Iraq-born Jew pledges solidarity at Yazidi conference

 Edwin Shuker

A London-based Jewish businessman attended the first conference on the genocide of the Yazidis and pleaded for Iraq to return to its diverse and tolerant past.

Speaking at the conference in Erbil, organised by the Kurdish Rudaw Research centre, Edwin Shuker, who had escaped the country in 1971,  pledged his solidarity with the persecuted Yazidi minority ‘as an Iraqi’. Chronicling the persecution that beset the ‘ethnically cleansed’ Iraqi-Jewish community as he was growing up,  the  63-year-old Baghdad-born Shuker urged Iraqis to uproot D’aesh – Islamic State – not just physically, but from their hearts.

Mindful of those who have denied the Holocaust, he advised the Yazidis to keep records of their sufferings so that it would be harder to deny them in the future.

He urged the Yazidis not to emigrate but to remain wedded to their 6,000-year old culture and educate their children about Yazidism.

Edwin Shuker said he had prayed at the tomb of the prophet Jonah in Mosul – a Jewish prophet in a Muslim shrine in a Christian city – that the tolerance that all religions had known in Iraq should again prevail.

Up to 4,000 Yazidis were massacred on Mount Sinjar in 2014 in what the international community has recognised as a genocide. Many were forced into exile from their ancestral lands, sold into slavery and forcibly converted to Islam.

Click here to see Edwin Shuker delivering his speech

More about Edwin Shuker



  • Davisl you are correct. Shuker should know – he experienced the oppression of the Saddam regime and had to escape the country with the help of the Kurds.

  • It seems nice and sweet, Iran and Iraq are not Friends with their Countrymen the Jews So the best thing any Jew that is left in those two countries should do Their best to get out, and Return to the Home Land that is waiting for their return there will never be _Peace with the Land of their Birth in those two Muslim Countries, Immigration to Israel is the only Solution for these People.

  • He talks a lot about all "Iraqis" once living in peace and harmony. Admittedly, I'm not Iraqi (or a Zionist for that matter), but is he sure about that? I don't mean to accuse him, but that's a favorite theme among anti-semites – everyone in the middle East lived in peace and harmony, until Zionism (or something else) came along and ruined everything. So RE Iraq (or any middle eastern country), does he really believe that it was once this wonderfully diversified paradise on earth?


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