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Aspirations for Ethnonationalist Identities among Religious Minorities in Iraq: The Case of Yazidi Identity in the Period of Kurdish and Arab Nationalism, 1963–2003

  • Majid Hassan Ali (a1)


The aspirations of religious minorities in Iraq for becoming recognized ethnonationalist entities have rarely been investigated from a historical perspective, particularly in the case of the Yazidis. This article addresses changing attitudes about the Yazidi religious minority identity across different historical periods. Yazidi identity is examined as an ancillary undercurrent to the ethnonationalist identity conflict between the central government of Iraq and the Kurdish movement. This contrasts with identity as a religious minority in prior eras, when religious minorities preserved their distinct core identities based on their own social and religious customs and idiosyncrasies, making them self-defining communities bound together by coherent religious identities. In the case of the Yazidi minority, despite the multiplicity of theories and hypotheses about the origins of the Yazidi people and their national and ethnic affiliations and increasing rumors about Yazidis related to their existence as a potential sub-ethnicity or ethno-religion, the important truth is that Yazidis consider themselves religiously, culturally, and historically distinct from other ethnonationalist groups and communities in Iraq.


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Aspirations for Ethnonationalist Identities among Religious Minorities in Iraq: The Case of Yazidi Identity in the Period of Kurdish and Arab Nationalism, 1963–2003

  • Majid Hassan Ali (a1)


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