Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Actually, I did want to know. . .

From Juan Cole:

The majority of Iraqis is [sic] Muslim, but the Iraqi state is not necessarily Islamic. Those who don't fall into the category of orthodox Muslims (Sunni or Shiite) probably amount to 5 percent of the population. There are 750,000 or so Christians, and smaller numbers of Mandaeans (Gnostics), Yezidis (you don't want to know), and heterodox Turkmen Shiites.

From Wikipedia:

Yazidi believe in God, the creator, but his role stops there. The active forces in their religion are Malak Ta’us and Sheik Adii.

According to the Yazidi, Malak Ta’us is a fallen peacock angel who repented and recreated the world that had been broken. He filled seven jars with his tears and used them to quench the fire in Hell. Yazidism also includes minor deities and some clans venerate Sheikh Adii as a saint, subservient to Malak Ta’us. There are also 6 other minor deities that are honored.

The Yazidi holy books are the Book of Revelation and the Black Book. The latter forbids eating of lettuce or butter beans and wearing of dark blue. The historical status of the book is questionable.

Fortunately for those of us in the public health business, who promote consumption of folic acid, they don't accept converts. I wonder what would happen if one of them ever got a job with IBM?