tag ‘Irak’
In support of civilization July 30, 2014 | 01:34 pm






An Iraqi news anchorwoman working for the Iraqi cable TV Sumaria, headquartered in Beirut, has begun wearing a cross in support of Assyrians/Christians in Mosul, Iraq. Dalia AlAqidi, a Sunni Muslim from Iraq, says that this as not a “religious initiative but an uprising against anyone trying to obliterate civilization…If I do not speak and others remain silent then as the saying goes ‘He who is silent about justice is a mute devil.’”


FGM in Iraq: The hoax of a hoax? July 29, 2014 | 02:06 pm

The supposedly hoax fatwa by ISIS circulating in Social Media is a very mainstream fatwa about FGM. Who ever wrote it knows the hadith (sayings of the prophet) which most clerics use when defending “female circumcision”. Contrary to general perception mainstream Islam is not opposed to this practice. There are small groups like the Ahmadiyya which oppose it fiercly, there are individual prominent clerics who oppose it and there are regions where it was not ever practiced like in the Maghreb. However, most law schools say it is Sunnah, sometimes meaning it is a good thing but not obligatory, sometimes meaning it was done in the times of the prophet and not prohibited by him, therefore people are allowed to practice it. Mainstream Islam views it as a private matter leaving it to the parents. However, one law school, the Shafa’i, say it must be done. The fatwa in question reads like a Shafa’i fatwa. It seems quite plausible that IS would make this interpretation their own as they tend to always pick the most extreme interpretation of an issue.

Read more on Stop FGM Mideast

Kurdistan proud to be a safe haven for refugees July 28, 2014 | 10:06 pm

While Europe closes is borders for millions of refugees, Kurdistan is proud to become a safe haven. Two different attitudes towards refugees:

The President of Kurdistan Region , Massoud Barzani   thanked on Monday the people of Kurdistan, for having aided the huge numbers of displaced people and refugees despite the “blockade” imposed by the Authority in Baghdad.

Barzani said in a telegram of congratulations on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr seen by “Shafaq News” that “the humanitarian situation of the people of Kurdistan has become a place of admiration and respect of the international community.”

He added that “hundreds of thousands of citizens from all ethnic and religious components and across areas of Iraq were forced to leave their towns and move to Kurdistan.”

Barzani said that , “I take this opportunity to reiterate my thanks to the steadfast people of Kurdistan that is helping and sheltering these huge numbers of displaced people and refugees, despite the inhuman blockade imposed by the Authority in Baghdad on our people.”

Die unschlagbare Fußballliga junger Frauen in Irakisch Kurdistan July 28, 2014 | 09:32 pm

Ein Interview des Radio Dreyecklandes mit Thomas von der Osten-Sacken über Mädchenfussball in Irakisch-Kurdistan


Rede des LAK Shalom auf der antifaschistischen Kundgebung gegen den Al Quds-Tag in Berlin: “ISIS, Assad, Khamenei – Same Shit, Different Style” July 28, 2014 | 03:11 pm

„Unsere Angst vor den Dschihadisten darf nicht dazu führen, dass wir mit dem Regime einverstanden sind und uns mit ihm arrangieren. Damit unterscheiden wir uns von vielen arabischen und europäischen Linken, die leider genau das tun.“

Is the ISIS Fatwa demanding FGM a hoax? July 28, 2014 | 11:39 am

The Guardian should know better

Shortly after a Fatwa was widely distributed ordering all girls and women to be mutilated in territories controlled by the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) some doubts arose this document could be a hoax. Very fast international media took that claim, although no high rank member of IS denied the existence of this Fatwa so far and in Iraq Human Rights organisations and Women Activists believe IS is going to forcibly mutilate girls and women in the near future.

Although the evidence against the authenticity of this Fatwa is weak, Ian Black and Fazel Hawramy are claiming in the Guardian “that FGM is not required by Islam and is not prevalent in Iraq. It is most widespread in Egypt, Sudan and east Africa”.

