Iraqi "emo kids" harassed and killed by Islamic extremists

Photo of an Iraqi "emo kid" who was killed in Baghdad.
 
In Iraq, sporting an emo look can get you into serious trouble. For the past few weeks, teenagers who dress in emo fashion have been targeted by Islamic extremists, who claim they are effeminate Satan-worshippers. Dozens of them have already been brutally killed.
 
Since the beginning of March, at least 90 “emos” have been killed by Islamic militants, according to Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar. The word “emo” is short for “emotional hardcore,” a style of rock whose fans dress in a particular style: usually, they wear their hair long, dyed black if it isn’t already, sometimes with bright neon streaks. The girls wear dark makeup, and both girls and boys wear tight-fitting clothing.
 
This look is frowned upon by most of Iraqi society, which is very conservative, and in particular by the Shiite community. Moqtada al-Sadr, a Shiite leader, has called emos “crazy and stupid.” Iraq's Interior Ministry has not only has made no declarations condemning attacks against emos, but even appears to condone them. In a statement, the ministry instead underscored Iraqis' fears of seeing "emos spread homosexuality and suicides". Officials, meanwhile, have simply asked parents to keep a close watch on how their children dress. Human Rights Watch has criticised the government's position, saying it has "contributed to an atmosphere of fear and panic fostered by acts of violence against emos".
 
Their situation has not attracted much sympathy from the west of the Arab world, either. Some newspapers, notably in Egypt and in the United Arab Emirates, have labelled emos "vampires" and "descendants of Dracula".
Contributors

"They attack emos because they think they're Satanists"

Kadhem (not his real name), 18, is a senior in high school. He moderates a private Facebook page for Iraqi emos.
 
The emo style came to Iraq three years ago. But it hasn't spread all over the country. Emos mostly live in the north of Iraq, as the south is more conservative. In Baghdad, we avoid Shiite neighourhoods, where people do not approve of our style at all.
 
The attacks against us began about a month ago. People started accusing us of being Satan worshippers or Free Masons, who are heretics in their eyes. They don't like our haircuts or our tight clothing. They say we're homosexuals, which is an insult here.
 
Some of my friends were threatened by a group of men one evening as they were walking home. The men stopped them and asked them to start dressing "like men" and grow mustaches, or else they would make trouble for them. They were lucky, because other emos have been kidnapped in broad daylight and executed.
 
 
Iraqi emos.
 
"They smash their heads in with cinder blocks"
 
There are lists of emos' names circulating in Shiite neighbourhoods. People post them on school walls, in cafés, and in Internet cafés. Those who do this are part of militias, usually Shiite militias. When they find their victims, they smash their heads in with cinder blocks. This is a form of lapidation, which makes sense since they equate us with the Devil [in Mecca, Muslim pilgrims carry out a symoblic lapidation of Satan]. They leave their bodies in the middle of the street. Sometimes, an emo will simply disappear and we never hear from them again. These militias also burn down stores that sell emo clothes or accessories.
 
 
A list of emos' names. Some of the names are followed by the number of the Baghdad district they are thought to live in. The introcution calls emos "people of Sodom". 
 
 
These militias act with total impunity. The police do nothing. I think the police are scared of the militias because they are powerful, organised, and they are merciless in their violence.
 
Religious leaders have tried to calm tensions. Ali al-Sistani [an Iranian ayatollah who is very influent in Iraq] condemned these crimes and called for dialogue. The matter has been debated in parliament, too [some members of parliament criticised the Interior Ministry for failing to protect emos]. But nothing has changed yet.
 
Personally, I'm having trouble with the idea of altering the way I dress or cutting my hair to avoid becoming a target. I don't understand this hatred against us; we're not doing anything wrong. We don't share the spirit of emos in other countries, who are often solitary, depressed, and talk about suicide and self-harm. For us, being emo is just about style.
 
 

Comments

Iraqi Fashion Police,

The iraqi fahion police are out in full force and it could mean an instant death sentance without due process. Its like there is no other problems or concerns to deal with they need to target young people that dress differnt. Why are they so affraid of them? What threat do they pose? Iraqi against Iraqi what has happened to united we stand divided we fall or fail? What mentality they have how can you respect this.

emos

this is just more of the 'medieval' world view of some muslims. Its so normal for young people to adopt a style that differentiates them from older people. Its a developiing identity and any muslim who has studied psychology can tell you that. What is wrong with these people. What are they afriad of? In my book its fear that is making them behave like vigilantes. Do you wonder why the western world think so little of arab countries when they behave like this towards teenagers. god help the world or Allah help his world.

Emo-kids in Iraq

I have an idea that these youngsters may look very attractive, more soigné than the average great unwashed. I have an idea that all these 'conservatives' who hunt them down are (and they're not the only ones of that particular ilk) obsessed with sex. These pathetic 'conservatives' are hunting their own devils. (To no avail, he will get them first, no matter how many of these poor kids they'll kill.) God help us!

