I don’t know what the Yazidi make of Thelema, but it’s been persuasively argued that Aleister Crowley felt that the Yazidi’s religion could well be an ancient antecedent for Thelema. So the situation of this unique ethnic/religious group — currently being heinously persecuted by Daesh — always has our attention. The Evangelical Muslims of Daesh consider the Yaziki “Devil worshippers” and pagans ergo unprotected by Islamic law (though Daesh mistreat their fellow Muslims as well – so much for their devotion to the Q’ran!)
So Dunya Mikhail’s The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq seems like a must read. This is an account of efforts to rescue the thousands of Yazidi women who’ve been kidnapped and sold into slavery – many times this being sex slavery. The account centers on a beekeeper named Abdullah who organizers smugglers in rescue operations to liberate and relocate Yazidi women to safe territories. World Literature Today’s review begins:
“In 2014 Daesh militants launched an assault on Sinjar in northern Iraq, home to hundreds of thousands of Yazidis—a religious minority whose belief system is linked to ancient Mesopotamian religions and combines aspects of Zoroastrianism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. The Salafist militant group known as Daesh, ISIS, or ISIL considers them ‘devil worshippers’ and murdered over three thousand and kidnapped around six thousand more—mainly women and children—to be trained as Daesh soldiers or sold as sex slaves.
“The Beekeeper, by Iraqi poet and journalist Dunya Mikhail, offers a window into the almost unthinkable experiences of those persecuted by Daesh either for religious belief or refusal to submit to their rule (see WLT, Jan. 2018, 48–52). The book is a collection of transcribed survivor testimonies, interviews, and research into these crimes, which, combined, stand as a stark and vital work of testimony. The seamless fusion of statements with Mikhail’s almost haiku-like poems and phone conversations with the eponymous beekeeper, Abdullah, make this book a riveting work of narrative nonfiction. Characters disappear only to reemerge as the family member of another missing woman, or patron of a survivor, and the reader learns in slowly increasing horror the tragedies inflicted by Daesh.”
Read the entire review here:
As we’v mentioned in the past, once liberated, many Yazidi women volunteer for combat duty, know that Daesh men believe that if they’re killed in combat by female soldiers that they cannot enter Paradise.