Well, FGM is – and the Guardian should know better – prevalent in Iraq, the Guardian in 2013 even started its own anti-FGM campaign with a film about this practice in Iraqi-Kurdistan and recent studies show, that mutialtion is also practiced in other parts of the country such as Kirkuk and Southern Iraq.

It should be known by now that at least one Islamic Law school considers Circumcision for Girls obligatorywhile Salafis and radical Islamists do promote this practice as religious duty. Egyptian Cleric Wajdi Ghoneim is only one of  many examples.



Islamic caliphate labels female genital mutilation obligatory July 22, 2014 | 11:36 pm

Recently the Islamic state issued a fatwa which called female genital mutilation a religious duty for every woman and girl living within the caliphate’s boundaries.

It is telling that this is one of their first worries when establishing their terror reign… The existence of this “state” is a shame for whole mankind, and every day is a day too much.

This is a translation of the Fatwa:

For protecting our Islamic nation in Iraq and Syria, our land, and our people, we need to look after our women and their behavior while preventing them from the dreadful modern life they are surrounded with.
Abu Baker Al-Baghdady:
A rule to all of the Islamic nations, regions, and districts is to protect women as our Khalifa says and prophet says while the mother Aatyia was circumcising a woman, the prophet said, “Don’t get disappointed, that is good for your husband, and your face”.  In another story, the prophet saw the mother Hajer, who had been known as odalisque’s mutilated woman, and asked her whether she still practice her job or not, the mother Hajer answered with yes. Then she asked the prophet whether it is Haram or not and he answered her with being Halal and he can teach her how to do it. The prophet says, “it is brighter for the face, and luckier for the husband”. Meanwhile, the prophet says, “if you mutilate, do not exaggerate”.
Abu Harera gives another statement that the prophet says, “All Muslim women, accept circumcision but do not exaggerate on it”.  Therefore, this is a call for all women to get mutilated.


No one cares July 16, 2014 | 09:52 pm

The caliphate that they declared so recently has just got a lot bigger. And rather amazingly, the world hasn’t paid much attention, because of Gaza. They have attacked towards Deir ez-Zor, which is a big province with a lot of oil wells in eastern Syria. They probably hold about 98 percent of it now. There’s a bit of the capital city which is held by the Assad government, but otherwise they’ve routed the opposition, Syrian opposition, Assad, from themselves. And they’ve also launched another offensive towards one of the Kurdish enclaves right up on the Turkish border—there are about half a million people there—to Kobani. They’re using—I was talking to people in the enclave yesterday, and the ISIS have about 5,000 fighters there, but they’ve also got tanks and artillery that they captured in Iraq. They’re driving around in American Humvees, also captured. And they’re putting a lot of pressure on. So they’re really taking the whole sort of eastern side of Syria, to the east of the city of Aleppo. And they probably will advance towards that in the future. But it’s a major success for them, following their takeover of Mosul and northern and western Iraq, and rather surprisingly, given publicity after the fall of Mosul, that this really hasn’t gathered much attention in the rest of the region or in Europe or America.


Emergency Aid for Internal Displaced Iraqis, who fled the Terror of ISIS July 16, 2014 | 04:20 pm

Wadi is supporting refugee families from Western Iraq

Hundred of thousands of Iraqis had to flee the terror of the radical Islamic Group ISIS that took over big parts of Western Iraq in June. The were looking for shelter and safety in neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan.
But refugee camps are overcrowded and many families have to live in schools or other public buildings without getting much of assistance.
In Darbandikhan, a small town nearby Suleymaniah, around 500 families, most of them women and children, are sheltered in a local school building.
As part of the local Iraqi-Kurdish network Hana, which also supports refugees from Syria, Wadi is supporting these families with basic need such as food, clothes and toys for the children.
Please support these effort with your donation too.

