Homosexuality and Islam

In Islam, homosexuals (called qaum Lut, the “people of Lot”) are condemned in the story of Lot’s people in the Qur’an (15:73; 26:165) and in the last address of the Prophet Muhammad. However, attraction of men to beautiful male youths has been a part of the culture of some Islamic societies and the attraction is not generally condemned in itself.

With regard to lesbian homosexuality, some have argued that since penetration is not involved, female homosexual acts should be less severely punished. Shari’a (Islamic law) is most concerned with public behavior and outwards, so there is no strong condemnation of homosexuality if it is not displayed in public. [1]
Homosexuality in the Qur’an

The following passages are taken from the Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation of the Qur’an.

“We also sent Lut: He said to his people: Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds. And his people gave no answer but this: they said, “Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!”” (Qur’an 7:80-82)

“Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing (all limits)! They said: “If thou desist not, O Lut! thou wilt assuredly be cast out!” He said: “I do detest your doings:” “O my Lord! deliver me and my family from such things as they do!” So We delivered him and his family,- all Except an old woman who lingered behind. But the rest We destroyed utterly. We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)! Verily in this is a Sign: but most of them do not believe. And verily thy Lord is He, the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 26:165-175)

“Would ye really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, ye are a people (grossly) ignorant! But his people gave no other answer but this: They said, “Drive out the followers of Lut from your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!” But We saved him and his family, except his wife; her We destined to be of those who lagged behind. And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)!” (Qur’an 27:55-58)

“And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: “Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you. Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway? – and practise wickedness (even) in your councils?” But his people gave no answer but this: they said: “Bring us the Wrath of Allah if thou tellest the truth.” (Qur’an 29:28-29)

“If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way. If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 4:15-16)

Homosexuality in the Sharia

While there is a consensus that same-sex intercourse is in violation of Islamic law, there are differences of opinion within Islamic scholarship about punishment, reformation, and what standards of proof are required before physical punishment becomes lawful.

In Sunni Islam there are eight madhhabs, or legal schools, of which only four still exist: Hanafi, Shafi’i, Hanbali, Maliki. The main Shia school is called Ja’fari, but there are Zaidi and Ismai’ili also. More recently, some groups have rejected this tradition in favor of greater ijtihad, or individual interpretation. Of these schools, according to Michael Mumisa of the Birmingham-based Al Mahdi institute:

* The Hanafi school does not consider same-sex intercourse to constitute adultery, and therefore leaves punishment up to the judge’s discretion. Most early scholars of this school specifically ruled out the death penalty, others allow it for a second offence.
* Imam Shafi’i considers same-sex intercourse as analogous to other zina; thus, a married person found to have done so is punished as an adulterer (by stoning to death), and an unmarried one, as a fornicator, is left to be flogged.
* The Maliki school says that anyone (married or unmarried) found to have committed same-sex intercourse should be punished as an adulterer.
* Within the Ja’fari schools, Sayyid al-Khoi says that anyone (married or unmarried) found to have committed same-sex intercourse should be punished as an adulterer.

It should also be noted that the punishment for adultery requires four witnesses; by analogy, all schools, require four witnesses to the physical act of penetration for the punishment to be applied.But if otherwise any other proof is found through modern methods such as DNA testing or so the punishment can be implimented.

According to the modern Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s summary:

“The jurists of Islam have held different opinions concerning the punishment for this abominable practice. Should it be the same as the punishment for zina, or should both the active and passive participants be put to death? While such punishments may seem cruel, they have been suggested to maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep it clean of perverted elements.” [2]

History of Homosexuality in Islamic Societies

17th cent. painting of Mahmud and Ayaz (Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art). The love of the Sultan (in red) for his slave (in green) has entered Islamic legend as a paragon of ideal love.

The chaste love of men for youths has been regarded as something sacred in many Islamic socities, as reflected in the romantic love literature of Muslim Spain and in the Qur’an where Paradise contains beautiful male virgins. Occasionally, these literary praises extended to more carnal forms of desire, as can be seen in the poetry of Abu Nuwas and many others. In Islamic teaching, however, while homosexual desire and love might be accommodated, same-sex intercourse is prohibited as a violation of the natural boundaries set by Allah.

Early Islamic cultures, especially those in which homosexuality was entrenched in the pre-Islamic pagan culture, were renowned for their cultivation of a homosexual aesthetic. They reconciled their new religion using a hadith ascribed to Muhammad declaring male lovers who die chaste to be martyrs: “He who loves and remains chaste and conceals his secret and dies, dies a martyr.”

The result is a religion that allows love between those of the same gender as long as they do not have sexual intercourse. Ibn Hazm, Ibn Daud, Al-Mu’tamid, Abu Nuwas, and many others wrote extensively and openly of love between men. However, in order for the transgression to be proven, at least four men or eight women must bear witness against the accused, thus making it very difficult to persecute those who did not remain celibate in their homes.

The intended meaning of “same-sex intercourse” is sexual intercourse between two or more males, or sexual intercourse between two or more females. It does not mean the act of masturbation, nor does it have anything to do with nocturnal emissions, both of which are considered to invalidate wudu and require the Muslim to take a full bath or shower before his or her next prayer, but are not otherwise punishable under Sharia.
Homosexuality Laws in Modern Islamic Countries

Same-sex intercourse carries the death penalty in five officially Muslim nations: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania, Sudan, and Yemen. [3] It formerly carried the death penalty in Afghanistan under the Taliban, and in Iraq under a 2001 decree by Saddam Hussein. The legal situation in the United Arab Emirates is unclear. In many Muslim nations, such as Bahrain, Qatar, Algeria or the Maldives, homosexuality is punished with jail time, fines or corporal punishment. In some Muslim-majority nations, such as Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, or Mali, same-sex intercourse is not forbidden by law. However, in Egypt gays have been the victims of laws against “morality”.

In Saudi Arabia, the maximium punishment for homosexuality is public execution, but the government will use other punishments, i.e. fines, jail time and whipping as alternatives, unless it feels that homosexuals are challenging state authority by engaging in a gay rights movement. [4] Iran is perhaps the nation to execute the largest number of its citizens for homosexuality. Since its Islamic revolution in Iran, the Iranian government has executed more than 4000 people charged with homosexual acts. In Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban homosexuality went from a capital crime to one that it punished with fines and prison sentence, and a similar situation seems to have occurred in Iraq.

