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 (

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."



Which ones?

wrong shoes wrong part of town... we have barbarians here too.

I can not for the life of me imagine how these baraarians can call Islam any kind if religion. No viable religion can call for the killing of children, girls or boys or women because of hair style, music they play or are sewen in the company of the opposite sex. They are worse than barbarians.

You are too hard on Barbarians in your Comparison...;)

i am not sure that this is legit


Frankly I take any report by Alsharqiya with a pinch of salt,they have political and sectarian agenda on most matters in Iraq.I've seen one picture only of a victim and no verified reports of others,that's not to say that the so called "Emo" community are not subjected to a campaign of hate and ridicule by political Islam's clerics and interior ministry officials and politicians.

This story sound too good to be true. Smells like US-Israeli propaganda. The U.S. murders hundreds of thousands of people in the region in the name of democracy and freedom and our moron majority whines about their barbarism. Tragic and hilarious.

How can you say such a thing. These poor kids. I know it sounds so horrible how could it be true.
But when you think of the Muslims doing their Honor Killing. Then you know its true. When these
crazy people meet their Maker, the real God, the God of the bible, the God of Abraham what will
they say about their murders?
They still have time to realize the real God, and ask for forgiveness. Ask Jesus into their hearts.
Trust Him for their salvation. Nothing is impossible with God. Amen.

"US-Israeli propaganda. "

You are a pimple on soiled rear-end of humanity. Your mother farts in your face and you blame "US-Israeli propaganda. "

Please die already.

You are the moron...

Yeah MORON, because muslims are so PEACEFUL and their religion is so LOVING, it must be someone else's fault. Your liberalism is showing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Clearly, Islam and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Both claim to be the only true way to God, but both cannot be right. There is no atonement in Islam, no forgiveness, no savior, and no assurance of eternal life. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of hope; Islam is a religion of hopelessness.

When are people going to wise up and address the elephant in the room? These people are backwards, uneducated, evil zealots. They are anti west, anti freedom, anti women, anti homosexual, and so far to the opposite side of the leftists that worship them. Just try to go over there and illegally cross a border, or ask for free services such as healthcare, education, welfare, etc. Try to protest the government, try to openly display affection especially toward the opposite sex, try to ask the government to pay for your birth control.
This is a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. These leftists have no real world experience, they basically hate the concept of a pretty decent democracy and hate the United States. Therefore, anything that an enemy of the U.S. does must be ok. Open your eyes.

Its not murder when they fire at you first and these that are killed are related to extremeist groups that are funded by other Muslim nations such as Pakistan and Iran. Maybe we shouldn't have been there in the first place but to call the U.S. military "murderers" is a bit bias don't you think?

you meant saudi arabia is the biggest suppoter of wahabiism(islamic extremists) in the world. anyone who thinks god is on there side while they support war is an religuos extremist. are you a christian? cuz i bet you are.

?????? your lost.

what an uneducated and hate full thing to say. first 1000's of thousands. crap, and second the kids are just expressing themselves. lastly please put your anti-semitic comments up your ^*(&^. you just proved yourself a racist.

Let me get this right. Saying that Israel and the US resort to propaganda to make themselves look good and Islam look bad is "racist"? Are you serious? Why don't you just come right out and say that any criticism of Israel is racist?

Really....notto meit doesnt. I think the US and Israel got more important things to attendto. It smells to be of typical radical Islamist terrorist behavior which by far kills more Muslims than westerners....even taking into account 9/11. Moronic paranoid comments like yours are why your part of the world will never be great.

He pompous whitey. The world is bigger than your well.

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Really? As Al-akhbar generally gets their news from Israel? Your inability to deal with reality is what is tragic and hilarious. But keep on as a pawn of the international left, becuase they would be nothing without useful idiots like you.

"useful idiots" is being to kind.

I totally agree. Americans killed soo many civilians, more than the so called "terrorists". And to the guy who thinks American and Israeli have better things to attend to? How about bringing Democracy to all of the middle East. It's pretty clear Israel is gonna do something crazy soon, not that killing thousands of palestinian civilians isn't crazy enough. It's a genecide, and there is no media coverage. Can you guess why? America and Israel are the only nations allowed to have nuclear weapons? The World is in a F***ed state.

