BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: A number of Baghdad residents expressed their deep concern with rumors of Iraqi teenagers with ‘emo’ appearances being attacked by unknown groups, underlying that they are merely dressing like modern Western youth.
(A.B) a Baghdad university student from al-Jadiriya, 19, said “young people throughout all times usually wear modern dress.
This does not mean they are infidels or unbelievers.”
“Although we are not sure of any attacks on young men, as some media sources have reported, young people should be worry as political motivations could be behind the matter,” he told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
For her part, (Z.H.) an employee, 25, said that constitution guarantees all kinds of freedom and expression, including personal freedom.
All Iraqis voted for the constitution, including those who allegedly attacked the emo teenagers she highlighted, noting that the attackers must be sued for violating the constitution principles.
“There is no need to worry.
The situation must end now, as all Shiite clerics and scholars banned attacks on teenagers,” she added.
“Some youth, of both genders, have started living like Western people.
We are an Eastern society with its traditions, many of us belong to tribal societies,” another citizen said.
“Attacking teenagers and young men is not the appropriate solution; there must be other ways to convince them to change their attitude and their clothes,” she noted.
At least 90 Iraqi emo teenagers have been stoned to death by religious extremists in Baghdad in the past month after an inflammatory Interior Ministry statement dubbed the dress-style as "devil worshiping," activists said.
Iraq's Moral Police released a chilling statement on the Interior Ministry's website condemning the "emo phenomenon" among Iraqi youth, disturbingly declaring its intent to "eliminate" the trend.
"The 'Emo phenomenon' or devil worshiping is being followed by the Moral Police who have the approval to eliminate “the phenomenon” as soon as possible since it's detrimentally affecting the society and becoming a danger," the statement read.
"They wear strange, tight clothes that have pictures on them such as skulls and use stationary that are shaped as skulls.
They also wear rings on their noses and tongues, and engage in other strange activities," it continued.
A group of armed men dressed in civilian clothing led dozens of teenagers to secluded areas a few days ago, stoned them to death, and then disposed of their bodies in garbage dumpsters across the capital, according to activists.
Photos of the victims were released on Facebook, causing panic and fear among Iraqi students.
A young man with long hair expressed alarm at the government-ordained harassment of teenagers with Western appearances.
Independent Lawmaker, Safiya al-Suheil, called on the Interior Ministry and the human rights and security committees to uncover those who are responsible for killing the emo teenagers.
“We have received a lot of complaints about arrests made among young men and teenagers for their appearance, considered by some bodies and Moral police as unfamiliar with the Iraqi society, they were arrested for wearing jeans or because of their haircuts,” she said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
“While we highly appreciate the role played by the Interior Ministry and security elements in protecting citizens and fighting drugs, we underline that the Iraqi Constitution guarantees freedoms for all Iraqis,” she added.
“I do not think that wearing jeans or having a certain haircut violate public ethics and the social order.
I demand the ministry to give security elements more intensified sessions on human rights and to not exert pressure on young men,” she said.