Most international human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, condemn laws that make homosexual relations between consenting adults a crime. Since 1994 the United Nations Human Rights Committee has also ruled that such laws violated the right to privacy guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covent on Civil and Political Rights. However (except for nations such as Turkey that were required to change their laws to be eligible to join the European Union) most Muslim nations insist that such laws are neccesary to preserve Islamic morality and virtue. Of the nations with a majority of Muslim, only Lebanon has an internal effort to legalize homosexuality. However, some Muslims have expressed criticism of the legal sanctions used against homosexuality.

Reasons given by Muslims condemning the executions include: the fact that some legal schools (e.g. Hanafi) regard it as unjustified; the argument that the death penalty is not specified for it in the Qur’an; the idea that the punishment is unduly harsh; and opposition to the idea that the state’s laws should be based on religion. The introduction of the AIDS pandemic in the Muslim world has also promoted more discussion about the legal status of homosexuality as the legal sanctions against homosexuality have made it difficult to intiaite any educational programs directed at high risks groups.

While executions and other criminal sanctions curtail any public gay rights movement, it is impractical to give criminal sanctions to all homosexuals living in a Muslim country, and it is common knowledge (to foreigners visiting a Muslim country) that some young Muslim men will experiment with homosexual relations as an outlet to sexual desires that cannot be met in a society where the sexes are often kept segregated. These discreet and casual homosexual relations allow men to engage in premartial sex with a low risk of facing the social or legal sanctions that would occur if they involved in adultery or fornication with a woman that might result in a pregnancy. Most of these men do not consider themsleves to be gay or bisexual.

A related problem to full enforcement of the laws against homosexuality is that while the sexes are often segregated, men are encouraged to developed close friendships with other men, and women are encouraged to develop close friendships with other women. Also, the Islamic law requires a certain number of male and female witnesses to the homosexual act to testify in court. Islam does place a strong value on the right to privacy in the home and thus homosexual relations that occur in private are theoretically outside the bounds of the law, although that is more theory then reality.
Liberal Islamic Stances on Homosexuality

Some self-described liberal Muslims accept and consider homosexuality as natural, regarding these verses as either obsolete in the context of modern society, or point out that the Qu’ran speaks out against homosexual lust, and is silent on homosexual love. However, this position remains highly controversial even amongst liberal movements within Islam, and is considered completely beyond the pale by mainstream Islam.

Ahmadinejad says no gays in Iran

12 February 2010

The Islamic Republic of Iran has had a long history of human rights violations. Among these crimes against humanity are those committed upon gays by Iran’s government. For those of you who are unaware, “President? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was allowed to speak at Columbia University after Iran’s government paid $300,000 to the university for a publicity stunt that backfired in September 2007. During this speech he said “we don’t have gays? when someone asked him why gays were being abused in Iran.

Many of the students laughed at the “president’s? comments, but few really know that he meant what he said. I say this because homosexuality is punishable by torture or death. The Islamic Republic of Iran, since its beginning, has ruled that minors as young as 15 years of age are eligible for the death penalty via public hangings to further intimidate and bully other homosexuals who are in-the-closet.

Iran has been known to execute children for crimes such as stealing, but for the gay community, many Iranians will never forget the public hanging of 21 year-old Makwan Moloudzadeh. Moloudzadeh was accused of committing sodomy with three other boys. All of the witnesses during his trial retracted their statements and Moloudzadeh was never proven to be gay while stating his innocence. The 21 year-old was hanged before his family and attorney were notified by the Iranian government.

Currently at home, people are extremely concerned with the issue of gay marriage. I feel that the LGBT community needs to be more supportive, vocal, and protective of homosexuals in Iran. Other Islamic nations like the United Arab Emirates and Bosnia do not impose such inhumane tactics to try and change a natural tendency each human must live with. If the Qur’an forbids homosexuality, then why is polygamy allowed at a time when men aren’t constantly traveling or at battle like they used to during the period of Muhammad? Couldn’t a polygamist having sex easily encourage his wives to have sex with each other at the same time? Isn’t the word for that lesbian or rather bisexuality?

As heterosexual couples have abused the institution of marriage and taken it for granted and suddenly, in our overly-romantic society we live in, many are trying to defend it, let us take a moment to think about those who cannot even come out of the closet for fear of physical harm or death.

To this day, the number of homosexuals arrested, tortured, and executed remains unknown due to such numerous incidences of crimes against humanity governed by the savagery of mullahs. To this day, the Iranian government continues its abuses to human rights of all kinds. In Iran’s current regime, nobody wins. According to world statistics, 10% of the world is gay. This is an urgent worry considering Iran’s “president? said that there are no gays in Iran. This means that he seeks to obliterate at least 10% of his nation’s population because of its people’s sexual orientation while sending out a message to the world’s homosexuals and bisexuals. Iran’s government seems to care too much about what its people do in bed…how dignified for a nation that prides itself upon religious fundamentalism!

Muslim leader blasts gay lifestyle

PRESIDENT of the Islamic Council of Jamaica, Mustafa Muhammad, says he agrees with the Sharia law which prescribes death for people who openly flaunt homosexual behaviour.

Muhammad did not mince words as he lashed out against what he described as an unclean, unnatural lifestyle.

“It is illegal and in the Sharia law the punishment is death. If you follow Christianity it is a crime in the sight of God. He destroyed a whole city because of this thing. It is an ungodly practice and I apologise to no one for this,? Muhammad said.

Under Jamaican law, persons who practice buggery — the sexual penetration of the anus — can be sent to prison for up to 10 years.

Despite claims by local and international gay lobbyists that homosexuals are attacked and killed in Jamaica, police statistics show that most gays who are killed are victims of crimes of passion.

Muhammad made sure to state that he was against the killing of gays in Jamaica.

“This can only be done in a country that is being run by Islam,? he said.

Muhammad was also critical of the gay lobbyists who are clamouring for Jamaicans to adopt a more relaxed attitude towards homosexuality.

“What is happening is that we are leaning towards the laws of man,? he said. “If a Muslim woman chooses to cover up herself it is seen as oppressive, but it is wicked to criticise homosexuals? I am not free to express myself as a Muslim but a homosexual is allowed free expression and protection from the law.?

