Today on January 19, 2023, the German parliament unanimously recognized the 2014 attacks and crimes committed by the so-called Islamic State against the Yezidi community as genocide. In her remarks, foreign minister Anna-Lena Bärbock, herself being a long-term strong supporter of the Yezidis, remembered the trauma and crimes against humanity the Yezidi community had to endure. The parliament voted to recognize those crimes as genocide as defined by the charter of the United Nations. With this decision, the German parliament made a strong statement demanding political action from the government in support of the Yezidis in Iraq and other places. It is a task for Germany as a whole to raise public awareness of and commemorate the genocide of the Yezidis. Germany is home to the largest diaspora group of Yezidis, where they are an important part of society. The parliament strongly supports and protects the life and the rights of the Yezidis in Germany and abroad.
The Yezidi Study Center applauds the German parliament for this decision. The YSC also recognizes the many Yezidi and non-Yezidi organizations who have work hard in the previous years to lobby the German government on this matter. The decision has far-reaching consequences for the Yezidi communities all over the world, and in particular the academic community. Now Yezidi scholars, students and researchers can apply more easily for exchange and educational programs. Other projects focusing on scientific and academic questions will have better chances to get funding that often comes from sources connected to the German government.
Today´s decision is a promise and call for increasing our efforts to study, learn and understand Yezidi religion, culture, and heritage. The Yezidi Studies Center will double their efforts to launch academic and humanitarian projects with Yezidi partners to deliver on that promise.