Tag Archive | Iraq

U.N. Report Confirms the Obvious: Reveals 3 Nations Producing Most Refugees Were Targets of U.S. Intervention*

U.N. Report Confirms the Obvious: Reveals 3 Nations Producing Most Refugees Were Targets of U.S. Intervention*

A U.N. report has shown that more than 65 million people were forced to leave their home countries last year, becoming refugees due to deadly conflict. The top nations from which refugees fled have one thing in common, they were all targets of U.S. intervention.

By Whitney Webb

Afghan refugee Rasoul Nazari, 15, holds his 10-month-old nephew Imran after crossing the border between Hungary and Austria in Nickelsdorf, Austria. (AP/Muhammed Muheisen)

A United Nations report has shed light on the world’s burgeoning crisis of displaced peoples, finding that a record 65.6 million were forced to vacate their homes in 2016 alone. More than half of them were minors.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which drafted the report, put the figure into perspective, stating that increasing conflict and persecution worldwide have led to “one person being displaced every three seconds – less than the time it takes to read this sentence.”

U.N. High Commissioner Filippo Grandi called the figure “unacceptable” and called for “solidarity and a common purpose in preventing and resolving the crisis.”

However, what the U.N. report failed to mention was the role of U.S. foreign intervention, indirect or direct, in fomenting the conflicts responsible for producing most of the world’s refugees.

According to the report, three of the nations producing the highest number of refugees are Syria (12 million refugees created in 2016), Afghanistan (4.7 million) and Iraq (4.2 million).

The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are known to be the direct result of U.S. military invasions in the early 2000s, as well as the U.S.’ ongoing occupation of those nations. Decades after invading both countries, the U.S.’ destabilizing military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan has continued to increase in recent years, with the Trump administration most recently announcing plans to send thousands of soldiers to Afghanistan in the coming months. It is worth noting that each U.S. soldier in Afghanistan costs U.S. taxpayers $2.1 million.

While the U.S. has yet to directly invade Syria, the U.S. role in the conflict is clear and Syria’s destabilization and the overthrow of its current regime have long been planned by the U.S. government. The U.S. and its allies, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia, have consistently funded “rebel” groups that have not only perpetuated the Syrian conflict for six long years, but have also committed atrocity after atrocity targeting civilians in Syrian cities, towns, and communities – a major factor in convincing Syrians to leave their homes.

The report ranks Colombia as the world’s second-largest producer of refugees, with 7.7 million Colombians displaced in 2016. Like Syria, the U.S. has not directly invaded Colombia, but is known to have extensively funded paramilitary groups, also known as “death squads,” in the country since the 1980s, when then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan declared a “war on drugs” in Colombia.

U.S. efforts have long helped fuel the civil war between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and pro-government, U.S.-funded paramilitary groups. This conflict has lasted for more than half a century.

In 2000, then-President Bill Clinton’s administration funded the disastrous “Plan Colombia” with $4 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds, ostensibly to fight drug trafficking and insurgents. Almost all of this money was used to fund the Colombian military and its weapon purchases. “Plan Colombia” ultimately intensified armed violence, military deployments, human rights abuses by the Colombian military, and – of course – the internal displacement of Colombians. The legacy of U.S. policy in Colombia and its continuing support of the nation’s right-wing, neo-liberal regime have ensured that the chaos continues into the present.

Clinton ran on Plan Colombia and its sponsoring right wing death squads. https://t.co/yoE56yQLzP

— Tailfoot McWalshy (@BuglegsMcWalshy) March 10, 2017

In addition to the above, U.S foreign policy is also to blame for the conflict in South Sudan, where the UN report found was home to the fastest-growing displacement of people in the world. In 2011, the U.S. pushed South Sudan to secede from Sudan, as South Sudan holds the vast majority of Sudan’s oil reserves — the largest oil reserves in all of Africa. The U.S.’ push for the creation of an independent South Sudan dislodged Chinese claims to Sudanese oil, as the Chinese had previously signed oil contracts with the (now Northern) Sudanese government.

But when nation-building efforts went awry and civil war broke out just two years later, some analysts suggested that the conflict only started when South Sudan’s president began to cozy up to China. According to the UN report, approximately 3.3 million people in South Sudan have fled their homes since the war began.

Grandi has called on the world’s nations to help prevent and resolve the global refugee crisis. But he would also do well to point out the common cause uniting many of the world’s worst conflicts – the U.S. military-industrial complex’s insatiable lust for conquest, power and profit.


