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Iraqi Yazidis push to end 'devil worship' stereotype

The Yazidis in Iraq are seeking not only to preserve their traditions but also to combat misinformation and stereotypes about their faith.
Yezidi monk Baba Chawish poses in front of an entrance to the Lalish
temple some 50 km north from Iraqi city of Mosul, May 11, 2003. The
Yezidi religion, seen by its followers as the original Kurdish faith,
is believed to date back several thousand years and blends ideas from
sources as diverse as Zoroastrianism, Islam and Christianity.


DAHUK, Iraq — When Nietzsche wrote "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" in 1885, he had to kill God to break the dichotomy between good and evil. In Iraqi Kurdistan, there was no need for that; adherents of Yazidism, the world's most ancient monotheistic religion, already knew this.

According to this minority Kurdish group, Lucifer, the beautiful and vain angel of heaven, did not betray God and create evil, but simply manifested himself to the world, becoming the bridge between humans and the Creator. Melek Taus, as the Yazidis call him, is still worshipped in the Temple of Lalish, the sect's holy site in northwestern Iraq. Yazidis consider themselves the direct descendants of Adam and perceive good and evil as the same faces of the same reality. Choosing the right side is up to each person’s soul. 

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