A small breaktrough July 15, 2014 | 02:07 pm

From the Global Post:

In Iraqi Kurdistan, suicide by self-immolation has replaced honor killing in many cases. Most often the decision is made by a woman herself either to escape a life of misery or shame, or due to pressure from her family members. The majority of these are reported as accidents. Dunya’s sister-in-law died three years ago in one such incident.

WADI estimates around 10,000 women have burned to death since the Kurdish region gained autonomy in 1991. Just how many of these were suicides is unknown as such cases are never investigated, Shaker said.

But changes in law are also slowly beginning to wield their influence in the courtroom.

Last month, WADI’s Shaker served as prosecutor in the trial of Osman Ali Mohammed who killed his wife in front of their children. Decades before, when Mohammed himself was still a child, his own mother had been killed in a slaying orchestrated by her brothers.

On May 20, he was convicted to 15 years imprisonment for the crime, a breakthrough for women’s rights in Kurdistan.

As Mohammed was removed from the court, he turned toward a small gathering of women, among them Bahar Muzir and other members of Zhyan. He spat threats and abhorrent insults at the women vowing he would not serve his time, and would exact revenge against each of them.

One in four women in Central and Southern Iraq is affected by Female Genital Mutilation, new study suggests July 14, 2014 | 11:16 am

A first independent study on female genital mutilation in central/southern Iraq finds that 25% of the women in these regions were subjected to this practice.

 The study was conducted in early 2014 in cooperation between physicians, women’s rights and civil society organizations. The researchers’ identities remain undisclosed due to securitiy concerns.

 500 women in Wasit province and 500 women in Qadisyiah province were sampled for the study. The data collected suggests that most women are subjected to FGM in childhood, especially before the age of 10. The most often cited reasons for the practice are religious belief, cultural heritage and tradition; it is most commonly performed by a nurse or a midwife.

 In light of the challenging security situation and social circumstances under which the study was conducted, the results are to be taken as preliminary indicators urgently demanding further research. Data presented by UNICEF last year suggested that FGM is almost inexistent in southern and central Iraq. The new findings cast considerable doubt on this conclusion and are calling for further thorough investigations.

 Female genital mutilation is a grave human rights violation and a form of violence against women according to the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women. Its eradication is explicitly recommended by the international bodies for women’s rights.

 The new study contributes to groundbreaking research work on the prevalence of FGM in the Middle East. Until recently official data claimed that FGM did not exist in the Middle East and was in general “an African problem”. In 2009 the German-Iraqi association WADI conducted the first comprehensive area-wide research on FGM in Iraq’s Kurdish provinces which found an alarming prevalence rate of 72%. A similar study conducted in Kirkuk (Northern Iraq) in 2012 revealed a 38% prevalence and gave irrefutable evidence that FGM is not restricted to the Kurdish areas.

Subsequently, the Stop FGM Middle East campaign was launched. It has made many efforts to uncover the true prevalence of the practice across Iraq, the region, and in other parts of Asia.

Download the study


Solidarität wäre July 13, 2014 | 12:56 pm

Solidarität mit den Menschen, die in der Hölle Gaza zu leben gezwungen sind, würde darüber trauern, dass das perfide Kalkül der Hamas wieder aufgegangen ist, darüber, dass sie den Menschen einen Djihad aufoktroyiert, der nichts anders verheißt als den Tod der „Mikroben und Bakterien“, wie sie die Juden ruft, und den Märtyrertod der „Eigenen“.

Solidarität mit den Palästinensern würde nach dem Aufstand gegen die Hamas, den Islamischen Djihad und alle anderen Rackets rufen, auf dass diese nie wieder ihre Artillerie zwischen den Behausungen jener eingraben, deren Tode sie propagandistisch zu verwerten wissen …

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The Iraqi Civil Initiative is launched by 90 Civil Society Organizations July 12, 2014 | 05:39 pm

In the face of the vicious terrorist onslaught against our country, and the inability of the ruling political blocs to fulfill the constitutional obligations in the aftermath of the recent elections, ninety civil society organizations have signed this declaration to launch the Civil Initiative under the slogan: “Achieving Civil and Societal Peace to Defeat Terrorism and to Ensure the Construction of a Civil Democratic State”. Defeating the schemes of evil terrorists requires, at the same time, correcting the course of the political process and dismantling the sectarian-ethnic power-sharing system, as well as defending the freedoms of opinion and expression and human rights, ensuring media freedom, respecting ethnic, religious, sectarian and cultural diversity in our society, and combating financial and administrative corruption.

