April 25, 2006

The joy of sects

A popular troupe of Iraqi actors, the Happy Family Team, wanted to put on a show for children so as to give them a break from the curfew and bombings in Bagdad. Nothing wrong with that, in fact a very nice idea. Unless you are an Islamist.
They were in the van, so they made an easily identifiable target. They had offered to drive a woman friend to hospital on their way. Their vehicle came under a barrage of gunfire on a main road. Mr Jawad and the woman passenger died instantly. Mr Radi was dragged from the van and beaten to death.

Sifting through photographs of the murdered men, Mr Eadi said: “What has Baghdad come to when actors are seen as the enemy? We are not politicians. We don’t care what a child’s religion is. Our goal is to bring joy. Whoever did this cannot have a family of their own, or how could they murder someone who just wanted to make people laugh? This is the start of a mini Taleban in Baghdad if the gunmen decide what we can and cannot do as entertainers.” He buried his head in his hands.
There is also a peice in the Gaurdian by Peter Tatchell about the ethnic cleansing of its Ahwazi Arab minority by the Islamist government in Iran. And let us not forget the latest message from arch-Islamist Bin Laden (who should have been caught ages ago) warning about the genocide in Darfur. That is if the West tries to stop the genocide he will retaliate.


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