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الموضوع: مفهوم المصالحة والصراع لدی الإيزيديين

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    مفهوم المصالحة والصراع لدی الإيزيديين





    مفهوم المصالحة والصراع لدی الإيزيديين
    إنقر هنا لتنزيل التقرير باللغة الإنجليزية
    يرکز هذا التقرير علی منظور المجتمع الإيزيدي، أحد أكبر الاقليات المتواجدة في العراق، للصراع والمصالحة عقب غزو تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية (داعش) في ٢٠١٤. إن العنف الذي أرتکبه هذا التنظيم بحق هذ المجتمع بالإضافة إلی التظلمات التاريخية يجعل من منظور الإيزيديين تجاه المصالحة ذو أهمية خاصة. من خلال تسليط الضوء علی مالذي تعني المصالحة للمجتمع الإيزيدي، يهدف هذا التقرير إلی تحديد المظالم التاريخية والحديثة والصراعات الداخلية والمجتمعية وکذلك معرفة الرٶية المجتمعية للصراع.
    يبدأ هذا التقرير بالتشديد على ضرورة تجنب فرض تعاريف مفترضة للمصالحة في السياق الإيزيدي. وعلى الرغم من أن المصطلح نفسه لم يتم تعريفه بشكل قاطع حتى الآن، إلا أن بناة السلام والمهتمين بجهود المصالحة يجب أن يكونوا حذرين بشأن استخدامه وأن يكونوا واضحين لما تعنيه ‘المصالحة’ في برامجهم. وفي حالة عدم القيام بذلك، قد تهدر الجهود الكبيرة والموارد المالية في هذا المجال أو لا تحقق عائدا يذكر. وبالإضافة إلى التطرق إلی الديانة الإيزيدية، يدرس هذا التقرير أيضا ديناميات ما قبل داعش من أجل فهم المواقف بشكل جيد. وفي هذا السياق، سلط الباحثون الضوء على عاملين حددا بشكل كبير الوضع الاجتماعي والاقتصادي للأيزيديين: (1) هويتهم كأقلية إثنية دينية في نظام الحكم العراقي، و (2) النزاعات القائمة على الأراضي والمنافسة على الموارد بين بغداد وأربيل.
    تشير نتائج هذه الدراسةإلی أن المجتمع الإيزيدي يعاني من صراعات داخلية وخارجية. داخليا،هناك أقلية من الأيزيديين ظهروا مؤخرا ويعتبرون أنفسهم مجموعة عرقية منفصلة بدلا من الأكراد. وقد ازداد هذا الشعور مؤخرا بين سكان منطقة سنجار نتيجة للسياسـة غير السليـمة التي إتبعتها حكومة إقليم كوردستان. وهناك أيضا فجوة بين المجتمع والممثلين السياسيين. ولا يشعر العديد من الأيزيديين بإنهم ممثلين بسبب الانتماءات السياسية لقياداتهم. وبالإضافة إلى ذلك، فإن وجود عدد كبير من الجماعات المسلحة في سهل نينوى الذي يحظى بدعم عدد من الأيزيديين أنفسهم قد يخلق خلافات مقلقة بين جزء من المجتمع الأيزيدي وحكومة إقليم كردستان. أما خارجيا، أدى الاعتداء العنيف والاستعباد الجنسي الذي قام به تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية بحق الأيزيديين إلى إلحاق أضرار بالغة بالعلاقات بين الأيزيدين والعرب السنة. وعلاوة على ذلك، لا يبدو أن حكومة إقليم كردستان والحكومة العراقية تتمتعان بموقف إيجابي بين الإيزيديين؛ لإن حكومة إقليم كردستان تركز إلى حد كبير على أجندتها الخاصة في حين يعتبر الإيزيديين الحكومة العراقية مهملة لهم.
    تجدر الإشارة إلى أن المقابلات التي أجريت لهذا التقرير، أجريت في صيف عام ٢٠١٦ كجزء من دراسة مولها معهد السلام الأمريكي (USIP). بالرغم من هذه الدراسة کانت کتبت لمعهد السلام الأمريکي في ذلك الوقت، تری مٶسسة الشرق الأوسط للبحوث أن نشر نتائج هذه الدراسة الآن وجعلها في متناول جمهور أكبر، يصب في خدمة أولئك الذين يسعون إلى تقييم حجم المظالم الذي تعرض لها الإيزيديين أو حجم مايتم معالجتها في أعقاب هزيمة داعش في نينوى. وعلى الرغم من أن بعض الآراء التي عبر عنها المشاركون في هذه الدراسة ربما تكون قد استولت عليها الأحداث، إلا أن نتائج هذه الدراسة تمثل شكلا من أشكال توثيق محنة المجتمع الأيزيدي في العراق.