The Civil Initiative is seeking, through its multifaceted peaceful movement, to deal with the current existential crisis by the following means:

  • Organizing meetings with the political forces in order to find a common national platform to get out of the crisis.
  • Encouraging dialogue between various social strata to contain the tension, and stop sectarian and ethnic agitation, in preparation for convening a broad national conference.
  • Issuing an electronic information bulletin to inform the public opinion about the ongoing developments in a transparent manner without falsification.
  • Holding a meeting with the representatives of the United Nations to exchange views, develop a support system for the political process and preserve the unity of Iraq.
  • Contacting representatives of the diplomatic corps in Iraq to discuss the national affairs and to help contain the crisis and confront terrorism in accordance with international obligations.
  • Mobilizing national, regional and international efforts and relief organizations to address the destructive effects of the armed conflict on civilians and the displacement of thousands of families to other areas lacking the most basic means of human life.

Iraq: Campaign of Mass Murders of Sunni Prisoners July 12, 2014 | 04:59 pm

Iraqi security forces and militias affiliated with the government appear to have unlawfully executed at least 255 prisoners in six Iraqi cities and villages since June 9, 2014. In all but one case, the executions took place while the fighters were fleeing Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and other armed groups. The vast majority of security forces and militias are Shia, while the murdered prisoners were Sunni. At least eight of those killed were boys under age 18.

The mass extrajudicial killings may be evidence of war crimes or crimes against humanity, and appear to be revenge killings for atrocities by ISIS, a Sunni extremist group that in the past month has captured large areas from the Shia-led central government. ISIS, which on June 30 changed its name to Islamic State, summarily executed scores of captured soldiers, Shia militiamen, and Shia religious minorities in areas it controls.

“Gunning down prisoners is an outrageous violation of international law,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “While the world rightly denounces the atrocious acts of ISIS, it should not turn a blind eye to sectarian killing sprees by government and pro-government forces.”

Read more

Moscheenzerstörer July 11, 2014 | 12:27 pm

In Bagdad wird nun befürchtet, dass die Stoßtrupplern des selbsternannten Kalifen Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in ihrem Siegesrausch auch noch das ebenfalls in Mosul befindliche Grab des Propheten Jona ins Visier nehmen könnten. Diese Sorge äußerte zu Wochenbeginn ein ranghoher Kulturbeamter gegenüber der irakischen Zeitung „Az-Zaman“, der auch von der Notwendigkeit sprach, die sich häufenden islamistischen Angriffe auf die Kulturgüter des Landes systematisch zu dokumentieren.

Die Befürchtungen werden nun zusätzlich genährt durch die jüngst kursierende Meldung, die ISIS-Banden hätten den Imam der Jona-Moschee, in der der Prophet Jona begraben liegt, ermordet. Die Tatsache, dass es sich um ein islamisches Gotteshaus handelt, schützt den Ort keineswegs vor dem Zerstörungswahn der Extremisten. Erst kürzlich hatte der ISIS eine prächtige Moscheeanlage im syrischen Raqqa durch Sprengung zerstört und damit in der islamischen Welt helles Entsetzen ausgelöst. Die Zerstörungswut der Islamisten richtete sich wohl gegen das darin befindliche Grab des schiitischen Sufisten Uwais al-Qarani. Der Baukomplex beherbergte aber auch das Grab Ammar Ibn Yasirs – er gilt als einer der engsten Weggefährten des Religionsstifters Muhammad.