The Sharia Law is interpreted differently in some Muslim jurisdictions and in some countries women are subjected to what western cultures describe as oppressive treatment.

Some Muslim cultures deny women education and enforce female circumcision, but Muhammad explained that this was not in keeping with the true teachings of the Prophet Mohammed and the Sharia Law, but should be attributed to cultural practices.

“Of course women must be allowed education. The Koran says every Muslim must seek knowledge. If there is a Muslim who denies a woman education, then it is not acceptable,? he told the Observer. “Female circumcision has been around for thousands of years and a lot of people come into Islam with this culture. It is very important that we separate the teaching of Islam from the culture of the people.?

Homosexuality and Islam

31 January 2010

In Islam, homosexuals (called qaum Lut, the “people of Lot”) are condemned in the story of Lot’s people in the Qur’an (15:73; 26:165) and in the last address of the Prophet Muhammad. However, attraction of men to beautiful male youths has been a part of the culture of some Islamic societies and the attraction is not generally condemned in itself.

With regard to lesbian homosexuality, some have argued that since penetration is not involved, female homosexual acts should be less severely punished. Shari’a (Islamic law) is most concerned with public behavior and outwards, so there is no strong condemnation of homosexuality if it is not displayed in public. [1]
Homosexuality in the Qur’an

The following passages are taken from the Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation of the Qur’an.

“We also sent Lut: He said to his people: Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds. And his people gave no answer but this: they said, “Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!”” (Qur’an 7:80-82)

“Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing (all limits)! They said: “If thou desist not, O Lut! thou wilt assuredly be cast out!” He said: “I do detest your doings:” “O my Lord! deliver me and my family from such things as they do!” So We delivered him and his family,- all Except an old woman who lingered behind. But the rest We destroyed utterly. We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)! Verily in this is a Sign: but most of them do not believe. And verily thy Lord is He, the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 26:165-175)

“Would ye really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, ye are a people (grossly) ignorant! But his people gave no other answer but this: They said, “Drive out the followers of Lut from your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!” But We saved him and his family, except his wife; her We destined to be of those who lagged behind. And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)!” (Qur’an 27:55-58)

“And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: “Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you. Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway? – and practise wickedness (even) in your councils?” But his people gave no answer but this: they said: “Bring us the Wrath of Allah if thou tellest the truth.” (Qur’an 29:28-29)

“If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way. If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 4:15-16)

Homosexuality in the Sharia

While there is a consensus that same-sex intercourse is in violation of Islamic law, there are differences of opinion within Islamic scholarship about punishment, reformation, and what standards of proof are required before physical punishment becomes lawful.

In Sunni Islam there are eight madhhabs, or legal schools, of which only four still exist: Hanafi, Shafi’i, Hanbali, Maliki. The main Shia school is called Ja’fari, but there are Zaidi and Ismai’ili also. More recently, some groups have rejected this tradition in favor of greater ijtihad, or individual interpretation. Of these schools, according to Michael Mumisa of the Birmingham-based Al Mahdi institute:

* The Hanafi school does not consider same-sex intercourse to constitute adultery, and therefore leaves punishment up to the judge’s discretion. Most early scholars of this school specifically ruled out the death penalty, others allow it for a second offence.
* Imam Shafi’i considers same-sex intercourse as analogous to other zina; thus, a married person found to have done so is punished as an adulterer (by stoning to death), and an unmarried one, as a fornicator, is left to be flogged.
* The Maliki school says that anyone (married or unmarried) found to have committed same-sex intercourse should be punished as an adulterer.
* Within the Ja’fari schools, Sayyid al-Khoi says that anyone (married or unmarried) found to have committed same-sex intercourse should be punished as an adulterer.

It should also be noted that the punishment for adultery requires four witnesses; by analogy, all schools, require four witnesses to the physical act of penetration for the punishment to be applied.But if otherwise any other proof is found through modern methods such as DNA testing or so the punishment can be implimented.

According to the modern Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s summary:

“The jurists of Islam have held different opinions concerning the punishment for this abominable practice. Should it be the same as the punishment for zina, or should both the active and passive participants be put to death? While such punishments may seem cruel, they have been suggested to maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep it clean of perverted elements.” [2]

History of Homosexuality in Islamic Societies

17th cent. painting of Mahmud and Ayaz (Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art). The love of the Sultan (in red) for his slave (in green) has entered Islamic legend as a paragon of ideal love.

The chaste love of men for youths has been regarded as something sacred in many Islamic socities, as reflected in the romantic love literature of Muslim Spain and in the Qur’an where Paradise contains beautiful male virgins. Occasionally, these literary praises extended to more carnal forms of desire, as can be seen in the poetry of Abu Nuwas and many others. In Islamic teaching, however, while homosexual desire and love might be accommodated, same-sex intercourse is prohibited as a violation of the natural boundaries set by Allah.

Early Islamic cultures, especially those in which homosexuality was entrenched in the pre-Islamic pagan culture, were renowned for their cultivation of a homosexual aesthetic. They reconciled their new religion using a hadith ascribed to Muhammad declaring male lovers who die chaste to be martyrs: “He who loves and remains chaste and conceals his secret and dies, dies a martyr.”

The result is a religion that allows love between those of the same gender as long as they do not have sexual intercourse. Ibn Hazm, Ibn Daud, Al-Mu’tamid, Abu Nuwas, and many others wrote extensively and openly of love between men. However, in order for the transgression to be proven, at least four men or eight women must bear witness against the accused, thus making it very difficult to persecute those who did not remain celibate in their homes.

The intended meaning of “same-sex intercourse” is sexual intercourse between two or more males, or sexual intercourse between two or more females. It does not mean the act of masturbation, nor does it have anything to do with nocturnal emissions, both of which are considered to invalidate wudu and require the Muslim to take a full bath or shower before his or her next prayer, but are not otherwise punishable under Sharia.
Homosexuality Laws in Modern Islamic Countries

Same-sex intercourse carries the death penalty in five officially Muslim nations: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania, Sudan, and Yemen. [3] It formerly carried the death penalty in Afghanistan under the Taliban, and in Iraq under a 2001 decree by Saddam Hussein. The legal situation in the United Arab Emirates is unclear. In many Muslim nations, such as Bahrain, Qatar, Algeria or the Maldives, homosexuality is punished with jail time, fines or corporal punishment. In some Muslim-majority nations, such as Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, or Mali, same-sex intercourse is not forbidden by law. However, in Egypt gays have been the victims of laws against “morality”.

