, Sufism, Sunnism, Yezidism, Zoroastrianism

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.

12 Comments

Filed under Alawi, Arab Nationalism, Arab Racism, Arabs, Assyrians, Baha'i, Christianity, Comparitive Religion, Druze, Ethnic Nationalism, Europe, Germany, History, Iraq, Iraqis, Islam, Judaism, Kakaism, Kurds, Middle East, Middle Eastern, Nationalism, Orthodox, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, Religion, Reposts From The Old Site, Sabeans, Satanism, Shiism, Sunnism, Ultranationalism, Yezidism, Zoroastrianism