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Month: May 2019
Posted on May 8, 2019
Shiite Islamists threaten human rights activist in Germany
Islamist terrorism has dominated the headlines in the European media for many years. The attacks in the Bataclan, in Brussels, at Charlie Hebdo, to name but a few. They show the cruel face of religious extremism. All these attacks were committed by Sunni Muslims, who were incited on the Internet by the ideas of the Islamic State, or in mosques by corresponding sermons. What is forgotten here is that the same extremism also exists on the part of Shiite Muslims. We remember the death fatwa which was pronounced against the British author Salman Rushdie in 1989. Even the well-known musician Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) supported these threats. Rushdie had to go into hiding for many years. After the attack of the USA on Iraq a Shiite militia has formed there, which represents similar extreme views as the Sunni IS. Only the strategy they are pursuing is different.
I meet the well-known atheistic blogger Worood Zuhair in a café in a German city. She had contacted me because the death threats against her became more and more intense. We, the Atheist Refugee Relief, have been accompanying the young woman since her arrival in Germany. She comes from Karbala in Iraq, the holy city of the Shiites. There she had already turned away from Islam after realizing that all the atrocities committed by the Islamic State in the name of Islam were also committed by the Prophet Mohammed. This led to even greater tensions within her family, so that one day she was beaten up by her own brother into an incomplete spinal paralysis. In 2015 she fled via Turkey to Europe. Since then, she has been campaigning on the Internet for women’s rights, especially in Iraq. She blames Islam, which is cementing patriarchal structures and justifying injustices, for the backwardness of her region.
Zuhair shows me her WhatsApp messages she had received lately. It’s a flood of insults. They are predominantly sexually degrading and extremely misogynistic. What is striking about this news is that there is repeated reference to a man named Mohammed Mandalawi, nickname Bunea. Quote: “I will tell my friend Mohammed Bunea, who is in Germany, to kick you in your rotten c*”.
Mohammed Mandalawi is the leader of the newly founded rocker gang “Al-Salam 313” in Essen, Germany. The 313 refers to the 313 companions of Iman Al-Mahdi. The logo of the rocker gang is a white dove. This is also the symbol of the paramilitary unit “Jaish al-Mahdi”, which is said to have provided death squads in Iraq. The “Jaish al-Mahdi”, or “peace brigades”, are under the control of the influential spiritual politician Al-Sadr. They have military training and were involved in the attacks against ISIS in Mossul. When one of Al-Sadr’s representatives, Muhammed Talakani, visited Germany, Mohammed Mandalawi had himself photographed with him several times at private joint activities.
Mohammed Mandalawi with Muhammed Talakani
Worood Zuhair0 Comments
Thirty-one-year-old Worood Zuhair has experienced this herself. A biologist from the Iraqi city of Karbala, she receives death threats and is under police protection.”We will come by in half an hour and kill you,” was a recent telephone threat from a male caller. The general message behind the threats is that she should stop provoking the Middle East with her secular social media posts.
The physical and mental abuse has left Zuhair deeply traumatized. “When your own father gives your soul to Azrael, the angel of death, that is enormously painful,” she told DW. “He did it so often. I couldn’t take it anymore.”
The abuse Zuhair suffered at the hands of her family left her deeply traumatized
Zuhair has since been recognized as a refugee in Germany. She has learned to talk about her suffering and now stands up for other women who have also experienced violence. She supports the work of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq and works together with human rights activist Mina Ahadi from the Central Council of Ex-Muslims.
Zuhair and Munshi belong to a group of refugees who were and continue to be persecuted because of their renunciation of the Islamic faith. For both of them, their questioning of God became a matter of life and death.