Iraqi teenagers stoned to death for "emo" haircuts

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

Al-Akhbar Management

Published Friday, March 9, 2012

At least 90 Iraqi teenagers with "emo" appearances have been stoned to death by religious extremists in Baghdad in the past month after an inflammatory interior ministry statement dubbed it "devil worshiping", activists said.

Iraq's Moral Police released a chilling statement on the interior ministry's website condemning the "emo phenomenon" among Iraqi youth, disturbingly declaring its intent to "eliminate" the trend.

"The 'Emo phenomenon' or devil worshiping is being followed by the Moral Police who have the approval to eliminate [the phenomenon] as soon as possible since it's detrimentally affecting the society and becoming a danger," the statement read.

"They wear strange, tight clothes that have pictures on them such as skulls and use stationary that are shaped as skulls. They also wear rings on their noses and tongues, and do other strange activities," it continued.

Religious extremists caught onto the interior ministry statement, and have been harassing and killing teenagers with "strange" or "emo" appearances.

A group of armed men dressed in civilian clothing led dozens of teenagers to secluded areas a few days ago, stoned them to death, and then disposed their bodies in garbage dumpsters across the capital, according to activists.

The armed men are said to belong to “one of the most extremist religious groups” in Iraq.

“First they throw concrete blocks at the boy's arms, then at his legs, then the final blow is to his head, and if he is not dead then, they start all over again,” one person who managed to escape told Al-Akhbar.

Iraq's moral police was granted approval by the Ministry of Education to enter Baghdad schools and pinpoint students with such appearances, according to the interior ministry's statement.

The exact death toll remains unclear, but Hana al-Bayaty of Brussels Tribunal, an NGO dealing with Iraqi issues, said the current figure ranges "between 90 and 100."

"What's most disturbing about this is that they're so young," she said.

Al-Bayaty said the killings appear to have been carried out by extremist Shia militias in mostly poor Shia neighborhoods and said she suspected "there's complicity of the Ministry of Interior in the killings."

Photos of the victims were released on Facebook, causing panic and fear among Iraqi students.

A young man with long hair expressed alarm at the government-ordained harassment of teenagers with Western appearances.

“I have long hair but that doesn't mean I'm an Emo. I'm not less of a man if I have long hair. Let's not say that if I have long hair, I'm a homosexual, but I have long hair because this is my style, this is me," he told Iraq's Al-Sharqiya television network.

Below is the full Al-Sharqiya report in Arabic:

Safiyyah al-Suhail, an MP, said on Thursday that "some students have been recently arrested because they were wearing American jeans or had Western haircuts."

The interior ministry has not disclosed the number of teenage victims, but released a follow-up statement on Thursday warning extremists "not to step on public freedom of Iraqis."

News of the gruesome deaths drew a stern reaction from Iraq's prominent Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who criticized the stoning of the young men as "an act of terrorism."

Below is the full English translation of the Iraqi interior ministry's inflammatory statement (original Arabic here):

The Director of the Moral Police of the Interior Ministry released a statement, saying "The 'Emo phenomenon' or devil worshiping is being followed by the Moral Police who have the approval to eliminate [the phenomenon] as soon as possible since it's detrimentally affecting the society and becoming a danger."

'Emo' comes from the English word 'emotional' and the phenomenon is popular among teenagers not only in Iraq, but in most societies. They use their appearances and movements as a method to express their emotions and embody their will and their view of life in their behavior.

Colonel Mushtaq Taleb al-Mahemdawi said: "The Emo Phenomenon was discovered a while back by members of our force in Baghdad. A report has been made and given to the Ministry of Interior to receive an approval to carry on with the investigation and to know how to eliminate the phenomenon."

He added: "The Ministry of Interior took this situation very seriously and received an approval from the Ministry of Education to set a plan under my full supervision and to allow us to enter schools in the capital."

"There are some cases of the spread of this phenomenon specifically among schools in Baghdad, but we are facing great difficulty in the lack of women on the force who would allow us to carry the investigation more accurately since the phenomenon is more popular among girls between the ages of 14 and 18."

"They wear strange, tight clothes that have pictures on them such as skulls and use stationary that are shaped as skulls. They also wear rings on their noses and tongues, and do other strange activities."

(Al-Akhbar)

Comments

mysogonist? Coming from a Catholic? lmao all you fairytale believers are delusional.

