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2/08/2005

Elections in Iraq Not Liberating for All

This article was written by Houzan MahMoud, an Iraqi living in Britain, is the United Kingdom head of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq. This article was first published in The Independent in Britain. It was reprinted in the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Of course these types of stories have to come to us from the foreign media since our media is either bought and paid for by the Bushies or for some reason afraid to report anything but glowing reports on Iraq.

"I am an Iraqi woman, and I am boycotting the elections. Women who do vote will be voting for an enslaved future. Surely, say those who support these elections, after decades of tyranny, here at last is a form of democracy, imperfect, but democracy nevertheless?

In reality, these elections are, for Iraq's women, little more than a cruel joke. Amid the suicide attacks, kidnappings and U.S.-led military assaults since Saddam Hussein's fall, the little-reported phenomenon is the sharp increase in the persecution of Iraqi women. Women are the new victims of Islamic groups intent on restoring a medieval barbarity and of a political establishment that cares little for women's empowerment."

She tells some pretty chilling stories about violence against women since the "liberation" of Iraq.

"Take the case of Anaheed. She was suspended to a tree in the New Baghdad area of the capital and then first shot by her father (a solicitor no less) and then by each member of her tribe. She was then was cut into pieces.
This to clear the shame on the tribe's honor for having wanted to marry a man she was in love with. This happened in late 2003, months after the 'liberation.'

In the last six months at least eight women have been killed in Mosul alone -- all apparently by Islamic groups clamping down on female independence. Among these, a professor from the city's law school was shot and beheaded, a vet was killed on her way to work and a pharmacist from the Alkhansah hospital was shot dead on her doorstep.

The occupation has unleashed this new violence against women, while in some cases adding its own particular variety. Iraqi women have been tortured by U.S. soldiers in prisons. The social taboo against speaking about sexual abuse is so strong in Iraq that these women will almost certainly have no one to turn to upon release."

As for the recent elections in Iraq she has this to say.

"If Iraqi women take part in the elections, who are they to vote for?

Women's rights are ignored by most of the candidates. The U.S. government appears happy to have Iraq governed by reactionary religious and ethnocentric elites."

I guess the Bushies never saw any problem with replacing a secular ruthless dictator with an Islamic fundamentalist governing body that is, oh by the way, sympathetic to Iran. Be careful what you wish for.

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