Related Topics:

Imminent Starvation Resulting from U.S. Led Wars: U.N. Officials Warn of Worst Famine Crisis Since World War II*

Trump To Continue Bankrupting The U.S. Through Foreign Wars*

Chinese Billionaire Says U.S. Wasted Trillions on Wars and Wall Street and Forgot about their Citizens*

How Washington Targets Civilians*

How Washington Targets Civilians*

By Mehmet Ersoy

Yesterday, a monitoring group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently published another footage of the aftermath of the U.S.-led coalition’s strikes on the city. Videos and photos show damaged buildings, bomb craters and fires.

In particular, shocking are the photos of children and adults injured because of the coalition: someone’s face is burnt, another man is bleeding while the other guy seems to be shocked and can’t move.

Meanwhile, conventional weapons don’t quite satisfy Washington In the previous week, ISIS-linked channel Amaq published a video showing white phosphorus shells hitting Raqqa. Using these munitions in populated areas is prohibited by the international law.

White phosphorus causes terrifying effects: contacting a human skin, it burns it to the bone, and if a person inhales the gas released during the burning, he would start choking and literally burn from the inside. It also ignites high temperature fires that are difficult to extinguish.

Notably, in an article concerning the accusations of the U.S. illegal methods of war, the New York Times refers to an official who on the condition of anonymousness told the newspaper that the coalition indeed has access to white phosphorus munitions, which, however, are not used against personnel. But as we see, their role is to fight civilians.

Besides, the spokesman for the U.S.-led task force Col. Ryan Dillon commented on the situation. According to him, white phosphorus is used for “screening, obscuring and marking in a way that fully considers the possible incidental effects on civilians and civilian structures”.

Tens of thousands of residents who still stay in Raqqa don’t seem to be considered civilians by the Pentagon. According to UNICEF, 40,000 children are still trapped in the city, and their lives are in constant danger because of the coalition’s bombings and shellings.

Moreover, in the same NYT article, the Syrian government is accused of using white phosphorus against the militants during the battle for Aleppo. Isn’t it an example of the western hypocrisy?
Obviously, this is just the beginning of Raqqa’s destruction. During the operation on pushing ISIS out of Mosul, almost one thousand civilians were killed. The West proved how indifferent Washington is to deaths among the civilian population. And HRW’s call to think first of Raqqa residents, who have been suffering from ISIS for 3 years, will remain unheard.


Related Topics:

What I’ve Learnt About US Foreign Policy*

U.N. Reveals U.S. Massacred 300 Civilians in Raqqa Last Week*

U.S. Coalition Admits to Bombing Civilians with Chemical Weapons*

U.S.-led Coalition Aircrafts Kill 15 Civilians in Raqqa, Syria*

U.S. Airstrikes Slaughter 230 Innocent Civilians in a Single Night in Mosul*

Over 100 Civilians Dead after Recent U.S. Raids on Alleged al-Qaeda Training Camps*

U.N. Confirms U.S. Airstrikes in Afghanistan Killed At Least 18 Civilians*

U.S. Coalition Airstrikes Killed More Civilians in Syria*

Russia Blasts U.S. for Supporting ‘Moderates’ Who Gas Civilians in Syria*

U.S.-Led Airstrikes Have Killed More Than 200 Syrian Civilians in Past Two Months*

French and U.S. Airstrikes ‘kill over 140 civilians’ in Syria*

U.S. Coalition Air Strikes Kills 60 Civilians in Tokhar near Manbij, Syria*

U.S. Airstrikes Kill 38 Syrian Civilians Over 48 Hours*

New U.S. Led Airstrikes Kill 36 Civilians in Syria While Missing Terrorists Entirely*

U.S. Airstrikes Killing Civilians not ISIS as Fallujans Walk out on ISIS Sermons*

Syrians Report U.S. Use of Chemical Weapons on Town of 200K*

Witnesses saw U.S. Military Killing Fleeing Child in Latest Botched Yemen Raid*

U.S. Coalition Bombs Syrian Army in Sweida*

U.S. Coalition Airstrike Kills Women, Children in Raqqa*

West Blocks Probe as It Would Show Idlib ‘Attack’, U.S. Strike ‘False Flag’*

New Studies Confirm Syrian Building Struck by U.S. Drones was a Mosque*

U.S. Kills Hundreds in Chemical Strike on Der ez-Zor*

Dyncorp, the Private Military Corporation at the Heart of U.S. Foreign Policy Scandal*

