THE death threat was delivered to Karazan’s father early in the morning by a masked man wearing a police uniform.
The scribbled note was brief. Karazan had to die because he was gay. In the new Baghdad, his sexuality warranted execution by the religious militias.
The father was told that if he did not hand his son over, other family members would be killed. What scares the city’s residents is how the fanatics’ list of enemies is growing. It includes girls who refuse to cover their hair, boys who wear theirs too long, booksellers, liberal professors and prostitutes. Three shops known to sell alcohol were bombed yesterday in the Karrada shopping district.
In this atmosphere of intolerance and intimidation, the militias have made no secret of their hatred of homosexuals.
Iraq's most revered Islamic leader is largely blamed for the current atmosphere in Iraq. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, writes the Times, "provoked the murders by saying on his website in April last year that homosexuals should be killed in the 'worst, most severe way.'"
This bodes very badly for the future of Iraq. It is becoming more and more like its evil neighbor Iran than the free and democratically-run country the U.S. and its allies promised to bring the people of Iraq by liberating them from Saddam Hussein's evil dictatorship. And it continues to raise questions about our continued participation in the Iraqi conflict. Just what are American soldiers dying for in Iraq?