Statement of the Ezidische Akademie in response to the incidents in Detmold and Stolzenau

In the past weeks, two murders, in which Yazidis were involved, have received much attention in the German media: in Remminghausen, near Detmold, 18-year-old Arzu Ö. was kidnapped by her siblings because she had fallen in love with a German youth; it is feared that she was also murdered.  In Stolzenau, Lower Saxony, 13-year-old Zozan B. was shot to death by her father because she had run away from home as a result of problems with her parents.

 

Both acts of violence were sharply condemned by the Ezidische Akademie.  There is no justification for such acts and no way to talk around them.  Also, the Yazidi religion forbids such actions.  Both crimes are completely foreign to the Yazidi religion.  Life is man's highest good in Yazidism and every life is to be respected; Yazidism offers no excuse for such acts.  Violence is not compatible with the premises of the Yazidi religion.  Murder and killing "for the sake of honor" or for other reasons is completely foreign to the Yazidi religion.  Murder is murder.

We encourage Yazidis, especially those with religious authority and the members of Yazdi organizations in Germany, to distance themselves from such acts and to condemn them for what they are: crimes that are inexcusable.  More iimportant, Yazidis should also not give the impression, by keeping silent, that they in any way approve of these acts.  Condemnation of such acts says clearly that tolerance and respect for other people, opinions, and religions takes highest priority in the Yazidi religion.

In light of this, we call your attention to the statement of the secular leader of the Yazidi, Mir Tashin Said Ali Beg, made on 27.01.2007 concerning the stoning of a girl in Bahzan/Kurdistan, in which this is clearly expressed:  " Such offensive and inhuman acts have nothing to do with Yazidism.  The Yazidi religion rejects violence in all its forms.  Violence in the name of religion may never be used as a means against those of other opinions, nor may other people be killed.  Murder and violence are foreign to this religion" and those responsible should be put before a court and receive the punishment they deserve."

We also encourage the German authorities to react with all severity of the law.  Most important, the verdict of the German court may not take into account any cultural or religious motivations for these acts, as has unfortunately been the case in the past.

The consequences in both cases are already apparent.  Once again, the Yazidi religious community, adherents to the oldest monotheistic religion in the world, is stigmatized in the local press as an "occult sect," ruled by force and archaic clan traditions; regional newspapers such as the Westfalischen Volksblatt describe the Yazidis in connection with these crimes as archaic and hot headed.  We urge journalists and reporters of serious newspapers not to generalize about the entire Yazidi religious community, which encourages racist bias and rabble-rousing attacks.  It would not occur to anyone, because of single cases, to condemn Germans, or Austrians, or Belgians and label all their citizens as kidnappers and murderers.  The number of criminals, murderers and kidnappers among Yazidis is not higher than among members of German society as a whole.

 

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