The Izadi community once numbered around 500,000 members in the mountainous Sinjar region of northwest Iraq, but it was ravaged by Daesh’s 2014 sweep into the area.
The militants killed Izadi men, forced boys to join their ranks as fighters and abducted and imprisoned thousands of Izadi women as sex slaves.
The children born of those rapes have been the subject of fierce debate in the insular community, which only recognizes children as Izadi if both their parents hail from the sect.
Last week, the head of the Supreme Spiritual Council Hazem Tahsin Said issued what appeared to be a landmark shift, publishing an order “accepting all survivors (of Daesh crimes) and considering what they went through to have been against their will.”
The decision was hailed as “historic” by Izadi activists, who understood it to mean that children born of rape would now be allowed to live among their Izadi relatives.
But late Saturday, the Council published a clarification that the decision “does not include children born of rape, but refers to children born of two Izadi parents.”
The Izadi community had long considered any women marrying outside the sect to no longer be Izadi, initially including those assaulted by Daesh in 2014.
Earlier this month, Iraqi President Barham Saleh proposed a bill to parliament that would provide reparations for Izadi female survivors of Daesh crimes and establish a court to clarify “civil status” issues.