In Saudi Arabia, the maximium punishment for homosexuality is public execution, but the government will use other punishments, i.e. fines, jail time and whipping as alternatives, unless it feels that homosexuals are challenging state authority by engaging in a gay rights movement. [4] Iran is perhaps the nation to execute the largest number of its citizens for homosexuality. Since its Islamic revolution in Iran, the Iranian government has executed more than 4000 people charged with homosexual acts. In Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban homosexuality went from a capital crime to one that it punished with fines and prison sentence, and a similar situation seems to have occurred in Iraq.

Most international human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, condemn laws that make homosexual relations between consenting adults a crime. Since 1994 the United Nations Human Rights Committee has also ruled that such laws violated the right to privacy guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covent on Civil and Political Rights. However (except for nations such as Turkey that were required to change their laws to be eligible to join the European Union) most Muslim nations insist that such laws are neccesary to preserve Islamic morality and virtue. Of the nations with a majority of Muslim, only Lebanon has an internal effort to legalize homosexuality. However, some Muslims have expressed criticism of the legal sanctions used against homosexuality.

Reasons given by Muslims condemning the executions include: the fact that some legal schools (e.g. Hanafi) regard it as unjustified; the argument that the death penalty is not specified for it in the Qur’an; the idea that the punishment is unduly harsh; and opposition to the idea that the state’s laws should be based on religion. The introduction of the AIDS pandemic in the Muslim world has also promoted more discussion about the legal status of homosexuality as the legal sanctions against homosexuality have made it difficult to intiaite any educational programs directed at high risks groups.

While executions and other criminal sanctions curtail any public gay rights movement, it is impractical to give criminal sanctions to all homosexuals living in a Muslim country, and it is common knowledge (to foreigners visiting a Muslim country) that some young Muslim men will experiment with homosexual relations as an outlet to sexual desires that cannot be met in a society where the sexes are often kept segregated. These discreet and casual homosexual relations allow men to engage in premartial sex with a low risk of facing the social or legal sanctions that would occur if they involved in adultery or fornication with a woman that might result in a pregnancy. Most of these men do not consider themsleves to be gay or bisexual.

A related problem to full enforcement of the laws against homosexuality is that while the sexes are often segregated, men are encouraged to developed close friendships with other men, and women are encouraged to develop close friendships with other women. Also, the Islamic law requires a certain number of male and female witnesses to the homosexual act to testify in court. Islam does place a strong value on the right to privacy in the home and thus homosexual relations that occur in private are theoretically outside the bounds of the law, although that is more theory then reality.
Liberal Islamic Stances on Homosexuality

Some self-described liberal Muslims accept and consider homosexuality as natural, regarding these verses as either obsolete in the context of modern society, or point out that the Qu’ran speaks out against homosexual lust, and is silent on homosexual love. However, this position remains highly controversial even amongst liberal movements within Islam, and is considered completely beyond the pale by mainstream Islam.

Would You Rather Be Gay in Uganda or Israel?

Until about a week ago, the last time anyone thought about Uganda was either (1) never or (2) to convey a generic far away place that you would never want to visit. It’s sort of like saying Timbuktu but sounds way smarter. Now, in a fiery fit of gay rage, the relatively tiny nation (roughly the size of Michigan) has attempted to compensate for its small size by stirring up homophobic hubbub. It’s already a world leader in illiteracy – desiring to become part of a not-so-secret society of nations that punishes gays with the death penalty is just one more feather in Uganda’s unsightly African floral headwrap.

The bill, proposed by MP David Bahati, adds Uganda to that list of other places you would never want or are currently barred from going to like Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates. Coincidentally, most of those countries are ones where Jews wouldn’t feel terribly welcome either. Sure, it’s all fun-and-games shopping for Dolce in Dubai until someone gets stoned to death for showing their sugar daddy a little gratitude.

Normally, when crazy countries (see: Iran) make generic threats, members of sane societies create useless Facebook pages with impossibly long, almost incoherent names like “Ahmadinejad is a terrorist tyrant. Bring peace to the Persian people now. Join to help us reach over 1,000,000 members.” But despite the similar onslaught of fruitless Facebook pages rising up in virtual condemnation against this latest humanitarian crisis, it indeed appears that Uganda’s rogue government isn’t just interested in having an international dick-measuring contest. For the first time in its 47-year history, Uganda actually seems serious about instituting social change. Naturally, in a country where 75% of the population lives on less than $2 a day, it couldn’t be for something truly good. Instead, Ugandan parliament members (with the staunch support of – who else? – Evangelical groups) have drafted legislation that would broaden the scope of what is considered illegal homosexual behavior. People with HIV/AIDS, who have prior convictions of queer conduct, and/or get caught in same-sex acts with those under 18 years old would be subject to the death sentence. As if that weren’t enough of a human rights violation, Uganda will also go after gay expatriates and individuals or organizations that support LGBT rights there.

It may come as a shocker that gays even exist at all in a country where raggy shmattes rule the roads. There are, however, an estimated 500,000 sexual minorities who call Uganda home.

At first glance, this whole setup doesn’t scream special, but there are several factors that make the Ugandan case unique. First, there are key players from the American Evangelical movement – namely, Scott Lively, author of the literary masterpiece 7 Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child, “healed” ex-gay Caleb Lee Brundidge, and hetero conversion missionary Don Schmierer – that have allegedly contributed to these political developments through their travels and live talks. They’ve said they don’t condone the bill and claim they didn’t know about the implications of their so-called holy work in Uganda. At least it’s likely that one of the three will be caught cruising the bathroom stalls at the Minneapolis International Airport.

Second, Uganda’s religious composition is drastically different from the usual suspects of LGBT human rights violators worldwide, because it doesn’t have a Muslim majority. In fact, Uganda is overwhelmingly Christian with over 85% of the population identifying as either Roman Catholic or Protestant.

Third, Uganda has a curious place in Jewish history (yeah, Hebrew school skipped over that one, because it’s actually interesting). Once upon a time, the British Uganda Plan called for the creation of a Jewish state where ass-fucking fun is now poised to be punishable by death. It was a far better deal than the Nazi scheme to ship the Jews off to Madagascar, but one thing is clear: if the current state of affairs in Israel is any indication, gays would have been freely prancing around a Judeo-African oasis – and with at least a marginally better sense of style.

