This serves as a follow up to one of my previous posts, Necessary criticism is not “Islamophobia,” where I gave a briefly discussed the accusations of Islamophobia levelled at some atheists and maintained that it’s not Islamophobic to be concerned about, and criticise, certain ideologies. In addition, I showed the real-world problems certain interpretations of Islam could cause, using events in Bangladesh as an example.
In Iraq it seems as though there are Muslim militia groups targeting and killing teenagers who are involved in the emo subculture. They, incorrectly, describe it as Satanism and threaten children with death if they do not change the way that they dress. Religion is the source of the hatred and Reuters reports that a leaflet, from Baghdad, warning teenagers to change their ways includes the phrases, “the punishment of God will descend upon you.”
The government denies that there are any killings linked to the emo subculture, although it said that it was monitoring the phenomenon while simultaneously labelling it as Satanism. Similarly Muslim clerics condemn the killings, though I’ve noted before that the position of believers does not always correspond with those of the religious leaders. Once religion takes hold it becomes extremely difficult to reason with the faithful. That aside, whether or not the clerics actively condemn the killings their own statements are certainly not helping the situation. One Shi’ite cleric called emos “a plague on Muslim society.” Continue reading