14:43 GMT25 October 2020
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    An unknown person in the province of Missan in southern Iraq, launched a social media page called Basra, where he threatens women with violence and humiliation if they do not dress in a more Islamic way.

    It is unknown how many people are behind this initiative but the authors of the page have posted photos of girls in scarves and hijabs on the walls of schools and universities. The photos of many girls were taken and put up on the walls without their knowledge.

    Next to their photographs, the perpetrators wrote that in spite of the veil, there are serious doubts regarding their honor and dignity. On the Basra social media page, it is written that the activists want these girls and women to dress in modest Islamic dress which consists of a long dress and a headscarf.

    They further wrote that it is not necessary for the girls to cover their face and hands as it is in the Gulf countries. But in any public place, women should be dressed in a way so that their “assets” aren’t visible, such as their breast area.

    Otherwise, the perpetrators will use Photoshop to impose faces of these girls onto the naked bodies of random women found on the internet and such collages will be distributed throughout the county.

    If that happens, the parents of those girls whose faces will be distributed using pornographic images will be forced to kill their daughters in order to restore the family's honor.

    The author of the Basra page explained to his subscribers that this initiative was started due to the patriotic feelings he has for his country.

    “In the last decade in the country radical ideas have spread vastly, which have strengthened against the background of a weak central government,” the author’s statement read on the page.

    He further said that the radicals used intimidation and murder and according to him that yielded some good results, however, since the Iraqi authorities liberated the region from Daesh an ordinary citizen might now think that the state has become weak.

    So, the author out of his “patriotic” motives is attempting to resolve this problem by restricting the freedoms of people in Iraq. At the same time, he is, however, calling on the government not to change the constitution and take away rights of the citizens by imposing any sort of religious regulations.

    One can argue about how much help such people as the author of the social media page are actually providing to the state.

    On the one hand, he calls for morality and decent behavior, whereas, on the other, he threatens to demonize innocent girls by making pornographic images of them and calling for their execution.

    Another point to note is that there are a lot of mistakes on the Basra website, so the grammar errors suggest that either the author is an illiterate or a foreigner.

    Iraq, along with neighboring Syria, has been suffering from the horrors inflicted by Daesh, outlawed in Russia and the United States as well as in many other countries. The radical group is notorious for its brutal acts of terrorism and human rights atrocities.

    The battle to retake Mosul from Daesh began in October 2016. About 90 percent of the eastern part of the city has been recaptured by Iraqi government forces while the western part remains in the hands of the terrorist group.


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    Islamic radicals, activist, women's rights, social media, hijab, Iraq
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