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    The Middle East Research Institute engages in policy issues contributing to the process of state building and
    democratisation in the Middle East. Through independent analysis and policy debates, our research aims to
    promote and develop good governance, human rights, rule of law and social and economic prosperity in the
    region. It was established in 2014 as an independent, not-for-profit organisation based in Erbil, Kurdistan
    Region of Iraq.
    Middle East Research Institute
    1186 Dream City
    Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq
    T: +964 (0)662649690
    E: info@meri-k.org
    www.meri-k.org
    NGO registration number. K843
    © Middle East Research Institute, 2017
    The opinions expressed in this publication are the responsibility of the authors.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
    means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval
    system, without the prior written permission of MERI, the copyright holder. Please direct all enquiries to
    the publisher.
    About MERI


    1
    The Eyzidis
    Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict
    MERI Policy Paper
    Dave van Zoonen
    Khogir Wirya
    October 2017


    2
    Contents
    1. Executive Summary
    .................................................. .................................................. ........................
    4
    2. “Reconciliation” after genocide
    .................................................. .................................................. .....
    5
    3. Eyzidism and its community in Iraq
    .................................................. ..............................................
    7
    3.1 Violence against the Eyzidi community
    .................................................. .........................................
    8
    3.2 The impact of Arab-Kurd division on the Eyzidi Community
    .................................................
    11
    4. Findings
    .................................................. .................................................. ..........................................
    12
    4.1 Conflict mapping and victim groups
    .................................................. ............................................
    12
    4.2 Main needs: Justice, Security, and Reparations
    .................................................. ...........................
    14
    4.2.1 Justice
    .................................................. .................................................. .............................................
    15
    4.2.2 Security and concerns about the future of Shingal
    .................................................. ...................
    17
    4.2.3 Reparations
    .................................................. .................................................. ....................................
    18
    5. Conclusion
    .................................................. .................................................. ......................................
    20


    3
    Thanks are due to Irene Costanitni and Athansios Manis (Research Fellows at MERI) for providing
    general feedback and additional intellectual input. Also, thanks to Mohammed Abubaker for
    designing the report and to other MERI staff for their logistic and administrative support.
    This study was commissioned by the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), coordinated and
    supported by Osama Gharizi (Regional Program Officer MENA), and Nahla Arif (Senior Field
    Officer).
    Appreciation also goes out to the Alliance of Iraqi Minorities (AIM) for their engagement with and
    support to this research.
    Photo obtained from (i24news)
    Acknowledgments
    About the Authors
    Dave van Zoonen was a researcher at MERI. His research focuses on Iraq’s security sector,
    transitional justice, and inter-community reconciliation. He holds an MA from the Free University
    of Amsterdam.
    Khogir Wirya is a researcher at MERI. He holds an MA from the University of Nottingham,UK
    and has been extensivley involved in studying conflict resolution in Iraq in general and in the
    disputed territories in specific.


