Religious extremists and kidnappers are mostly gone now from Baghdad’s streets, clearing the way for the return of prostitutes and gamblers, the New York Times says. Violence—and thus nighttime curfews—in Iraq’s capital has subsided, allowing liquor stores and nightclubs to revert back to their Saddam-era numbers. “Everything is going back to its natural way,” said one man.
After years of dodging assassins, authorities are relieved. “Today we are dealing with more normal things,” explained one official. Critics say poor people have been forced into prostitution to provide for their families. But one detective retorts: “If I had my way, I’d destroy all the mosques and spread the whores around a little more. At least they’re not sectarian.”