Young people who identify themselves as so-called Emos are being brutally killed at an alarming rate in Iraq, AP reported. The emos, who are an offspring of the 'Gothic'style, wear tight fitting clothes and specific long or spiky haircuts, and are therefor easily identified. In Iraq they are sometimes associated by usli zealots with the gay community.
An Interior Ministry official said 58 young people have been killed across Iraq in recent weeks by unidentified gangs who accused them of being Emo. Sixteen were killed in Sadr City alone, security and political officials there said. Nine of the men were killed by bludgeoning, and seven were shot. No arrests have been made.
Clerics have condemned the violence. Abdul-Raheem al-Rikabi, Baghdad representative for Iraq's most influential Shi'ite cleric, Ali al-Sistani, called the killings "terrorist attacks". Hardline Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Saturday called Emos "crazy fools" and a "lesion on the Muslim community" in a statement on his website. However, he did not condone the violence, telling his followers "to end the scourge of Emo within the law."
The Iraqi government may have been partly responsible for what is happening. The killings have taken place since Iraq's interior ministry drew attention to the "emo" subculture last month, labeling it "Satanism" and ordering a community police force to stamp it out. And an August 2011 letter from the Education Ministry urges schools to crack down on what it considered abhorrent behavior, including allowing camera phones in school "because students would use it for dirty movies," says the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. Similarly, it prohibited students from leaving their classes during school hours "for any reason, because they might gather in the nearby cafes or coffee shops to practice dirty activities." The letter attributed the social atrocities to "Emo, which is an infiltrated phenomenon in our society began to appear in some of our schools."