The Shabak people
: Şebek ,شەبەک
) are a people with a disputed origin. While some scholars argue that Shabaks are an ethnic Kurdish
their origin is disputed. They live in Iraq
and speak Shabaki
, a Northwestern Iranian
language of the Zaza–Gorani
group. The Shabaks live in a religious community (ta'ifa
) in the Nineveh Plains
. The ancestors of Shabaks were followers of the Safaviyya
order, which was founded by the Kurdish mystic Safi-ad-din Ardabili
in the early 14th century.
The primary Shabak religious text is called the Buyruk
or Kitab al-Manaqib
(Book of Exemplary Acts), which is written in Turkmen
200,000–500,000 (2017 estimation)
Regions with significant populations
Members of the three Kurdish tribes of Bajalan
(or Bajarwans), Zangana
and Dawoody live in the same villages as the Shabaks and are commonly mistaken for being Shabak.
The origins of the word Shabak
are not clear. One view maintains that Shabak
is an Arabic
, indicating that the Shabak people originated from many different tribes. Austin Henry Layard
considered Shabak to be descendants of Kurds originating from Iran, and believed they might have affinities with the Ali-Ilahis
. Anastas Al-Karmali
also argued that Shabaks were ethnic Kurds.
Another theory suggest that Shabaks originated from Anatolian Turkomans
, who were forced to settle in the Mosul
area after the defeat of Ismail I
at the battle of Chaldiran
Deportation and forced assimilation
After the 1987 census, the Iraqi regime started a revenge campaign against those Shabaks who chose to declare themselves Kurdish.
The campaign included both deportation and forced assimilation and many of them (along with Zengana
Kurds) were relocated to concentration camps (mujamma'at
) located in the Harir
area of Kurdistan Region
. An estimated 1,160 Shabaks were killed during this period. In addition, increasing efforts have been made to force the Shabak to suppress their own identity in favour of being Arab. The Iraqi government's efforts of forced assimilation
and religious persecution put the Shabaks under increasing threat. As one Shabak told a researcher: "The government said we are Arabs, not Kurds; but if we are, why did they deport us from our homes?"
Shabak politician Salim al-Shabaki, a representative of Shabaks in the Iraqi parliament, said "The Shabaks are part of the Kurdish nation", emphasizing that Shabaks are ethnically Kurdish.
On 21 August 2006, Shabak Democratic Party leader Hunain Qaddo proposed the creation of a separate province within the borders of the Nineveh Plain to combat the Kurdification
of Iraqi minorities.
On 20 December 2006, ten Shabak representatives unanimously voted for the non-inclusion of Shabak inhabited areas of the Mosul region into the Kurdistan Regional Government
. A number of Shabak village aldermans noted that they were threatened into signing the incorporation petition by Kurdish authorities.
On 30 June 2011, the Nineveh provincial council distributed 6,000 lots of land to state employees. According to the head of the Shabak Advisory Board Salem Khudr al-Shabaki, the majority of those lots were deliberately given to Arabs.
Hunain al-Qaddo, a Shabak politician, was quoted by Human Rights Watch that: "The Peshmerga
have no genuine interest in protecting his community, and that Kurdish security forces are more interested in controlling Shabaks and their leaders than protecting them."
Shabaks combine elements of Sufism
with their own interpretation of divine reality
. According to Shabaks, divine reality is more advanced than the literal interpretation of Qur'an
which is known as Sharia
. Shabak spiritual guides are known as pirs
, and they are well versed in the prayers and rituals of the sect. Pirs are under the leadership of the Supreme Head or Baba
Pirs act as mediators between divine power and ordinary Shabaks. Their beliefs form a syncretic faith similar to the beliefs of Yarsanism
Shabaks also consider the poetry of Ismail I
to be revealed by God, and they recite Ismail's poetry during religious meetings.
- Ali Rash
- Badanat Sufla
- Badanat Ulya
- Basatliya Saghirah
- Gora Ghariban
- Kiretagh / Qaraytagh
- Manara Shabak
- Qara Shor
- Qara Tappa
- Sheikh Amir
List of mixed settlements in the Nineveh Plains:
- Abu Jarwan (Shabak–Bajalan Kurdish)
- Bartella (Shabak–Assyrian)
- Basatliya (Shabak–Kurdish)
- Bashbitah (Mixed Kurdish)
- Bashiqa (Shabak–Yezidi)
- Bir Hallan (Mixed Kurdish)
- Birma (Mixed Kurdish)
- Fadila (Mixed Kurdish)
- Hasan Shami (Mixed Kurdish–Arab)
- Jilu Khan (Mixed Kurdish)
- Kabarli (Mixed Kurdish)
- Kanunah (Mixed Kurdish)
- Kharabat Sultan (Mixed Kurdish)
- Khorsabad (Mixed Kurdish)
- Orta Kharab (Mixed Kurdish)
- Bakhdida / Qaraqosh / Hamdaniyah (Assyrian-Shabak)
- Qarqashah (Mixed Kurdish)
- Shamsiyat (Shabak–Turkmen)
- Summaqiyah (Mixed Kurdish)
- Tall Akub (Mixed Kurdish)
- Tallara (Mixed Kurdish)
- Topzawah (Mixed Kurdish)
- Tubraq Ziyarah (Mixed Kurdish)
- Umar Qabji (Mixed Kurdish)
- Umarkan (Mixed Kurdish)
- Yangija (Mixed Kurdish)
- Yarimjah (Shabak–Turkmen)
- Zara Khatun (Mixed Kurdish)
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- ^ Imranali Panjwani. Shi'a of Samarra: The Heritage and Politics of a Community in Iraq. p. 172.
- ^ "'Trust is gone': Iraqi Christians fear returning due to Shiite militia". The Daily Star - Lebanon. 12 February 2019.
- ^ Erica Gaston (5 August 2017). "Iraq after ISIL: Qaraqosh, Hamdaniya District". GPPi. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
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Last edited on 8 May 2021, at 19:11
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