Sounds like a good idea from Iraq; keeping degenerate Western fads from taking root. Body piercing, tattoos, Goth, devil worship, sexual perversion, and the rest of the Leftist filth should be stamped out around the World. It contributes to the decline of decency. I side with the Islamists on that one.

While I wholeheartedly disagree with your assertion that you side with the islamists on this one, I agree that certain tendencies that are fostered in popular culture, as has been the case for several generations, have greatly contributed to the moral and social decline in our society.

Look, its a "trend" or a "style" and whatever their reason for doing this, however ridiculous the retro-trend is, it doesn't deserve the violent ending of one's life, let alone a genocide. I live in the Middle East and I have no problem with the region adopting our "styles" but this reaction is barbaric and is bred by spoon-fed ignorance.

"...Sounds like a good idea from Iraq; keeping degenerate Western fads from taking root..."

Kindly send yourself to meet Allah immediately.

Seriously, Did you read how these kids die? And you can post that and live with yourself?
Posting things like that undermines everything else you say.

What on earth is left-wing about it? Are you another one of these dullards who view anything they don't agree with as left-wing? You are no different from the dullards who view everything they don't agree with as right-wing.

This guy is a faker, a plant. You have to know there are tons of planted lefties on these sites writing incendiary things claiming to be conservatives just to make them look bad. Since when is a conservative siding with the Muslims? It doesn't even jibe your stupid narrative that conservatives are racist anti-Muslims.

Are you seriously grouping body piercings and tattoos with devil worship. Both can be dated back to the ancient Egyptians, way before christianity. Just because you dress differently doesnt,make you a bad person. you shouldnt be punish for expressing yourself through your own body. Im covered in both tattoos and piercings, should I be "stamped out"?

I'm not surprised. Conservatives are cut from the same cloth no matter what country they come from. Is there much difference between Santorum's views or Pat Robertson's and the Taliban? Not really. They all hate gays, women, and people who don't agree with their extreme religious beliefs.

Too bad our Hollywood elitists couldn't be traded for these young lads! They would probably appreciate the freedoms our society provides and not use their platform to constantly bad mouth and berate it. Maybe Cher can offer her superior insight on this?

body piercing,tattos and such were a fad long before there was America culturs all over the world have been doing these things for ever,,,why is it always the wests fault when people use freedom of self to express what ever they want

This misguided soul doesn't speak for the right, he is coming from a place of ignorance and fear. God help you son.

It is beliefs like yours that contribute to the suffering in the world. Wow!

Wow. I hope you get treated with as much compassion in the afterlife as you show towards others. Dark days indeed.

OMG! If Cher finds this out, she will be titter-ing herself into a frenzy! Another example of Right Wing assult on Women...


Everyone here his no idea what they are talking about, including yourself. If you think it's such a big deal then you should kill your kids the moment they step I to your house wearing black clothes having a pierced nose, and black nail
Polish. Those are drffinatly devil worshippers. While your at it you should also get rid if a few people that rap and wear baggy clothes I'm almost positive that those people seek satin as well. Better yet! You should get everyone who you dint thunk is normal and blow them up like they do to their civillians. Your a sick person you know that? Siding with a nation that takes away free speech. I hope you know how terrible of a person you are.

And YOU think you live in a country with free speech??? Probably in America??? IF you are under that impression then you are the one who is WAY mistaken. And before you go there, I am an American.

Your mother must have barked when you were born! Is YOUR barking loud?

Agreed brother. Leftism is destroying America and needs to be stomped out.

Typical Nazi

Nazis are leftists.

Fact: Typical D-bagger afraid to lose status as a gov-puppet with all the perks and handouts. Earn it for yourself loser!!!!

National Socialist Party... Nazi's were and are the left

Typical communist pig.

PS - we are fighting nazis, jihadis and leftists, you pig.

YOU ARE THE ALLY OF ALL OF THEM, you degenerate ignorant turd-eater.

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