Last time I checked, Roman Catholic is a Christian religion--it is, in fact, the "original" Christian religion. And made so by Constantine. I'm not even a Catholic but I know my history.

Once again religion has no accountability. Muslims say the same thing, "It wasn't the Muslims who did this, it was so-and-so ground that happen to all be Muslims." Both and all religions can rot, they are a mental disease.

I am pretty shure there were many theocon voices in starting almost all recent wars. Not shure if this compares to a religious atrocity. But since most of the writing here is pretty ridiculous why not add to the flames.

um.....600 years ago, they have since stopped that activity.Islam continues....

So modern cases of female circumcision and the Norway shootings aren't act of Christian violence? Since you insist they haven't happened in such a long time :)

Sounds like the Frothy Mixture has taken advise from the Taliban.

Aww, they're just a few isolated extremists, and Islam is a great religion of peace, and the Koran doesn't call on its followers to subjugate or kill unbelievers. Nothing to see hear folks, move along.

If you get a Koran from before 1980 in English, the "resist the nonbeliever resist the infidel" will have the word "kill" in place of resist. Survey says, you're an ignoramus. Get facts before you talk.

what do u mean "nothing to see hear"????? These poor kids are being stoned & there's "nothing to see here". These people have to be stopped, I don't care how many of them there are. It seems to me that there is government involvement here. Unbelievable how some muslims can be threatened by style of choice. Seems to me this is "NAZISM".

Hey, the comment was a sarcastic one. The person was being sarcastic, which clearly doesn't always work in text.

God Says do not kill. Man chooses to do it anyway, taking matters out of Gods Relationship with the individual. They forget that it ruins their own relationship with God. They shoud learn to let God deal with his own flocks. His personal relationship with each of us. Emo is not an insurmountable problem thwarting Gods relationship with us. Killing just to get rid of a percieved nuisance to society may very well be. God is great! People are ignorant. Those who do the stoning may very well be dying without God on their side. How sad for them. Where did they get lost in their relationsip and why? They must be listening to mans word and shunning their own Holy Spirit.

Ahh... but some gods are weaker than other's and require his followers to kill for him.

Seriously-- if Allah is so damn powerful and right, you'd think we could just kill all them infidels... no? Why does he need peons with 12th century educations and love for sheep to do his dirty work for him?

Moral police? Isn't it immoral to kill these children based on their appearance? Disgusting.

It should be "stationery" not "stationary." Both times. Journalism.

You should learn to spell...stationary is the correct spelling

It's a trap!

"stationery"--writing paper. "stationary" -- still. In this usage, it should be spelled "stationery".

Well...90 kids were killed. How does that fit in to your problems with "usage" and "spelling". I guess what is reported, true or not, isn't rellevent. The important thing here is that thoose who write theese stories about 90 KIDS BEING STONED TO DEATH should be very aware of the words they use. Right? And ofcourse excuse my spelling.

so just cus something is horribul you should not care about spelling? in that case, "in 2001 2000 peple ware kiled by moslim ectremists"

Haha...you owned that guy.

Perhaps we should bomb these 7th century barbarians into the century they belong. Whenever we try to help these people, they just turn into the 7th century primates we should be killing.

Didn't we just try that?

No. We tried playing nice. Me thinks carpet bombing these animals is called for insofar as all they know is the heel of a boot.

So, in response to a barbarous act committed by a militant minority, your civilized proposal is to destroy a country of millions? Is that an example of superior western morality? Why should every person in their society suffer because the ones that have the most guns are murderous religious zealots.

I don't know. Have you actually seen these haircuts? They are pretty awful, I dont think they would stand a very good chance in our own country either.

It could warrant the death penalty in certain parts of Arkansas. Well, golly, that's better and more civilized than summary execution, right?

hahahaha

OMG! I would probably be stoned upon waking up in the morning.......my hair is frightful!

These animals need to be taught a lesson, next time no nation building just plunder the sick savage country.

I blame both Bush and Obama.

Well bush got us into it, right? If i'm correct, Obama got us out, why does he get to take some blame for this.

You're obviously a moron. How can you blame either of them? Western culture has influenced the Middle East for years. The war there did not cause any of this.

Let me understand this. We sent our young men and women to die in Iraq in order to overthrow Saddam Hussein and this is what comes of it. These people were better off when Saddam was in power.

I don't think this is legit. There's no source cited, and no author bi-line.