    4
    The Eyzidis Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict
    1. Executive Summary
    This report focuses on the Eyzidi community, one of the largest minority groups in Iraq, and their
    perceptions on conflicts and future reconciliation following the Islamic States (IS) invasion in 2014. The
    violence inflicted on this community by IS, combined with long-standing historical grievances, make their
    views on and attitudes toward the concept of reconciliation particularly relevant for the future stability of
    Iraq. By focusing on the question of what reconciliation means to the Eyzidi community in Iraq, this study
    aims to map historic and more recent grievances, intra- and inter-community conflicts and tensions, and
    uncover community-held perspectives on conflict and reconciliation.
    This report starts by placing emphasis on the need of avoiding imposing presumed definitions of
    reconciliation on the Eyzidis context. Although the term itself has not yet been conclusively defined,
    peacebuilders and those engaged in reconciliation efforts after IS should be cautious about its usage and
    be clear as to what they mean by ‘reconciliation’ in their programmes. Failing to do this, significant efforts
    and financial resources may be wasted or yield little return. In addition to mentioning Eyzidism, this report
    also examines pre-IS dynamics in order to understand the attitudes well. To this end, the researchers have
    highlighted two factors that have largely shaped the socio-economic status of Eyzidis: (1) Their identity
    as an ethno-religious minority in Iraq’s system of governance, and (2) The ongoing land disputes and
    competition over resources between Baghdad and Erbil.
    The findings of this study reveal that the Eyzidis suffer from internal and external conflicts. Externally,
    IS’s violent attack and sexual enslavement of Eyzidis have greatly damaged the Eyizid-Sunni Arab relations.
    Further, the KRG and the Iraqi government do not seem to enjoy a favourable stance among the Eyzidiz;
    the KRG is seen to be largely focused on its own agendas while the Iraqi government is deemed to be
    neglectful of the Eyzidis. Internally, a minority of Eyzidis are beginning to consider themselves as a separate
    ethnic group rather than Kurds. This sentiment has grown among the people in Shingal since the KRG
    has not pursued a healthy policy in this area. There is also a gap between the community and political
    representatives. Many Eyzidis do not feel represented as a result of the political affiliations of their leaders.
    In addition, the presence of a considerable number of armed groups in the Nineveh Plain that enjoy the
    support of the Eyzidis may lead to worrying friction between part of the Eyzidi community and the KRG.
    The interviews for this report have been conducted in the summer of 2016 as part of a study funded by the
    United States Institute for Peace (USIP). The findings of this study have been reported to USIP at the time
    and now made accessible for a larger audience as a service to those seeking to assess the extent to which
    Eyzidi grievances have been or are being addressed in the aftermath of IS’ defeat in Nineveh. Although
    some views and opinions expressed by participants in this study may have been taken over by events,
    the findings of this study nevertheless constitute a form of documentation of the plight of the Eyzidi
    community in Iraq.


