No one fleshes out these inconvenient historical facts better than Andrew Bostom, and I mean no one, not even those whose careers are based in the scholarly field.
Long Before ISIL: The Chronic Plight of the Yazidis Under Islamic Domination
August 8th, 2014 (1 minute ago) · No Comments · Essays
World attention has riveted on as many as 40,000 Yazidis (Yezidis), half of whom may be children, trapped on Mount Sinjar, northwestern Iraq, without water or food, after being targeted by the latest jihad rampages of the “Islamic State” (ISIL) butchers. The Yazidis are an indigenous, ancient, pre-Islamic non-Muslim religious minority whose syncretic beliefs derive, in part, from Zoroastrianism.
Reports indicate that as per President Obama’s address last (Thursday, 8/7/14) evening, today (Friday 8/8/14), the U.S. has begun both humanitarian air-dropsto those refugees stranded on Mount Sinjar, and bombing runs against ISIL positions outside Erbil, Kurdistan.
Sadly, ISIL’s current bloody attacks on the Yazidis reflect a continuum of religiously-inspired, chronic Islamic oppression of this minority group,interspersed with paroxysms of violence no less brutal than what is now taking place.
Sir Austen Henry Layard (1817-1894) was a British polymath—archaeologist, author, politician, and diplomat—perhaps best known for his the excavations in northern Mesopotamia, contemporary Iraq.
Layard recorded the following, based upon first hand observations, and historical assessments, about the chronic plight of the Yazidis (Yezidis) under Islamic domination in his 1849, Nineveh and Its Remains. His focus, appropriately, given the time frame, was upon the depredations against the Yazidis during the allegedly “tolerant” Ottoman Muslim era: massacre, pillage, and deportation and enslavement of their male and female children, for “service” in the vast Ottoman slave institutions, including harem slavery.
They [the Yazidis] have the choice between conversion and the sword, and its is unlawful even to take tribute [jizya, per Koran 9:29, the deliberately debasing poll-tax, and related regulations imposed upon non-Muslim Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians subjugated by jihad] from them. The Yezidis, not being looked upon as “Masters of a Book,” [i.e., scriptures, “acknowledged,” at least in part, by Islam] have been exposed for centuries to the persecution of the Mohammedans. The harems of the south of Turkey have been recruited from them. Yearly expeditions have been made by the governors of provinces into their districts; and whilst the men and women were slaughtered without mercy, the children of both sexes were carried off, and exposed for sale in the principal towns. These annual hunts were one of the sources of revenue…and its was the custom of the Pashas of Baghdad and Mosul, to let loose the irregular troops upon the ill-fated Yezidis, as an easy method of satisfying their demands for arrears of pay.
This system was still practiced to a certain extent within a very few months of my visit; and gave rise to atrocities scarcely equaled in the better known slave trade.
Andy on the Steve Malzberg show discussing the Islamic State and Yazidis