But, sadly, not all is sweet in the Land of Milk and Honey. Last year, Israel’s reputation was tarnished after a masked gunman waged war on an LGBT center in Tel Aviv. And in 2005, Jerusalem’s relatively somber socio-political pride parade was marred when an orthodox male stabbed three participants. Israel’s black hat Haredim have long been aggressors against sexual minorities both physically and politically feeling more commonalities with their Christian extremist counterparts than most of their Jewish brethren. In a rare instance of cross-religious cooperation, they’ve even joined forces with the Holy City’s Christians and Muslims to ban pride marches in Jerusalem altogether – who knew that anti-gay discrimination was what it took to bring people from different religions together? Still, while Israel has to contend with its own share of gay drama, it’s reassuring to know that gays in Israel can, among other things, qualify for couples’ benefits, serve in the military, and see a drag show. To think, all of that happens in a country founded by people from socialist Eastern Europe and the most intolerable parts of the Arab World.

Uganda’s homo hate bill is scheduled for a vote before parliament in late February or March. Until then, the best that gay Ugandans can hope for are a few meaningless Facebook pages and the off chance that Madonna or Angelina Jolie will be back on the market for more African babies. Luckily, some open-minded Jews are doing what they can: AJWS is already raising funds to help and support gay people in Uganda.

Muslim preacher calls for gays to be stoned to death

Hate preacher Anjem Choudary launched a vitrolic attack on gays last week in which he said that they should be stoned to death.

The former lawyer, who lives on benefits, added that this would include gay business secretary Lord Peter Mandelson, who, under Sharia law, would first be educated about the “evils” of homosexuality then executed if he confessed to a same-sex relationship.

He was speaking at a press conference in London organised by Islamic extremists to justify a protest in Luton last week against soldiers returning home from Iraq.

Choudary said: “If a man likes another man, it can happen, but if you go on to fulfil your desire, if it is proved, then there is a punishment to follow. You don’t stone to death unless there are four eyewitnesses. It is a very stringent procedure.

“There are some people who are attracted to donkeys but that does not mean it is right.”

Conservative MP Patrick Mercer told the Daily Mail: “These statements show the depravity of this man’s beliefs. They must incite hatred and encourage terrorism, and I would encourage the Metropolitan Police to investigate them as rigorously as possible.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said police would investigate Choudary’s remarks if a complaint was made.

Choudary has previously called for Sharia law to be implemented in the UK.

Last week, he called for all British women to be forced to wear burkhas, saying: ““Every woman, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, would have to wear a traditional burkha and cover everything apart from her face and hands in public.

“In matters to do with the judicial system and the penal code, one male witness is sufficient to counter the testimony of two females. People who commit adultery would be stoned to death.?

Westerwelle debates human rights with Saudis

Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s first openly gay foreign minister, said he fully aired Berlin’s differences with Saudia Arabia over human rights issues during a visit to the country on Saturday.

“We had an extensive discussion about the issue of human rights, right through to the discussion of religious plurality,” he told reporters after talks with his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud al-Faisal.

“The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is aware that the European Union has a clear position on the issue of the death penalty: we are convinced that the death penalty should be abolished around the world.”

Prince Saud told the same news conference that during their discussion, he had made clear to Westerwelle that regional, cultural and religious traditions must be respected.

“I would like to stress that we talked about human rights and that includes different criteria between countries,” Saud said. “We reached the conclusion that these matters cannot be imposed by either side summarily and a change cannot come unless is it by conviction.”

Human rights activists in Germany had called on Westerwelle to take up the issue of gay rights during his one-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where Islamic sharia law permits the imposition of the death penalty for a range of “crimes” including homosexual relations.

Sources who took part in the talks said Westerwelle directly addressed the issue of human rights and the death penalty in his talks with Prince Saud, and asked about the work of the government-created Saudi Human Rights Commission.

Prince Saud described the efforts of a so-called national dialogue taking place between traditionalists and modernisers, as well as Sunni and Shiite clerics, the sources said.

Westerwelle, who arrived in Riyadh late Friday with a business delegation, also held talks with the country’s finance minister. He was also due to meet King Abdullah before flying to Qatar for talks on Sunday.

Michael Causer documentary selected for Turkish film festival

24 January 2010

A documentary about the mainstream media’s disinterest in Michael Causer’s death has been selected to be screened at IF Istanbul International Film Festival in February 2010.

The short film – entitled Invisible Death of Michael – premiered at Homotopia in 2009 and examines the under-reporting and lack of national media coverage of the murder of gay Causer in 2008 and the subsequent trial.

Now, it will be shown at IF Istanbul International Film Festival in February 2010.

Directed by Liverpool film-maker Tim Brunsden and Homotopia’s Gary Everett, the film includes contributions from Peter Tatchell, journalists, plus Causer’s family and friends. The film is a stark reminder of institutionalised homophobia in modern Britain.

Gary Everett said: “We are all really excited that such an important film is being shown in Turkey. The international struggle for LGBT equality and acceptance is one which is the central message of this film. What happened to Michael Causer was a travesty of justice and was plainly ignored by many in the national media.?

Uganda anti-gay bill author clarifies killing people over small issues

16 January 2010

The author of the controversial anti-gay bill which was recently tabled in Uganda’s parliament, David Bahati, has said that pro-gays in Uganda and the world at large are distorting what is in the bill to win sympathy.

Bahati, during an interview today in Kampala said that he tabled the bill in good faith but the bad elements who are misinforming the world about it are making him look like someone who enjoys seeing people killed “over small issues”.

“Pro-gays comments about the anti gay bill which I tabled in parliament is confusing donors and the whole world at large. They use media houses like CNN, BBC, and New York times to distort facts,” said Bahati.

He also said that in order to make the bill look very bad they are concentrating on negatively commenting on proposed death penalty.

“The pro-gays have made the world believe that whoever will be found guilty of getting involved in homosexuality will be sentenced to death. No. Only when an adult forces a child or someone under the age of 18 into homosexuality, that is where death penalty should apply,” he continued.

According to him, he has the support of most Members of Parliament and they are collectively pushing on the bill. He said he can not withdraw the bill as some government officials are considering to request him to do.