    5
    The Eyzidis Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict
    2. “Reconciliation” after Genocide
    The attacks perpetrated by the Islamic State (IS) on the various ethno-religious communities living in
    Nineveh Province since the summer of 2014 constitute genocide. Now, three years later, IS has been pushed
    out of its main stronghold in Mosul and is on the verge of losing its last urban centres. Hence, as the dust
    settles and the fog of war is slowly lifting, the question of how Iraq’s society may seek to recover invariably
    arises. Exactly how previously hostile communities can come to terms with the past and reconcile their
    differences remains a complex process heavily subject to the local context and community views. The wide
    variety in reconciliation efforts adopted by governments around the globe in places like Europa, Africa and
    Latin America further underlines this and illustrates the opacity of the concept itself.
    Academics and practitioners active in the field of peacebuilding widely recognise the need for increased
    clarity in research, programming and policy regarding what is meant by reconciliation. Without such clarity,
    some critics warn, we run the risk of ‘expending millions of dollars and considerable effort on buzzwords
    that have no consistent definition or conceptual clarity and promoting mechanisms to achieve these obscure
    outcomes with little evidence that they will make a difference’.
    1
    The recognition that preconceived one-
    size-fits-all definitions of reconciliation cannot simply be imposed on target communities is widely shared
    among researchers and practitioners active in the field of conflict transformation.
    2
    Unfortunately, and much
    to the dismay of those who yearn for neat and concise definitions, the concept of reconciliation has proven
    notoriously difficult to define.
    At its core, reconciliation can be considered a transformational, social process rather than an end-state or
    outcome.
    3
    Transformational, as it seeks to move away from relationships mired with distrust and violence
    to one of mutual help and peaceful coexistence. Such an abstract concept however still allows for a wide
    variety of notions regarding what reconciliation actually means in more concrete terms. Some authors
    differentiate between minimal “thin” and maximal “thick” conceptualisations of reconciliation.
    4
    The ability
    for two communities to share a public space without resorting to violence can thus be considered part of
    the minimal side of the reconciliation spectrum. Respect and social equality reflected in the rule of law
    takes the middle ground while elements such as reflection on, and acknowledgement of the past can help
    to further instil trust in inter-group relationships allowing atonement and forgiveness to eventually take
    place. These aspects can be understood as part of a thick, or maximalist definition of reconciliation. Megan
    Bradley points out there is not necessarily a linear progression from one end of the spectrum to another.
    5
    In practice, sometimes thinner notions of reconciliation such as peaceful coexistence and mutual respect
    for human rights constitute significant achievements and is the most that can be asked for in societies
    recovering from severe conflict.
    The following elements can all be considered integral to the process of reconciliation: non-violent coexistence,
    justice, acknowledgement, apology, forgiveness, equal rights, trust, establishing a shared truth about what
    happened in the past, and formulating a shared vision for the future. However, these elements do not exist
    in a vacuum separated from context and community views. Therefore, the exact configuration of elements
    1 Weinstein, H. M. (2011: p. 3). Editorial Note: The Myth of Closure, the Illusion of Reconciliation: final thoughts on five years as co-editor-in-chief.
    International Journal of Transitional Justice 5(1), 1-10.
    2 E.g. Bradley, M. (2012) Displacement, Transitional Justice and Reconciliation: Assumptions, Challenges and Lessons. See also, Zorbas, E. (2009).
    What does reconciliation after genocide mean? Public transcripts and hidden transcripts in post-genocide Rwanda. Journal of Genocide Research,
    11(1), 127 – 147.
    3 Lederach, J.P. (1997). Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies. Washington DC, 4.
    4 Crocker, D. A. (1999). Reckoning with past wrongs: A normative framework. Ethics & International Affairs, 13, 43-64.
    5 Bradley, M. (2012). Displacement, Transitional Justice and Reconciliation: Assumptions, Challenges and Lessons. Forced Migration Policy Briefing 9.


    6
    The Eyzidis Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict
    in terms of their prioritisation and importance is subject to the views of the communities concerned. What
    reconciliation means, in other words, ‘depends on where you are looking at it from and who you are.’
    6
    The
    premise of this study is that reconciliation can mean different things to different people. If reconciliation
    serves as a modern catch-all phrase – a vessel to be filled with localised dynamics and essences – then both
    researchers and practitioners should seek to identify and formulate those dynamics and meanings as a first
    step in the process of peacebuilding and reconciliation.
    The report is structured as follows: chapter two presents a brief introduction on Eyzidism and its
    community in Iraq. Chapter three presents the key findings and discusses Eyzidi concerns for justice,
    security, representation and reparations. Chapter four offers concluding remarks.
    6 Quinn, J. R. (2009). Reconciliation(s): transitional justice in post-conflict societies (Vol. 6: p. 298). McGill-Queen’s Press-MQUP.


