Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"Western-style equality" 
"Iraqi women have enjoyed secular, western-style equality for more than 40 years."

Yeah, if you consider the right to gang rape at the hands of government officials and a cattle prod applied to the cervix your idea of western-style equality.

For more on Iraqi "western-style equality," see here.

Maysoon al-Assadi was an 18-year-old university student when she was arrested for membership of a banned Islamic organisation. During her interrogation, she was hanged by her hair and beaten on the soles of her feet and then sentenced to hang by Judge Awad Mohamed Amin al-Bandar. Her last wish - to say goodbye to her fiance - was granted, and the two married in the prison. But while saying goodbye to other prisoners, she made speeches condemning the leadership of the Iraqi regime, and the prison governor decided that she should be put to death slowly. She was strapped into the jail's electric chair and took two hours to die.

More equality, a la leftie.

Ahlam al-Ayashi was arrested in 1982 at the age of 20 because she was married to Imad al-Kirawee, a senior Dawa member. When he refused to give information to the security police, two torturers - named in the report as Fadil Hamidi al-Zarakani and Faysal al-Hilali - attacked Ahlam in front of the prisoner and his child, torturing her to death.

Here's some equality for ya:

Wives were forced to watch their husbands hanged before being placed in the electric chair, were burned with acid, tied naked to ceiling fans, sexually abused. In several cases, women were poisoned or used as guinea pigs for chemical substances at a plant near Samarra believed to be making chemical weapons.


A typical entry in Imprisoned Memories: Red Pages from a Forgotten History - compiled by Ali al-Iraq in the Iranian city of Qum - reads as follows: "Samira Awdah al-Mansouri (Um Iman), born 1951, Basra, teacher at Haritha Intermediate School ... married to the martyr Abdul Ameer, a cadre of the Islamic movement military wing ... member of Islamic Dawa party ... Torturers: Major Mehdi al-Dulaymi who tortured while drunk, Lieutenant Hussain al-Tikriti, who specialised in breaking the rib cages of his victims by stamping on them ... Lieutenant Ibrahim al-Lamee who beat victims on their feet ... Um Iman was beaten ... hung by her hair from a ceiling fan and and suffered torture by electricity. Having spent two months in the prison cells in Basra without giving way, al-Dulaymi recommended she be executed for carrying unlicensed arms and belonging to the al-Dawa party."

In fact, Um Iman was transferred to the Public Security Division in Baghdad, where further torture took place over 11 months. She subsequently appeared before the Revolutionary Military Security Court, which sentenced her to death by hanging. She spent another six months in the Rashid prison west of Baghdad, until - when she might have hoped that her life would be spared - she was, on a Sunday evening, transferred to Abu Graib and executed by Abu Widad.


In 1982, for instance, a Lieutenant Kareem in Basra reportedly brought the wife of an insurgent to the prison, stripped and tortured her in front of her husband, then threatened to kill their infant child. When both refused to talk, the security man "threw the baby against the wall and killed him".

More equality:

Awatif was pregnant but was set upon by a man called Major Amer who beat her with a metal chair and then sexually abused her. At her trial, Judge Mussalam al-Jabouri suggested that "a miniature gallows should be found for her baby daughter because she had sucked on her mother's hate-filled milk". Awatif was taken to be executed for the first time with two female colleagues and forced to watch the hanging of 150 men, 10 at a time; as their corpses were taken away, she recognised one of them as her husband. She was then returned to her cell. She was later executed in an electric chair.

According to Robert Fisk, there are 550 pages of descriptions of equality in this one report.

Here's more from the State Department:

Under the pretext of fighting prostitution, units of "Fedayeen Saddam," the paramilitary organization led by Uday Hussein, Saddam's eldest son, have beheaded in public more than 200 women throughout the country, dumping their severed heads at their families' doorsteps. Many families have been required to display the victim's head on their outside fences for several days. These barbaric acts were carried out in the total absence of any proper judicial procedures and many of the victims were not engaged in prostitution, but were targeted for political reasons. For example, Najat Mohammad Haydar, an obstetrician in Baghdad, was beheaded after criticizing the corruption within health services. (Amnesty International Report, Iraq: Systematic Torture of Political Prisoners, August 2001; Iraqi Women's League in Damascus, Syria)

The Iraqi Government uses rape and sexual assault of women to achieve the following goals: to extract information and forced confessions from detained family members; to intimidate Iraqi oppositionists by sending videotapes showing the rape of female family members; and to blackmail Iraqi men into future cooperation with the regime. Some Iraqi authorities even carry personnel cards identifying their official "activity" as the "violation of women's honor." (U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices-2001, March 2002; Iraq Research and Documentation Project, Harvard University)

Torture. The Iraqi Government routinely tortures and kills female dissidents and the female relatives of Iraqi oppositionists and defectors. Victims include Safiyah Hassan, the mother of two Iraqi defectors, who was killed after publicly criticizing the Iraqi Government for killing her sons after their return to Iraq. Women in Saddam's jails are subjected to the following forms of torture: brutal beatings, systematic rape, electrical shocks, and branding. (U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices-2001, March 2002; U.S. Department of State, Iraq: A Population Silenced, December 2002)

Murder. In 1990, Saddam Hussein introduced Article 111 into the Iraqi Penal Code in a calculated effort to strengthen tribal support for his regime. This law exempts men who kill their female relatives in defense of their family's honor from prosecution and punishment. The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women reported that more than 4,000 women have been victims of so-called "honor killings" since Article 111 went into effect. (UN Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, January 2002)

But this jackass fails to mention that Saddam Hussein was actually rolling back rights that women gained under Iraqi law after about 1980.

