A year ago, Vice.com ran a piece on the Yaziki that’s a neat introduction to this ancient and — to most — baffling religious sect. To wit:
“In the eyes of IS [the Islamic State], the Yazidis are Devil worshippers – something that’s actually kind of tricky to argue against; the group consider themselves to be the chosen people of Melek Taus, the “Peacock Angel”, who they also know as Shaitan, or Satan. In Yazidi tradition, this special relationship began when Shaitan visited their ancestor Adam in the garden of Eden, bearing forbidden fruit.
“The Yazidis are an ancient rural people from the plain of Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilisation. Almost forgotten archaeological layers of belief still poke through the surface here, old echoes that stretch religious absolutes held sacred by Muslims, Christians and Jews alike into weird, unsettling shapes.
“The parallels between the Peacock Angel and the Satan we’re more familiar with can be baffling – Melek Taus is God’s most important angel, his commander-in-chief in this world, which was also his original role in the Abrahamic traditions. He’s also a fallen angel who rebelled against God and was subsequently cast into Hell; but in the Yazidi cosmology, after 40,000 years his tears quenched Hell’s flames and God forgave and reinstated him.”