Shafaq News/ The Directorate for Religious Coexistence, within the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs in the Kurdistan Region, condemned the recent statements made by the representative of the Zoroastrian religion, Awat Hussam Al-Din, regarding the Quran, mosques, and certain Muslim rituals.
In a recent TV interview, Awat Hussam Al-Din said, "I did not find the Quran convincing after reading it 9 times." She also argued that "mosques are not necessary and are not part of Kurdish culture." suggesting repurposing their buildings for various uses, such as centers for youth rehabilitation, orphanages, shelters for the homeless and destitute, homes for the families of Peshmerga martyrs, or as a refuge for displaced persons and refugees, or converting them into schools and hospitals.
The Directorate released a statement asserting that Awat's opinions are "illogical and contrary to the values of coexistence." They emphasized that she does not represent the Zoroastrians in the Ministry of Endowments, and "her views are her own, not those of the Zoroastrian community."
Furthermore, the Directorate strongly condemned Awat's statements, stating, "We affirm the coexistence between religions and we will protect and defend it in every way, as it is the source of strength for Kurdistan."
Notably, Zoroastrianism, the religion that most Kurds followed before Islam emerged, goes back to Zoroaster who propagated it about 3,500 years ago. Its adherents believe in one eternal God, Ahura Mazda (the Wise God), who created the universe and only produces good. Zoroastrians regard Zoroaster as a prophet sent by God, and they acknowledge six helpers of the God Ahura Mazda. They also keep the Avesta book, which includes excerpts from their holy book.
It is worth mention that There are eight religions in the Kurdistan Region: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Sabean-Mandeans, Yazidism, Kakaism, Baha'i, and Zoroastrianism.
The Kurdistan Region, according to Law No. 11 of the Kurdistan Parliament, guaranteed the freedom of religion, including the Zoroastrian religion.