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Ask your U.S. Representatives and both Senators to support H.Con.Res.75 and H.R.1568

There are two bills pending before the U.S. Congress – one that uses the word genocide and the other asking for protection of minorities persecuted by ISIS.

  1. Please go to the homepage of all the U.S Representatives : http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/   Find your representative and click on the link under their names to contact them
  2. Copy the paragraph below and paste it into the comment box on your representative’s website, complete the form, add a personal message if you wish and click to submit. Repeat the process for each of your senators.
  3. You may send the text below or send the full letter further down the page

Please support H.Con.Res75 and H.R.1568 declaring that religious minorities such as Yezidis and Assyrian Christians in Iraq are suffering “war crimes,’’ ‘‘crimes against humanity,’’ and ‘‘genocide’’ at the hands of so-called-ISIS, and instituting protections for these minorities, including priority for consideration for admission as refugees to the USA.

Sample Letter to Your Representatives

To: _____________________ U.S. Congress

From: _______________________

RE: House Resolution 1568

Representative _____________________,

I am writing to ask you to sign on as a supporter for H.R. 1568, “Protecting Religious Minorities Persecuted by ISIS Act of 2015”. For the past year we have seen a vast tide of refugees arriving to Europe from the Syrian civil war. While dramatic images of this situation in the media have had a major political impact, there is another more desperate situation that is going less noticed.

On August 3, 2014, the ‘Islamic State’ staged a massive genocidal offensive across Western Iraq in the Sinjari desert region. This area is home to several small ethnic and religious minorities that were the targets of this genocide.

The Yezidi, a faith that is thought by some scholars to be the oldest religions on the planet, were particularly targeted. ‘Islamic State’ murdered many thousands and captured several thousand girls and young women instituting a pattern of abduction, rape, sexual slavery and human trafficking as documented by the State Department, independent international organizations and the world media. The Kurdish Regional Government is continuing to unearth mass graves that speak to the huge numbers of Yezidi that were massacred.

Now upwards of 500,000 Yezidi are in refugee camps across the Kurdish region. Their homeland, the villages in the Sinjar district has been completely destroyed. In the camps they are facing ethnic and religious oppression as soldiers and local aid workers deny them the collective opportunity to recover as a community. While they are not being murdered in the camps, they face a continuation of the historic discrimination they have suffered at the hands of the dominant local religious groups.

Yezidi genocide survivors do not have the ability to escape like those refugees arriving in Europe in recent months.  Due to the extraordinary rapidity of the onslaught by ‘Islamic State’ the Yazidis were displaced literally overnight and so generally lack the funds to make the journey to Europe. Furthermore because of religious discrimination they are denied access to reconstruction opportunities where security has been re-established.
The Yezidi need a refuge to survive so need to be allowed enter the USA where their faith and their culture will be welcomed and tolerated. Never have the words on the base of the Statue of Liberty been more relevant:  “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”.

The Yezidi that have come to the USA have had amazing success in Nebraska, Arizona, Washington and the New England States. The USA is a natural second home for the Yezidi because of our secular tolerance for people of all faiths.

We need HR 1568 to provide an opportunity for the Yezidi to recover from  ‘Islamic State’ genocide. We must not turn our backs on this small and vulnerable community that has suffered proportionately more than any other, is utterly isolated and is facing extinction. 
Please support this legislation to allow the Yezidi to escape annihilation.

Thank you,

 

If you live outside the U.S., please lobby your government to take more steps to help Yezidis and Assyrian Christians and other minorities (including Shabbaks and Druze who are not mentioned in the first bill).

Videos

For videos on a current situation, visit our youtube

Yezidis Need to Be Given Priority for Refugee Resettlement

1. Yezidis endure hardship of all the seasons. Pictures from Turkey and Iraq camps

 

2. The former captives need treatment but there is no support in place

3. Orphans and Widows need special care that is not available inside camps

4. Yezidis are in constant fear of new attacks and experience harassment and discrimination at the hand of Middle Eastern government

5. In Iraq Camps: Short on Basic Necessities- food, shelter, clothing, medication

6. No jobs, never can become a residents in places like Turkey, lacking basic needs, and Yezidis refuse to return to scene of their massacre

Articles:

  • http://kurdistantribune.com/2014/turkeys-refugee-law-as-applied-iraqis/
  • Yezidis face persecution no matter how the borders are drawn or who is the authority   http://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-yazidi-ambassador-explains-why-so-many-want-to-join-the-idf/

Persecution of Yezidis in Iraq

credit: Wikipedia

The 2007 Yazidi communities bombings occurred at around 7:20 pm local time on August 14, 2007, when four co-ordinated suicide bomb attacks detonated in the Yazidi towns of Kahtaniya and Jazeera (Siba Sheikh Khidir), near Mosul. Iraqi Red Crescent’s estimates say the bombs killed 796 and wounded 1,562 people, making this the Iraq War’s most deadly car bomb attack during the period of major American combat operations. It was also the second deadliest act of terrorism in history, following only behind the September 11 attacks in the United States.

For several months leading up the attack, tensions had been building up in the area, particularly between Yazidis and Sunni Muslims (Muslims including Arabs and Kurds). Some Yazidis living in the area received threatening letters calling them “infidels”. Leaflets were also distributed denouncing Yazidis as “anti-Islamic” and warning them that an attack was imminent.

The Sinjar area which has a mixed population of Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs was scheduled to vote in a plebiscite on accession to the Kurdish region in December 2007. This caused hostility among the neighbouring Arab communities. A force of 600 Kurdish Peshmerga was subsequently deployed in the area, and ditches were dug around Yazidi villages to prevent further attacks.

Details

The blasts targeted a religious minority, the Yazidi.The co-ordinated bombings involved a fuel tanker and three cars. An Iraqi interior ministry spokesman said that two tons of explosives were used in the blasts, which crumbled buildings, trapping entire families beneath mud bricks and other wreckage as entire neighborhoods were flattened. Rescuers dug underneath the destroyed buildings by hand to search for remaining survivors.[98]

“Hospitals here are running out of medicine. The pharmacies are empty. We need food, medicine and water otherwise there will be an even greater catastrophe,” said Abdul-Rahim al-Shimari, mayor of the Baaj district, which includes the devastated villages.[99]

Responsibility

The attacks carry Al-Qaeda’s signature of multiple simultaneous attacks. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. “We’re looking at Al-Qaeda as the prime suspect,” said Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver, a United States military spokesman. The group is reported to have distributed leaflets denouncing Yazidis as “anti-Islamic”. Others, including Iraq’s President, Jalal Talabani, blamed the bombings on “Iraqi Sunni Muslim Arab insurgents” seeking to undercut Premier Maliki’s conclave to end political deadlock among the country’s leaders.[

On September 3, 2007, the U.S. military reportedly killed the mastermind of the bombings, Abu Mohammed al-Afri.