Before American troops entered Iraq I wrote that any democratic initiative would always be under pressure from adherents of Sharia. Well, I don’t like to say, “I told you so,” but I told you so — read the “YES” and “NO” sections of that article (I wrote the “NO” part) and tell me who was proven right.
“Beer bombers set tone for Islamist Baghdad,” from Reuters, with thanks to Twostellas:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Leaflets threaten women who do not wear veils. Militias bomb and burn beer shops and music stores at dawn. Rumors swirl of men shot… for wearing shorts.
Hopes for secular democracy in Iraq three years after U.S. forces invaded are being challenged by militants seeking to impose their own strict version of Islamic sharia law on the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities.
In the latest attack against alcohol sellers in Baghdad, bombs on Tuesday damaged three shops that sold beer and other liquor in the central commercial district of Karrada.
The explosions wrecked the stores’ frontages and an advertising display for beer but killed no one. But for the shop keepers, from Iraq’s Christian minority, the message was clear.
“I shut down the shop last year after I received threats by gunmen to stop selling alcohol and just reopened last week,” Asaad Aziz, 56, owner of the Gazal liquor store told Reuters.
“Armed gangs are now ruling Iraq. There is no rule of law. I used to feed two families with this store. What am I going to do now?” Aziz said as he surveyed the destruction.
“Everybody is talking about banning alcohol sellers. The government doesn’t say anything but clearly it is their militias who are playing a role in a secret way.”