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May 28, 2006 1:24 AM   Subscribe

Newsfilter: Members of Iraq's tennis team shot "for wearing shorts." Being an Iraqi athlete is no easier than before. Just ask members of the Iraqi Taekwondo squad. More.
posted by bardic (48 comments total)

 
This is terrible, but I'm still laughing at "WTF News."
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:31 AM on May 28, 2006


Saw this on Digg... this story is terrible, but it's also being used to mislead people who don't read the whole article. The headline does not mention who shot them (so someone would assume US troops, with good reason), and even the picture underneath shows a soldier.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:08 AM on May 28, 2006


Bermuda or Running?
posted by HTuttle at 2:13 AM on May 28, 2006


COMPLETE CHAOS
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 2:22 AM on May 28, 2006


How do you kidnapp a bus full of martial artists anyway..... These guys seriously need to watch more chuck norris movies.
posted by IronLizard at 2:33 AM on May 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


What?
What kind of fool would imagine that they were shot for wearing shorts by American soldiers? I'm sure that American soldiers there shoot people that they shouldn't all the time, but I do not recall hearing of marines driven to a killing rage by the sight of a well toned calf.
posted by atrazine at 2:47 AM on May 28, 2006


What the hell do those lunatics have against wearing shorts? I mean, I suppose it's no less insane than some of their other religious rules and even some of the ones our religious nutballs believe... but shorts? Gunning people down, though, that's fine. So long as you don't do it in shorts.

I'm starting to think that the first thing we should do on the road to peace is round up all of the crazies in their clergy and put them in a giant asylum.
posted by Mitrovarr at 2:55 AM on May 28, 2006


Oh, and by 'crazies in their clergy' I meant the lunatics who want to kill people for wearing shorts, or support other such murderous absurdities. Not all of them.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:08 AM on May 28, 2006


Atrazine, the kind of person who might read a headline, look at the picture, glance at the caption, and read the first paragraph, all of which seem to suggest (in light of recent events like those in Haditha) that troops did the deed.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 3:21 AM on May 28, 2006


Mission accomplished!
posted by Hogshead at 3:25 AM on May 28, 2006


Sunni cleric Eid al-Zoubayi denounced the attack.

"Islamic religion is an easy religion and it allows wearing sport shorts as long as they don't show the forbidden parts of the body, so the acts that are targeting the sport are criminal," he said.
posted by IronLizard at 3:49 AM on May 28, 2006


Ruling on wearing shorts when playing sports:

I play basketball, so I wear shorts when practicing and when playing in matches. Is this haraam?

Answer :

[...]

Playing sport is permissible if that does not distract one from something that is obligatory. If it distracts you from something that is obligatory then it becomes haraam, and if it becomes a person’s way of life so that it takes up most of his time, then it is a waste of time, and in this case at the very least it is makrooh.

With regard to playing sport wearing only shorts which show the thighs or most of them, this is not permissible. The correct view is that young men must cover their thighs, and it is not permissible to watch players when they have their thighs uncovered in this manner.


So there you go: makrooh and haraam. Death was too kind for them. God be praised.
posted by three blind mice at 4:02 AM on May 28, 2006


Somehow I'm guessing that wearing shorts isn't the real issue here. Are athletes being intimidated to boycott the Olympic games maybe?
posted by maryh at 4:14 AM on May 28, 2006


The shorts passage doesn't apply. Basketball shorts are knee length (unless those godless iraqis were wearing non standard daisy dukes or something).
posted by IronLizard at 4:19 AM on May 28, 2006


And we're going to bring them democracy, McDonald's and our way of life.

Way to go, Mr. Bush. You're a genius!
posted by bim at 4:27 AM on May 28, 2006


Meanwhile, here in the U.S.: NBA millionaries—many of whom shill for McDonald's and talk of a big game as "going to war"—are fined if their shorts are too long.

