Published On: Sat, Aug 16th, 2014

Why does the killing of Yezidis must be referred to as genocide?

Several times we have been told that we could not refer to the current Iraqi crisis as genocide – despite all the brutality and the number of victims. We all agree that one death is one too many, regardless of whether it is a matter of Christians, Yezidis, Shiites, Sunnis, Shabaks, Mandaeans or other ethnic and religious groups in Syria and Iraq. Due to the current events we are going to do something that no common sense should do: showing proportions.

This seems to be particularly necessary in case of the Yezidi minority in order to illustrate the magnitude of this genocide. There are – generously estimated – one million Yezidis who are scattered across the world. According to our estimations based on all available reports and numbers we have construed restrictively, 15,000 Yezidis have been killed or died on the mountains as a result of the IS persecution.

In proportion to other peoples this would mean that

1.25 million German citizens or
5.25 million U.S. citizens

would have been killed by IS terrorists. We hope that it will never come to such numbers. If we now consider these proportions, it is no longer difficult to understand the magnitude for the Yezidi community and describe the Yezidis´ persecution as what it is: genocide.

For centuries, Yezidis have been persecuted and massacred. The current genocide is just one of many which have significantly depleted the number of Yezidis. It is another attempt to eradicate the 4,000 years old Yezidi religion representing an old heritage of Mesopotamia.

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