Save Assyrians and Yezidis from Genocide!
On 21 September 2017, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a formal investigation into the treatment of Yazidis by so-called-ISIS. (See “UN Probe” section below.) Between December 2014 and March 2017, the U.S., European Union, European Council, Iraq Central Government and others recognized the genocide against Yezidis, Christians and a number of Muslim minorities. (See “World Powers” section below.)
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Beyond Genocide and Save Us From Genocide are interfaith campaigns. Beyond Genocide raises funds and helps support Yezidi redemption. Save Us From Genocide raises consciousness and engages in advocacy on behalf of Assyrians and Yezidis facing genocide. (The ASSYRIAN AID SOCIETY raises funds for Assyrians.)
The Save Us From Genocide and Beyond Genocide campaigns earned a 2016 Global Citizen award from the United Nations Association, East Bay Chapter. Click here for video and here for text of Rabbi Pamela Frydman’s acceptance speech. (Special thanks to our videographer Zach Morrow.) Click here for the United Religions Initiative feature story and click here for a feature story about Yezidis in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal.
Save Us From Genocide is hosted by the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, the Marin Interfaith Council, and the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, in concert with United Religions Initiative. Beyond Genocide is hosted by the Board of Rabbis of Northern California in concert with Save Us From Genocide.
• Yezidis are indigenous to Northern Iraq and they have their own unique faith and culture. They are not Christians or Muslims. More than 12,000 have been murdered, including mass murders and beheadings of fathers in front of their families. Over 3500 Yezidi women and girls remain in sexual slavery. Nineteen Yezidi women were burned alive in June 2016 for refusing to cooperate with their rapists. More than 2000 Yezidi boys have served as forced child soldiers and hundreds are forced to train as suicide bombers. More than 100 Yezidi boys have already be killed in battle. Thousands of other Yezidis have been tortured while an unknown number of Yezidis continue to be held as hostages.
• Assyrians are also indigenous to Iraq. Assyrians are sometimes called Chaldo-Assyrians and they consider themselves to be descendants of ancient Chaldea, Assyria and Babylonia. Assyrians converted to Christianity in the 3rd and 4th centuries and they are the oldest continuous Christian community in the world. Assyrians are primarily Roman Catholic, Assyrian Orthodox and Syriac (formerly Jacobite). Assyrians have been persecuted and forced out of Iraq since 2003. One million Assyrians were forced out, murdered or forced to convert before the present ISIS-perpetrated genocide began. Of the remaining 400,000 Assyrians in Iraq, over 200,000 were forced from their homes as part of the present genocide. Thousands have been murdered. Hundreds have been held hostage and freed after being ransomed. Hundreds of Assyrian women have been, or are, enslaved in the same brutal sex slavery as Yezidi women.
• Notwithstanding the unspeakable atrocities perpetrated against Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrians in Iraq and Syria, the majority of those slaughtered or forced from their homes are Muslims, including Shabaks, Turkmen, Sabeans, Kaka’e, and others. Hundreds of Shabak women are, or have been, enslaved as sex slaves. Druze are also monotheists in the Abrahamic family of faiths.
Although Druze have not been named in the recognition of these genocides, we wish to, nevertheless, acknowledge the horrific suffering of the Druze people.
UN Security Council unanimous to probe crimes of so-called-IS against Yazidis
World Powers Recognize These Genocides
• Iraq seeks international help to investigate Islamic State crimes. August 14, 2017.
• They came to destroy. ISIS crimes against Yazidis, Report of the U.N. Human Rights Council issued on 15 June 2016.
• Scottish Parliament recognizes Yezidi genocide. 27 March 2017, ARA News.
• U.S. House of Representatives passes resolution condemning IS atrocities against Yezidis, Christians and Muslims as genocide. Washington Post. March 14, 2016. See also H.Con.Res.75.