U.S. Missile Strike Killed People Fighting Terrorists*

U.S. Just Admitted “ISIS HQ” They Blew Up Was Actually an Innocent Family’s Home*

U.S.-Led Coalition Bombs School in Raqqa*

Trump Orders Drone Strike on Syrian Mosque, 40 Civilians Killed*

Imminent Starvation Resulting from U.S. Led Wars: U.N. Officials Warn of Worst Famine Crisis Since World War II*

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Reaches Border with Iraq for the First Time in Years*

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Reaches Border with Iraq for the First Time in Years*

By Chris Tomson

Late on Friday afternoon, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Hezbollah and allied Iraqi paramilitary contingents dashed through southeastern Homs and reached an Iraqi border point, thus slicing adrift the frontline between rebel forces based in the Al-Tanf region and ISIS militants in the neighbouring Deir Ez-zor governorate.

Unopposed by the U.S. Airforce and its vetted Syrian proxies, the SAA and its allies drove through over 40 kilometres of abandoned desert territory and managed to link up with an Iraqi garrison across the border.

The advance was confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Defense and an Hezbollah-linked outlet moments ago.

Effectively, the SAA is now able to reopen trade between Damascus and Baghdad. Government forces have not controlled any parts of the largely ISIS-controlled border with Iraq since 2014.

In addition, Hezbollah is now able to be supplied with weapons from Tehran via an all-important land route. Previously, the Lebanese group relied on complicated airlifts for new armaments.


Related Topics:

Iraqi Army Temporarily Bans Burqa, Niqab to Protect Civilians in Mosul*

Torturers, Plunderers, and Looters Are Back in Iraq*

Life returns to Hammar Marshes, Iraq*

U.S. Tax Dollars and Companies Support Sex Traffickers in Iraq*

Trump Authorizes the Pentagon to Manage Troops on the Ground in Iraq and Syria*

West Finds New Pretext to Interfere and Extend the Syrian Conflict*

U.S.-led Coalition Destroys pro-Government Forces within Deconfliction Zone in Syria – Pentagon*

Syria Opens Its First Solar-Powered Hospital*

Syrian Army Encircles ISIS Last Stronghold in Aleppo*

America’s New Syrian Army*

Int’l Coalition’s Strike on Syrian Forces is Flagrant Violation of Syria’s Sovereignty*

Torturers, Plunderers, and Looters Are Back in Iraq*

Torturers, Plunderers, and Looters Are Back in Iraq*

By Jonas E. Alexis

There were at least 400 cases of alleged abuse during the Iraq war. What may or may not surprise people is that many of the abusers were “third country nationals,” individuals who were joint citizens of America and Israel. In fact, many of the soldiers responsible were trained in Israel. Accounts of similar abuse can also be found in places such as Guantanamo.

It is common knowledge now that acts of torture and sodomy were committed by the U.S. Army in places such as Abu Ghraib Prison between 2001 and 2004 during the Iraq War—a war that was spearheaded by Neoconservatives and warmongers.

There were at least 400 cases of alleged abuse during that timeframe. What may or may not surprise people is that many of the abusers were “third country nationals,” individuals who were joint citizens of America and Israel. In fact, many of the soldiers responsible were trained in Israel. Accounts of similar abuse can also be found in places such as Guantanamo.

Because of these abuses, which include sexual assault and beating, numerous detainees attempted to commit suicide. At least four of them succeeded; some “hanged themselves with makeshift nooses.”

The U.S. of course closely guarded this fact. The European Union, the Organization of American States, Amnesty International, the Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, and the International Committee of the Red Cross have all condemned the abuse perpetrated at Guantanamo. Amnesty International declared that it is the “gulag of our time,” for which it was later chastised by the Washington Post.

Many concerned individuals around Europe also voiced their concerns about what was going on at Guantanamo. Even flaming Zionist Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times urged President Bush to close down the facility, an opinion the European Parliament shared. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell finally had to admit,

“Essentially, we have shaken the belief the world had in America’s justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like the military commission. We don’t need it and it is causing us far more damage than any good we get for it.”

After much examination of the abuse in the camp and the pathetic ideology that the administration used to continue the torture, noted attorney and professor Joseph Margulies came to a similar conclusion.

