To the North of Iraq live the people known as Yazidis, roughly half a million in number, who have been mercilessly hunted down by the rabid hordes of the Islamic State ISIS on grounds that they are Devil-worshippers. In reality, Yazidis have a unique belief system that is a mix of Abrahamism and Zoroastrianism and, probably even, Hinduism. This may be why followers of Hindutva have shown, at least on the Internet, an unusual and exaggerated empathy for their plight.
The so-called Islamic State has marched into northwestern Iraq, an area rich in religious diversity, leaving a wake of bodies behind. It has driven the Christians who live there out of their homes. It has destroyed the crosses on their churches and demanded that they pay a tax or face the penalty of death. It has in the meantime offered the Yazidis, a people who practice an ancient and mysterious religion, a simpler choice: Convert to Islam or die. Hundreds of Yazidis have already died of thirst or exposure, on occasion allegedly throwing their children off Mount Sinjar or shooting them in order to spare them a crueler fate. Basim Karim, one of a tiny number of American Yazidis who have settled in Lincoln, Nebraska, and who is from Sinjar, told me what had happened to his family: They woke up one day to find the Kurdish peshmerga , who once protected their village, gone and the Islamic State in their place. It is a genocide, happening today in Indeed, the Islamic State seems to have a repugnant combination of religious intolerance and sexual rapacity. Two things: complex, ancient religions whose ideas still have much to offer us; and a historic tradition of Islamic tolerance.
Daraul appears to be the only source for the existence of this group. According to Daraul, the English version of the cult was brought to Britain in by a Syrian whose name is only known to initiates. Membership grew to encompass "several hundred members throughout Britain" as well as three lodges in the United States ". The group subscribes to a belief in a power governing human affairs, symbolized by a peacock. Recruits are instructed through a series of mental and physical exercises intended to place the experience of emotion under the control of the will. Daraul described a ceremony where robed members engaged in an ecstatic dance in the presence of a large statue of a peacock. As a sign of identification , "the right hand is placed, with the fingers spread out perhaps to represent the tail of the peacock on the left breast, just above the heart. Edward D. Hoch 's short novel , People of the Peacock , featured an "Order of the Peacock Angel" which matches the description given in Secret Societies Yesterday and Today :.
Yezidi is related to Yazata. Because Islam perceives them as heretics or devil worshippers, they are terrorized and persecuted. The most infamous example occurred on 14 August , when a suicide bomber targeted and killed at least four hundred Yezidis. Yezidism is a complex religion with what appear to be shamanic, Sufi, Gnostic, Jewish, Mandaean, Zoroastrian, and pre-Zoroastrian influences. Everyone else derives from them. The Yezidis claim to be pre-Abrahamic. By living in isolation in the mountains, they were able to maintain their ancient religion, although it is now heavily influenced by Islam, which surrounds them. The Yezidis are monotheistic. There is one Supreme Creator who created seven angels, one on each of the seven days of Creation. The Peacock Angel was first.