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Yazidi refugees

Yazidi refugees

Considering that Yazidis are a small group with far fewer victims at the hands of Islam than Christians in the Middle East, I wondered at the disproportionate interest in their fate by the like of the New York Times, CNN and the White House.

Al-Qaida had originally claimed the Yazidis were up for target practice, rape and other Shariah staples because they were “Satanists” (which is not nearly as damning as “infidel” in Islamaspeak, but you still must die according to the Koran).

Well I have a theory: Yazidis really are Satanists – of a milder sort. Not malignant, baby-blood swilling types, but just enough to qualify as “not Christian.” Currently this is sufficient to earn more pity than a large trough of dead church folk, at least in the West.

None of this excuses atrocities against Yazidis by ISIS butchers, who individually have far more weapons than human attributes. ISIS is also making “Satanists” look good in comparison, by the way.

Some claim Yazidis have roots in ancient Zoroastrianism, but they are markedly different from any other faith. Their peacock god or the Proud One, “Malek Taus,” is also known as the fallen angel and ruler of the earth.

“Neither is it permitted to us to pronounce the name of Shaitan, because it is the name of our god,” reveals the Yazidi “Book of Revelation.”

Yazidis’ Switchfoot is a greatly improved version, though, and a devil in name only at this point, as their harmless behavior reveals. Until recently Yazidis, Assyrians and Christians were holding tea and hookah parties together. Conversely, Islamic Kurds and Arabs have been happily raiding and pillaging Yazidis for at least 500 years.

Christians and Yazidis in happier times / Zinda Magazine 2002

Christians and Yazidis in happier times / Zinda Magazine 2002

This has little or nothing to do with art, but a short piece in Alpha Omega Arts News started my train of thought. With a link to the Hindu Times was a photo of some exterior wall art on a Yazidi temple in Iraq. Two small girls lounge innocently against a brightly colored painting, which the authors point out is in the style of Indian calendar art.

Indian poster style art on Yazidi Temple, Iraq/ Photo: Eric Lafforgue-Hindu Times

Indian poster style art on Yazidi Temple, Iraq / Photo: Eric Lafforgue-Hindu Times

Predictably, comments from Hindu Times readers ignore the fate of the kids. Instead they note Yazidis are clearly influenced by Hinduism, as the Hindo Lord Karthikeya is a dead ringer for the “peacock god.”

But the children – are they still living or buried alive? Dying of thirst or forced into some grotesque mock “marriage” with an adult man and his many weapons?

The White House and U.S. intelligentsia have the same problem with Christians – they rarely see, hear, speak or think of them. And while Western media neglects genocide for whatever dark reasons they harbor, civilization withers, and art simply cannot be made in these places.

As usual the majority of the art world squints at minutia while the world flies past in explosive, wrenching screams – tolerable if some art news sites would stop making grand political pronouncements. Pleas to “end the war” in the midst of massive, unilateral genocide is disingenuous and handily serves the only warmongers, who don’t care what artists think.

Ironically, the worse the humanitarian crisis, the more frantically academics and cultural foundations fret about cultural destruction alone – as if culture arose in a complete vacuum, ex-nihilo. They plot complex schemes, enlisting armies and the U.N. to “save the art.” Well and good, but art requires artists and free expression and also living appreciators to give it value.

Recently we learned that ISIS is the wealthiest terror group on earth thanks to systematic plundering and bank robbery to the tune of $2.2 billion (at last estimate). Pious always, ISIS first melt down figures, which are forbidden in Islam. Selling antiquities up to 8,000 years old to the highest bidders, Iraqis can wave goodbye to even their own mosques. These are the 21st century’s Beserkers, who can’t stop blowing things up and wallowing in blood once they’ve begun. Satanists are meekly innocuous in comparison.

Similar apathy in the administration and media over Christian victimization is so dense they can’t even see two continents now knee-deep in the debris from churches. Cleverly ignored by the Obama administration and most of Europe, the decimation of art, cathedrals and monasteries has become a very bad habit and is edging closer to places they may care about.

ISIS recent demolition of a mosque in Iraq / Photo: ArtNet via Twitter

ISIS recent demolition of a mosque in Iraq / Photo: ArtNet via Twitter

Built at the site of the burning bush and dedicated by the mother of Constatine in 330 A.D., St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai has remained virtually untouched after almost 1,700 years. Until now. Last spring they needed guards after an attack by Islamist militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, killed and injured tourists there.

Saint Catherine’s Monastery has no equal nor any counterpart in Western Christianity, due to its antiquity and artistic and intellectual traditions. Likely they host more Early Christian icons than are found in the rest of the world, and their library of original, illuminated manuscripts is exceeded in volume only by the Vatican’s.

So why have they been spared from the religion of illiteracy and destruction all these centuries? Plausibly because St. Catherine’s offered Mohammed refuge from his enemies during a slow pillage season, a move they may have greatly pondered in the following centuries.

Achtiname of Muhammad, or protection letter to St Catherine's Monastery, Egypt 626 A.D.

Achtiname of Muhammad, or protection letter to St Catherine’s Monastery, Egypt 626 A.D.

Created in 626 A.D., the “Achtiname of Muhammad” is signed with an imprint of the Prophet’s hand and seal. To this day the Monastery keeps a copy on the premises, for obvious reasons.

The “Achtiname” is the inspiration for “The Covenants Initiative,” which urges Muslims to abide and honor treaties and covenants that the Prophet Muhammad personally made with Christian communities during his life. In 2009 the Washington Post ran a translation of the entire agreement, hoping it would placate Christians or inspire Muslims to obey it, I suppose. Only one of those things seems to have happened. Guess which.

I’ll admit to bias, but I think Christian art, architecture, music and literature is far superior to Islamic art and culture. With the exception of some extraordinary tile work and calligraphy, Islam has endowed almost nothing of value to the inhabitants of this earth (my personal and long-held opinion).

That continues in spite of 1,400 years of bloody conquests, the assistance of skilled slave labor and more recently, mountains of oil money.

But back to the Yazidis.

Satanists by the way, officially claim the Yazidi sect as their own, although the compliment hasn’t been returned or publicly acknowledged. Perhaps they were once Satanists but forgot. Most are illiterate and can’t even read the “Holy” books. One claim about their rarely seen “Mishaf Resh” (Black Scriptures) is that it is actually the Koran, with words for Satan blacked out in wax.

Close ties between Mishraf Resh (or the Al Jiwah) and Islam are confirmed in “Spiritual Satanism,” an official publication by the Joy of Satan Ministries (if you can believe it).

Rarely do I quote the Joy of Satan Ministries, but from the 4th edition the author informs us: “Satan dictated the Al Jilwah directly … the most important doctrine in Satanism and every Satanist should be familiar with its teachings. I asked Satan if the Al Jilwah was from him and he confirmed it was, but stated that the Muslims altered some of the Yezidi doctrines.”

I wonder about the claim that the blacked-out version is better known as the Koran – that would make so much sense. But I won’t be asking Satan.

SOURCES: ZindaMagazine; Webzoom.freewebs.com; The Hindu; The Guardian online; ThinkProgress.org; goarch.org; Kurt Weitzman, Jan 1964 National Geographic; “Spiritual Satanism” 4th Edition 2012 Joy of Satan Ministries

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