Über das Khalifat July 4, 2014 | 02:49 pm

Thomas v. der Osten-Sacken und Oliver M. Piecha in der Jungle World:

Sicher streben Isis auf der einen und schiitische Milizionäre und Apokalyptiker mit ihren Unterstützern im Iran auf der anderen Seite einen neuen Nahen Osten an. Ihnen geht es dabei um vieles, die Justierung nationaler Grenzen gehört nicht dazu, schließlich träumen sie von einem islamischen Reich, das per definitionem keine irdischen Grenzen kennt. Das islamische Kalifat, das Isis am Wochenende ausrufen ließ, ist nicht mittelalterlich, sondern die postmoderne Aufhebung des Nationalstaates und seine Transformation in ganglands unmittelbarer religiös legitimierter Herrschaft. Der neue Kalif, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, sei, hieß es in einer entsprechenden Erklärung, fortan legitimer Herrscher aller Muslime.

Wenn auf der anderen Seite vor dreieinhalb Jahren, als es überall in der Region zu Massenprotesten kam, westliche Beobachter erstaunt feststellten, dass die Parolen der sogenannten arabischen Straße irgendwie nach dem Europa von 1848 klangen, lag das keineswegs nur an eurozentrischen Sichtweise, sondern entsprach vielmehr populären Forderungen nach Demokratisierung und Partizipation. Es mag Regionen der Welt geben, in denen neue Grenzziehungen geholfen haben, blutige Bürgerkriege zu beenden. Der eigentliche Konflikt im Irak, in Syrien und anderen Ländern des Nahen Ostens ist allerdings keineswegs einer um nationale Grenzen – einzig Kurdistan mag da eine Ausnahme darstellen –, sondern ein Krieg all jener, mal mit- und mal gegeneinander, denen es erklärtermaßen um die Vernichtung von vermeintlich künstlichen Nationalstaaten und dem geht, wofür sie noch immer stehen.

Doomed to fail July 3, 2014 | 11:31 pm

The effort to build an anti-ISIS coalition with Iran will inevitably fail—and spectacularly so. There are many reasons why, but one deserves special attention: Iran is incapable of making it succeed. Consider: over the last three years, Obama gave Iran a free hand in Syria and Iraq to counter Sunni jihadism. The result is a revitalized Iranian alliance system—and an al-Qaeda safe haven that now stretches from the outskirts of Baghdad in Iraq to Aleppo in Syria.


Kampagne “You can’t beat me” June 27, 2014 | 09:42 pm

Für die Spielerinnen des Vereins aus Halabja ist klar: Der Kampf um den Ball und der Kampf für die Rechte von Mädchen und Kindern gehören zusammen. Häusliche Gewalt, Zwangsehen und Ehrtötungen von Mädchen sind in der gesamten kurdischen Gesellschaft verbreitet.

Deshalb unterstützen die Spielerinnen des Mädchen Fußball Clubs Halabja eine Aufklärungskampagne, die unter dem Slogan „You can’t beat me“ für Mädchenrechte und den Schutz vor Gewalt und Ausbeutung wirbt. Dies war ein Wunsch der Mädchen und auch ihre Familien unterstützen sie dabei. Mit ihrem öffentlichen Auftreten für ihren Sport und die Rechte von Mädchen sind sie ein Vorbild für viele andere in der Region.

Viele Mädchen in Irakisch-Kurdistan möchten Fußball spielen. Doch die Möglichkeiten sind begrenzt. In nur wenigen Orten haben sich bislang Sportclubs für Mädchen gegründet. Es fehlt an Knowhow, an Plätzen, an Unterstützung. Eine reguläre Liga existiert nicht. WADI fördert die Bemühungen von Mädchen, Vereine zu gründen und setzt sich dafür ein, dass eine regionale Mädchenfußball-Liga entsteht. Unterstützen Sie die Kampagne und fördern auch Sie Sportprojekte mit Mädchen.

