How time flies! It seems only yesterday that we folks in Norway first heard the name Mullah Krekar. The sometime leader of Ansar al-Islam – which narrow-minded individuals insist on calling a terrorist organization, but which I prefer to think of as a heavily armed, Koran-toting Iraqi version of Rotary or the Knights of Columbus – the charismatic Krekar has long since become every (well, not quite every) Norwegian's lovable grandpa. Now, after many years in Norway, he has announced that he will soon be leaving us and returning to Iraq, where he will continue to pursue the task to which he has consecrated his life: that of serving his God.
And oh, how many ways there are to serve God! Ansar al-Islam, according to the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, has "burned down girls' schools and beaten and killed women for not wearing the burqa." Human Rights Watch notes that under its previous name, Jund al-Islam, Krekar's industrious associates took over villages in which they required, among other things, "the obligatory closure of offices and businesses during prayer time and enforced attendance by workers and proprietors at the mosque during those times; the veiling of women by wearing the traditional 'abaya; obligatory beards for men; segregation of the sexes; barring women from education and employment; the removal of any photographs of women on packaged goods brought into the region; the confiscation of musical instruments and the banning of music both in public and private; and the banning of satellite receivers and televisions." The Lord's work never ends!