Ever since the anti-gay bill was tabled in Uganda parliament towards the end of last year, there has been international outcry over its brutality especially the proposed death penalty in it.

That has led government officials considering the option of having the bill withdrawn.

Gisle & Jhonathan

15 December 2009
Look out tranny lovers! Gisle could smother you to death with her gigantic jugs. It's a risk that Jhonathan is willing to take when he joins forces with her for this video. In return he gets a hot titty fuck and some very nice oral servicing from the blonde bombshell. It's a unique encounter you're not going to want to miss.

Jean-Daniel Cadinot

Jean Daniel Cadinot (February 10, 1944 – April 23, 2008) was a French director and producer of gay pornographic films.

arab-gay-stud

Biography

Cadinot was born during WWII, in German-occupied Paris, in the Montmartre hill area of the Batignoles Quarter. His parents were tailors who custom fit clothes. (Cadinot later remarked that while his parents had clothed men, he earned his reputation for undressing them.)

As a teenager Cadinot hoped to become a painter and, due to parental opposition, ran away from home at the age of 17.[1] In the early 1960s, he studied at École des Arts et Métiers and at the National School of Photography. He then began his professional career at Valois Studios, where he directed mainstream films for French-speaking audiences.[2]

He first pursued a career in photography, which took on a homosexual angle with his nude portrait of writer Yves Navarre and singer Patrick Juvet. His erotic photographs appeared in the first edition of Gai Pied.[3] He began to sell nude photographs and finally moved to directing movies in 1978. By then, he had published 17 photo albums, with total sales of over 170,000 copies.

Setting up his own production company, French Art, Cadinot made dozens of 16 mm films since then, usually with specific settings or themes, such as an excursion of French Boy Scouts, life in a boarding school or a journey to Venice, greatly contributing to the erotic appeal of the works through the specific situations depicted. Often these themes were somewhat derived from Cadinot’s life experiences, especially from his youth.

By 1998 he had directed 54 films, some under the pseudonym Tony Dark.[1]

Cadinot’s early films are often basically regular movies with occasional hardcore gay sex scenes interspersed. Rather than just portraying a string of sexual encounters with minimal dialogue, they showcase Cadinot’s fascination with characterization, lighting, and his often slightly jocular approach to gay sexuality.

Characteristic of Cadinot’s films was an emphasis on plot; much more so than in typical porn films. His plots were often based originally on incidents from his own life, but he was known for adjusting the plot during filming to incorporate experiences of his actors. He insisted on realism in his films, especially in sex scenes, saying that the actors “do not portray things that are imposed on them by me, but things they like to do themselves”. Part of the popularity of his films is credited to the realistic emotions shown in them, compared to the robot-like performances in other films.

Death notice

On April 23, 2008 Jean-Daniel Cadinot’s Official Site posted the following notice:

Dear friends, critics and others,

If you’re reading these words I will have put down my camera, switched off the lights, drawn the curtains and taken my final bow. May all the efforts and work of a whole life, the quest for the moment of pure truth in the sublime communion of two beings under the spell of the undefinable desire for the other, inspire those who inherit my heart.

The human being is made such that it only remembers the good and the beautiful, therefore I leave you with a free mind and a head overflowing with a myriad of young men, sometimes strong and vigorous, sometimes fragile and sensitive. All of them gave me these unforgettable moments of their most tender intimacy, moments that only a few really know but which I made into images to allow you to admire them over and over again.

Never were success or personal fortune my creed. You offered me gratitude and I thank you for that because I wanted nothing else. Cadinot salutes you. Remember a kindly fellow, an extreme observer given to rages and contradiction but who listened to others and was full of love.

“An erect phallus is a symbol of life, a cross a symbol of death.”

Jean Daniel Cadinot, photographer and film-maker, passed away on the 23rd of April aged 64 following a heart attack.[4]

Trademark elements of his films

* Often plot- and character-driven (though considerably less so in recent years)
* Actors are young (Twinks) and inexperienced, non-professional.
* Humoristic characters and situations, for example the cameo appearance of Cadinot’s Mother as a cleaner in Escalier de Service.
* Outdoor locations in the French countryside
* Occasionally, scenes of nonconsensual sex (i.e., rape).
* Several films had North African Arab themes, locations and players
* Cadinot directs his characters to often stay partially clothed during sex, and there is a fetishistic focus on swollen genitals admired in white underwear.

Filmography

* Age Tendre et Sexes Droits (1983)
* Aime… Comme Minet (1982)
* Amour Jaloux (L’) (1986)
* C’est la Vie (2000)
* Chaleurs (1987)
* Charmants Cousins (1983)
* Classe de Neige (1985)
* Corps d’Elite (1993)
* Coup de Soleil (1996)
* Cours Privés (2002)
* Coursier (Le) (1990)
* Crash Toujours (1989)
* Crescendo (2003)
* Désir en Ballade (Le) (1989)
* Désirs Volés (1996)
* Deuxième Sous-sol (1987)
* Double en Jeu (2000)
* Escalier de Service (1987)
* Etat d’Urgence (1998)
* Expérience Inédite (L’) (1993)
* Gamins de Paris (1992)
* Garçon Près de la Piscine (Le) (1986)

* Garçons d’Etage (1995)
* Garçons d’Etage II (1996)
* Garçons de Plage (1982)
* Garçons de Rêves (1981)
* Hammam (2004)
* Harem (1984)
* Hommes de Chantier (1980)
* Hommes Préfèrent les Hommes (Les) (1981)
* Insatiable (L’) (1997)
* Jeu de Pistes (Le) (1984)
* Macadam (1998)
* Main au Feu (La) (1989)
* Maison Bleue (La) (1992)
* Maurice et les Garçons (1994)
* Minets de l’Info (Les) (1994)
* Minets Sauvages (Les) (1984)
* Mon Ami, Mes Amants (2002)
* Musée Hom (1994)
* Nomades (2005)
* Paradisio Inferno (1994)
* Parfums Erotiques (2007)
* Pension Complète (1988)

* Plaisirs d’Orient (2005)
* Pressbook (1996)
* Sacré Collège (1983)
* Safari City (1999)
* Sans Limite (2000)
* Séance Particulière (1988)
* Scouts (1981)
* Secrets de Famille (2004)
* Service Actif (1990)
* Service Actif II (1991)
* Sortie de Secours (1998)
* S.O.S. (1999)
* Sous le Signe de l’Etalon (1986)
* Squat (1999)
* Stop (1980)
* Stop Surprise (1984)
* Techno Boys (1997)
* Tequila (1993)
* Tendres Adolescents (1980)
* Top Models (1985)
* Tresors Secrets (2007)
* Voyage à Venise (Le) (1986)

720 brutally murdered as ‘gay cleansing’ continues unchecked in Iraq

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17 November 2009




An organization dedicated to securing asylum for LGBT refugees from Iraq estimates that over 720 LGBT men and women have been murdered by extremist militias in the last six years.
London-based Iraqi LGBT reports the Iraqi government has largely been absent in pursuing the roaming "death squads" in Iraq who seek out LGBT victims, likely due to the influence of extremist Shia religious parties that are calling for a moral cleansing of Iraq.