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Lieblingsfeinde June 27, 2014 | 05:00 pm

Oliver M. Piecha über das Verhältnis von Assad zu Isis:

Wenn Isis derzeit einen wirklichen Verbündeten im Nahen Osten hat, mit dem die Jihadisten zwar nicht ihre abstruse Ideologie, aber sehr viele ­Interessen teilen, dann ist es das Assad-Regime. Um diese Feststellung zu treffen, muss man sich keineswegs in den Abgrund nahöstlicher Verschwörungstheorien begeben – obwohl das im Hinblick auf die Verbindungen zwischen Jihadisten und dem Assad-Regime so einige interessante Anekdoten zutage fördern würde. Es genügt, sich an die offensichtlichen militärischen und machtpolitischen Auswirkungen des Einflussgewinns von Isis zu halten: So haben alleine die Gefechte zwischen Isis und den anderen syrischen Aufständischen in den vergangenen Monaten vermutlich bis zu 6?000 Kämpfern das Leben gekostet. Von solchen Erfolgen beim Kampf gegen ihren Feind kann die syrische Armee nur träumen. Und während das Regime in Damaskus gezielt auf Wohngebiete, Rebellenposten und improvisierte Krankenhäuser Bomben wirft, ignoriert es die markant mit schwarzen Fahnen de­korierten Stützpunkte von Isis. Dass nun die syrische Luftwaffe im Zuge der Isis-Offensive im Irak tatsächlich auch einmal Bomben auf Isis hat fallen lassen, war vermutlich nur ein Mediencoup. Man profitiert einfach zu gut voneinander. Jüngst bekannt gewordene interne Dokumente von Isis lassen den Schluss zu, dass man sogar miteinander Geschäfte macht: Isis soll eine Ölquelle, die er von anderen Aufständischen erobert hatte, gewinnbringend an das Regime zurückverkauft haben.

The Monster of Mosul June 20, 2014 | 10:57 pm

A portrait of the guy, who was in charge of security in Mosul:

The top Iraqi officer in Mosul, whose forces fled with hardly a fight as ISIS militants and their allies took over Iraq’s second-largest city, is an accused torturer who was once targeted by the U.S. military and the Iraqi criminal justice system. (…)

Heated exchanges followed between U.S. and Iraqi officials when Al Gharawi’s charges were dropped. Both U.S. Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus tried to convince the Iraqi government that it had to show its skeptical Sunni citizens that a Shiite government was willing to arrest senior Shiite security officials for sectarian violence. Instead, the predominantly Shia government decided to let Al Gharawi go. Once the accused war criminal was free, the Iraqi government then put him in charge of the largest Sunni Arab majority city in the country, Mosul, where Al Qaeda was still actively resisting the government.

Kurdisches Öl für Israel June 20, 2014 | 12:32 pm

Iraqi Kurdistan looked set to unload its first cargo of disputed crude oil in Israel from its new pipeline after weeks of seeking an outlet as Iraq’s central government has threatened legal action against any buyer.

The SCF Altai tanker was anchored near Israel’s Ashkelon port early on Friday morning, ship tracking and industry sources said. The tanker is expected to dock early on Saturday, local sources said.

Securing the first sale of oil from its independent pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan is crucial for the Kurdish Regional Government as it seeks greater financial independence from war-torn Iraq.


Call for new Government in Iraq June 20, 2014 | 12:21 pm

The spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shiite majority has called for the creation of a new, “effective” government, increasing pressure on the country’s premier as an offensive by Sunni militants rages on.

The call Friday by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani contained thinly veiled criticism that Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in office since 2006, was to blame for the nation’s crisis over the blitz by the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Al-Sistani’s message was delivered by his representative Ahmed al-Safi in the holy city of Karbala.


