Sharia Alert from the Brave New Iraq, from the TimesOnline, with thanks to JE:
NOOR and her boyfriend used to go out a lot and listen to dance in their favourite restaurant in Baghdad. The 26-year-old university lecturer also used to enjoy going window shopping at night in the city”s once-glitzy Mansour district, dressed in the latest fashions.
That was before the “men in black”, the Taliban-style militias waging terror against the urban middle class, arrived in Noor’s neighbourhood, threatening to shoot, kidnap and shave the heads of anyone who challenged their draconian strictures.
The militias are part of a hardline religious crackdown organised by Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. On Friday he released a four-hour sermon, effectively a message of hate, calling on Sunni Muslims to confront adherents of the rival Shi”ite branch of Islam.
Zarqawi, who appears to act with impunity in Iraq despite a Â£13m bounty on his head, has printed pamphlets that were delivered through doors in the Amariya district of Baghdad, one of his self-declared Sunni “emirates”.
The “emir”, identified as Abu Houzeifa, announced new rules: “Women cannot drive; women cannot go out after midday; women and men are not allowed to go out and walk together, they must walk separately.” The rules are enforced by Al-Qaeda thugs who drive around in cars in Amariya, Yarmouk and other Sunni areas that Zarqawi has declared are his. Noor said: “If they see someone breaking the rules, they shoot them.”
The “men in black” have turned women into virtual prisoners in their homes. “At first we were more afraid of bombs but now we are more afraid of being killed for what we are wearing,” Noor said.
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