Exploring Contemporary Shi’ism in European and Middle Eastern Contexts (Panel III-III)

Dr. Ghiath Rammo – Sapienza University of Rome

Relations between Yazidis and Shiites in the new millennium

The relationship between the Yazidis and the Shiites in Iraq in particular, was shrouded in some ambiguity in the last century, for several inaccurate reasons, some of which are historical, namely linking the Yazidis to the Muslim caliph Yazid bin Muawiyah (683-647 A.D.) who ordered to fight Hussein bin Ali in the Battle of Karbala in 680 A.D., and some of them are politically linked The Iraqi regime used some Yezidis to suppress the 1991 uprising in the south. The relationship between the Yazidis and the Shiites converged after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, as Yazidis and Shiites were both participants in government positions or members of the new Iraqi parliament. The relationship entered a new phase after ISIS took control of the Yazidi cities and villages in the Sinjar region, as well as after the liberation of that region from the Islamic State, in a geographical area where militias and alliances abound.