Iran als Alliierter im War on Terror? June 19, 2014 | 10:11 am

Aus einem Artikel in der Jungle World von Thomas v. der Osten-Sacken über die Offensive von ISIS im Irak:

Was weiter droht, ist eigentlich klar: ein unkontrollierbarer Krieg zwischen Sunniten und Schiiten, angeheizt vom Iran auf der einen und den von Saudi-Arabien geführten Golfstaaten auf der anderen Seite. Die US-Regierung könnte sich wie in Syrien entscheiden, mehr oder weniger nichts zu tun und damit dem Iran das Feld im vermeintlichen Antiterrorkampf überlassen, den dieser zu gerne mit internationaler Rückendeckung im Irak und Syrien mit seinen Alliierten führen würde. Dann gerieten der Westirak und Ostsyrien endgültig zum Schlachtfeld eines innerislamischen Krieges, die Kurden nutzten die Gunst der Stunde, um sich vom Rest des Landes loszusagen, während Isis die Freiwilligen aus allen Ländern nur so zuströmten.

Halbherzige Luftschläge gegen Isis an der Seite der irakischen Regierung hätten fatalerweise dieselbe Wirkung: Ob gewollt oder nicht, die sunnitische Welt sähe die USA trotzdem im Bündnis mit dem verhassten Iran. Die einzig Alternative wäre, den Nahen Osten gemeinsam mit all jenen Akteuren, die für eine Zukunft ohne Kalifate, Theokratien und Diktaturen eintreten, langfristig zu verändern und zu befrieden, ohne dass die USA und Europa dafür weiter im Namen illusorischer Stabilität Diktatoren und Autokraten unterstützen. Das aber würde Geld kosten und langfristiges Engagement erfordern, vor allem gegen den Iran. Doch dessen Regierung wird fatalerweise gerade als Alliierte im Kampf gegen den Terrorismus umworben, wovor die israelische Regierung eindringlich warnt.

Solange Bagdad nicht auch in die Hände von Isis fällt und die kurdischen Gebiete ruhig bleiben, besteht aber durchaus die Möglichkeit, dass nach diesem Desaster im Irak wieder Kräfte erstarken, die für eine andere Zukunft stehen, als die, die Isis und schiitische Milizionäre anzubieten haben.

Halbja Girl’s Soccer team June 18, 2014 | 10:41 pm

In the Middle East, women who want to play football are often met with either disapproval or prohibition, but not the girls in Halabja, Iraq. In this Kurdish town marked by Saddam Hussein’s notorious 1988 poison gas attack and a long period of domination by conservative Islam, it is football which is now offering women a way forward. Hivos and partner organisation Wadi are supporting the Halabja Girls on their way.

Problems such as female genital mutilation, domestic violence and arranged marriages are hard to fight without a support network. Football is not just a physical outlet for girls and women in Halabja, but a welcome opportunity to leave the house, meet with their peers and be active. It gives girls a “time-out” from omnipresent gender roles and helps them gain the strength and self-confidence to develop their own ideas of a life beyond the rigid demands of tradition.

Although in 2011 legislation (law No. 8) was passed in Iraqi Kurdistan to prohibit domestic violence against women and children, the practice is still prevalent. So the girls campaign against domestic violence with the appropriate slogan “You can’t beat me” and hope thus to encourage vigorous enforcement of this law.

More and more girls in the region are joining football teams. For the 12-year-old Dastan, top scorer of her team in Halabja, the right to play sports is intimately linked to the right to grow up free from oppression and violence.

Find out more about how Wadi and Hivos are supporting women’s football teams in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Ruhe in Irakisch-Kurdistan June 18, 2014 | 10:39 pm

In anderen Teilen des Irak finden gerade heftige Kämpge mit den Terroristen von ISIS statt, Menschen sind zu Zenhtausenden auf der Flucht, die Zukunft ist ungewiss. Irakisch-Kurdistan dagegen ist ruhig, das Leben geht normal seinen Gang (hoffen wir alle, dass es so bleibt) und auch WADI arbeitet weiter, ebenso unsere lokalen Partner. Partner, mit denen wir sowohl in Kirkuk, Bagdad als auch dem Südirak kooperieren sind ebenfalls alle wohlauf.

Aus Halabja erreichten uns gerade diese Bilder über die neuesten Sommeraktivitäten von Radio und Frauenzentrum: