THE LEVANT – The Islamic State has posted photos alleging the recent conversion of Yezidi Kurds to Islam, claiming they freely chose to convert. Despite this claim made by the Islamic State, literature was distributed in the Nineveh Province of Iraq demanding that all non-Muslims pay the Jizya (tax for non-Muslim subjects); if they fail to do so, they must either convert to Islam or face execution.
Yezidi Kurds have been immensely persecution under the Islamic State, due in large part to their religious beliefs. According to members from the Islamic State, Yezidi Kurds are labeled “devil worshippers ” and “Zoroastrians” – making it permissible to condemn the populous.
The Nineveh Province is home to the largest population of Yezidis in the world; it is also home to many Assyrians and Chaldeans – these religious and ethnic minorities have been specifically targeted by the Islamic State.