Unconfirmed.

According to this BBC article, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17450437 ".. little of it has been verified." "A spokesman for Amnesty International said Amnesty could not get solid confirmation or names of victims." You'd think with 70, 80, 90, 100 or more that would not be difficult. It is true that people are killed in Iraq every day. It is true that people who are perceived as different, emo, gay, etc. are attacked every day - it happened here in Portland Oregon two days ago when a gay couple were threatened with a knife, chased to their vehicle and had their windows smashed, for walking down the street holding hands. It's true that people even make lists of people they think should be killed - it happened at a school here last week. The "Emo Massacre," however, appears to be an urban legend.

iraqi kids being killed for looking emo

In the Middle East they class it as a legal sin punishable by death to be homosexual.
This horribly unoriginal & without substance modern hipster fashion culture from The United Kingdom & other european fashionista policed nations named 'EMO Hipster/Hobo Chique' is often seen as a way for gay people in the closet to dress or give out signs they want to hook up with members of the same sex without admitting they are actually gay.
It is an ugly cheap Starbucks Coffee Fan style that was firstly created/intended by the corporate burgeouis behind the scenes TV stylists for the dumb posh young masses to subscribe to who are fans of such shows as the X-Factor, or fans of such bands as One Direction or JLS 7 do not know how to dress with originality or true expression (ie; like putting Rick Edwards from UK Channel Four's T4 in an 'Adam & the Ants' t-shirt for his presenting job when he had never even heard of the band or there music in his life, just because it was hip to do so!)
Over the years the style has embarrasingly gone beyond just being part of the posh-hair brigade (as mimicked by Glastonbury ticket Buyers & singers like Ed Sheeran) to the point it is now an unstoppable force of fashion seen amongst the aimless/clueless members of society both old & young.

Sadly there is a possibility that these Iraqi Militia Police are killing these young lads because they either are gay & in the closet or dress like so.

Pathetic

Who cares. If people want to dress in an unorthodox or weird manner then let them. How are you ever going to create an original style if you don't dress differently to start off with.

Let people wear what they want and don't get so angry and defensive about it as it doesn't do you any harm. Anyone who is offended or angered by what somebody else is wearing is ignorant and should seek help because there's bigger things to worry about than dress sense. It's so ridiculous it's laughable.

P.S EMO was never created by the corporate burgeouis and TV stylists. Try looking up the Cure, Siouxsie Sioux etc. EMO is just another name for a mix of punk and goth and even metal to a certain extent which has been around since late 70s early 80s, years before bands had stylist and TV shows such as X Factor. So it's a sped up evolution of a style which was once original. Most people, views and perceptions do evolve but I'm guessing that some people/s don't especially the backward people from this article.

EH?

Dont insult the Cure or Siouxsie & the Banshees. As a fan of the Creatures you annoy far more than myself, I'm sure.
EMO they certainly are not.
They came from the less camp stable known as GOTH.
EMO is a well known goth offshoot corporate style with sympathies leaning toward bisexual orientation. I never suggested that all EMO people were bisexual but as it has been known for years it is a dress indicator for same sex hook ups. Admittedly it has been so commonplace a dress sense that now everybody from fat middle aged ex football hooligan casuals having a midlife crisis to nursery kids have succumbed to the VERY COMMON hipster(ish) style and not at all DIFFERENT from the norm' look you suggest it to be (your fashion meter is obviously so 4 years ago girlfriend if you think EMO is an original dress sense these days).

Obviously I also stated an upset that these poor Iraqi kids were being killed for their dress taste.
Even the least snappy impulsive person would have seen that i felt sorry for them being murdered. I have friends from that region so it hurts me all the more to read the story.

I was clearly making the point that it is a lame catalogue (non music genre related I might add) dress sense & it is also a shame that they died because they were either dressing a type of gay or misunderstood to be gay because of it. I belive in fashion but until the Wahhibbis open their minds I do not believe these kids should be looking to draw negative attention from backwards ex jihadi/now Iraq police cavemen.

But yeah that is right, you are not the imbecile here. Peace out.

iraq

Here the U.S. goes in and helps these people to become a free country from a regime that would kill anyone just because they could. What in the world is going on? Just because they dress different and wear thier hair different. They are beaten to deaf? Hell!! These towl heads are no different than the last communist government that was in rule. Don't get me wrong. We have our problems that face us with hate crimes but to kiil a Child just because and thats it. Just because!! These towl heads that run that part of the so called free nation, have to go!!!!!!!!! The Four Horsemen are getting ready to saddle up. They will pay with thier hate. They will be sent to hell for enternity.God Bless you all!!

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