Michael Lehnert, U.S. Marine Brigadier General who helped establish the camp, was completely shocked about what happened there after he was replaced. What is even more revealing is that Lawrence Wilkerson, a former aide to Powell, announced that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld knew that most of the prisoners held in the camp were innocent, but still detained them for political and ideological reasons.

Wilkerson’s announcement gained strength when it was discovered that of the almost 600 detainees, no more than 24 had any connection to al-Qaeda. Yet many of the prisoners, if not all, were regularly tortured. Kenneth Roth, Jewish executive director of the Human Rights Watch, declared that the methods used by the U.S. in the camp were unconstitutional, despite the administration’s repeated propaganda that the methods they were using were “safe, humane, and professional.”

The war on terror has obviously turned the American government and politicians into savage people, reversing traditional American ideals. As Jane Mayer adequately put it then:

“The tactics used by the military touched off wrenching debates with the FBI agents in which one agent, who cannot be named, accused the military of criminal behavior. ‘When I became an agent, I swore to uphold the Constitution against all enemies,’ the agent argued, ‘both foreign and domestic.’ The military officer argued that he was defending the country and the Constitution. ‘Not the same Constitution that I read,’ said the agent.”

Yet torture is still going on in Iraq. It has been reported that:

“The Iraqi army, leading a vigorous battle to liberate Mosul from ISIS, has been exposed torturing and abusing their captives suspected of having terrorists links… Having worked alongside the elite Emergency Response Division (ERD) in Iraq, freelance photographer Ali Arkady documented how, in their battle against jihadists, Iraqi security forces resorted to the very tactics that are comparable to the brutal practices of their nemesis, IS.

“In one instance, the soldiers were torturing a man whose sons were suspected of working with IS in what is known as the strappado. Horrendous images show the detainee hanged by his arms to the ceiling, blindfolded, with officers standing next to him – and adding weights to his back to intensify the agony.”

The sad part is that the Neocons and other warmongers in America want us to tell us all that Assad is the new Hitler in town! If Iraqi soldiers are brutally torturing people, that is all right. But if Assad allegedly does the same thing, oh no…


Related Topics:

U.S. Refuses to Return Guantanamo to Cuba*

Guantanamo Prison Guard Converts to Islam*

This is America: Guantánamo Detainee Requires Rectal Surgery Following CIA Sodomy Torture*

Ex British Ambassador Tells How U.K., US, and George Bush Sr. Scripted Iraq and Afghanistan Wars*

Major New Court Ruling Says “Even The President” Can’t Declare Torture Lawful*

U.S. Contracts Abu Ghraib Torture Company for Syria*

Cover-up of U.K.’s Role in Iraq Atrocities*

ISIL fighters’ Given Death Sentences for Iraq Massacre*

International Legislators and Activists Seeking Justice for Iraqis*

U.S. Rape and Sodomy of Iraqi Women and Children*

But Iraqi’s Will Still Pay the Price!

The Secret Iraqi Files


Muslim Residents Help Rebuild Christian Church That Was Destroyed By ISIS*

Muslim Residents Help Rebuild Christian Church That Was Destroyed By ISIS*

By Amanda Froelich
A group of Young Muslims decided to rebuild the church so their neighbours in Mosul would have a safe place to worship.

Credit: This is Christian Iraq

During a two-year reign in Mosul, Iraq, ISIS jihadists destroyed dozens of buildings — including the Monastery of Mar Georges, a Christian church. After a siege in November resulted in the city being reclaimed, local residents got to work rebuilding the city.

When rumours were spread that Christian families were still being attacked within the city, a group of Young Muslims decided to rebuild the church so their neighbours in Mosul would have a safe place to worship. According to the This Is Christian Iraq Facebook page, their efforts resulted in the successful reconstruction of the house of worship.

Credit: This is Christian Iraq

The post reads,

“Young Muslim volunteers from that neighbourhood headed to the Monastery of Mar Georges to clean it up and repair it and to show that ‘Mosul is yours as it’s ours’ and ‘our differences are our strength.”

