An Iranian commander is overseeing the talks between the Kakais and the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashid Shaabi), a paramilitary supported by Iran, to sort out the issue of insulting a member of the Kakais ethnoreligious minority in Kirkuk few days ago.
On Sunday evening, July 24, a delegation of Hashdi Shaabi and a Revolutionary Guards commander named Iqbalpour visited the Kaka’I elderly and community leaders in Kirkuk to discuss the issue of insulting a Kakae citizen.
Ziad Fahad, a Kaka’i figure and one of the organizers of the Kakae protest on the first day of the incident, said, "The Iranian commander directly supervised the meeting and said at the beginning that those who did this do not represent Hashid Shaabi forces.”
Those who did this do not represent Hashid Shaabi forces
Iqbalpour, who spoke in Persian and accompanied by a translator, was the first to speak and said that the action should not be interpreted as a treatment of Hashd Shaabi forces and expressed his readiness for any demands of the Kakais on this issue.
The incident occurred after Ayman and a friend went to work in Duzkhurmatu district from Kirkuk on November 21, where they had an argument and the friend took video of Ayman talking.
On Saturday, July 23, Ayman Abdi, 38, a Kaka’i resident of Kirkuk, said he was beaten and threatened by a group of militants of PMF.
Abdi, a Peshmerga (Kurdish fighter), Works as construction labourer with his friends on off days. After that he and a friend went to work in Tuz Khurmatu district of Salahaddin province on July 21st, where they had an argument. His friend reproaches the Kurdish Peshmerga, provoking Abdi to criticize the PMF. His friend videotaped Abdi.
Two days after the conversation, Ayman said, a group of Hashid militants went to his workplace, attacked him and arrested him.
They shaved part of his moustache and hair, tortured me, broke his head and nose, knowing that keeping a moustache is a religious commitment for the Kaka'i male.
Kaka'i, Yarsanism or Ahl Alhaq, is a secretive monotheist spiritual religion that has no special places for worship, a religion mostly practiced in Iraq and Iran. Kaka'i followers are about 100,000, mostly found in northern provinces of Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk, Erbil, Ninewa up to Diyala in the middle of Iraq.
Yarsanism has not been officially recognized in the Iraqi constitution yet it has been in the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region. Their villages and towns were a target for extremist militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS whom persecuted them as “idol worshippers.”
The incident sparked widespread protests in Iraq, especially in Kirkuk, until Sunday, July 24, the Hashd Shaabi delegation and the Iranian commander met with them and a cautious calmness has occurred as an outcome of the talks.
"We demanded the arrest of the perpetrators of the incident, and Iqbalpour, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, and the Hashdi Shaabi delegation promised to hand over the perpetrators to the law within two days," said Bahman Mam Wali, a prominent Kaka’i figure who attended the meeting.
We demanded the arrest of the perpetrators, and Iqbalpour, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, and the Hashdi Shaabi delegation promised to hand over the perpetrators to the law within two days
"However, we asked that after the criminals are handed over to the law, we will meet and resolve the issue through tribal ," he said.
The two days end on Tuesday, July 26, and as of this writing, the perpetrators have not been arrested.
There are 18 Kaka’i shrines across Iraq, seven of them located in Kirkuk province. The most famous of them are: sayyid-Ibrahim Shrine in Baghdad and the sayyid-Baba Yadgar Shrine in Iran, which most Kaka'is visit to pray for curing diseases and fulfilling their wishes.
The Iraqi constitution does not recognize Kaka'i as a religion but KRG bill of miniroties does. Hawar people are represented in Halabja Provincial council.
Tolerance and patience of Kaka'is in general and of Hawar residents in particular made their survival easier. They enjoy a fairly safe, stable and free community except in the territories disputed between Baghdad and Erbil.