Iraq: Militia comes to school, asks students to report “suspicious behavior”: not terrorists, but “emo” kids
Priorities, in an update on this story. No one seems to grasp that looking the other way from extra judicial killings of allegedly deficient Muslims will eventually come back to bite them, because they have approved the practice in principle. “Iraqi murders put gay and emo youth on edge,” by Mohammed Tawfiq for CNN, March 12:
“Baghdad(CNN) — A recent rash of killings of people perceived to be gay or emo in Iraq has stoked fear within those communities, which worry the government might be unwilling or unable to protect them.At least 14 such victims were killed in Baghdad in the past three weeks, according to a senior Interior Ministry official, who was not authorized to talk to the media.
Rights activists claim the number is actually much higher, with some suggesting dozens or more than 100 have been killed since February.
The killings appear to target people perceived to be gay, or emo — shorthand in Iraq for an in-your-face style of Western dress that favors tight clothes, long hair and the color black.
Most of the killings have taken place in Shiite neighborhoods like Sadr City, Shulaa, Ameen and Tariq, activists said.”
“Ten days ago, I received a letter from militiamen threatening me that if they found me then they will not kill me like other ‘perverts,’ but they will cut my body into pieces,” a gay activist told CNN on Sunday.
The activist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of safety concerns, showed CNN a copy of a letter he said was distributed in Sadr City, identifying 33 potential “gay and emo” targets.
“We strongly warn every male and female debauchee, if you do not stop this dirty act within four days, then the punishment of God will fall on you at the hands of Mujahideen,” it read.
CNN could not confirm the authenticity of the letter.
The anonymous threats and murders come less than a month after the Interior Ministry released a statement on the so-called emo phenomenon, blasting it as Satanic.
It said the movement, which it described as young people wearing “strange and tight clothes with graphics such as skulls,” is being monitored by authorities with the goal of eliminating it.
To that end, community or “moral police” will be allowed to enter schools in the capital, the statement read.
That, from Iraq’s own government. Once again, the morality police are a government’s cheap and lazy way of looking busy by going after easy targets.
The campaign and violence have had an immediate chilling effect among youth communities in Baghdad.Teenager Kamel Saad told CNN he cut his hair so as not to become a potential target.
“I’m not the only one. All my friends in the school decided to change their hair style and change their clothes, too, even though we’re not emo or gay,” he said.
Saad said a group of men, who identified themselves as community police, entered his classroom two weeks ago and asked students to tell them about other students’ suspicious behavior.
“I thought it was about terrorism, but later, when the police explained more, we realized that they were talking about emo,” he said.
Interior ministry allegedly knew of planned massacre of “emo” youth
More on this story. Note the freewheeling conflation of the suspicion of homosexual tendencies, allegations of devil worship, and whatever else the government’s thugs please to level at their targets. The all too literal witch-hunt is ultimately an indiscriminate, arbitrary display of power designed to terrorize the populace into line, and into erring on the side of not calling attention to themselves that could put them in harm’s way.
This is the test case, the prototype for things to come, if no one has the political will to resist. The extra judicial terrorizing of the population on “moral” grounds will not stop with the persecution of “emo” Iraqi youth.
The moral police have decided to get their foot in the door by targeting a group they think no one will care about. “Iraq ministry backs LGBT massacre as fears grow of more attacks,” by Sharifa Ghanem for Bikya Masr, March 12:
DUBAI: A new report revealed that the Iraqi ministry of interior has backed a reported massacre of some 100 Emos and LGBT people in the country last month. Gay Middle Eastreported an Iraqi source as saying a new wave of violence could begin as early as Monday.The Iraqi Interior Ministry knew about the plan to massacre ‘emo’ youths and LGBT people and are complicit in up to 100 killings, new evidence suggests, PinkNews reported on Sunday.
Gay Middle East claims that Iraqi officials had a “hit list of people who were scheduled for slaughter, but did nothing to protect them.”
It is unclear exactly happened [sic] in the country, but a hit list was published on Palestine Street by a Shiite militia in the country and was put up in the past three days, warning men and women in universities to end their “immoral” behavior.
Gay Middle East believes this means a new wave of massacres could begin immediately, sparking fear among the Iraqi gay community, who told Bikyamasr.com on condition of anonymity that “this is real. It happened last month and we are all very fearful of what will happen in the next few days.”
The source, a gay Iraqi youth, added that “the government will do nothing because they want us all slaughtered.”
PinkNews reported on Friday that “the kidnappings, torture and murders started on February 6 and have targeted those with alternative dress codes or have differing sexualities.”
Both PinkNews and Gay Middle East sources have reported that inside Iraq, the words ‘emo’ and ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ are used “interchangeably.”
Bissam a blogger with Gay Middle East said: “It is commonly assumed that most emos are ‘fags’, feminine (in the case of boys) or masculine (in the case of girls), and Satan worshipers. Girls wearing short skirts, tight trousers (called ‘stretch’) are also singled out as morally corrupt and therefore legitimate targets.”
In Baghdad, local media reported massacres of emo youth and LGBT people occurring in the districts of Sadr, Chaala, Albaladiat, Baghdad Al-Jadedah, Karadah and Kadhymia.
The number of victims claimed ranges from 56 to 100.