Home » Germany and the EU are calling for future prospects for Yazidis in Iraq

Germany and the EU are calling for future prospects for Yazidis in Iraq

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Germany and the EU are calling for future prospects for Yazidis in Iraq

Mainz (epd). Nine years after the terrorist militia “Islamic State” attacked the Yazidis in northern Iraq, representatives of the German government and the European Union are pushing for reconstruction of the Sinjar region, which has been destroyed to this day. The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell criticized Thursday in Brussels that many displaced people could not return to their homes, access to basic services was restricted and the security situation remained unstable. The Federal Government Commissioner for Freedom of Religion and Belief, Frank Schwabe (SPD), promised continued efforts to ensure that Yazidis “have prospects for the future and can return to their homeland”.

Borrell appealed to the Iraqi government in Baghdad and the government of the northern autonomous region of Kurdistan to continue implementing the Sinjar agreement. The pact was agreed through the mediation of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). The goal is reconstruction and the return of displaced people.

The Federal Government’s Religious Freedom Commissioner assured: “Germany will do everything to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.” The federal government is also committed to adequate compensation for the victims, said Schwabe.

At a commemoration event on Thursday in Mainz under the patronage of Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD), the chairman of the Central Council of Yazidis in Germany, Irfan Ortac, called on the federal government to ensure justice for the victims of the genocide. However, there is discrimination even in Germany. Yazidi children are also racially insulted in German schoolyards and are afraid to reveal their identities, said Ortac.

He complained that prejudices against the Yazidis in the Middle East were reinforced by immigrant families in Germany, as he told the Evangelisches Pressedienst (epd). He criticized that the North Rhine-Westphalian state government was promoting a project by the Kurdish-European Society based in Cologne, in which Yazidis were accused of hatred of Muslims and that Yazidis were to be evangelised under the heading of “reconciliation”. It is cheeky to accuse a people who have been oppressed for centuries of hating the majority, said Ortac. This represents a perpetrator-victim reversal.

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On August 3, 2014, IS fighters entered Yazidi villages with the aim of wiping out the religious minority. Thousands of women and children were kidnapped, men were killed. Hundreds of thousands of people had to flee. Last January, the Bundestag recognized the atrocities as genocide.

Bundestag member Derya Türk-Nachbaur (SPD) said in Mainz: “Blind hatred has wiped out lives, but not the fighting spirit and courage of the Yazidis.” Together with the FDP MP Peter Heidt, Türk-Nachbaur assured that the Bundestag wanted to support the Yazidis in regaining their identity. Project applications for Yazidi memorial, documentation and educational sites are in progress.

Yazidis is a monotheistic religion with roots going back 2,000 years before Christ. She incorporated elements of faith, rites and customs from western Iranian and ancient Mesopotamian religions as well as from Jews, Christians and Muslims. The community writes itself “Êziden”.

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