We already have a giant asylum, Mitrovarr. It's called "Earth."
posted by mickeyz at 5:05 AM on May 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


In their favor they actually waited for the U.N. inspectors to find evidence of the existence of tennis shorts and then following the killing there were tennis shorts.
posted by srboisvert at 5:11 AM on May 28, 2006


And we're going to bring them democracy, McDonald's and our way of life.

I don't think they want christian/evangelical/whatever religious extremism (they already have their share) healthcare and insurance system that is falling apart, underfunded social security, extremely corrupt pseudo-representative political system, oligopolized markets, extremist copyright law, obsession with sex and other popular western shortcomings.


Certainly they are far from perfect and even behind us in many fields, if not outright medieval. Yet if they want all of our good aspects they can buy the tech from china and maybe achieve even more. Who the fuck wants the real american/western way of life these days, except for the fruits of technology ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:52 AM on May 28, 2006


Um...it appears that a lot of Mexicans want it.
posted by bim at 6:04 AM on May 28, 2006


bim: the money,the goods, not the lifestyle. Big diff.
posted by elpapacito at 6:23 AM on May 28, 2006


"Basketball shorts are knee length"

well, maybe today they are, but this is Iraq, I don't think they're fitted with the latest Iverson gear. Three Blind Mice (PBUH).
posted by j.p. Hung at 6:46 AM on May 28, 2006


"I'm Hatin' It

From a September interview with Rashad Akhtar, a twenty-seven-year-old British Muslim, who alleges that the graphic used on the lid of Burger King ice-cream cones resembles the Arabic spelling of “Allah.”
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 7:15 AM on May 28, 2006


elpapacito, i thought that obsession with sex was the reason the victims were not allowed to show their -- horreur! -- luscious man-thighs. . . am i misapprehending the problem?
posted by gorgor_balabala at 7:24 AM on May 28, 2006


Interesting how the phrase "nation-building" has fallen quickly out of vogue since 2003.
posted by rolypolyman at 7:45 AM on May 28, 2006


Any theological views that interfere with common sense should immediately be viewed irrelevant by all of humanity. When you play tennis, you wear shorts. I don't even play sports and I know this. Wearing slacks to play tennis is like wearing a bikini while ice skating or a parka while weightlifting. It's patently absurd. By the way, we should shoot any women's ice skaters who do wear bikinis while skating, for exactly the same reason.

For that matter, any religion that steps into the realm of fashion is militant. Well they all do that don't they? They just can't help themselves. Telling people what to wear, what to think, how to live their lives. The only difference here that I see is that these militants are literally using firepower to enforce their views.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:59 AM on May 28, 2006


Interesting moral system ---

Wearing shorts: Punishable by death.

Killing people for wearing shorts: Praiseworthy.
posted by jayder at 8:44 AM on May 28, 2006


Any theological views that interfere with common sense should immediately be viewed irrelevant by all of humanity.

And any ideological views too. Unfortunately, the nutbars are always the ones with the guns and the bombs, so viewing them as irrelevant requires quite a feat.
posted by slatternus at 9:37 AM on May 28, 2006


I may have said at one occasion or other that the wearing of shorts by men outside of gyms or other sport arenas is such a fashion atrocity that it should be punished by instant execution ... but I never thought that someone would actually act this out.

More seriously, Islam is a seriously fucked up religion. Why on earth do these people even need some Sunni cleric asshole to tell them that it is *not* OK to shoot people just for wearing shorts? Isn't this ... obvious?
posted by sour cream at 9:37 AM on May 28, 2006


Interesting moral system ---

Wearing shorts: Punishable by death.

Killing people for wearing shorts: Praiseworthy.


Interesting over-generalization. Obviously, some % of Iraqis are fucked up. I would wager that figure is in the ballpark of our own whackos, eg. our own the fundies who are campaigning against a vaccine since it is STD-related, and teh sex is haraam in their dopey worldview.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:54 AM on May 28, 2006


I think the BBC is being pretty explicit in saying that the murders were carried out by Muslim fundamentalists. I guess the "blaming Americans yet again" thing will be how LGF and FOX spin this.

