Religious extremists in Iraq: They’re just like Us!

Anti-choice misogynist crazies aren’t confined to the U.S. and Canada — religious conservatives kill gynecologists in Iraq, too.

Male gynaecologists are being targeted by Islamic extremists in Iraq as they are accused of invading the privacy of women. Women’s NGOs have raised concerns as there are few women gynaecologists in the country and their male counterparts are scared to continue working.

“Because of the extremists’ religious views, doctors are scared to continue with their work and the number of women gynaecologists is very low and cannot meet the demand,” said Mayada Zuhair, spokeswoman for the Women’ Rights Association (WRA).

“Extremists say that [male] doctors are not allowed to see the private parts of women and two male doctors were reportedly killed last week after leaving their clinics. A message was left near their bodies saying that was the end for any doctor who insists in invading the privacy of Muslim women,” Mayada added.

An Iraqi Medical Association (IMA) spokesman, Walid Rafi, told IRIN it knew of at least 22 male gynaecologists who had been sent threatening letters.

The justification is different, but the outcome is the same: Doctors are dead for doing their jobs. And Iraqi women are the ones who are suffering:

Heath services in Iraq have been seriously undermined by the shortage of doctors. According to the IMA, at least 75 percent of doctors, pharmacists and nurses have left their jobs at universities, clinics and hospitals. Of these, at least 55 percent have fled abroad.

“There are days when we find more than 80 patients per doctor in our hospital, an average of 170 daily. All of them are divided among the two women gynaecologists who are left in our clinic,” said Afaf Abdul-Qahar, a gynaecologist at Karada Maternity Centre, in the capital.

Glad to see we’re exporting American values so thoroughly.


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11 comments for “Religious extremists in Iraq: They’re just like Us!

  1. November 19, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Unbelieveable. Who would’ve thought that Iraq would be a place where Islamic mullahs would be killing doctors exactly a quarter-century after anti-choice extremists started killing doctors here in the US?

  2. Bitter Scribe
    November 19, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    AFAIK, doctors of all kinds are being targeted in Iraq, for God (or Allah) knows what reason. They’re too Western, too educated, or they just are relatively prosperous and so seen as easy marks for whatever bandits and gangsters happen to be around.

    Yet another aspect of the peace and prosperity we’ve brought to the country.

  3. November 20, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    that was the end for any doctor who insists in invading the privacy of Muslim women
    Eh, wah? Aren’t most of the patients there voluntarily? How can you be invading the privacy of someone who chooses to show you her vulva by, um, looking at her vulva?

    I know, I know, rational arguments lose vs. religious insanity every time, but this seems to make even less sense than usual.

  4. November 20, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Aren’t they just enforcing Saudi religious law? (You know, the Saudi Arabia whose king is a Bush friend and that is a US ally). Isn’t the complaining just a bit shrill?

  5. Quiet Truths
    November 21, 2007 at 12:19 am

    Why do you call them conservatives? They are radicals by any definition of the term.

  6. ema
    November 21, 2007 at 12:20 am

    The justification is different…

    The justification might be different but the underlying belief of both varieties of religious people is the same: female patients are potted plants.

    Since women here couldn’t possibly decide on their own/be in their right mind when they decide to have an abortion, clinics must be bombed and Ob/Gyns murdered. And since women over there couldn’t possibly make the decision to see a male Ob/Gyn, the doctors must be threatened/killed.

    To, more or less, paraphrase that old saying about dogs, the more I learn about religious people the more disgusted I am.

  7. November 21, 2007 at 7:19 am

    We’re doing our best in Australia to counteract this kind of ideological insanity — before it reaches us here.

    SECULAR PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

  8. November 22, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Iraqi doctors in general were getting threatened and killed. Among other professions and activities that will get you killed: scientist, barber, hairdresser, falafel seller, baker, selling ice, garbageman(insurgents were hiding bombs in the trash at one point), teacher, journalist etcetc. As for the results….

  9. July 13, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    omg…
    “Extremists say that [male] doctors are not allowed to see the private parts of women and two male doctors were reportedly killed last week after leaving their clinics. A message was left near their bodies saying that was the end for any doctor who insists in invading the privacy of Muslim women,”

    *shocked*

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