The End - 2000 to 2009

Iraqis use Google Earth and pretend to be Shia to survive in Iraq

  • Author: MR
  • Filed under: Islam, News
  • Date: Feb 13,2007 | 10:23 AM

This is really cool but also depressing. Many Muslims in Iraq that are trying to live there lives and survive use Google Earth to route there daily plans to get where they need to go. Sadly, many of the Sunnis in Iraq pretend to be Shia by changing there name, shortening there beards, and hanging pictures of the Shia leaders and imams so they won’t get killed by the Shia death squads.

May Allah (swt) protect the innocent and punish the oppressors. Ameen!

Here is the article:

Iraqis use internet to survive war

Google is playing an unlikely role in the Iraq war. Its online satellite map of the world, Google Earth, is being used to help people survive sectarian violence in Baghdad.
As the communal bloodshed has worsened, some Iraqis have set up advice websites to help others avoid the death squads.


One tip – on the Iraq League site, one of the best known – is for people to draw up maps of their local area using Google Earth’s detailed imagery of Baghdad so they can work out escape routes and routes to block.

It’s another example of the central role technology plays in the conflict – with the widespread use of mobile phones, satellite television as well as the internet – by all sides and for many purposes.

For some time now, vigilante-style guard forces have been operating in many neighbourhoods, especially in Sunni areas targeted by Shia militias.

Many Sunnis see the Shia-dominated police forces as just as much of a threat, because of evidence of their involvement in kidnappings.

So part of the job of the local guards is keeping them out.

With Google Earth, the Iraq League website suggests, people can also work out the most likely approach of their attackers.

It’s thought that insurgents have also used the map site, examining the detailed images to pick out potential targets.

‘Killed or tortured’

The advice on the Iraq League site – which is actually run from the UK – begins with a warning to avoid being taken in the first place.

“If they arrest you, you will be killed or tortured.”

The Iraq League says it is aimed at all Iraqis caught up in the violence, but it is slanted towards the Sunni community.

“If they tell you we just have a few questions and you will be back in an hour, don’t believe them. You will be dead in an hour or disappear for months,” the warning continues.

Who “they” are is rarely spelt out, apart from the occasional mention of Ministry of Interior patrols.

To avoid arrest, people should give security training to relatives, says the site. If they see any suspicious activity, they should ring the local guard force.

How to blend in

People must change their routes all the time. “You must get another ID,” the site continues, with non-Sunni names.

Certain names, such as Abu Bakr or Omar are common among Sunnis – but can spell instant death in the hands of Shia death squads.

Anything to distinguish sectarian affiliation should be masked.

Long beards, traditionally associated with devout Sunnis, are out. Shia men keep beards much shorter.

Sunnis wanting to blend in should do the same, says the survival guide.

Other sites tell Sunnis how they can make people think they are Shia.

They are advised to hang images of well-known Shia figures in their homes and shops, such as Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq’s most senior Shia cleric, or Imam Hussein, grandson of the prophet Muhammad, whose death at Karbala in the 7th Century Shias mourn every year.

Appeals for help

The Iraq League website has another section displaying calls from relatives for information on missing loved ones.

This is used by both Sunnis and Shias. “Please help me to find my husband who was kidnapped travelling from Baghdad to Amman,” says one message. “Gunmen seized him because he is a Shia, but they left my brother and his family because they are Sunni. Please help me.”

But it happened more than six months ago.

There was also an offer of help to a girl injured in the eye by a mortar attack on her school in Baghdad in late January, an incident widely covered by the media.

“We can provide medical treatment outside Iraq,” the writer said.

Perhaps initiatives like this could also begin the process of restoring peace. But right now, these sites are focused on survival.

Source: BBC News


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  • 5 Responses for "Iraqis use Google Earth and pretend to be Shia to survive in Iraq"

    1. mujahid7ia February 13th, 2007 at 7:47 pm

      “May Allah (swt) protect the innocent and punish the oppressors.”

      Amin.

    2. Ahmed.A.A February 14th, 2007 at 9:01 pm

      subhanallah if the shias only understood that the americans are protecting them ,

    3. bluey February 15th, 2007 at 12:24 am

      assalam alaykum,

      so depressing. may allah subhanna wa taálah unite the muslim ummah and guide the oppressors. ameen.

    4. iman February 17th, 2007 at 7:42 pm

      salaam,
      Agreed the muslim ummah need to unite
      but your rather blind and ignorent to think its only the sunni’s being killed, the shia are being slaughtered in their homes just as often and violently and have been getting slaughter for many, many, many years.
      If muslims can swallow their pride and except that we are all followers of prophet Muhammad and all use the quran as our book and even more importantly believe in the one true God, then MAYBE no one would be hurt and killed, BOTH i mean B.O.T.H. sides need to STOP.

    5. Yahya February 17th, 2007 at 11:00 pm

      iman on February 17, 2007 at 7:42 pm said:

      salaam,
      Agreed the muslim ummah need to unite
      but your rather blind and ignorent to think its only the sunni’s being killed, the shia are being slaughtered in their homes just as often and violently and have been getting slaughter for many, many, many years.
      If muslims can swallow their pride and except that we are all followers of prophet Muhammad and all use the quran as our book and even more importantly believe in the one true God, then MAYBE no one would be hurt and killed, BOTH i mean B.O.T.H. sides need to STOP.

      Masha’Allah, very well put. BOTH sides are getting murdered senselessly, this is nothing more than a divide-and-conquer scheme from the west and as has been stated above certainly all Muslims need to form one united Ummah insha’Allah.

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