An Iraqi TikTok star named Wurood Abu Talib was shot and killed in Baghdad on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, in an apparent act of targeted violence against members of the LGBTQ community. The 22-year-old had amassed a large following of nearly 55,000 fans with her online videos, which generally focused on fashion and beauty.
Abu Talib was walking on a main street in the capital when she was targeted and shot by an unknown assailant. While authorities have not yet been able to identify a motive, evidence suggests that this incident was part of a broader crackdown on LBGTQ people in the region, as Iraqi authorities have increasingly targeted members of the community in recent years.
The shooting has sparked widespread outrage among Iraqi citizens, particularly those in the LBGTQ community. Upon hearing the news, some members of the community have taken to the streets in protest of what they see as intolerance and hate directed at their community.
The loss of Abu Talib has been felt deeply by her followers, who have paid tribute to the young artist by creating numerous hashtag campaigns and murmuring with many other behind-the-scenes activities on social media. In addition, many Iraqi TikTok stars have come forward since the shooting and spoken out about the need for equality and acceptance in Iraq.
The murder of Wurood Abu Talib is yet another reminder of the ongoing struggle of the LBGTQ community in Iraq, and highlights the need for greater action to protect and support the rights of all of Iraq’s citizens. In the wake of her death, it is important to remember her legacy and the need to work towards a more equal and tolerant society for all.