Vice Squad
Sunday, August 01, 2004
Death Penalty for Alcohol Selling in Baghdad

There's even an unofficial vice police force, known as the "Promotion of Virtue." Today's Observer has the latest on Iraq's slide into intolerance. A sample:
There have been no arrests [following bombings at alcohol sellers], but police and many Iraqis blame the attacks and explosions on supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr, a radical Shia cleric. A few days before the warning letter [to an alcohol seller] arrived, several of al-Sadr's followers met around 30 Shia tribal leaders in the al-Hekma mosque in Sadr City, the slum area in eastern Baghdad which forms the cleric's powerbase.

They produced an edict, obtained by The Observer, in which they listed nine crimes punishable by death. These included theft, kidnapping, robbery, spying 'for the Wahabis, al-Qaeda and Saddamists', trafficking in women, and selling alcohol, pornographic CDs and drugs.
It's so much easier to have a virtuous society when there are not any people.

Vice Squad occasionally notes news stories on alcohol suppression in Iraq, most recently, here.)

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