The organization says the rise of fundamentalist groups in Iraq since the 2003 U.S. invasion has proven deadly to LGBT Iraqis, who are now being forced to either hide or face the consequences. On its website, Iraqi LGBT says, "there is little hope for Iraqis suffering under the new socio-political climate. Once the most liberal and secular of the Arab nations, nowadays religious extremism has taken hold of the country to the detriment of its people."


The extremist groups and police were using the Internet to track down LGBT Iraqis this past summer, but at least two gay Iraqis were able to be saved by Iraqi LGBT. In August, police raided the houses of Asad Galib and Faeq Ismail, both 24 years old, and took them into custody. They were held and questioned for about four hours and accused of viewing gay websites in an internet café. Both men denied the accusations and explained that the websites had already been open when they began using the computers. They were later released and put in a safe house sponsored by Iraqi LGBT.


But the big question continues to be, why hasn't the U.S. government done anything to help? It is hearbreaking that Iraqi LGBT has to beg for donations on its website, instead of getting any form of help whatsoever from us to help stop the gay genocide in Iraq.


President Obama has remained completely silent on the issue, even after receiving a letter from Rep. Jared Polis urging his administration to take action, and a 67-page report by Human Rights Watch in August outlining in explicit detail the torture and murder of LGBT Iraqis, which was featured prominently in nearly every U.S. media outlet, including the New York Times and CNN. Since the HRW report was released, there hasn't been a single change in military strategy to protect LGBT Iraqis from the roaming death squads or the Iraqi police.


Better question - why haven't American LGBT people and their supporters expressed more outrage about the horrendous situation facing LGBT Iraqis? Are we so caught up in our own myopic obsession with equal rights here that we forget about the plight of our brothers and sisters in the (still) U.S.-occupied territory? Why aren't we doing more to try and help them? Why aren't we doing more to speak out on their behalf?


Iraqi LGBT is doing all it can, but being the only organization dedicated to helping gay Iraqis, it's difficult for them to make much of an impact. So far, Iraqi LGBT says nearly 100 individuals in Iraq have directly benefited from their work, and they have been involved in securing asylum for Iraqi refugees who have been forced to flee the country.


But so much more is needed.

USA TODAY – Militias target some Iraqis for being gay

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29 July 2009








By Paul Wiseman and Nadeem Majeed, USA TODAY

BAGHDAD — The young man turns to the camera and pleads with his tormentors.
"I'm not a terrorist," he tells the Iraqi police who surround him. "I want you to know I am different. But I am not a terrorist."

To some fundamentalist Iraqi Muslims, Ahmed Sadoun Saleh was worse than a terrorist.
He was gay. He wore his hair long and took female hormones to grow breasts. Amused by his appearance, Iraqi police officers stopped him in December at a checkpoint in a southern Baghdad neighborhood dominated by radical Shiite militias. They groped Saleh and ridiculed him.

The assault was captured on video and circulated on cellphones throughout Baghdad, says Ali Hili, founder of London-based Iraqi LGBT, a group dedicated to protecting Iraq's gays and lesbians. Shortly after the video was made public, Hili says Saleh contacted him, fearing for his life, and asked for his help to flee Iraq.

"Unfortunately, it was too late," Hili says. Saleh turned up dead two months later, he says.
At least 82 gay men have been killed in Iraq since December, according to Iraqi LGBT. The violence has raised questions about the Iraqi government's ability to protect a diverse range of vulnerable minority groups that also includes Christians and Kurds, especially following the

withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraqi cities last month.

Mithal al-Alusi, a secular, liberal Sunni legislator, is among those who blame the killings on armed militant groups such as al-Qaeda and the Mahdi Army militia.

By targeting one of the most vulnerable groups in a conservative Muslim society — people whose sexual orientation is banned by Iraqi law — the militias essentially are serving notice that they remain powerful despite the U.S. and Iraqi militaries' efforts to curtail them, al-Alusi says.
The militants "want to educate the society to accept killers on the street," al-Alusi says in an interview. "Why did Hitler start with gays? They are weak. They have no political cover. They have no legal cover."


The attacks have terrified a gay community that, for a brief time after the U.S. troop surge in 2007-08, tentatively enjoyed greater freedom and security.


"I am worried about my life," says a middle-age gay man in Baghdad who asked to be identified by the pseudonym Hassan. He declined to be identified by his real name because the recent violence has made him fear for his life. "I don't know what to do," he says.


Hili and other gay rights activists believe the killers operate with the complicity and sometimes the direct involvement of Iraqi security forces.


As part of a drive to stop the sectarian violence that peaked in Iraq in 2006-07, those forces have taken into their ranks numerous former militia members from the Mahdi Army (loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr) and the pro-Iranian Badr Brigade.


"The Ministry of Interior in Iraq is behind this campaign of terror," Hili says in an e-mail.He says witnesses have told him that police harass and beat suspected gays at checkpoints and sometimes turn them over to militias for execution.


Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf disputes such allegations. He says the ministry has assigned a special bureau to investigate the killings of gays; he says he knows of six gays who had been executed as of May.


Homosexuality, Khalaf says, is against the law and "is rejected by the customs of our society." He adds, however, that offenders should be handled by the courts, not dispatched by vigilante groups.


The killers aren't just executing their gay victims. They are "mutilating their bodies and torturing them," says fundamentalist Sunni cleric Sheik Mohammed al-Ghreri, who has criticized the violence.


Hili says the militias have come up with a particularly cruel way to inflict pain: sealing victims' anuses with glue, then force-feeding them laxatives. Hili says he has spoken to several victims who survived the ordeal.


