The Arab League committee announced that supporting Yazidi women and girls will be among the topics discussed in its upcoming meeting. Yazda welcomes this step and considers it to be heading in the right direction. Yazidis, who lived in their homeland alongside Muslims, have been active citizens and maintained a neutral position throughout their history. Despite this, they were subjected to a genocide by ISIS, who unfortunately used a perverted version of Islam to justify their actions.
Protection of the Yazidis, Christians, Sabaeans, Baha’is, and other non-Muslim minorities in the Muslim world is primarily a Muslim responsibility. We hope that Arab and Muslim leaders will prioritize tolerance toward non-Muslims and plan a road map toward creating more accepting societies.
We hope that diversity will be accepted as a source of appreciation, not persecution. In Iraq, more than 3000 Yazidi women and girls remain in captivity. More than 75 % percent of Yazidis in Iraq (320,000 people) continue to suffer in IDP camps, unable to return to their homes. An estimated 60,000 survivors have emigrated to Western countries since 2014, and thousands of orphans and widows have been left unsupported as a result of the genocide.
In Northern Syria, the Yazidi community has suffered greatly. The once-strong community of 90,000 people living in Afrin and Al-Jazeera have left the country, or currently face danger in the frontlines of conflict zones. The future of the Yazidis in the Muslim world will be decided by Muslims’ acceptance for Yazidis and consideration of their faith as one legitimate and equal to their own. Yazidis continue to suffer from a systemic prejudice on the basis that “they are not people of the book” or that their faith is considered untrue. Yazda finds it essential, as emotional support for our community, and a path beyond the denial stage of the Yazidi Genocide, that Arab leaders officially recognize the Yazidi Genocide at one of their upcoming assemblies, and that individual Muslim and Arab countries join other nations and international institutions by recognizing the genocide.