By Theodore Shoebat
Muslims in Iraq, part of a Shiite jihadist group, murdered a woman for supposedly being a prostitute. They beheaded her, and then put her head on a stick. The murder was just one out of 31 other murders all of which were part of a mass slaughtering against prostitutes. There is not evidence that woman who had her head placed on a stick was a prostitute, since she was a doctor who was merely protesting the cost of medicine. Pakhshan Zangana, who heads the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG), explains:
Who kills 31 women? This is about creating chaos and scaring people, with no government, no law and no courts… In any conflict, women are the first victims. … Her head was put on a stick under the name of fighting prostitution
One report states:
Hanaa Edwar, a prominent women’s activist who heads the Amal Association for civil development in Baghdad, said prostitutes had been killed in the neighborhood before but government investigations into past murders have gone nowhere.
“No militias should have a free hand on the streets,” Edwar said. “The weakness of state institutions gives militias these opportunities.”
Husbands in prison and poverty force women into prostitution to feed and support their children, she said. “They are victims. Yet the prison sentence for prostitution is seven to 15 years.”
They aren’t necessarily seen that way. Even when she lobbied an Iraqi minister to provide shelter for young prostitutes, the official told Edwar that they are sinners, not victims.
She also pointed out the double standards in Iraq’s increasingly conservative society, where women are sometimes told to sleep with their bosses to get promotions and jobs.
Iraq also recently proposed the infamous Jaafari Personal Status Law which “would restrict women’s rights in matters of inheritance and parental and other rights after divorce, make it easier for men to take multiple wives, and allow girls to be married from age nine,” according to Human Rights Watch.
The law “turns women into tools for the satisfaction of men. It’s the trend now in Iraq,” said Edwar.
The influx of radical Sunni fighters strengthens extremist views toward women. Some Tweets by ISIS supporters are revealing: “O sisters, don’t distract your husbands from doing their duty, don’t become an obstacle in the Path of Allah; Encourage them to wage jihad!”
When all amusement is forbidden, young men have nothing left to do but to marry and fight, Edwar pointed out. Their families pay a heavy price: If they die, their wives often can’t support the family and many children are left without documents proving the father’s identity.
“If (the families) do not get help, the children will grow up to hate the society and could turn into terrorists themselves,” Edwar said.
Growing violence is deeply impacting all Iraqis, and “women are an easy target,” Edwar said.
“The situation among families has worsened, as everybody is angry and stressed,” Zangana agreed.
Yet both in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, “sadly politics and programs for women are off the table,” Zangana maintained.
“The parties need programs for women and youth to prevent the influence of the radicals here,” she said.