After false rumours were spread about a Christian family being terrorized by the Muslim inhabitants of Al Arabi…

Posted by This is Christian Iraq on Saturday, May 27, 2017


Related Topics:

Arab Christians Pushed into Mass Exodus*

Iraqi Troops Free Yazidi, Christian Women Prisoners from ISIS*

Horrific Onslaught on Aramaic Christian Community of Ma’aloula at Hands of Western Backed “Moderate” Terrorists*

Media Blackout as Millions of Muslims March against ISIS in Iraq for Arbaeen*

Iraqi Play Challenges the Assumed Authority of ISIL*

Now we Know Why ISIS/L is Destroying Iraq and not Defending Palestine*

Syria Opens Its First Solar-Powered Hospital*

Iraqi Army Temporarily Bans Burqa, Niqab to Protect Civilians in Mosul*

Iraqi Army Temporarily Bans Burqa, Niqab to Protect Civilians in Mosul*

The Iraqi army has imposed a temporary ban on wearing Islamic veils, which cover the face, such as the burqa and niqab in newly liberated areas of Mosul, local media reports.

The new security measure has been implemented in order to improve security during the month of Ramadhan as coalition forces battle to retake the last neighbourhoods from militants.

Ramadhan is a holy month for Muslims during which they fast from sunrise to sunset. The month is dedicated to prayer and abstinence from worldly pleasures.

Unfortunately, this month did not stop terrorists from carrying out attacks on civilians.

Hence, the authorities in Mosul are taking all sorts of measures to protect people from jihadists.

A statement from the local police said that both the burqa and niqab would temporarily be banned so that Daesh militants could not disguise themselves as women in public places and carry out attacks.

The order came into effect on the first full day of Ramadhan. Using motorcycles, which have been used in the past to carry out terrorist attacks, has also been banned for the duration of the month.

The Iraqi operation to recapture Mosul, the key stronghold of Daesh in Iraq, began in October 2016 and resulted in the liberation of Mosul’s eastern part this January.

Fighting continues in the city’s west, with Iraqi forces closing in on the Old City.


Related Topics:

Rumi on Trusting Yourself*

After Years of Silence under U.S Backed ISis, Music is back in Mosul*

Gender Equity in Islam

Teacher Fired for Yanking Hijab off Student’s Head*

Austrian President calls on All Women to Wear Hijab in Solidarity with Muslims against Islamophobia*

How Enslaved Muslims in the Americas fasted in Ramadhan*

Freedom in Ramadhan*

Tarawih Prayed During the Time of the Prophet and His Successors*

After Years of Silence under U.S Backed ISis, Music is back in Mosul*

After Years of Silence under U.S Backed ISis, Music is back in Mosul*

Strictly forbidden under the reign of the ISIS in Mosul, the streets of the city are now alive again with music

A customer holds a CD in the music shop run by Abdulrahman Sabah (background) in a bazaar on the shopping street of Nabi Younis, on the eastern side of Mosul, 22 April 2017 (MEE/Sebastien Castelier)


By Quentin Müller

Music is booming out from the cars and taxis zipping around east Mosul, while pedestrians lip-sync and shake their heads to the rhythms emanating from their ipods and phones. Once banned under the Islamic State (IS) group, music is now back in town.

After being shut down for months, small stores selling CDs have re-opened their doors to loyal customers.

“Do you want me, do you need me, right now!” exclaim the singers in the song Right Now, by Indian actors Akshay Kumar and John Abraham, whose song is playing on a stereo in a shop in eastern Mosul. The small store, run by Abdulrahman Sabah, 23, sells CDs to shoppers that still prefer the old-fashioned way of listening to music.

Turkish, Persian, Arabic, and some Western music CDs are on display on wooden shelves. And for enthusiasts of Kazem al-Saher, one of Iraq’s most famous singers, his CDs are also back in stock.

“I re-opened my store a few weeks ago. After the arrival of the Islamic State, I had been forced to close my store, so I am happy to be back,” said Abdul Wahab Ahmar with an awkward smile, who is a colleague of Sabah.

Mohanad, 24, is a music shop owner near Mosul University, 26 April 2017 (MEE/Sebastien Castelier)


Having been forced to stop running the music shop, Sabah stayed at home for six months. During this time he felt lost and unsure of what to do with his life.

‘I have never stopped listening to music’

Ameen Mokdad, a 28-year-old violinist, recalls a big propaganda poster put up by IS after it took control of the city in 2014. The image depicted was an immense treble clef devoured by flames, and for Mokdad it was a sure sign that music would be banned.

“When you got in a taxi, if you did not have a long beard, long hair, or military dress, and if you did not seem too suspicious, then the driver would often play forbidden music on the BBC, a forbidden radio station,” Mokdad said.

Mosul musician Ameen Mokdad, 28, plays violin in a hotel room of Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan (MEE/ Sebastian Castelier)


Yet despite the ban, Mokdad continued to play alone in the privacy of his home or with a small circle of fellow musicians.

