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April 23, 2006

Baghdad Thugs/Animals Murder Children's Entertainers

...because Allah hates to see children laughing. It is unislamic.

FOR the crime of staging a children’s show, Faud Radi and Haidar Jawad were executed by the new moral guardians of Baghdad.

The actors were part of the Happy Family Team, a troupe adored by millions of Iraqi children from its frequent appearances on television. The theatrical group and a dozen others were planning an 11-day festival to help youngsters to forget momentarily the curfews, bombings and other dangers of daily life in this city.

Armed militias, which pass for the law in many neighbourhoods these days, had other ideas and set out to sabotage the event.

Safaa Eadi, 31, a founding member of the Happy Family Team, told how the group had been threatened by gunmen, who objected to them giving drama classes to children of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds. A handwritten note had been left on the windscreen of the group’s van, the usual method that the militias employ to warn a target.

“We didn’t take them seriously, so we carried on,” Mr Eadi said. “The next day the building was burnt down.” Then, on the eve of the festival, Mr Radi, 20, and Mr Jawad, 25, were returning to their homes in the Amirayah district of western Baghdad, the heartland of Sunni insurgents.


Sifting through photographs of the murdered men, Mr Eadi said: “What has Baghdad come to when actors are seen as the enemy? We are not politicians. We don’t care what a child’s religion is. Our goal is to bring joy. Whoever did this cannot have a family of their own, or how could they murder someone who just wanted to make people laugh? This is the start of a mini Taleban in Baghdad if the gunmen decide what we can and cannot do as entertainers.” He buried his head in his hands.

But the surviving members have decided to keep performing anyway. They won't be openly advertising their performances, though.

In related news, George Clooney was quoted as saying, "These artists should be commended for their courage in the face of death, unafraid to create art even when threatened by terrorist murderers. I had one guy drop out of financing Good Night and Good Luck due to concerns that the script was too 'political,' so I too have stood my ground against the killers. I believe we owe it to these valliant entertainers to immediately abandon them to the murderers, so they can continue showing valor without our interfering protection."

Thanks to Craig.

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posted by Ace at 10:28 AM

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