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The Ottomans, the Kurds, the Yazidis, and Wikipedia

Reader comment on item: Erdoğan Fails to Conquer New York City

Submitted by François Gravel (Canada), Sep 25, 2014 at 04:48

According to the Syrian-Kurdish website http://rojavareport.wordpress.com (August 7, 2014), "the Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu defended the Islamic State of Iraq and Shams (ISIS) from accusations of terrorism, blaming instead the governments of Iraq and Syria for the current violence in the region."

Now why would Erdogan's Foreign Minister defend ISIS thugs from accusations of committing atrocities against Yazidis, you might ask? One possible answer is to be found in Wikipedia's article on this religious minority: "Treatment of Yazidis was exceptionally harsh during the rule of the Ottoman Empire during the 18th and the first half of 19th century; Yazidis have suffered 72 massacres, and their numbers dwindled under Ottoman rule both in Syria and Iraq. Massacres at the hand of Ottoman Turks and Muslim Kurdish princes almost wiped out their community in the 19th century. Several punitive expeditions were organized against the Yazidis by the Turkish governors (Wali) of Diyarbakir, Mosul and Baghdad. These operations were legitimized by fatawa from Islamic clerics. The objective of these persecutions was the forced conversion of Yazidis to the Sunni Hanafi Islam of the Turkish Ottoman Empire." So much for Erdogan's argument about the "successful" and "unproblematic" Ottoman administration system.

Interestingly, the above quotation comes from the "Yazidis" Wikipedia article archived in a Wayback Machine snapshot dated August 12, 2014, where it appears under the heading "In other cultures - Muslim antipathy." In the current Wikipedia article, the said paragraph has been considerably reduced in length and it now appears under the heading "In other cultures - Under the Ottoman Empire," with no mention whatsoever of Muslim Kurdish princes. Which begs the question: By whom were these changes brought, and to what purpose? Mr. Pipes, any answer on this?

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

I cannot answer. But every Wikipedia page has a complete history of changes, when and by whom, so you can explore the topic further.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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