The Evidence Of Faith’s Substance Why ISIS wants to exterminate the Yazidi people
August 23, 2014
By Ed Croteau
Leviticus 19:33-34 “If a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. But the stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself."
In our verse this week from Leviticus, God is giving us another glimpse of His character. He is not, as some like to try to make Him out to be, a genocidal maniac bent on ridding the world of anyone who opposes Him. He is kind and loving toward the stranger. He instructs His people Israel to love the stranger in the land He has just given them. Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, God displays His mission towards those who do not know Him: it is conversion, not conquest.
What we are witnessing today in Iraq is pure conquest by the fanatical Islamic extremists ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). And the horrifying reality of their bloodthirsty conquest is being boldly displayed against the innocent, peaceful Yazidi people.
It was Vian Dakhil, a Yazidi member of the Iraqi Parliament, who moved our President to action against ISIS. On August 5, she begged someone to save her people, as they were being slaughtered by ISIS for no crime other than being a Yazidi: “We are being slaughtered. An entire religion is being exterminated from the face of the Earth. Brothers, I appeal to you in the name of humanity to save us!”
Who are the Yazidis? First off, they were labeled by Al-Qaida, the Islamic radicals responsible for the 9/11 attacks and the predecessors of ISIS, as infidels and worthy of being eliminated from Iraq. Why? What have the Yazidis done that is so terrible they should be targeted by ISIS for genocide?
The Yazidis are one of the world's smallest and oldest monotheistic religious minorities, who are distinctly separated from Islam, Judaism and Christianity by not claiming Abraham as their father. Their religion predates Islam and is syncretic, mixing together parts from Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. They worship one God and have seven main angels they honor. But unlike Muslims and Christians, they reject the idea of sin, the devil and hell.
They have been labeled by many Muslims as devil-worshippers because of their reverence toward angels, especially one angel named Melek Tawwus who refused to obey God. And it is this reputation for devil worship that has become the cry from Islamic extremists for their extermination.
There are approximately 700,000 Yazidis in the world, but nearly 600,000 live in northern Iraq, where their main concentration is around the city of Sinjar. The mission of ISIS is to transform the Middle East into a Caliphate, a pure Islamic state under Islamic law. The Yazidis are ‘strangers sojourning in the land’, but unlike the verse this week from Leviticus, the attitude towards these innocent people is genocidal destruction. As ISIS moves through Sinjar and across Iraq, no stranger is safe. All places of worship of rival sects are destroyed, all religious minorities either converting or being murdered.
We in America, and everywhere in the world, are witnessing what evil against your neighbor looks like at its ultimate extreme.
As God tells us in Psalm 34:16, “The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to destroy the remembrance of them from the earth.” May God’s will be carried out against the members of ISIS.
Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.