That said, I wasn't being facetious in the link to the article about Uday. It used to be pure snark to state that Iraq before the US occupation was better off. Now, it's starting to become obvious to me. "Enemy you know" and all that.

Ugly, ugly stuff.
posted by bardic at 10:07 AM on May 28, 2006


If they were also wearing sandals with socks at the time, then I can see it.
posted by HTuttle at 10:16 AM on May 28, 2006


No "Summer of Love" outfits, Islamic Dress Code to be Strictly Enforced. Maybe this shorts thing is fear that haraam-corrupted women would go all quivery over *gasp* naked legs or that anything can happen in shorts.

Hey, if Iranian policewomen [video]can scale buildings and use their nunchucks in burqas maybe tennis playing athletes should do the same or in a Shalwar Kameez? The Modest Clothing Directory has just the right clothing.
posted by nickyskye at 10:20 AM on May 28, 2006


PS, maybe they should be wearing these, " jeans made to pray in"?
posted by nickyskye at 11:41 AM on May 28, 2006


All you people who are having a good joke about this - people were murdered. Shame on you.
posted by A189Nut at 1:59 PM on May 28, 2006


I guess the "blaming Americans yet again" thing will be how LGF and FOX spin this.

And from the thread:

The headline does not mention who shot them (so someone would assume US troops, with good reason)

Way to go, Mr. Bush. You're a genius!

Mission accomplished!

So why call it "spin?"
posted by Krrrlson at 2:14 PM on May 28, 2006


What the hell do those lunatics have against wearing shorts? I mean, I suppose it's no less insane than some of their other religious rules and even some of the ones our religious nutballs believe... but shorts?

They don't really care, they just want to assert their authority.
posted by delmoi at 2:48 PM on May 28, 2006


Um...it appears that a lot of Mexicans want it.
posted by bim at 9:04 AM EST on May 28

bim: the money,the goods, not the lifestyle. Big diff.
posted by elpapacito at 9:23 AM EST on May 28


I don't believe that the money and goods folks are seeking are inseparable from the lifestyle. You've got to live and work a certain way to get the money and the goods. :)
posted by bim at 3:19 PM on May 28, 2006


That should be "separable."
posted by bim at 3:20 PM on May 28, 2006


A189Nut, You're right. It's horrendous that Coach Hussein Ahmed Rashid, players Nasser Ali Hatem and Wissam Adel Auda were murdered. May they rest in peace.
posted by nickyskye at 3:21 PM on May 28, 2006


Playing sport is permissible if that does not distract one from something that is obligatory. ...if it becomes a person’s way of life so that it takes up most of his time, then it is a waste of time, and in this case at the very least it is makrooh.

I'm startled to find myself in complete agreement with this sentiment.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:49 PM on May 28, 2006


I'm hoping that a busfull of martial artists will require at least a similar number of bandits with guns to hold hostage for any length of time.
posted by Dunwitty at 4:41 PM on May 28, 2006


That's next year's summer blockbuster, "Bandits On A Bus!" starring, once again, that fothermuthing ass-kicker Samuel Jackson, along with a truly elite team of world-famous martial art experts. Their bus is hijacked on the way to a Enter the Dragon-style tournament (Of Death!)
posted by five fresh fish at 5:53 PM on May 28, 2006


delmoi: "They don't really care, they just want to assert their authority."

Exactly. Remember the bit in 1984 about Big Brother's symbol (a boot stomping a face)? I can't quote exactly, but it went something like this: They don't want you to be happy, because if you are happy it is possible that you are doing what you're doing because you want to. They specifically want you to be unhappy because then they can be absolutely certain that you are doing what you're doing because they told you to.

In a nation run by religious wackos the rules have to be so strict that no one would follow them voluntarily because if they weren't so strict there's a chance people might be following the rules because they think the rules are a good idea. It is only when the rules are so intolerable that people only obey because they fear to disobey that a despot (or group of oligarchs) can be certain that people are obeying him. Not that any of them will ever admit that of course.

