03-04-07, 04:09 PM #1
Iraq's Mandaeans 'face extinction'The Sabian Mandaeans - one of the oldest religious groups in the world - are facing extinction, according to its leaders.
They claim that Islamic extremists in Iraq are trying to wipe them out through forced conversions, rape and murder.
The Mandaeans are pacifists, followers of Adam, Noah and John the Baptist.
They have lived in what is now Iraq since before Islam and Christianity.
More than 80% have been forced to flee the country and now live as refugees in Syria and Jordan.
Even there they do not feel safe - but they say western governments are unwilling to take them in.
There are thought to be fewer than 70,000 of the Sabian Mandaeans spread across the world - only 5,000 are left in Iraq.
Mazen's leg with machine gun wounds
Mazen's legs are peppered with machine gun wounds
Nine-year-old Selwan likes watching cartoons and playing football.
But he is too scared to leave his flat. The other children tease him.
He has burns all down the side of his face and on 20% of his body.
He was kidnapped by Islamic militants who forced him to jump into a bonfire - because he is Mandaean.
Now his family lives in a tiny flat in a slum in Damascus.
I meet Luay. He is too scared to be identified and does not want to use his full name.
He was dragged off the street by armed men and forcibly circumcised - a practice not allowed in the Mandaean religion.
He is 19 and is now unlikely ever to find a bride from his own faith.
Worse, he was forcibly converted. That means in the eyes of those same extremists if he now declares himself Mandaean he is apostate.
That makes him a traitor to Islam, who may be murdered. He says he will not be safe in any Muslim country.
'Convert or die'
Then there is Enhar, raped by a gang of masked men in front of her husband - because she would not wear a veil.
A peaceful religion?
03-04-07, 04:14 PM #2
03-04-07, 05:41 PM #3
Mandaeans are the remnants of a 100CE gnostic mystery cult. They were probably a group of gnostic Xians that evolved over time.
They don't have a "founder" per say, but like all good Theists they do have their version of a cult of personality - it doesn't revolve around a Zarathustra, Siddhārtha Gautama, Mosses, Jesus, Mohammed, Bahá'u'lláh, Joseph Smith Jr. or John Frum (HaaHaaa! John Frum! ... sorry about that ) they put John the Baptist at the center of their belief - so the deviation from the norm is not all that much .. .. .. .. ..
Kind of cute little theistic belief really.. .. .. good people those Mandaens, many migrated to AU. Though not as open as Bahai' who also migrated here to escape Muslims that take their Qur'anic faith just a little too seriously. I think they are like Zoroastrians in that regard.. . ...
Anyway, and the most important thing is that, many of the Mandaeans' collection of ancient religous texts are unknown to the outside world. Finally some of them are currently being translated and will soon be available on the net. Lets hope this occurs before their Muslim cousins kill them off or burn their historically significant millennial old manuscripts.
03-04-07, 09:10 PM #4
03-04-07, 09:12 PM #5
Strange how so many of the world's oldest religions: The Coptic Church, the Sabeans, the Zoroastrians and other sects are only surviving due to having been in the Middle East, that place of violence and intolerance.
03-05-07, 04:57 PM #6
It's post-hoc to say "Oh look, here we have a couple of Coptics and a few Mandeans .. gee isn't Islam accommodating.
Do you really believe that?
No one knows just how many other beliefs were obliterated long ago.. .. .. ..
That said, Xianities history of subjecting people in the name of the One True God is much worse - no one is arguing that point.
I've often said, Islam and Xianity are as two peas in a pod,
03-05-07, 04:58 PM #7
03-05-07, 05:01 PM #8
03-05-07, 11:14 PM #9Christians in the name of Jesus or Muslims in the name of Mohammad?
03-05-07, 11:15 PM #10
03-05-07, 11:29 PM #11
Didn't they all have to leave the Middle East?
Zoroastrians fled to India.
Copts are leaving Egypt.
03-06-07, 12:11 AM #12
Then again, the Aboriginals (or Abo's as some Aussies like to call them) don't seem to be fairing so well around these parts....
Not to mention the many Koreans I know who grew up in Japan and are now stuck in mental-limbo (thus they end up here in AU). Never Japanese because of their last name and not quite Korean enough because of their thick Japanese accent. Sux for them.
So, really, maybe this sort of behavior is human at it's more instinctual autonomic level?
Haaa... did you see this one --->
03-06-07, 08:48 AM #13
03-06-07, 08:53 AM #14
03-06-07, 09:34 AM #15
03-06-07, 07:38 PM #16
03-06-07, 07:48 PM #17
Yeah, but don't worry, stupidity appears to be a world wide phenomenon.
03-10-07, 09:58 PM #18