Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Death at 'immoral' picnic in the park - The Boy Cleric is BACK!

Jihad Watch: Death at 'immoral' picnic in the park

This is a disturbing story from Robert Spencer. Looks like Al Sadr is using strategies other than politics to inject himself into the power struggle in Iraq. Does anyone in Iraq know anything more about this event? From this story it sounds like the new Iraqi Police stood by and watched.

THE students had begun to lay out their picnic in the spring sunshine when the men attacked. “There were dozens of them, armed with guns, and they poured into the park,” Ali al-Azawi, 21, the engineering student who had organised the gathering in Basra, said.

“They started shouting at us that we were immoral, that we were meeting boys and girls together and playing music and that this was against Islam.

“They began shooting in the air and people screamed. Then, with one order, they began beating us with their sticks and rifle butts.” Two students were said to have been killed.

Standing over them as the blows rained down was the man who gave the order, dressed in dark clerical garb and wearing a black turban. Ali recognised him immediately as a follower of Hojatoleslam Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shia cleric. Ali realised then that the armed men were members of Hojatoleslam al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army, a private militia that fought American forces last year and is now enforcing its own firebrand version of Islam.

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