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Emo is short for “emotional hardcore” and its aesthetic sprang from the American punk music scene in the 1980s and has been remixed in Baghdad over the last few years.
Ibrahim al-Abadi, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said the statement had been misinterpreted. He said emo youths were free to dress as they pleased, and said the government would protect them.
But over the past month, threatening letters began appearing in Shiite neighborhoods across Baghdad, residents said.
One of the fliers, scanned and posted online, addresses dozens of gay men by name and nickname. It warns people identified as Japanese Haider, Allawi the Bra, Mohammed the Flower and others: Reform your behavior, stop being gay, or face deadly consequences.
“Your fate will be death if you don’t quit doing this,” one leaflet warns. “Punishment will be tougher and tougher, you gays. Don’t be like the people of Lot.”
Another flier circulating around the Zayouna neighborhood appears addressed to emo youths. It tells them to cut their hair, not to wear the clothing of devil worshipers, and not to listen to metal, emo or rap music. And if they refuse, “God’s punishment will be come down upon you,” the letter says.
Ali Hili, a gay Iraqi activist who lives in London, said as many as 750 gay Iraqis have been killed in the past six years, and thousands have emigrated or are living deep in the closet.
“It’s a clear war on sexual minorities on Iraq,” he said. “They are refusing to admit it.”
Fear has rippled across socially liberal niches of Baghdad, from the basement-level clothing shops where teenage boys buy skull pendants and skater gear, to upscale hair salons and theaters. Advocates say some emo youths and gay men have left for northern Iraq, while others have shorn off hairdos or muted outfits that were once badges of identity.
Four gay friends in Baghdad, sitting together for an interview, said the daily barrage of harassment and threats has taken on an especially menacing edge in the last few weeks. Neighbors have told them, “Your turn will come soon.” Young men have driven by and shouted “Block! Block! Block!” referring to the current weapon of choice for attacks
Originally posted by aprofessionalRussian
reply to post by Nspekta
It makes me very sad to see things like this. I am gay, and I can tell you from personal experience that being gay is not a choice. I have done nothing wrong yet so many people think i'm some horrible monster, and some (like these mentioned in the original post, want me dead. I just don't understand.edit on 31-5-2012 by aprofessionalRussian because: (no reason given)