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Dixie Chicks' Burqa Ban Irks Iraqis
al-Sadr threatens to cancel LollaFallujah
Fri Apr 16, 8:32 AM ET


By PERRO D. SATTYRE, Dissociated Press Writer

The recent refusal of Dixie Chicks lead vocalist Natalie Maines (news - web sites) to wear a body-covering burqa, as required by interpretations of radical Islamist law, has prompted outrage from Shi'ite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (news - web sites). In a taped message aired repeatedly on Al-Jazeera, al-Sadr blasted the singer's decision and threatened to pull the plug on the upcoming LollaFallujah benefit concert.

Holding a copy of Entertainment Weekly, on which the Chicks are shown nude and covered with printed epithets, al-Sadr said, "These vile creatures claim that they want to aid us in our fight against the Americans and yet they insist on parading their tainted uncovered flesh before us. We will never allow their corruption to infect our ideals of Shi'ite dominance."

Maines disagreed. "We respect Mr. al-Sadr's views and endorse his attacks on the evil American empire," she said. "However, as we've explained repeatedly, we know what's best for everyone else."

Several noted celebrities had planned to participate in LollaFallujah, an event designed to bolster the morale of dispirited terrorists in Iraq. Show promoters last week announced that the event would include musical performances by the Dixie Chicks, The Pretenders, Sheryl Crow, Harry Belafonte and Barbra Streisand; anti-Bush speeches by Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and Sean Penn; socialist humor from Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo; and three short films by Michael Moore including his controversial "Dude, America Sucks!"

Natalie Maines




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