Following Mala Ismail Osman Sindi’s Friday sermon in which he claimed prostitution was occurring in massage parlors in the Kurdish border town of Zakho, a group of young men set alight the town’s only massage parlor, a dozen liquor stores and three hotels. Many of the businesses were owned by minority Christian Assyrians and Yezidis.
The violence later spread to the city of Dohuk and Sumel, where rioters torched the offices of the Kurdistan Islamic Union, ransacked.
In an interview with Rudaw, Sindi said, “I’m not the only one talking about massage parlors. Everyone else is talking about it and I may have been the last person to address that issue. In my sermon, I only said that instead of massage parlors, people should build mosques.”
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