Tag Archives: Kurdistan

Are thousands of Kurds abandoning Islam?

The article, published by a Kurdish news source, describes what appears to be a growing disenchantment with Islam in that region as a result of the violence and destruction of the Islamic State.

Many Muslims are confronted by the violent extremism of the Islamic State (ISIS) and wonder how to reconcile their personal beliefs with the actions of the extremist group. The Kurdish population is approximately 94% nominally Muslim. Recently, however, there have been many reports of Kurds leaving Islam or converting to other religions. The Zoroastrian movement claims to have as many as 100,000 followers in Iraqi Kurdistan. Christian organizations assert that thousands in the region have been seeking out Christianity as they reject ISIS’ interpretation of Islam. There are also reports of growing numbers of atheists and agnostics.

This quote however by an ordinary citizen I think is more significant:

[Sanger Najim, a young man living in Erbil] points the finger of blame at religious leaders for the rise of extremism and growing number of people turning away from Islam. “We don’t have [a] response when people from [the] West [are] telling us that Islam is cruel, Islam is Daesh. We don’t have a response for this. Why? The Mullahs never tell us what real Islam is. They are just reading us some history facts. They are just telling us some history… from old times. They are not able to link it with present society… They have to link Quran with the real life.”

He is horrified by the actions of the Islamic State, but cannot get a satisfactory answer about why this is not Islam from his own Islamic Mullahs.

ISIS in retreat?

This story is one of several published the last few days that have described the retreat of ISIS from several Kurdish and Iraqi villages.

I hadn’t posted any of the previous stories because I was unsure of their reliability. The number, however, keeps increasing and the sources are becoming more trustworthy. If true, it is mostly good news, though one should always be hesitant about the leadership of any faction in the Islamic Middle East. They might start out sounding good, but too often they end up being either incompetent or as evil as can be imagined.

Maps showing the territories of the Kurds and the Islamic State

Since I think it useful to have a rough geographical understanding of the situation, I have been digging around to find some maps that will outline the territories controlled by the both the Kurds and the Islamic State (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]), including the areas of dispute. This link provides the best selection I’ve found so far.

Based on these maps, I wonder when ISIS will start moving into next door Iran, as its western regions are adjacent to their present holdings.