Iraqis Avoid Mosques Due To Violence

The New York Times reports on the conditions in Iraq. It has become so dangerous that people are afraid to go to the Mosque:

Exploding sectarian violence has undermined the mosque’s traditional role as a gathering place, further unraveling the country’s communal fabric. Mosque attendance has plummeted, according to clerics and government officials, as tens of thousands of Iraqis like Mr. Ali choose to pray at home out of safety concerns. Gatherings at Friday Prayer are sometimes one-tenth the size of what they once were, and parents no longer send their children to mosques for spiritual lessons. . .

Militias regard mosques as either places of refuge or tempting targets. Entire congregations have been wiped out by car bombs. Gunmen abduct imams, and sometimes shoot them outright. American and Iraqi forces often storm the buildings hunting for guerrillas. Airstrikes obliterate minarets.

Sunni mosques have become rallying points for neighborhood militias, blaring “God is great” from their loudspeakers to warn of the approach of Shiite gunmen. Violence around mosques is so rampant that in June the government imposed a curfew on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the peak prayer time.

How will conservatives who support the war see this? Will they realize that this is an example of the failures of the Bush Administration’s policies? Will they see this as good since they think all Moslims are potential terrorists anyways? Or will they just ignore this as liberal anti-Bush propaganda because it came from the New York Times?

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