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Yazidis (also written as Yezidis (/jəˈziːdiːz/ (About this soundlisten), Kurdish: ئێزیدی‎, Êzidî) are an endogamous and mostly Kurmanji (Northern Kurdish) speaking minority, indigenous to the Kurdish regions, which includes parts of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. The majority of Yazidis remaining in the Middle East today live in the disputed territories of Northern Iraq, primarily in the Nineveh and Dohuk governorates. There is a disagreement on whether Yazidis are a religious sub-group of Kurds or a distinct ethnoreligious group, among scholars and Yazidis themselves. The Yazidi religion is monotheistic and has roots in a western pre-Zoroastrian Iranic faith.

Since the spread of Islam began with the early Muslim conquests of the 7th–8th centuries, Yazidis have faced persecution by Arabs and later by Turks, as their religious practices have commonly been charged with heresy by Muslim clerics. Most recently, the 2014 Yazidi genocide that was carried out by the Islamic State saw over 5,000 Yazidis killed and thousands of Yazidi women and girls forced into sexual slavery,[40] as well as the flight of more than 500,000 Yazidi refugees.[41][42][43]




  • God willing, we are Yezidis,
Followers of the name of Sultan Êzîd.
Praise be to God, we are content with our religion and ṭarīqa.
  • Şehda Dînî — The Declaration of Faith, 10. Source: Kreyenbroek, Philip (1995). Yezidism: its background, observances, and textual tradition. Lewiston, New York: E. Mellen Press. ISBN 0-7734-9004-3. 


  • Yazidis [were] shot and thrown like refuse into pits; men and boys beheaded in front of their families; girls as young as eight subjected to gang rape; beatings; forced conversions; torture; slavery. In a camp I visited, a woman who had been raped for an entire year, then shot in the head when her owner grew tired of her, then finally sold back to her husband, lay curled in a foetal ball in a makeshift tent, rocking and moaning to herself.
    • Holland, Tom in Holland, Tom (12 August 2017). "Don't forget the Yazidis: To avoid the next genocide, remember the last". Spectator. Retrieved 17 June 2019. [1]
  • Nobody in the West really gives a shit. And the reason nobody gives a shit, as a Yazidi refugee I spoke to said, is that in the West you have Christians, you have Muslims, you have Jews who all speak up for their co-religionists, but who cares about the Yazidi? Who cares about them?
    • Holland, Tom in "Delingpole: Tom Holland – author, historian". Podtail. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2019. [2]

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