Cleric: Killing Kurds Who Convert To Zoroastrianism Is “Legitimate”

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

In another example of attempts to legitimize murder for apostasy, an Islamist Cleric of the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) declared in an interview with the BBC that Kurds who leave Islam to convert to Zoroastrianism are to be murdered; or in his words “Killed and Executed.”

The cleric extended his hand of mercy by allowing those converts three days to regret their decision but thereafter are to be executed.

In an almost brutal irony, Mulla Hassib from Sulaimani said that Islamic religious tenets permit such executions, but ISIS’ practice of killing apostates is partially correct but he criticizes the terrorist organization for spreading the religion by means of “violence”.

Kurdistan is home to many diverse religious and ethnic groups, including Christians, Zoroastrians, Yazidis, Kakayis, and Muslims both Sunni and Shi’ite. For centuries these ethnic groups enjoyed relative harmony in a world so otherwise often bitterly divided. Yet with the decade long strife and war besieging the region extremists have sown discord in such a fashion that lesser degrees of repression and intolerance have gained adherents. Sunni hardliners having ties to ISIS and groups within Iran are influential as is the KIG’s leadership which has ties with the Iranian government.

faravahar-zoroastrianismThe intolerant actions by a few Islamist leaders is likely in part due to a rise in Zoroastrianism within the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Zoroastrianism predates Christianity and Islam by centuries and is regarded as a precursor by some to these religions. Its decline began with the Islamic conquest of Persia from 633 to the mid 650s. While today the religious faithful are estimated in the low 100,000s worldwide, a resurgence of the faith is showing marked gains in Iraqi Kurdistan. A movement exists to gain official recognition status by the Kurdistan Regional Government. Culturally Kurds have a strong interweaving with the religion and the Kurdish language is derived from the Avesta, the religion’s sacred book.

Some Kurdish scholars, such as Mariwan Naqshbandi, the spokesperson for Iraqi Kurdistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, credits much of the transformation to be out of individuals’ reaction to strife and conflict within Islam and the extremism plaguing areas of Iraq and Syria.

“The people of Kurdistan no longer know which Islamic movement, which doctrine or which fatwa, they should be believing in.”

He affirms that the interest in Zoroastrianism is a symptom of the disagreements within Islam and religious instability in the Iraqi Kurdish region as well as in the country as a whole. According to an interview with Niquash, Mariwan stated that “For many more liberal or more nationalist Kurds, the mottos used by the Zoroastrians seem moderate and realistic. There are many people here who are very angry with the Islamic State group and it’s inhumanity.”

Kurdistan’s first official Zoroastrian Temple opened last year in Sulaimani. Let us hope it may by one to escape the violence.

By Darren Smith

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

Photo Credit: BBC
Image Credit: Kevin McCormick

46 thoughts on “Cleric: Killing Kurds Who Convert To Zoroastrianism Is “Legitimate””

  1. zorastrian faith is coming back – apostasy may kill few but loose many more

    even zuwanism might just get revived in the name of zaruastha

  2. Iran Needs to Declare the Kurdish Language as State Language
    By analyzing the indigenous Iranian languages family, it is obvious that the Kurdish Language is the most major native language still remaining in Iran today, and it is very much relater to other ancient Iranian languages. The Persian language (Farsi) is not from Iranian roots but from Turkic roots, and it is of modern origin.
    The Kurdish Language together with its relatives in Iran make a very good choice for the historic restoration of Iran from the imposed Persianization of the indigenous people of Iran that took place since the Achaemenid.
    Iran has two souls!
    How the ancient Iranian peoples and cultures turned to become Persians? The ancient Iranian soul is peaceful, civilized, and good, but, the other soul is the Persianated Turkic soul, which is violent, primitive, and evil. Unless Iran returns to its original soul it will remain demonized in the world and will never get internal harmony. To explain that let us ask: How Ancient Iranian Peoples and Cultures turned to be Persian (which is Turkic)?
    From the beginning of history there were “Iran” and “Iranians”, and there was no “Persia” or “Persians”. “Persia” or “Persians” appeared only with the Achaemenid Kings in 550 BC.
    Near Lake Urmia was the first Persia tribal place in 860-600 BC. They came to this area earlier before they move again south and create their Persian chieftaincy which turned into kingdom then empire. New terms appeared like Parsua, Parsuash, Parsumash, Persis, Parsa, Pârs, Fars, and Parsava.
    From 550 BC Iranian as a nation and Iran as a country disappeared and was replaced by Persians and Persia. Only in 1935, after 2485 years, Persia as a state took back the original name “Iran”, but strangely the Iranian peoples and cultures remained to be called ethnic “Persians”.
    So, where the original Iranian people and cultures had gone? And why they are no longer recognized as “Iranians”? Such great ancient national identity of Iran and the ethnicities of the Iranians were clearly turned into Persia and Persians for political reasons by non-Iranians.
    Even the history of the great ancient Iranian religion of Zoroastrianism which existed before 1200 BC had disappeared as a result of this forced Persianization. Also, in religion, prior to the rise of the Safavid Empire (1501–1736), Sunni Islam was the dominant religion, accounting for around 90% of the population at the time.
    The Safavid dynasty had its origin in the Safaviyya Sufi order, which was established in the city of Ardabil in the Azerbaijan region (a Turkic region). Ardabil is in the same region from which the first Parsua (earlier Parsuash, Parsumash) chieftaincy originated before moving to south Iran to establish the first kingdom of Persia in (860-600 BC).
    Where gone the ancient Iranians? And why the Persian restored Iran but did not restore Iranians? Simply because the Persian Turkic Azari rulers of Iran want to pretend that Iranian became Persians and want to call Iranian cultures and civilization Persian. Iranians and their achievements will never disappear or renamed Persian. The Persians are primitive and evil but the Iranians are great and good people.
    The disaster that struck Iran since 550 BC is that few wicked Turkic settlers ruled Iran and the Iranians, and they invented Persia and claimed that Iranians are subjects of Persians and Iran seized to exist anymore, to confiscate Iranian lands and achievements.
    Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III
    An Obelisk found in Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), in northern Iraq, and commemorates the deeds of King Shalmaneser III (reigned 858-824 BC). It was erected as a public monument in 825 BC at a time of civil war, in the central square of Nimrud, close to the much earlier White Obelisk of Ashurnasirpal I.
    It is the most complete Assyrian obelisk yet discovered, and is historically significant because it is thought to display the earliest ancient depiction of a biblical figure – Jehu, King of Israel. The traditional identification of “Yaw” as Jehu has been questioned by some scholars, who proposed that the inscription refers to another king, Jehoram of Israel. Its reference to ‘Parsua‘ is also the first known reference to the Persians.
    For more helpful maps on the ethnic, tribal, linguistic, and geographic composition of Iran visit The Gulf/2000 Project of the Middle East Institute at the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University in New York City.
    Iran and the Iranians will defeat Persians, fake Israelite, rulers of Arabia and all other Turanians Gokturks Mongols no doubt, and expose them. The Turanians Gokturks Mongols are terrorist they have no place in any civilized peaceful world.

Comments are closed.