05 August 2005

No Veil

The rise of religious fundamentalism in Iraq has led to increasing attacks on women, and in particular, acid throwing as reported by Feminist Daily News:

"Several Iraqi women have been burned by acid attacks during recent weeks in Baghdad and the western province of Anbar. Acid attacks are a form of violence against women where acid is thrown at or sprayed on women’s faces, legs, or other exposed body parts, in order to punish women in this case for not wearing the ‘abaya,’ a long black cloak that only reveals the nose, mouth, eyes, and hands."

Also, reported by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs :

"BAGDAD, 4 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - For Sumeya Abdullah, a 34-year-old primary school teacher in the capital Baghdad, life will never be the same again. In late June she had her legs burned by corrosive acid in a street attack because, she believes, she was not wearing her veil and the traditional 'abaya' covering common in many Middle Eastern countries.

"I was shopping in one of the most crowded districts in Baghdad when I felt my skin burning by something corrosive. It was horrible, a terrible pain, then I found myself in hospital," Abdullah said.

Witnesses in the district where the attack happened, said that for more than two weeks, women have been targeted by acid attackers for dressing immodestly. Sometimes the assailants spray or throw the acid on foot, or on occasion, from a moving car. Other attacks have been even more shocking."

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