The 1980s and 1990s, however, saw the gradual erosion of many of the gains made by women under the onslaught of massive and systematic human rights violations committed under the government of Saddam Hussain (1979-2003). During the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war, women’s emancipation suffered setbacks primarily as a result of the overall deterioration in the human rights situation.
(Source: Amnesty International)

And here are some examples of Saddam's enlightened treatment of women from AI:

Women were frequently targeted because of their family relationship with male opposition activists, and were subjected to gender-specific human rights violations such as rape and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

At the beginning of the war the government deported thousands of women, men and children to Iran, solely on the basis of their actual or alleged Iranian descent. They included Shi‘a Muslim Arabs and Feyli Kurds. Entire families were stripped of their properties, possessions and Iraqi identity documents and, under armed guard, forcibly transported in trucks or buses to border areas and ordered to cross into Iran. The majority of deportees lived for years in refugee camps inside Iran. Thousands of men and boys from such families, and some women and girls, aged between about 16 and 40, were arrested and detained indefinitely in Iraq. Although many were released in subsequent years, thousands "disappeared", never to be seen again. Most were probably killed.

Here's equality at a mini Babi Yar:

In a recently discovered mass grave near the village of Hadhra, south of Mosul, remains of about 300 Kurdish women and children were uncovered by a team of forensic scientists. They were believed to have been shot from close range in the back of the head or in the face before their bodies were buried in a pit.(

senior Iraqi security officials had been involved in the trafficking of Kurdish women and girls for the purposes of sexual exploitation as part of the government’s repression of the Kurds. Secret communications discovered after the overthrow of Saddam Hussain’s government included a document of 10 December 1989 from the Kirkuk Intelligence Directorate to the General Intelligence Directorate that listed the names of 18 women and girls, aged between 14 and 29, who had been detained in the Anfal campaign and sent to nightclubs in Egypt.(


Women and children were also widely reported to have been used by government forces as "human shields" in military operations to quell both uprisings, and to have been killed in cross-fire between the security forces and insurgents.

Western style equality:

Ahlam Khadom Rammahi, a mother of six children who had left Iraq with her husband in 1982, travelled back from London to Iraq to visit her sick mother on 28 July 1999, using her British passport. She had not seen her mother since leaving Iraq. On 5 August she was arrested in Baghdad at the home of relatives and detained for a month before being released without charge on 7 September. No reason was given for her arrest, and her terrified family were unable to find out where she had been taken for several days. During one interrogation session, she told Amnesty International after her release, a security agent said: "You know our torture methods don’t you? We use electricity. You better tell us about your husband, your contacts with Iran, with al-Da’wa, with Saudi Arabia; your husband has criticized Saddam Hussain and the regime hasn’t he? If you don’t talk we will pierce your hand with a drill." She said that security officers threatened to torture her daughter in front of her if she did not confess to opposition activities in London.


Rape was used as a form of torture on women in custody because they were relatives of opposition activists or in an attempt to force Iraqi nationals abroad to cease political activities. In June 2000, a videotape showing the rape of a female relative was sent to Najib al-Salihi, a former army general who fled Iraq in 1995 and joined the opposition. Shortly afterwards he reportedly received a telephone call from the Iraqi intelligence service, asking him whether he had received the videotape and informing him that his relative was in their custody.

More here.

There is nothing the left will not excuse, so twisted have they become.

Splash, out



Seems like they had equality: Saddam tortured women equally as he did men.


p.s. Sir, the left appears to think that they are suffering torture in the west. Perhaps they were trying to be ironic? That's their patriotism.
Very well done Jason. Very well done.
Not exactly fair. All you have advanced is that saddam was a brutal dictator. But you have not addressed the issue of woman's rights or the facts about the position of women in Iraq society.
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I hate to say this...but Madtom is right. All you have done is shown that a brutal dictator, hell bent on maintaining that power, used every thing at his disposal to insure that he and his tribe of Ba'athist stayed in power.

Brutal? Yes. Abhorrent? Yes. But in the end you have have not answered the question of women's rights. You have simply shown a brutal dictator and his handymen in all their perverse glory.

You got close when you mentioned the "roll back" towards traditional Islamic law concerning the "woman's" roll in the family...but alas that is no different than any other Islamic family...any where.

The problem with this is that you are singling out one man's dictatorship in a region where that sort of thing is common place. I dare call it "cultural". I would like to see you bring it into context...speak about the same things region wide. Take Iran and Saudi Arabi and place them under the same scrutinizing target recticle.

But in the end...and I know that I wasn't there (you were...and you have my utmost respect for that), but in the end all of those things you speak of are problems that Iraqi's needed to face themselves. There is no way...and I am serious...no way that we can change the culture of Islam from the outside. Our exportation of our religions...Democracy and Government Sponsored Free Enterprise are great religions...but we can not export them and change or some how move the Islamic culture to a moderate position. And it is a mistake to try.

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How can someone read the litany of offenses committed by Saddam and not conclude that Iraq treated women horribly during his reign? I would like to think that part of "western style equality" does not include the right for the state to rape and murder you, ragardless of gender. In my opinion a person is a cretin (sp?) of the highest order to think that the Iraqi people enjoyed a degree of freedom and equality, except for the rape and torture.
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