Despite reading widely on my own professional field and other topics, this is the first time I come across a population referred to as Yazidis in Northern Iraq. They are non-Muslim and practicing their faith formed about 4000 years ago well before the coming of the people of the book: Jews, Christians and Muslims. They later included elements of these newer faiths into their practice. They are partly linked to Zoroastrianism, the oldest monotheistic religion. And yet they are hunted down like animals by the Sunni militants who label them as apostates/devil-worshippers and to be destroyed unless they convert to that brand of Islam: a modern-day genocide. The Yazidis have been persecuted for centuries for their belief.
I was watching BBC last night when footages of desperate people running for their lives, clambering on the helicopter to escape the carnage on the ground were shown. It was harrowing. Elderlies, women and children and some are separated from their fathers, mothers and siblings desperately reached out to the rescuers.The footages are reminiscent of the last days of the Vietnam war when people ran for their lives on the advancing Vietcongs in 1976.
The human sufferings are unfolding before our very eyes. Yet in this case, the WhatsApps groups I happen to be included are strangely muted compared to the fury they unleashed towards Israel for its actions on the Gazans. Are the Yazidis less human?To me the two brutal onslaughts are equally evil. Both are using their power to attack people, many of them innocent, for being where they are by the accident of their births. Both perpetrators have extreme egos.
The OICs and the neighbouring Arab countries appear silent and impotent to help these unfortunate souls. It takes western powers like America, Britain and the French to come in to give aids in terms of foods, water, medical and other necessary supplies and to provide escape for the Yazidis. Americans are also helping the Kurdish fighters on the ground to battle those mad Islamic State (IS) militants via airstrikes. Annihilating this inhuman group is the only way to decelerate the widespread genocide.
Till now I fail to understand why people could be so viciously intolerant of other faiths; why the need to turn all others to be like them, paranoid to the hilt,abusing women and practicing their brand of archaic law of an eye for an eye. Who are the fathers and mothers who brought these bastards to the world and only to destroy the fragile harmony that has been established for whatever it is, all these years? I could go on and on. Lamenting, in effect relieves your depression.
Most of us are able to sit and watch these events before our eyes in the safety and comfort of our homes but please spare a thought on the misfortune of these people and do not use race, religion and faith as measures of our support for them. If there is a credible international non-governmental organisation such as the Red Cross collecting donations , let us all give whatever we could to show that we care and in the name of humanity.