In Basra, vigilantes wage deadly campaign against women - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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In Basra, vigilantes wage deadly campaign against women

In Basra, vigilantes wage deadly campaign against women
By Jay Price and Ali Omar al Basri, McClatchy Newspapers
Thu Oct 4, 5:03 PM ET

BASRA, Iraq — Women in Basra have become the targets of a violent campaign by religious extremists, who leave more than 15 female bodies scattered around the city each month, police officers say.

Maj. Gen. Abdel Jalil Khalaf , the commander of Basra's police, said Thursday that self-styled enforcers of religious law threatened, beat and sometimes shot women who they believed weren't sufficiently Muslim.

"This is a new type of terror that Basra is not familiar with," he said. "These gangs represent only themselves, and they are far outside religious, forgiving instructions of Islam."

Often, he said, the "crime" is no more than wearing Western clothes or not wearing a head scarf.

Before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Iraqi women had had rights enshrined in the country's constitution since 1959 that were among the broadest of any Arab or Islamic nation. However, while the new constitution says that women are equal under the law, critics have condemned a provision that says no law can contradict the "established rulings" of Islam as weakening women's rights.

The vigilantes patrol the streets of Basra on motorbikes or in cars with dark-tinted windows and no license plates. They accost women who aren't wearing the traditional robe and head scarf known as hijab. Religious extremists in the city also have been known to attack men for clothes or even haircuts deemed too Western.

Like all of southern Iraq , Basra is populated mostly by Shiite Muslims, so sectarian violence isn't a major problem, but security has deteriorated as Shiite militias fight each other for power. British troops in the area pulled out last month.

Khalaf, who has a reputation for outspokenness in a city where that can get you killed, scoffed at the groups, calling them no better than criminal gangs. He said he didn't care if some were affiliated with the militias, he planned to crack down on them.

"If there is a red line related to the insurgents and militias, we will pass it over, because it's one of the factors that destroy the society," he said.

The violence is displacing the few members of religious minorities in the area. Fuad Na'im , one of a handful of Christians left in the city, said Thursday that the way his wife dressed made the whole family a target.

"I was with my wife few days ago when two young men driving a motorbike stopped me and asked her about her clothes and why she doesn't wear hijab," he said. "When I told them that we are Christians, they beat us badly, and I would be dead if some people nearby hadn't intervened."

That was enough, he said.

"I'm about to leave the city where I was born and where my father and grandfather were buried, because I can't live in a place where we're asked about our clothes, food and drink."

Elsewhere in Iraq on Thursday, Mua'awia Jibara, a leader in the tribal movement to fight the group al Qaida in Iraq in concert with U.S. troops, was fatally injured when a roadside bomb exploded near his convoy southwest of Samara . He died in a hospital. Three of his guards also were killed.

Around 10 a.m. , the deputy governor of Iskandariyah, about 30 miles south of Baghdad , was killed by a roadside bomb that targeted his convoy. Three guards also were killed.

There were several incidents of violence in Baghdad . In the eastern part of the city, a bomb planted in a minibus exploded about 9:30 a.m. , killing four people and injuring seven.

Around noon, a car bomb exploded in the Wihda neighborhood of east Baghdad , killing three people and injuring eight. A roadside bomb exploded in the Waziriyah neighborhood in north Baghdad , killing one person and injuring two.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 04:28 AM
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heh, heh......surely "we" liberated Iraq and gave it a puppet "Democratic" Govt., so all this is really not happening! heh, heh.......maybe they got the wrong Country, perhaps Afghanistan? Oops! But that has been liberated as well with an equally apt "Democratic" process in place but what about the 'Taleban' and the 'Warlords' still really ruling the Country, well.....hmmm lets cause a distraction and direct the public focus on Iran! heh, heh......the ignorant masses will believe anything "we" tell 'em! heh, heh.......
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 05:55 AM
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Yes, the "New Iraq".

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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There is nothing new about this. During the time of the Iranian Revolution, Islamic zealots would go around, and throw acid at the faces of women, whose dress was deemed inappropriate.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 09:52 AM
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I have read a Muslim writer, it might have been Rushdie, call Islamic Fundamentalism "The War Against Women". Funny, that's the same war our own fundies are waging.


Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 01:51 PM
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ayatollah all over again
ineffectual head
national embarrasement
and
back to kick butt time
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