Yezidi Leader, now in U.S., seeks immediate end to genocide of Yezidi people in Iraq

Share Article

Kawwal Khoudeida Hasan, the leader of a community of about 50 Yezidi families now living in Lincoln, Nebraska, is pleading with the U.S. Congress and with the United Nations to stop the genocide of the Yezidis, a Kurdish people in Iraq with a unique history and religion.

Kawwal Khoudeida Hasan, the leader of a community of about 50 Yezidi families now living in Lincoln, Nebraska, is pleading with the U.S. Congress and with the United Nations to stop the genocide of the Yezidis, a Kurdish people in Iraq with a unique history and religion.

Kawwal Hasan is a Faqir of the Shiekh Caste, the highest caste of the Yezidis. The Faqirs are the priests and preservers of the ancient histories and rites of the Yezidis. After fleeing Iraq, Kawwal and his family lived for several years in a refugee camp in Syria before arriving in the USA ten years ago.

According to Kawwal, Genocide is occurring at this moment in northern Iraq to the Yezidis, a Kurdish people with a unique history and religion. Their persecution is coming at the hands of Islamic militants, who for centuries have slaughtered all Yezidis who have refused to convert to their religion.

On April 22, 2007, the world became shockingly aware of the Yezidi plight when 23 of them were lined up and systematically gunned down by a firing squad of Moslem Kurds. A few days later, 3 more Yezidi men were gunned down by Moslem extremists in the city of Mosul, thus bringing the total of Yezidi murders to 34 during the three month period from March to May, 2007.

Most recently, on August 12, 2007, the drivers of four bomb-laden trucks detonated their loads after driving into two residential areas near the town of Qahataniya, 75 miles west of Mosul, killing at least 250 Yezidis and injuring at least 500 more. This attack occurred in an area principally occupied by Faqirs, members of the Yezidi priest class, thus indicating that the ultimate goal of the culprits was apparently to strike at the jugular of the Yezidi religion by destroying its priests.

Malicious attacks against the Yezidis have occurred since the advent of Islam, and even before, when blood-thirsty bands from the East attempted to conquer them. According to their own accounting, the Yezidis arrived in the Middle East around 2000 BCE from India. Then, over the ensuing years, they played important roles in the evolution of the Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations before becoming permanently settled in their present territory in northern Iraq. Since the advent of Islam in the seventh century they have been repeatedly attacked by Moslems, as well as Mongol armies from the east and deadly Ottoman Turks sweeping down from the north and west. Yezidi priests estimate that over the centuries nearly 23 million of their people have been slain during the 72 major attacks against them.

Saddam Hussein's Baath Party stirred up fresh hatred against the Yezidis 20-30 years ago and attacks against them began to come from their own Moslem countrymen, many of whom were their distant relatives.The Yezidis suddenly found themselves besieged by Kurdish families who over the centuries had been forced to surrender their native Yezidi faith and convert to Islam. Saddam made it his agenda to exterminate the Yezidi by poisoning many of their water sources. Then, following Saddam's overthrow and a momentary countrywide ceasefire in Iraq, the attacks resumed against the Yezidis.

Recent attacks

The most recent outbreak of attacks are some of the most difficult because they have been accompanied by the sabotage Yezidi relief food and water arriving from the international community. For the past seven months Moslem officials of the Iraqi government in northern Iraq have regularly diverted Yezidi food and water to other Moslems. This situation has been compounded by the fact that most Yezidi wells currently produce mostly bitter and toxic water. Thus, without help the Yezidis risk both famine and dehydration. But the Yezidis are terrified to speak against their persecutors. They fear retaliation against themselves and their families.

Peaceful People

The Yezidis are a peaceful people. All they ask is to be able to live and worship in freedom. Their relationship with non-militant Moslems and people of all religious faiths has always been peaceful and inter-supportive. The Yezidis have no animosity towards their Moslem neighbors and would even like to nurture their friendly Moslem relationships. Many Yezidis live in Moslem communities and attend Moslem schools. Their best friends, in some cases, are Moslem.

During Saddam's regimen many Yezidis fled to Europe, America, and other parts of the world for sanctuary, but those who remained behind want to remain on their ancestral land and perpetuate the religion and culture of their ancestors. Their most important shrine is Lalish, a temple city in northern Iraq that holds the tombs of the Yezidis' most important saints and the place they retreat to in times of attack. It is important for the Yezidis to preserve their holy shrines and the doctrines of their religion, which their priests claim to be the oldest in the world. They can trace it back at least 6,000 years.Certain authors, such as G.I. Gurdjieff, have written about the uniqueness of the Yezidi ancient religion. It would certainly be a tragedy for the Yezidis, as well as the entire world, if it was lost now. We all stand to lose an important living record of humankind's ancient history.

During their history the Yezidis have often come to the aid of other embattled religions, such as Christianity. Now they need some of their compassionate aid returned to them. Early in the last century, when Christians living in Turkey fled from Moslem Turks during the Turko-Armenian War, the Yezidis offered their homes to hide the refugee Christians. They even paid a ransom of gold pieces to buy Christians from their Moslem captures. The Yezidis are appealing to their Christian brothers and sisters, as well as people of all faiths, to come to their rescue now.

What the Yezidis Seek

These peaceful people simply request that the bare necessities of food and water reach them as they did just seven months ago. But they also request protection from their Moslem neighbors so that their ancient culture can survive.

The Yezidis need the active intervention of the U.S. Congress, the United Nations, progressive nations throughout the world, and help from international organizations to survive this genocide.

If you would like to help the Yezidis please contact your representatives, and the media and inform them of the genocide of the Yezidi now occurring in Iraq. Let them know what the Yezidis need in order to survive.

For more information on the Yezidis, their history, and their plight, please visit            

For information & for interviews with Kawwal Khoudeida Hasan, please contact:

Mark Amaru Pinkham,
Sedona, Arizona USA
Tel: 928-284-1429
Email: YezidiTruth @


To listen to a special radio program on the Yezidis, broadcast
On Vancouver Coop Radio CFRO 102.7 FM
Please access the audio archives here:

Part I

Part II


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Mark Pinkham

Email >
Visit website