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Shot for Wearing Shorts in Islamist Baghdad?
For the Full story, go to Kurdish Media

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Leaflets threaten women who do not wear veils. Militias bomb and burn beer shops and music stores at dawn. Rumors swirl of men shot… for wearing shorts.
Hopes for secular democracy in Iraq three years after U.S. forces invaded are being challenged by militants seeking to impose their own strict version of Islamic sharia law on the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities.
In the latest attack against alcohol sellers in Baghdad , bombs on Tuesday damaged three shops that sold beer and other liquor in the central commercial district of Karrada.
The explosions wrecked the stores’ frontages and an advertising display for beer but killed no one. But for the shop keepers, from Iraq ‘s Christian minority, the message was clear.
“I shut down the shop last year after I received threats by gunmen to stop selling alcohol and just reopened last week,” Asaad Aziz, 56, owner of the Gazal liquor store told Reuters.
“Everybody is talking about banning alcohol sellers. The government doesn’t say anything but clearly it is their militias who are playing a role in a secret way.”
The increasing intimidation by militants seeking to impose Islamic customs in Iraq, a society with a liberal tradition, pose a particular dilemma for the ruling Islamist parties, engaged in forming a broad-based government Washington hopes will foster stability and help end sectarian strife.
Some of the militias suspected of being behind the attacks or the threats are linked to Shi’ite parties in power. Sunni militants have adopted similar stances in some areas — barbers have been killed and men ordered not to shave in some towns.
“These activities are devastating human rights and will end up destabilizing democracy in Iraq ,” he said.
A 33-year-old woman who refused to be named for fear of retribution said she started wearing a veil last week when militants circulated leaflets warning women to wear an “Islamic dress” near her workplace in Amriya, a Sunni area in Baghdad .
“I started wearing a veil a week ago. I did not see the fliers myself. I wear the veil and a long coat to avoid any trouble. When I arrive at work, I take them off.”
In Basra , Iraq ‘s second city, militias have targeted music shops and harassed females students for refusing to cover themselves in the black abaya.

In Baghdad , known under the secular rule of Saddam Hussein for its nightlife and liberal social culture, unconfirmed tales circulate about young men who have been shot for wearing shorts.
(Additional reporting by Aseel Kami in Baghdad and Abdel- Razzak Hameed in Basra )