Attacks on Yezidis in German refugee shelters
“We have fled from Iraq because we have faced discrimination. And now we have been put under one roof with the same people from whom this stigmatization came from”, says the irritated Faraj who is currently housed in a refugee hostel in Dunningen, Baden-Württemberg.
The Yezidi from Iraq fled from everyday discrimination and the Islamic State´s henchmen when only a few kilometres separated the terrorists from his village during the onslaught on the Yezidi region Shingal.
Like many others, Faraj hopes for the chance of a better, safer life in Germany where he does not have to fear becoming a target of religious discrimination. Faraj, however, could not have imagined that the opposite could have turned into bitter reality on German soil.
Verbal abuses, sexual harassment as well as attacks on Christians and Yezidis by Muslim asylum seekers in Germany take place on an almost daily basis. They are no longer seen as isolated cases.
At the end of December of last year, two Muslims from Iraq called Zerevan A. and Ari Abas O. approach Faraj, asking him if he is Yezidi. After Faraj answers their question in the affirmitive, the young men suddenly start to insult him and his religion. Other asylum seekers record the event on their smartphone. Faraj will have to face repeated hostility in the next days – until the situation escalates. One evening in January, the young Muslims seek him out one more time and raise their fist against Faraj.
“They entered my room at around 10 pm, insulted and poked me. When they tried to hit me in the face, a Shiite from Iraq intervened”, Faraj says, adding: “not all [Muslims] are like that but I´m just one of many Yezidis who are subjected to these issues”. With the help of local social workers, Faraj filed a complaint with the police. “Germany cannot expect them to shed their mentality on the border from one day to the next. Their hatred doesn´t disappear overnight”, he says. “Many of them behave as if they own this country or as if the rules and laws from the Quran apply here.”