Pat Robertson, Donald Wildmon, Fred Phelps, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Hung Hsiu-ch'üan, the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, etc, are all essentially the same, the only difference is that the first three don't have the political clout to do what the last three do (or did).
posted by sotonohito at 6:36 PM on May 28, 2006


Interesting over-generalization. Obviously, some % of Iraqis are fucked up. I would wager that figure is in the ballpark of our own whackos

Heywood --

I agee with you completely. What's disheartening to me is that events like this keep happening in Iraq and there doesn't seem to be a way to make it stop. No real police force; no uprising from the reasonable Muslims.

While I don't think that this is representative of the "standard" Muslim in Iraq, I can't help but feel like this is all a fucking waste of time. If the minority of crazies can keep getting away with things like this, then what does it say for the society at large? The loonies are firmly in control of the asylum and I don't think anyone knows how to make it better.
posted by bpm140 at 8:41 PM on May 28, 2006


Oh... the hell with it.. we fucked it up... Lets just nuke it from space. Let the radioactive zombie wars sort it out.
posted by Debaser626 at 10:38 PM on May 28, 2006


bpum140: I think a good starting point is to remove American forces. One reason the reasonable Iraqis aren't rising up against the wackos is that while they may not agree completely with the nutters they see that at least the nuts are doing *something* against the foreign invaders. They might not have liked Hussain, but that doesn't mean they'll like us just because we kicked him out. What's worse, living conditions have actually gotten worse for the average Iraqi since the US invasion and occupation. The fact that living conditions have gotten worse largely because the insurgency is doing everything it can to make living conditions worse doesn't change the fact that Joe Iraqi looks around and says "things were better before the infidel came and occupied Iraq". Like Joe Average anywhere Joe Iraqi isn't really thinking rationally about *why* things are worse, and infidel foreigners are the easy and obvious scapegoat to lay the blame on.

We were not seen as a liberating force (though, in my opinion we could have been if the Bush government hadn't screwed up by the numbers), and our continuing occupation of Iraq is largely seen in the Arab world as an indication that the US never intends to leave. The war was a mistake, wrong war, wrong enemy, wrong time.

Having said that, if Bush had gone in with sufficient infantry to secure the entire nation, ousted Hussain, chucked the Iraqi officer corps loyal to Hussain but otherwise kept the army intact, then gotten the US forces out of Iraq before the Iraqis began to feel resentment towards them, he could have pulled it off.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if the US forces pull out there will be massive bloodshed. But there's continuing, and increasing, bloodshed right now so really what's the difference?

Juan Cole has proposed that the US pull into defensive positions, leave day to day patrolling to what few Iraqi forces exist, and limit its involvement to genuine military operations against large forces which threaten to overthrow the Iraqi government by force. This would probably work too.

But when Joe Iraqi sees American forces doing what should be police work Joe Iraqi doesn't think "how nice of them" he thinks "bloody infidel occupiers", he might not like the nuts but he sees them as preferable to us...
posted by sotonohito at 3:51 AM on May 29, 2006


A good question to ask the Iraqis: "Are you freer now than you were four years ago (before Operation Iraqi Freedom)?" And some would answer yes, e.g., "Hell yeah! That heretic Saddam would never have let me gun down the incorrectly attired on a public street like this!" I hope y'all Mefites will now join me in saluting our Drear Leader and singing the New National Anthem of the Yew Ess Ay, "(Judeo-Christian) God Bless America (And Nobody Else)."
posted by davy at 6:29 AM on May 30, 2006


Hey nickyskye, some of those "modest" clothes you point to are actually quite attractive. (I'd love a good kurta, though I'm sure I'd look even better covered in a burqa bag.) The issue is NOT "Don' dem Muslims dress funny!" -- it's that people should not be gunned down in the street for wearing the "wrong" clothes whatever they are. I don't think people should be shot for wearing burqas either, or even those big pants you have to hold up with both hands.
posted by davy at 6:43 AM on May 30, 2006


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