“People never stopped listening to music in Mosul,” said Hosham Dawod, French-Iraqi anthropologist at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), who is now based in France but ran the French Institute of Iraq from 2011 to 2014.

According to local residents, only the type of music used in the broadcasts of Al-Bayan, the official radio of IS, was allowed. It was music without instruments and incantations that were not quite singing, with successions of voices praising the group that gave it some sort of rhythm.

In 2016, Mokdad was forced to flee Mosul after IS militants stormed his house and confiscated his instruments, deeming his music a violation of their hardline interpretation of Islam. He then escaped to Baghdad, where he now lives. Mokdad was able to return to eastern Mosul and give his first concert in April, after IS was driven out of eastern part of the city in January.

Ameen Mukdad, a violinist from Mosul who lived under IS’a rule for two and a half years, performs in eastern Mosul, Iraq on 19 April 2017. (REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed)


Iraqi security forces, backed by the U.S. coalition, have retrieved most of Mosul since launching an offensive to retake the city in December 2016, but part of the west remains under IS control.

Karim Wasfi, 44, is the bandmaster of the national orchestra of Baghdad. Based in the Iraqi capital, he claims to know of 23 musicians who have fled Mosul for Erbil or Europe. Of Mosul, he said: “It was an avant-garde city for the establishment and the creation of Iraqi music. It was the result of the city’s cultural and social diversity, and a unique example of coexistence.”

Mosul, city of musicians

It is of no coincidence that major Iraqi musicians, such as Jameel Basheer and Munir Basheer, are from Mosul.

“Mosul was a creative city. We often compared Mosul to Aleppo for its imagination and its home-made production,” Dawod said.

A view of the east side of Mosul (MEE/Sebastien Castelier)


But Mokdad and Wasfi admit that many years before IS’s arrival, the city took a “very conservative” turn and “pop or rock were never very popular there”.

“People felt guilty about listening to music because they were exposed to the idea that it is sinful. There were no musical instrument stores anymore, and courses in music were held in private because people were afraid,” Mokdad said.

Mokdad remembers a time when a guard at the entrance to his school did not allow him to bring his violin in, despite it not being illegal under Iraqi law. “Before 2014, I took [violin] lessons at home, and as soon as I took my instruments to school, people told me that it was forbidden. In fact, according to the law, it was not forbidden. Our laws came from Baghdad.”

Dawod explained that after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the dissolving of the Iraqi army, many former soldiers joined armed groups to help retrieve some of their lost power and authority.

“Mosul and its surroundings have always supplied numerous men to the Iraqi army, whether it was under the Ottoman Empire or under the British occupation,” Dawod said.

“While in 2003 the United States dissolved the Iraqi army, many of its high-ranking generals and soldiers were sent back to their homes, humbled, without a salary, and with the impression that they had lost the political power that was now reserved to Shias. Some entered the opposition, then fought for terrorist groups.”

A wide array of musicians are available in Mohanad’s shop near Mosul University (MEE/Sebastien Castelier)


Despite being a minority, Sunnis ruled Iraq from 1932 until Saddam Hussein was toppled in the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, when elections put Iraq’s Shia majority in charge of the government.

According to Dawod, after this Mosul – with a majority Sunni population – became more conservative and many former soldiers joined armed groups that ban music. Thus the city’s tradition of art and tolerance receded.

“Some joined because they were opportunistic, while others joined because over time, they became convinced of the cause. In particular, there was an overwhelming will to belong to something which would distinguish itself from the international coalition, from the power of Baghdad,” he said.

On Jamira street, in front of the immense university of Mosul that was destroyed by bombardments, and used by IS as a headquarters, Mohannad, a 24-year-old CD seller who preferred not to give his last name, reopened his shop 10 days ago.

“IS came, closed my store and burned my CDs,” he said.

But today he is back in business …


Related Topics:

ISIS Launches 2nd Chemical Attack in Mosul in 2 Days, Injures 6 Iraqi Soldiers*

A Father Describes Saving His Daughter from U.S. Bombardment of Mosul*

U.S. Airstrikes Slaughter 230 Innocent Civilians in a Single Night in Mosul*

2,000 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Mosul Liberation Operation*

Life returns to Hammar Marshes, Iraq*

Old Music Outsells New Releases for the First Time in Recorded Music History*

From Egypt to Rwanda Musical Traditions Mingle to Protect the Nile*

Turkey: Music Therapy in Modern Healthcare