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November 12, 2008

Mosque Turned Into Torture Chamber

A place of holy worship was turned into a massacre site in Iraq. Dried blood stained the walls and the floors of the mosque in Baghdad. Over two dozen bodies were found on the site. The news reports describe a disgusting scene of murder and mayhem that sounds like something out of a horror film. People were mutilated and tortured in the mosque.

The people that have been blamed for these acts are called the Mehdi Army. They are a Shia militia who have been in control of the mosque, Adib al-Jumaili for more than a year. Residents of the nearby neighborhood says that they have heard screams coming from the building.

A local group, Sons of Iraq, is now watching the mosque. They are an armed group that is in part financed by Americans that are working with the Iraqi Police. Their goal is to keep the peace in the neighborhood.

The dead are elderly and college graduates. There seems to be no boundaries as far as who lives and dies when it comes to this group. Homes are raided and families are torn apart. The majority of residents left the neighborhood. Those that stayed were among the people that were massacred.

Some of the people who are still at the mosque are searching for any clues about what may have happened to their loved ones. The deserted streets lay quiet and full of gloom. The terrible deeds that have been done to the victims include beheading and dismemberment. One mother had a video of her son’s dismembered, decapitated body delivered to her doorstep. This kind of cruelty goes far beyond any type of war or anarchy. The people that committed these crimes can not be punished enough.

Iraq has experienced a great number of changes over the past few years. The promise of peace and democracy have not been delivered to this point and in some ways, things seem worse. There are neighborhoods in Iraq that have to live with the threat that their loved ones may be massacred on a daily basis. Having a counter militia does not seem like the best answer but at least there is someone to offer some protection.

The future for Iraq is blurry at this point. No one knows when all of the fighting and killing is going to cease. While there is a government in place there is not necessarily order in the neighborhoods. Splinter militia must work hard to keep the people in their neighborhoods safe. If not for average citizens taking up arms, there could be more destruction. However, when ordinary citizens pick up arms and work to fight off insurgents, separate agendas often arise. This is the danger that is faced when militias are the law one must respect.

The tortures that went on in the mosque have shattered an entire neighborhood. The vicious killings have left families and areas of Iraq torn forever. Some of the families may never even get the bodies of their loved ones back for proper burials.

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