    7
    The Eyzidis Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict
    Eyzidis are one of the oldest ethnic and religious communities indigenous to the Middle East. The majority
    of Eyzidis live in the north-west of Iraq, in areas surrounding Shingal
    7
    Mountain and Shekhan district.
    Additionally, there are some Eyzidi villages and towns in Talkeef and Bashiqa District, and in Duhok
    Governorate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Although there is a dearth of reliable statistics on
    demography, community estimates state there are about 550,000 – 600,000 Eyzidis in Iraq.
    8
    Eyzidis are
    considered the second-largest religious minority in Iraq, after the Christians.
    7 The area is referred to as either Sinjar (Arabic) or Shingal (Kurdish).
    8 Domle. K. (2013) Yazidis: A Deep-Rooted Community in an Unstable Present. In Salloum, S. (2013) Minorities
    3. Eyzidism and its Community in Iraq
    Figure 1: Map detailing Eyzidi Areas (circled)



    8
    The Eyzidis Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict
    The Eyzidi community is structured according to social classes and ranks, similar to the Indian caste-system.
    At the top, there is the mir (Prince and secular leader) and the baba sheikh (the spiritual leader). Directly
    below them are forty sheikhs divided into three factions; Adani, Achammsana and Qatani. There are also
    forty pirs, who are tasked with regulating the religious affairs of the followers. The followers, or ordinary
    Eyzidis, are called Mureed. The Mureed cannot get married to members of the Sheikh and Pir classes. Pirs
    and Sheikhs cannot intermarry either.
    9
    Khider Domle, a Eyzidi researcher who has written extensively on Eyzidi culture and religion, considers
    Eyzidism as ‘one of the oldest Kurdish religions in the East.’
    10
    It is an ancient monotheistic religion. For
    centuries, Eyzidism relied on conveying its beliefs through verbal heritage in the form of hymns, stories and
    poetry rather than scripture. Gradually however, holy books called Mushafs were written down, albeit with
    the explicit directive not to be circulated in public and viewed by members outside of the Eyzidi community.
    The language of religious texts, books, songs and prayers is Kurmanji Kurdish. It is widely recognised that
    the original language of the Eyzidi community is Kurdish, but many also speak Arabic as a result of their
    proximity to Arab neighbourhoods and Ba’athist Arabisation campaigns. Eyzidis share a strong connection
    to their land and geographic location, especially their main temple in Lalesh, as it was built in the place where
    Eyzidis believe creation began after the Great Flood.
    A key aspect of Eyzidism is its belief in one source of good and evil. Rather than believing in a source of
    good (God) and one of evil (Satan), Eyzidis believe people’s choices, through the heart, spirit and mind,
    determine where good and evil exists on earth. The power of Choice is a central feature in Eyzidism. The
    arch-angel of the Eyzidis, Melek Taus, helps to guide humanity in its decisions between good and evil.
    The story of Melek Taus – often depicted as a peacock and hence also referred to as the peacock
    angel – bears resemblance to the account of Shaytan (Satan) in Islam and has been the source of much
    discrimination against Eyzidis in Iraq. Misinterpretation of their faith has led to the labelling of Eyzidis as
    ‘devil-worshippers’ – an image that has proven hard to shake off for the community. Moreover, throughout
    history the story of Eyzidis in Iraq is one of discrimination, neglect and violence on a massive scale.
    11
    The
    following section elaborates on this and presents the backdrop to which a process of reconciliation needs
    to take place.
    9 Idem.
    10 Idem. (p. 68).
    11 Minority Rights Group Int. (2014: p. 16). From Crisis to Catastrophe – the situation of minorities in Iraq.
    3.1 Violence against the Eyzidi Community
    Understanding the attitudes of the Eyzidi community towards reconciliation and coexistence requires an
    historic examination of their position in Iraq which goes beyond the most recent episode of violence at the
    hands of IS. Although it is not the aim of this report to present a detailed historical overview, this section
    briefly delineates the experience of the Eyzidis in Iraq under Ba’athist rule and in the post-2003 era, before
    addressing the impact of the rise of IS on the community.
    Two factors have largely shaped the socio-economic status of Iraq’s Eyzidis: (1) Their identity as an ethno-
    religious minority in Iraq’s system of governance, and (2) The ongoing land disputes and competition over
    resources between Baghdad and Erbil.
    For decades, Iraq’s curriculum in public schools did not recognise the history and culture of many minority
