People who know me know that I am secular and that I would hate to see Baghdad become like Tehran, where women are forced to wear hijab. Iranian women who rebel are imprisoned, but after realizing that forcing the issue of hijab has not worked very well, the Iranian police have tried a different tactic: hold fashion shows in an effort to teach Iranian women how to dress fashionably without disobeying the Islamic Revolution's strict dress code. Shia militias in Iraq have used more direct methods to impose their version of Islamic dress on Iraqi women who refuse: they simply murder them. The Iraqi militia tactic infuriates me and reminds me of how the Ba'ath party enforced their "laws". In fact many of these militiamen are former Ba'thists. I know that the word "Ba'thist" has become synonymous with "Sunni Arab", but in Saddam's Iraq, in order to work for the government in any capacity, one had to be a member of the Ba'ath party. Many poor Shia men joined Jaish al Quds or Fedayeen Saddam, and some of them had no problem harassing, turning in, and even murdering fellow Shia who defied the Ba'ath. One of my second cousins, who as a child spent four years in a prison near Baghdad because his older brother defected (I wrote about what happened to his family in my first post), told me recently that when Saddam's regime had a problem with a group of Shia, the regime would unleash their Shia dogs on the Shia who disobeyed. Those dogs are still in Iraq, and they still have no problem murdering Iraqis who break “the rules”.
I wish a powerful Iraqi would at least speak out against the murder of women who only want the freedom to wear whatever they want, a freedom they always had in Baghdad and Basra before 2003. One would expect the Iraqi government to take a stand, but sadly, Maliki has no balls, and apparently neither do the Basra police, who seem scared to take on the militias. Furthermore, it seems that the Iraqi police and Iraqi National Guard are still infiltrated by murderous militiamen, who also have no problem murdering fellow Shia. We can't expect Sistani to speak out, since he is an ayatollah and Najef has always been a holy city where women must where ibayas, not just hijabs. Nor should we expect Muqtada al Sadr to speak out, since he seeks to become an ayatollah himself, and since many of his followers are thugs who might be responsible for some of these murders. One Mehdi Army member has denied targeting women in Basra, so maybe the murderers are of the Badr Brigade, which is funded and influenced by the Iranian regime. I don't know exactly who has been murdering Iraqi women for dressing "inappropriately", but one thing is for sure: the murderers are Shia dogs.