Island in the sun

22. September 2014, von Arvid Vormann

Intercultural dialogue between different religious faiths, held today in Slemani/Iraqi Kurdistan. Of course the Muslim speaker had to be first. The Yazidi representative came third after the Christian. He said Yazidis prefer being called Ezidis because this means „believers“. According to his account this is the 73th time in history they are attacked in such an existential way. He emphasized that their spiritual leader Haji Baba has declared all the abducted and tortured girls innocent, i.e. their morale will not be questioned and they will be received with open arms – a very important statement that cannot be valued high enough in this conservative society.

The event was an example of how different Iraqi Kurdistan actually is compared to anything close. It was a relaxed convention of citizens having their say in a public space – values like gender equality and political and religious tolerance not really being questioned by anyone.

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