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Military furious at soldiers who converted to Islam in Iraq

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http://www.sundaytimes.co.za/2003/11/02/ne...rld/world03.asp

US military furious at soldiers who converted and married Iraqis

Two US soldiers in Baghdad face charges of dereliction of duty after they converted to Islam and married two Iraqi women in defiance of orders.

Sergeant Sean Blackwell and Corporal Brett Dagen fell for two Iraqi translators. But few have empathised with the romances that began when the Americans met the women in the hotel that the soldiers were guarding.

The women are now in hiding after receiving death threats from those who consider them to be, quite literally, sleeping with the enemy, while Blackwell, 27, and Dagen, 37, are awaiting charges for dereliction of duty.

The men married while supposedly on foot patrol in August, conducting a hastily arranged joint ceremony in full combat gear, M16 rifles to hand. They have been confined to base while "the incident" is investigated.

A spokesman for the 1st Armoured Division said: "They disobeyed a direct order from their commanders not to get married. They also neglected their duty while on patrol. They're in serious trouble."

The plight of the women is no less grave. Joanne, 26, and her best friend Ahda, 25, have been in hiding since the weddings, fearful that they will be targeted as collaborators. The women have not seen their husbands since the day they tied the knot.

"The women will be turned away at the gate - just like any Iraqi national who tries to get in," a US officer said at the base where the men are confined. "They can communicate via letter or e-mail." There is little prospect that the couples will meet again before the soldiers' deployment comes to an end in eight months' time. The men will then face @ a lengthy battle to get visas for their wives.

All the women have to console them are photographs of their wedding day and an Iraqi marriage certificate which, in accordance with Islamic practice, shows a payment of $1 000 dollars by the grooms and a compensation pledge of 10 000 in case of divorce.

Iraq may be a staunchly conservative society, where weddings are arranged between cousins following tribal custom, but the story of star-crossed lovers struck a whimsical chord with war-weary Iraqis .

"'It's a beautiful idea," said 30-year-old Zena Ambouri, a civil engineer about the marriages.

"Personally I don't like the look of American soldiers. But why not? As long as the wedding followed Muslim law." But her sister Fatma, 21, wondered about the women's motives. "Life is very hard in Iraq . Everyone is looking for a way to get out and leave the violence behind. Perhaps this is what the women were after." -© The Telegraph, London

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Guest Crooked I

The spokesman only mentions the fact that they married. He doesnt say anything about Islam does he?

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Guest

Yeah according to the article he is just pissed coz they disobeyed orders. Good for them: with the reputation iraqi men have, i'm sure the iraqi women will make great wives. In fact screw russianbrides.com - what about iraqibrides.com? smile.gif Don't steal it now plis ppl - its my idea.

Has anyone read the book 'not without my daughter'? i forget who its by - betty mahmoody i think. its about this chick who marries an iranian dude in the states and he basically cons her into going with him to iran once the political situation there changed and then he locks her up and beats her.

Hectic read - i recommend it if you haven't read it

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Guest

guest is me, kragvark - dunno why it didn't ask me to sign in? #-o

Oh yeah and the most important part of the book is how the iranian laws totally allow this fucker to get away with the shit he was doing. Women have few rights in iran sad.gif

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