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."



Not really. Saddam kept things in order in Iraq. Yes he was a dictator but you never had suicide bombings and random killings like these.

You are naive “Anonymous”. What do you think happened prior to our invasion. Do you your research. We are just now hearing about this in the main stream because media is more free there now to report these issues. Prior, these types of atrocities happened but were covered up. I have several relatives over in Iraq and they are very grateful for the U.S. entering to help them. They do want to move on through their own preferences now but were very grateful to be freed by the U.S. The U.S. did not cause this, it is just now more visible.

What makes the Iraqi's so brutal? They stoned a hundred kids to death? Well the death toll from gulf wars 1 and 2 is well over 1.3 million, several factors of magnitude greater.

Will the religious enviroment in the middle east improve after Obama is through? Call me crazy, but i have a sneaking suspicion it wont.

Yup, American Democrats want to protect these religious cretins and at the same time attack Christianity which never calls for the execution of anyone; emo or not.

Americans attack Christianity? Cite examples. This country is dominated by christianity, Always has been, sadly.

#1 Constant barrage to remove any mention of god in the public square "seperation of church and state" <--(NOT in our constitution). Most recently, demanding that Catholic universities pay for birth control for there insured's, that is against catholics religious doctrine, sounds backwards but they (catholics) have/had that right. The left in the US have always tried to remove any mention of God from everything, The more secular we become the more elevated the status of our human leaders becomes.

welp you pretty much have the freedom to believe whatever the fuck you want without being sanctioned for stoning by some orwellian ministry

off the cuff. COnstant lawsuits anytime god is mentioned in a public place, torn down chritmas displays, peeing on jesus picturs and calling it art, making the air force remove god (in latin) from one of it's unit's emblems, your post, etc.

Nothing sad about it, you moron. Attacks on Christmas go on all the time.. whiners complain about the 10 Commandments in Courtrooms or prayers being said AFTER a ball game.. more or less in a private huddle..wake up idiot!!

Umm... have your, perhaps READ THE NEWS LATELY? WTF do you think the contraceptive conspiracy is about? Watched TV lately? Watched any dramas where the evildoer is always the crazy religious Christian? Ever seen all the hatred people have toward Christians in any number of social issues? Yeah, you did, but you think that's "normal" because you've been "educated".

Can we send Obama there to stay? PLEASE??????

Only after we give him and emo haircut,jeans with skulls on them, and some skull shaped stationary....

I'm laughing so hard my sides hurt.

Everywhere in the world "something like this" happens. The only time we hear of it in the USA is when someone wants to drop bombs on somebody else, as if it's our job to find injustice everywhere and drop bombs on it. Do people get killed for being different? Yes, and it happens EVERYWHERE. Sorry that this happens though, but people are generally not killers except for a few who get used as an excuse to drop more bombs.

well don't emo people hate their lives and wanna die anyways

Only the truly cool ones.

Lol im not sure who told you that but i know emo people and they acrually love their lives

I just can't wait until these people have a Nuclear bomb, were all doomed

Bring our pll home and quit trying to fix the world lets fix the USA frist

So, in sixteen words, you managed to say something unintelligent, misspell two of the words, and miss a comma, apostrophe and period. Good job!

Looks like we need to fix our educational system first. You can't spell.

Dude, we did.

if we let the world fall apart around us, how much time do you think we will have to fix America before we get attacked...AGAIN? our economy sucks, our "imports" are at record highs, our military of all things is scheduled to shrink (wink wink, nudge nudge I'm talking about the ridiculous spending in washington) and amongst many other things our "real" unemployment is up to 10%. We now have an ex Cold War KGB Spy as the leader of arguably our biggest adversary in the form of Russia who wants to modernize his military while strengthening ties with countries like Libya (pre-liberation), syria and Iran who stone their own people. Russia is just one example of a foreign opponent. Lets not forget China and venezuela who are now a threat to the United Staes while in our own back yard. All of these people around the world that are actively trying to halt America's existence are not going to go way by simply wishing it. We have to be there to stop them before they get over here to make their point. The last time enemy boots were on American soil was during the second world war, and if its all the same to you i would like to keep it that way. which means stopping the threat before it has the chance to reach the United States. NoBama 2012!!!

Enemy boots on American soil in WW2? Did I miss something?

Japanese did invade an Alaskan Island and occupied it for a time.

Get a clue! Where exactly do you think our military forces have been over the past 60 years?

Agree 100%. Bring our young men home. Let them kill each other and go back to the stone age.

We have left Iraq. Wake up.

Dude, we are going to be there for the next 100 years if not more..... Just look at Korea, Japan..... We are destined to be nothing more than the worlds police. Nation Building our way to hearts and minds..... You just don't get it.

No YOU don't get it. WE LEFT IRAQ ALREADY. We have a small presence there now performing administrative functions. Mostly state department folks. We're gone, out of there since the new year. Do you not read the news?

I'd suggest you work on your spelling, syntax, and grammar first.


Once the Grand Ayatollah Ohmy Santorum is elected, we'll see the same thing in the US.

Sad and true. The current crop of Republicans and their supporters will be more than happy to have morality squads like this patrolling our society.

As others have stated you are an idiot. But at least your comment is correct in the fact that Obama is going to lose..

Yea, Santorum will probably intervene and prevent anyone from working for less than his religious advisers think is just. And he will require everyone to purchase medical insurance, whether they want to or not and whether or not they have religious objections to some of the coverage his religious fanatics insist on. Oh, and he will probably authorize over-seas assassination of American citizens. If his religious advisers don't think it's holy enough to drill for oil we'll see reduced production from federal lands. One can only imagine how many UAV attacks Santorum will authorize against people he doesn't like. Or how much money he will steal from our children and grandchildren. It's a sure bet his favorite capitalist contributors will end up paying little or no income taxes.

But wait: that's already happened. All of it.

What do we have to look forward to?

Now, that really is the most stupid comment that I have read.

Give me one tiny shred of evidence that Rick Santorum wants to kill emo kids. Granted, emo kids are lame but give me one teeny tiny, itsy bitsy piece of evidence that Rick Santorum wants to empower a Moral Police force to go around and stone emo kids to death. If not, if you don't have any evidence -- S.T.F.U!!!

Extreme religion versus extreme stupidity ( in Iran). I think you represent extreme idiocy versus traditional religion.b

Save the seeds from what you're smoking.

get a grip!

You are an idiot.

Yeah, right. What hole did you crawl out from? It is ignorant minds like yours that foster what is happening in Iraq.

Wow! What an unbelievable stretch. I'm no Santorum fan, but this kind of inflammatory rhetoric trivializes the death of these Iraqi young people.

You are one low-down filthy piece of leftist trash. The only thing you "worship" is your blessed Karl Marx...what that evil man holds over you people, I will never know...

Karl...was a great man. Lenin Pure Viennese. IT means nothing to me

Marx was evil. So was Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot. Endorsing the slavery of mankind. Taking away Liberty and Freedom. Worshiping the State and condemning religion. Murdering tens of millions of their own citizens.

And you say Marx is great? Communism is my enemy. You are my enemy.

you'll be the first against the wall pig

Charming. You forget that all of us have guns. I'm locked and loaded. What are you bringning to the table?

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