Ezidis stop building Husseiniya for Shiites in Shingal

Nineveh, June 10th, 2021- A "Hussainiyah-to-be" chamber in the village of Sikeniya in Shingal destructed by Ezidis. Photo shared by the locals with Kirkuknow.

By Ammar Aziz in Nineveh

A number of Ezidi locals and clergy protest a plan by the Shiite Muslims to build a Mosque for the Shiites, Husseiniya, and convince the Shiite endowment to destruct it.

On June 10th, villagers of  Sikeniya in Shingal ezidi dominant district, demolish a the base of a building close to the spring of the village as the Shiite Muslims of Karbala province in cooperation with the local Shiites of Shingal were trying to build a Husseiniya.

Fakhir Khalaf, an Ezidi cleric, took part in demolishing the one room building said they have talked to the Shiite Endowment, a government body over sighting the Huseiniyas and other religious shrines and tombs alike its Sunni counterpart, and " told them we do not accept building a Husseiniya and a shrine in the village and they happily agreed."

The construction materials which were sent from the city of Karbala, one of the Shiite holy cities, were delivered back to Shiite Endowment as they consider it sacred.

We haven’t said Sikeniya is for the Shiites, we just said its spring is sacred for the Shiites

The Shiite people from Karbala have commenced building the house in the village of Sikeniya on June 7th.

The Shiites Muslims, majority in Iraq yet minority in the war-torn Ezidi region, deny any efforts to have a footprint in the region.

"We have not said the village of Sikeniya is for the Shiites, we just said the spring is sacred for the Shiites so some people from Karbala built a room a restroom not a Husseiniya, for the visitors to rest there," said Subhi Elias, representative of the Shiite Endowment in Shingal.

The Ezidis insist they plan was to build a Husseiniya.

The village of Sikeniya is only 4 km far from the center of Shingal and its spring is sacred for people whom use its water as a cure for some diseases.

Shingal, located 120 km west of Mosul, center of Nineveh province, used to be home to about 300,000 adherents Ezidi ethno-religious minority and one of the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil.

Ezidis also reside Shekhan, Bashiqa and other areas in Nineveh and Duhok Northern Province.

"Even the Ezidis know the story of the holy spring," Elias said.

The Shiites narrate a story that back in the early ages of Islam, the army plan to go to Levant following martyrdom of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohamed and son of Mohammed's cousin Ali bin Abi Talib, the fourth Caliph of the Muslims.

 Fatima al-Zahra, daughter of Imam Hussein, is lost then later found by the spring.

shi3a in shngal

Nineveh, 2020- the Ceremony of Ashura, the annual commemoration of Imam Hussein, a religious ritual for the Shiites, in the district of Shingal. KirkukNow. 

Ezidis deny that ever any Shiites lived in the area.

"The Shiite Muslims have never lived in this village at any age. It was always home for the Eizids so we reject taking over the region," said Hadi Sivok, an Eizidi social figure of Qirani tribe, one of the leading tribes in the area.

"They were planning to build some other rooms and turn it to a Husseiniya so we talked to the Shiites of Shingal and demolished the house," he added.

A truck carries back the construction materials back to the shrine of Zainab in Shingal.

The village of Sikeniya was home to 300 Ezidi families from two main tribes, Qirani and Mankai.

"It was always home for the Eizids so we reject taking over the region,"

"The water of Sikiniya spring is sacred to the Shiite and all people of Iraq. Since years, people come from other cities to take its water," said Khal Ali, commander of Shiite paramilitary of the Popular Mobilization Forces PMF in Shingal.

"We have talked to the owner of the land where the spring is and he agreed to build a room for the visitors to rest."

As building the house sparked wide protests, the owner regrets building the room and the Shiites agree to demolish the room and return the material to the shrine of Sayida Zainab in SHingal, Ali added.

Beside the majority Ezidis, Sunni and Shiite Muslims and also Christians live in Shingal.

The extremist militants of so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have blown eight Shiite shrines and two of it have been renovated, one of them is the shrine for Sayida Zainab.

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