    9
    The Eyzidis Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict
    groups, including the Eyzidis.
    12
    This marginalisation has led to widespread ignorance about their beliefs,
    culture and traditions. Iraq’s majoritarian rule system appealed to Arab-nationalist and Islamic identities and
    deliberately denied equality and recognition for minority communities. Although this situation has somewhat
    improved since 2003, there is still much need for improvement when it comes to education on minorities and
    their representation in schools. In 2012, Eyzidis, Christians, Sabean-Mandaeans and Shabaks managed for
    the first time to be more accurately represented in textbooks. Nevertheless, negative perceptions emanating
    from protracted marginalisation and discrimination in the past are not easily rectified, and both younger and
    older generations continue to inhibit negative stereotypes of religious minorities.
    13
    Eyzidis are often wrongfully believed to worship the devil. This stems from a misinterpretation of their
    religion due to the resemblance the story of the Eyzidi’s arch-angel bears with the story of Satan in Islam.
    In Islam, the arch-angel refuses to bow down to Adam out of sinful pride and subsequently falls from the
    grace of God. After this, he continues to try and corrupt mankind through temptation and other means.
    In Eyzidism however, the angel does refuse to bow down to Adam, is expelled from Heaven, but cries for
    7,000 years until his tears of repentance quench the fires of Hell. In the Eyzidi faith therefore, Melek Taus
    is redeemed in the eyes of God and continues to serve as a medium between mankind and God.
    14
    This misapprehension is the source of much of the discrimination and socio-economic marginalisation
    of the Eyzidi community. The tenacity of which is compounded by the community’s reliance on oral
    traditions rather than scripture to convey their beliefs and practices. As Matthew Barber, an American
    scholar of Eyzidi history currently working on Eyzidi rights issues explains: “Islam’s political framework
    includes provisions for the protection of some religious minorities, particularly those viewed as part of the
    monotheistic trajectory that preceded Islam, such as Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity—religions
    instituted by God, but later corrupted.”
    15
    The perception of Eyzidis as worshipping the devil, and the
    community’s inability to challenge those views through written sources, has historically led to Eyzidis not
    being considered as ‘People of the Book’. This situation was subsequently exploited by IS to instigate and
    justify its genocidal campaign aimed at eradicating the Eyzidi community in Iraq.
    The Eyzidi community has been the victim of many violent attacks and prosecutions throughout history.
    Organised violence against the Eyzidi community can be traced back as far as the Ottoman Empire, when
    Eyzidis were targeted by campaigns of forced conversion and religious violence
    16
    . Eyzidis often claim their
    community has gone through at least 72 attempts at annihilation – i.e. genocides. Whether this number is
    historically accurate is hard to determine. Nevertheless, being victims of prosecution and genocide is an
    important component of the shared Eyzidi identity and community narrative.
    Later on, as Kurdish speakers, Saddam’s Arabisation campaign did not spare the Eyzidis either. During the
    1970’s, it was Ba’athist policy to force Eyzidis out of their villages and into newly constructed ‘collective
    towns’ such as Shingal, severely disrupting their traditionally pastoral way of life.
    After the US-led coalition toppled Saddam in 2003 sectarian violence quickly escalated to involve
    fundamentalist attacks on all minority communities. Eyzidi villages, shrines and holidays were all repeatedly
    targeted. One of the worst attacks occurred on August 14th 2007, when terrorists inflicted a devastating and
    12 Salloum, S. (2013). Minorities in Iraq: Memory, Identity and Challenges. Masarat for Cultural and Media Development.
    13 A case in point was made when a translator urged the author of this report not to accept Eyzidi food offerings with the explanation that “Eyzidis do
    not wash themselves because it is against their religion.”
    14 Asatrian, G. S., & Arakelova, V. (2014). The Religion of the Peacock Angel: The Yezidis and Their Spirit World. Routledge.
    15 Hafiz, Y. (2014, Aug, 14th) Yazidi Religious Beliefs: History, Facts, and Traditions of Iraq’s Persecuted Minority. The Huffington Post. Accessed on
    16 Hastings, J. (2003) Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics Part 18. Kessinger p. 769.

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