Little Green Footballs

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Whiskey, Democracy, Sexy!

Or maybe not.

In Basra these days, it's not uncommon to see armed men from Shiite religious groups standing at the gates of Basra University, scrutinizing female students to make sure their dresses are the right length and their makeup properly modest.

Any woman violating their standards of Muslim dignity, relates Henan, a psychology student, is ordered home. "These religious militiamen tell us how to dress, and prevent us from listening to music in public or interacting with male students," she says. "It makes me burn inside."

Henan is not the only Basran furious at the extremist Shiite Muslims who now dominate this southern Iraqi port city bordering Iran. Especially among the middle and intellectual classes, an increasing drumbeat of resentment is rising about what many see as a distortion of Basra's traditionally easygoing, tolerant attitudes toward life.

"No alcohol, no music CDs, woman forced to wear hijab, people murdered in the streets - this is not the city I remember," says Samir, an editor of one of Basra's largest newspapers. (His name, and others, have been changed for security reasons.) "In the past, Basra revolted against attempts to make it too Islamic."

One woman living in Basra says, "Before, we had Saddam; now we have religious parties and militias. To them, a woman's smile is a crime."

With the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, Shiite organizations, many with close associations with Iran, seized political control of the south. The Jan. 30 elections solidified their power, especially in Basra, where 35 out of the 41 members of the province's Governing Council (GC) belong to such groups as Dawa Islamiyya or the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). And despite some minor doctrinal differences, their vision of this city is clear.

"Today, our society is changing, becoming more religious," says provincial governor Mohammad al-Waali, who belongs to the Fadhallah (Virtue) Party. "We must reflect that Basra is becoming a purely Islamic city."


But they have purple fingers, so it's all OK.

7 comments:

Pablo said...

"Today, our society is changing, becoming more religious," says provincial governor Mohammad al-Waali, who belongs to the Fadhallah (Virtue) Party. "We must reflect that Basra is becoming a purely Islamic city."

You say that like it's a bad thing.

There's nothing wrong with Islam, is there? Why would it bother you that the peaceful Sunnis desire Allah's perfect and peaceful divine law?

Islam is peace.

Winston Smith said...

They're Shi'ites, not Sunnis.

And if you're looking for people to defend fundamentalist theocracy, you're looking in the wrong place. Try here instead.

Pablo said...

Isn't it up to the people, Winston? If they choose Islam, what business is it of yours?

What system of governance would you like to impose on them?

MJ said...

Pablo,

It's completely up to the Iraqis. It just seems strange that the 'freedom' and 'democracy' being spread by the coalition is being is now being used to make Iraq into an Islamic state with Sharia law. Something LGF'ers usually are so outraged about. Give it a decade or so and the chickenhawks will be demanding war again to topple a regime that they in part created.

Pablo said...

It's completely up to the Iraqis.

That isn't what this post is implying. I get the impression that whoever is flinging crap onto the front page these days has a problem with Islam/Sharia.

I'd like to know if that's true.

MJ said...

That isn't what this post is implying.

No the post is implying that the stance of the right wing blogsphere's support on the Iraqi war is tad strange when you consider that the taking out of Saddams regime is actually contributing to an Islamic/Sharia state...something LGF and other right wing blogs have a problem with.

Nice try Pablo. You should revert to swearing and homophobic rants because you were at least consistent with them.

Pablo said...

You should revert to swearing and homophobic rants because you were at least consistent with them.

You mean I should act like you?

http://lgfwatch.blogspot.com/2005/
07/more-spammer-fun.html#112185212027209569