So says 'Anonymous' LOL

I'm not sure this is for real. Why no sources cited? Is this first-hand written? If so, why no author by-line?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) LOL

Were so fast to judge. With no doubt these people have no place in a civilized world. My heart goes out to all these children and their families. Unfortunately this is a tiny drop in the sea of blood that has been absorbed by our great earth in the name of an unconfirmed mythical being that lives in space. Let us not forget the holy Crusades, the haulocost, and of course the last 10 years of war against Muslim nations. So easy it is to retract from any personal responsibility. Let us simply say its gods work when its good and Satan when bad. When the first Americans settled here from Europe they probably thought the Indians were pretty weird. Which is why we murdered over 2000000 of them and took there land. Simply to shout barbarians is... how does it go pot calling the kettle dumb or something to that effect.

The holocaust was not related to any religious movement, unless you consider National Socialism to be a religion. (It's possible). The NAZI's were motivated by genetic junk science of a decidedly secular nature, and certainly did not claim to be practicing Christianity. (Many of the leading NAZI's saw Christianity as a foreign religion that they wanted to weaken and eventually root out. A few, like Eichmann, actually wanted to bring back pagan "Germanic" rituals as a substitute for those who must pray to something.

"pot calling the kettle black"?, 2,000,000 Indians, Crusades -- how about catching up; I'll bet you read about 1/10th of dick about Native Americans, the Crusades, and the Islam faith - do u's all a favor, an stop grouping "us" all together and blaming "us" for everything. I have never killed a Native American, never stolen land, never threatened death to any person of any Faith, never been a slave nor had a slave, didn't come from any money, never been rich; you see I'm not responsible for other generations actions and beliefs - you can only be responsible for your own, and what you go along with or let happen when you could do something about it. So if your going to defend these warped extemist stoning Children for their fashion of clothing then why don't you just shut up, and go do some more reading on history

By virtue of you living on that land, and promoting bigotry towards another group of people, you ironically maintain the same mentality of the people who genocided the Native Americans. And that is just savage as any fanatic in the world. Don't throw stones from a glass house ;)

belief in what you describe as an 'unconfirmed mythical being' is what provided a moral fiber to American civilization until the media started succeeding in it's war against said being in the 70's. Since then we have been exeriencing the slope down to our own self-centered barbarism. All the small things. I regret ever voicing "Happy Holidays" in place of "Merry Christmas". Never again as they say.

Moral Fiber? Is that the same Moral Fiber which lead our forefathers to allow for slavery, the subjugation of our own women, and war to protect from the dangers of communism (ie - sharing)? If God in fact is the one being who endowes a person with morality, he obviously stops far short of endowment upon us as a whole. Perhaps instead, we evolve with time and experience, unless that would undercut your argument that only a combination of Church and State can make a nation truly just.

You have got to be living in a cave. The Crusades? Do you understand how and why the first of seven Crusades began by Pope Urban II? Because Muslims invaded Jeruselum 15-20 years earlier. Given that was several centuries ago, I noticed you left out the Armenian genocide by Muslim Turks in the 1920's that caused the death of 2.1 million innocent people at the hands of the Religion of Peace. The war was against al-Qaeda and the Taliban - not Muslim nations. Have at least a sense of history before making outlandish statements of 'fact'.

Moral Police?? you gotta be kidding i bet given a chance these alleged moral police would be sitting in a nudey bar smoking crack out of a pork chop when will people learn religion is the second biggest cause of death right behind big govt..

why do you say 'religion' is the problem. That is just not true. everyone has a "religion" or belief, even atheists. Christians are always being used as the scape goat in all evil in the world. It is Christians that began all the hospitals, turn the other cheek, help the help, care for the unwanted, feed the sick, rescue those being led to slaughter(abortion.) where do you get the numbers from, thin air? It is Jesus Christ who has made this world a place still habitable. Not all who call themselves by his name are true followers but we certainly have the figures of how many atheists have murdered the masses.

Arab democracy is awesome!

I blame Obama - should have never pulled out of Iraq so quickly. What a huge mistake we made voting for him. These kids died because of Obama - I don't know how I'll sleep thinking that I voted for him and now these kinds of things happen because of Obama. I pray for a new "change" and I "hope" that those kids didn't suffer.

You're blaming the wrong guy. It was George Bush who invaded and occupied Iraq. All of the Iraqis who died, all the refugees, Al Queda terrorism, etc. are a result of the invasion.

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