Friday, August 17, 2007

Devil Worshipers

This week, nearly 300 Yazidis, a Kurdish religious community, were blown up by Islamist insurgents, apparently because the Yazidis are "devil worshipers." Many small religious groups, like the Yazidis, face increasing persecution in Iraq, accused of being anti-Islamist, being government sympathizers or collaborating with foreign troos. Also, some of these communities just happen to be in the wrong place, in a part of the country into which insurgents are being pushed by the US troop surge. The killing and persecution of these religious minorities, though, is more about religious bigotry.

These communities are often insular and isolated. When it comes to religious freedom, an irony of the war in Iraq is that these communities have survived for thousands of years in a very dangerous place, but may not survive the American war, a war America took to Iraq to bring the Iraqi people democracy and freedom.

This Islamist ethnic genocide in Iraq is evil. The American attempt to impose our president's cultural and religious values on Iraq is evil. America has stepped on a hornets nest, and indeed we are being stung. But the pain, misery, and death that has been unleased against Iraq and its religious communities is much greater. It makes me wonder who are the real Devil Worshipers in Iraq.