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

Obama is much more of a threat to the USA than any of the GOP candidates. He actually would welcome these radical muslims here.

Proof? Cited evidence? Oh, wait, I forgot, it's much easier to make up your own story

Obviously you have never read the history of Islam and the Muslims. They are commanded by their religion carry out this sort of action and to kill people not of the book (which is atheists and pagans) and to give people of the book (Jews and Christians) the choice of conversion to Islam, dhimmitude (a form of slavery or paying an annual tax), or execution. It has been that way since the 7th century and they are not likely to change.
Lying is part of their approved method of accomplishing their goal of world denomination.

your an idiot

You're illiterate.

I thought that's what was happening with Grand Ayatollah Barackiah Barryih Hussein Soetoroah Obama. He's the one protecting Muslim religion while wiping his feet on Christianity and Judaism.

I thought that's what was happening with Grand Ayatollah Barackiah Barryih Hussein Soetoroah Obama. He's the one protecting Muslim religion while wiping his feet on Christianity and Judaism.

That is such a stupid comment.

You're a moron, worse yet, you're a duh-ble moron!

We already have our Muslim Radical... Santorum is trying to get rid of him.

Some day, hopefully soon, we will get the chance to have a showdown between the "peaceful" Muslim religion and the rest of the world. Winner take all... Guess who that winner will be. Won't be beards and towelheads....

you are pathetic

How about we round up all the Christians and put them into a coliseum with hungry lions? You'd like that, wouldn't you?

Doubtful

Fool

Bull. You're more likely to see that from the progressives than Santorum

You fascists never change - always spreading your hate and lies about your own people.

Are you a complete moron....? It is "Liberals" who are the Fascists, not Conservatives. Conservatives are all about FREEDOM but with some society restraint. Conservatives don't tell you what butter you can use for pop-corn and take it away, we don't tell you what light bulb to use, banning them, what food to eat, banning them. We don't grow government creating more "Regulations" which inhibit freedom, we don't take over company's, we don't do a million things, and you actually have the gal to call us the Fascists simply because we might be against MURDER, the murder of an innocent child in the womb, the only major thing we believe should be regulated, but you believe you should be free to do?

Scumbag idiot!

Moron.

What's on your mind- If you'll please excuse the exaggeration.

what a bigot you are. go to a muslim country...

Ignorant wretch

Killing because they thought they were strange...

Well I think their country is strange.

Bring the petrol cans lads, time for some "Moral policing."

Lol. I agree.

Yeah, not all Muslims are religious extremists, but if the extremists are in power, Islam can be one of the most dangerous ideologies to the basic freedoms of a population.

Are you kidding? Any religion becomes extremely dangerous when given enough power. Just check out the Spanish Inquisition.

Yeah, not all Muslims are religious extremists, but if the extremists are in power, Islam can be one of the most dangerous ideologies to the basic freedoms of a population.

Gee and since they are "In Power" over there and almost the entire region is now under the Islamic brotherhood banner, looks like we have serious issues there now don't we?....

spot-on

And Obama considers Conversing with these types.
It's absurd to say the least!
I feel for the young who are trying to just express who they are.
Only in AMERICA can we be who we want to be without ramifications!
Well not totally true I mean there is Great Britain and Australia and a few other BUT NOT in the MID EAST.
I'm Torn and Hurt by this

In the Middle East we do have a free coutry - Israel, that why the Muslim Arabs hate her so much. The USA is called the Great Satan and Israel is called The Little Satan

Long live live Israel and our Jewish brothers and sisters!

Yeah, just behind Christianity. Those guys are f-ing nuts.

I don't see any Christian women being killed becasue the aren't wearing a head to toe potato sack. Americans aren't killing any teens because they aren't dressing the way the preachers say they should. The mullas would have the adult males killed in the USA because they wear nose rings, lip rings, earrings, and studs in the tongue. Don't forget, BO said mu slim before America.

Are all the anonymous posters from a muslim country and dont' want to be tracked down and stoned to death?

How about giving me an example of the last time you heard of Christians stoning somebody to death for a haircut?

The article’s translations to the responses in the video are much embroidered. Please correct them before you mislead more peoples. Thank You.

Good thing we removed the secular dictator and made the country safe for religious extremism!

not entirely true, imo in Latin means "innermost, deepest, last." They might be the most honest individuals you know.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/imus#Latin

Emo = Emotional.

Not Imo.

Don't be stupid now.

Quit trying to take the full blame for this trend off Emo Philips. You know he is the Devil.

Try again, its spelled 'emo'

Moral Police? Saudi Arabian inspired insanity. Poor innocent kids.

There are no innocent children left......

Please don't believe all the crap you read on the internet. Sensational news like these are what led to the invasion of Iraq in the first place and now the NGO invasion will begin with this kind of crap. Demand FACTS first.

IT IS TRUE, I KNOW PEOPLE WHO RESIDE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, THIS AND MUCH MORE HAPPENS. LIKE THE ABDUCTION OF POOR MALE KIDS ALL THE TIME WHO ARE ANAL RAPED, KILLED AND DUMPED IN THE DESERT. MOOSLUMS ARE FILTHY TRASH OF AN IGNORANT RELIGION.. THOSE THAT DIFFER HAVE NOT READ THE KORAN NOR LIVED IN THE MIDDLE EAST... JUST RETARDS THAT LET CNN FORM THEIR IGNORANT SHEEPLE MINDS.

WHY ARE YOU TYPING LIKE THIS, ANN COULTER?!?!

Okay Captain Helpful, what are the facts? See I like how your argument contained interviews and info pointing to the contrary of what was presented in artic... wha wha wait a minute.
You didn't do any of that.

The fact is you are crazy if you don't believe this crap happens. People need to wake up and realize that someone has to stand up and fight for those that can't. Unfortunately, sometimes that is our Troops. People who kill people and use God's name are wrong in sooooo many ways!

Oh, PLEASE. We did no invade Iraq to protect the poor and the helpless. Just like Lincoln did not invade the south to free the slaves. Both invasions were about power - plain and simple. That's the way it always was, and the way it always will be.

We ought to keep our noses out of other people's business. Freedom cannot be imposed from the outside. The only true way for a people to gain their freedom is with the shedding of their own blood, and a long struggle. Sometimes that takes hundreds of years. The middle east is nowhere close to done with the blood struggle. They are far too religious, sexist, homophobic, provincial and xenophobic. It may take them a long time to become civilized and in the meantime, there will be much bloodshed. We should stay out of it.

What a stellar example of the complete idiocy and stupidity of religion in the modern world. To be fair, it's not a far cry from foreigners and gay people living in the Southern US. Maybe we could just ship all of the sub-90 point IQ rednecks to Iraq and let them fight it out among themselves.

Wow, your insane hatred if religion and the South is COMPLETELY different then the extremists described in this article! Idiot !

Your post is quite a stellar example of ignorance, as well. You evidently know nothing about the Southern United States if you are trying to make any type of comparison between these Islam-associated moral cleansing activities and something you've read about that happened to occur in the South. Perhaps you should visit sometime to educate yourself. I wonder how we manage to continue to advance science, technology, business, art, music, cuisine, and athletics as we do in The South with 'all of [us] sub-90 point IQ rednecks'?

We should send all the liberals over there to rectify the situation with their kindness, understanding, and love.

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