Iraq's Other War--Violence Against Women
Seems things have gone from bad to much worse for women in Iraq. The country has gone from the secular dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, to the tyranny of Islamic fundamentalism.
here's an exerpt:
Houzan is hardly alone in this regard. Since the US invaded Iraq, women there have endured a wave of death threats, assassinations, abductions, public beatings, targeted sexual assaults, and public hangings. Much of this violence is systematic – directed by both Sunni and Shi'ite Islamist militias that mushroomed across Iraq after the US toppled the mostly secular Ba'ath regime. We've heard about the brutality of the Sunni-based groups, but much less about the Shi'ite militias that are the armed wings of the political parties that the US boosted into power. Their aim is to establish an Islamist theocracy and their social vision requires the subjugation of women and the elimination of anyone with a competing vision for Iraq's future.
The "misery gangs" of these Shi'ite militias now patrol the streets of Iraq's major cities, attacking women who don't dress or behave to their liking. In many places, they kill women who wear pants or appear in public without a headscarf. In much of Iraq, women are virtually confined to their homes because of the likelihood of being beaten, raped, or abducted in the streets. As the occupying power, the US was obligated by the Hague and Geneva Conventions to provide security to Iraqi civilians, including protection from violence against women. But the US military, preoccupied with battling the Iraqi insurgency, simply ignored the reign of terror that Islamist militias were imposing on women. In fact, the US enabled these attacks: in 2005, the Pentagon began providing the Shi'ite Badr Brigade and Mahdi Army with weapons, money, and military training in the hope that these groups would help combat the Sunni-based insurgency.
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