by Hugh Fitzgerald
Listening to the radio, I heard with alarm several people on a talk show describe Nadia Murad as a “Yazidi Muslim.” She is not a Muslim. She must never be thought of as a Muslim. She is a Yazidi, a small religious sect with roots in Kurdistan and Armenia, that has always been the object of Muslim hatred. The killings of Yazidis by the Muslims, Arab and non-Arab, of the Islamic State have, during the last few years, been conducted “on an industrial scale,” as Amal Clooney, Murad’s lawyer, told the U.N.
Nadia Murad stands up not just for the Yazidis, but for all the other non-Muslim or non-Arab minorities who have been oppressed — harassed, persecuted, and often murdered — by their Muslim captors, and not just in Iraq. Over the centuries the Armenians, Maronites, Greek Orthodox, Jews, Samaritans, Zoroastrians, Alawites, and orthodox Shia, have all suffered from Sunni Muslims. Nadia Murad now has her bully pulpit, for her own mistreated people, and she obviously intends to use it.
This is first time that a victim of Jihad and Islamic terrorism has been recognized with a Nobel Peace Prize. If it leads to greater attention to what has happened to the Yazidis, and to other groups of non-Muslims similarly situated, and to a greater focus on the Muslims who are responsible for the attempted genocide of the Yazidis, that would be a salutary development. Meanwhile, be on the alert when the subject of Nadia Murad comes up on any show to which listeners can call in. Make sure that she is properly identified as a Yazidi, a non-Muslim victim of Muslim mass rapes, just as her six dead brothers were victims of Muslim mass murder. Call in, especially, to correct anyone identifying her as belonging, as I have heard someone say, to “a small Muslim sect.” You could, while correcting that error, also add that Yazidis in Iraq have made contact with Israelis, and Nadia Murad herself has visited Israel, and expressed great admiration and sympathy for the country and its people, seeing an obvious parallel:
In 2017, she travelled to Israel to speak about her ordeal, where she addressed Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People.
Addressing a packed lecture hall at the Museum of the Jewish People at Tel Aviv University on her last day in Israel, i24 News reported that Nadia drew strong parallels between the suffering of the Yazidi people and that of the Jewish people during the Holocaust.
“[The Jewish people’s story] is a unique story, and yet so much of it echoes my own community’s experiences. Like the Jews, the Yazidis have an ancient history thousands of years old. Despite recurring persecution, both our people have survived,” Nadia said, in remarks delivered through a translator.
“For three years, ISIS has stolen the authorship of the Yazidi story. But we will not let them write our future. My time in Israel has shown me that in the wake of oppression and genocide, a community can emerge stronger,” she said.
“About Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial museum to the Holocaust, she said “the message is that there are many ways to be a hero. Like Jews, the Yazidi people are showing resistance by holding onto our identity and practising our traditions, and we need the Jewish people’s mentorship to rebuild our community. Thank you for giving us hope.”
In a speech in the Knesset, she asked Israel to formally recognize the genocide of the Yazidis:
“My visit here today is to ask you to recognize the genocide being committed against my people, in light of our peoples’ common history of genocide,” The Times of Israel quoted Nadia Murad as saying on Tuesday, urging the Knesset to recognize the atrocities committed against the Yezidis of the Kurdistan Region at the hands of ISIS extremists.
“The Jews and the Yazidis share a common history of genocide that has shaped the identity of our peoples, but we must transform our pain into action. I respect how you rebuilt a global Jewish community in the wake of genocide. This is a journey that lies ahead of my community.”
Some Yazidis have requested that they be taken in by Israel. There are even reports that some Yazidis have asked if they might be allowed to train and fight with the IDF against their common enemy, fanatical Muslims.
If Nadia Murad keeps telling her own tale, what she endured in all its ghastliness, and does not leave anything out, if she describes how the members of the Islamic State would recite verses from the Qur’an both before and after raping Yazidi girls, if she goes still further and dares to discuss the Qur’anic passages and hadith stories on which the Islamic State bases its behavior, she will have performed a great service, as the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to tell unpleasant truths about Islam. Think of her Prize as a way of cancelling the embarrassment of Arafat’s award. And Muslim states would have a hard time explaining any attempts to criticize or silence such a formidable person.
First published in Jihad Watch.