Officially, the Kakai religious minority in Iraq does not exist. Although it has many members, they are all registered as Muslims.
In Iraq, all citizens must have their religion registered on their ID cards. Leaving aside the question of whether this is just, the Kakai is not even recognized as existing, despite being 500,000 to 1,000,000 strong, split between Iraq and Iran.
They are simply listed as Muslims.
Dr. Zyad Fareeq is an activist on a mission to change that. He launched a new campaign to pressure the Iraqi government and Kurdistan regional authority to allow Kakai to register their faith on their ID cards.
The campaign involves some 100-150 activists and Fareeq told Clarion Project that many more support the campaign but are afraid to become involved since they fear persecution.
“I regard it as a genocide when the Iraqi government changes our registered religion from Kakai to Muslim by force, erasing our identity,” Fareeq told Clarion Project.
His campaign, if successful, would expose Kakai to greater risks. Yet he told Clarion the Kakai are already persecuted, and if they do not stand up for who they are and what they believe in ”over the generations our identity and religion will be lost.”
Dr. Zyad Fareeq was previously interviewed by Clarion Project here.