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The radical terror tactics being used in Iraq is working on at least one front—women. Women in Iraq have reported that they are fearful that they will be singled out for their dress, and so Muslims and Christians alike are taking to the very conservative dress common to some of the “radical” Islamic regimes. Although Iraq was formerly known to allow ‘westernized’ fashion, women are now refusing to go out of their homes without wearing the traditional hijab, or veiled head covering for fear of being targeted. The following excerpt from a Washington Post article by Jackie Spinner captures the sentiments of women living in this trepidation:

Veils reappearing in war-torn Iraq
Washington Post
Jan. 8, 2005

( Washington Post) – They want to be invisible, these young women at Baghdad University explained. They were sitting in a small group — five students with pale head scarves pulled tightly around their somber faces. They would not give their names. The whole point of wearing the scarves now was to be anonymous and unimportant, to avoid being singled out and followed, or kidnapped, or shot. It was more than a matter of blending in. It was a matter of disappearing into the landscape.

“I put on the scarf because I wanted to walk in the street without fearing someone will kill me or kidnap me,” said one of the women. “I want to finish my studies. Without the scarf I cannot. I heard rumors about killing women without a scarf. Why should I risk my life?”

This is the new reality for many women in Iraq , Muslims and Christians alike. As the months have passed since the U.S.-led attack, fewer women are daring to venture out without wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf, called a hejab in Arabic.

“Those who want to force women to put on a scarf want nothing (Western) to spread in Iraq ,” she said.

“They want us to be another Kabul ,” she added, referring to the capital of Afghanistan , which was ruled from 1996 to 2001 by the Taliban, an Islamic extremist militia.