Monday, July 04, 2016

In The Holy Month of Ramadan

Photo: Al Jazeera   --  Iraq bombing kills over 200 in Baghdad
"All the politicians in Iraq are responsible for these blasts, including Abadi."
"We can't enjoy the Eid; if it isn't ISIL, it's al-Qaeda, and if it isn't the two, it's the filthy corrupt politics in this country."
"We are being targeted while they are sitting safe and sound in their palaces. They are the ones who are allowing ISIL to come here and murder people."
Iraqi woman in Karada
Everywhere around the world Muslims are celebrating Ramadan. Surely, Islam is the only mainstream world religion where its ultimate sacred holiday presents as an irresistible opportunity for the vicious psychopaths who seem to be plentiful wherever Islam is worshipped to demonstrate their piety by selecting those whose dedication to Islam is not of the authentic variety, and to destroy them for their sins of offending Islam, the Prophet Mohammad and Allah.

Allah is certainly involved, for none of these deadly attacks  take place without the invocation !Allahu Akbar!, so there will be no misunderstanding of the motive and the purpose and the worshipful piety that drives Islamist jihadists to their divine duty in the expectation that their martyrdom will earn them the plaudits they anticipate and a favoured seat in Paradise. Yesterday morning the jihadists calling themselves the Islamic State destroyed over 200 Muslim lives.

An especial Ramadan gift to the Prophet and Allah. Hundreds of others were wounded, ensuring that there will likely be a rise in the death toll resulting from the massive bombings in Baghdad's Karrada neighbourhood; dramatically critical injuries resulting from explosive burn and resulting fire does that to tender human flesh. There are people who are 'missing' aside from those verified as being among the dead. A favourite method of ISIL, in the use of suicide car bombs struck massively.

There were targets aplenty with families on the streets after breaking fast in one of the final Ramadan days in this holy month. The initial blast fired an immense blaze engulfing two small shopping centres to trap those unfortunates who were inside. Half of those killed died in the massive fire that followed the explosion and over 80 percent of those who died were under age 30. The area is a major commercial one popular with young people, with ample shopping for clothing, jewellery, and access to restaurants and cafes.

The explosion took place when the streets in Karada were filled with young people and families out after sunset [Reuters]

When Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a native of the area, visited the bomb site soon after the devastation, his convoy was met by a furious crowd of people who shouted "thief!" and threw stones, bottles and other projectiles: "Break the windshield, don't let him go!" was heard over the shouting. The perceived and now-validated lack of services and growing insecurity exacerbated by endemic corruption has left the area's population without trust in their government.

Prime Minister al-Abadi faced the fury of the Karrada crowds over lax security, earning withering scorn over security forces still making use of the bomb-detecting wands that have been proven years ago to be utterly useless. "We are in a state of war, and these places are targeted. The security can't focus on the war [against ISIL] and forget Baghdad", charged Sami, an enraged street vendor. But as a Shiite, representing the country's majority population he is an "apostate" whom ISIL targets.

The street had earlier in the evening been closed off by police resulting from security being in possession of intelligence warnings about a possible attack being carried out. An  hour later, those fears seem to have dissipated, and the street was reopened. The result was that coffee shops were packed with people watching soccer in the Euro 2016 tournament. The explosion was unexpected, everyone had felt reassured when the street had been re-opened.

And the resulting fire spread so rapidly that people were trapped inside the Hadi shopping centre, spreading across to another small mall on the opposite side of the street. Furious hackers got into the Interior Ministry website to post photographs of a bloodied baby alongside a wand-style bomb detector remaining in wide use, despite its proven uselessness. "I don't know how you sleep at night", read the hacked website.

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