The New York Times reports that Human rights advocates say the threats and violence are aimed at gay men and at teenagers who style themselves in a uniquely Iraqi collage of hipster, punk, emo and goth fashions. The look, shorthanded here as "emo," has flourished on Baghdad’s streets as an emblem of greater social freedom as society has begun to bloom after years of warfare. But it has drawn scorn and outrage from some religious conservatives, and is often conflated with being gay.
Even if the Iraqi government denies any encouragement, the fact is that on February 13th, an official statement was released condemning the "phenomenon of emo" as Satanic and saying the police was going to go in all the schools to arrest these young people.
"They have official approval to eliminate them as soon as possible, because the dimensions of the community began to take another course, and is now threatening danger," the statement added.
"Your fate will be death if you don’t quit doing this," one leaflet warns. "Punishment will be tougher and tougher, you gays. Don’t be like the people of Lot."
Of cours, an emo person is not inevitably gay but the Iraqi government does not make distinction and wants to eliminate both. Already more than 100 people have been killed.