'You can just be crushed'


Besides targeting gays, Sadr City militias also are harassing and sometimes killing straight young men who violate fundamentalist fashion and decorum by wearing low-riding pants and other Western-style clothing, slicking back their hair or making it spiky, hanging out in cafes or pool halls or flirting with girls, says human rights activist Mohammed Jasim, 28.


"The campaign is against gays and anybody who looks gay" in the eyes of militiamen indoctrinated to believe immodest dress is an affront to God, Jasim says.


"Young people felt their city had been liberated," says Jasim's friend Wisam Mizban, 32.
"They thought they could wear what they wanted. The militias felt threatened and started killing them. They are doing their crimes under the cover of the government. … Most young people want a civilized life. The militias and the government are putting pressure on them again."


The campaign has had a chilling effect on Baghdad's nightlife.


Entrepreneur Ali al-Ali opened the Shisha coffee shop in an upstairs storefront overlooking a bustling street in the upscale Karrada neighborhood. The place quickly became a hangout for young gay men, who'd sit and talk and drink lattes, and smoke flavored tobacco from the water pipes that gave the cafe its name.


But as the militias started killing gay men, Ali discouraged gays from congregating at his cafe. "If (militias) see gays coming here, maybe they will target me outside Karrada," al-Ali says.
His sentiments were echoed by Hussam Abdullah, whose tea shop also used to be a hangout for gay men — until militias warned Abdullah there would be trouble if he didn't send them away. So he did.


The militias usually send out warnings before they attack. Posters go up in Sadr City listing the offenders — gay and flashy straight men — by name and neighborhood. "If you don't give up what you are doing," said a recent one seen by a USA TODAY reporter, "death will be your fate. And this warning will come true, and the punishment will be worse and worse."


The poster referred to the offenders as "puppies," the fundamentalist epithet for gays here. "In Arabic culture, if you want to insult someone you call them a dog," human rights activist Yanar Mohammed says. "If you're a small dog, you can just be crushed."


Among those listed was a young man named Allawi Hawar, a local soccer star who incurred the wrath of the militias by wearing his hair long and partying with his friends in Sadr City cafes.
Hawar was playing pool one day last month when two masked men drove up on a motor scooter. One climbed off and made his way inside the cafe, clutching a pistol.


"We have something to deal with," he announced to startled patrons, according to witness Emad Saad, 25.


The gunman grabbed Hawar and dragged him outside. Then he shot the young athlete in the leg. After Hawar crumpled to the ground, bleeding, the gunman shot him again and killed him, Saad says.


The militiamen pick their targets by entering cafes and looking for men who appear feminine or too showy, Saad says. Then they ask around to get the offenders' names, and later put them on the death lists distributed around town.


Saad himself likes to wear Western jeans and slicked-back hair. He has taken to carrying a Glock pistol, awaiting his showdown with the militias.


"Some people are afraid, but I am not," he says. "I have done nothing wrong."
The Sadr City warning posters do not appear to be the work of educated theologians. A recent one was filled with Arabic misspellings, including a faulty rendering of "compassionate" — part of one of the 99 names for God.


But Ali Hili, the London activist, and others believe high-level clerics have ordered the killings. Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani several years ago decreed that the punishment for homosexuality is death "if it is proven before the religious judge."


An Iraqi TV channel, Alsumaria, reported that Sunni cleric al-Ghreri has called for the execution of gays. Al-Ghreri denies issuing such a statement, but concedes that some "stubborn" clerics might support the death penalty for gays.


He says homosexuality is "abnormal" and that gays should know that "freedom has limits." First, he says, gays should be warned to change their offensive behavior.
If that fails, he says, they should be jailed. If detentions don't work, they should endure 100 lashes for engaging in gay sex. And if four separate lashings fail and if witnesses testify against the suspects, he says, then they should be executed.


Exactly what unleashed the recent wave of violence is unclear.


Some — including Hassan, the middle-age gay man — trace the terror to a birthday party around New Year's at a cafe on Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad.


The party attracted about 20 gay men who cut loose on the dance floor, celebrating what they thought was their freedom in a more peaceful, stable Iraq. A video of the revelry was entitled Gay Scandal and distributed around the city.


"This was the start of it," Hassan says. "It made the ministry people crazy."
In London, activist Hili calls the party "a foolish action from members of our community who let their guard down."


However, he doesn't believe the party "was the spark that ignited all the flames."
Hili says the violence started earlier, with clerical fatwas against gays and police raids in December in Najaf, Karbala and Kut.


The search for safety


Unable to trust the authorities — and in some cases shunned by their own families — many Iraqi gays have gone into hiding. Hassan and some gay friends say they had found refuge in a house in Karrada. But as the threat against them increased, they became afraid the police would find them. So they scattered.


Hassan says he sometimes stays at home with his brothers — their parents are dead — but he's afraid even of them, afraid they will kill him because he has brought shame to the family.
He says he wanted to move in with his sister, who lives in Abu Dhabi. She turned him away, saying she didn't want her children to know they have a gay uncle.
Unwilling to trust the police, Iraqi LGBT has set up its own safe houses for gays in Iraq. The group has struggled to raise money and had to close three safe houses in the past couple of months, leaving just one open.


Hili says five safe houses are needed, each of them housing 10 to 12 gay refugees. Rent for a 2,150-square-foot safe house is usually $600 a month. Yet other expenses pile up: security guards, food, fuel, medical bills, pots and pans, bedding.


"We desperately need to add more because we have so many urgent cases," Hili says. "We receive requests for shelter every day, but are not able to help."


Things were better for gays, Hassan says, under the dictatorial rule of Saddam Hussein.
"In the Saddam era, it wasn't like this," he says. Saddam's security forces, offended by Hassan's openly gay lifestyle, once arrested him and hauled him to court. The judge let him go, ruling that he had done nothing wrong.


"Now, you don't know who to be afraid of," he says. "Forget about freedom or democracy. We just want our safety."

IRAQI LGBT 2009-04-08 11:11:00

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8 April 2009

Iraq’s Newly Open Gays Face Scorn and Murder


BAGHDAD — The relative freedom of a newly democratic Iraq and the recent improvement in security have allowed a gay subculture to flourish here. The response has been swift and deadly.

In the past two months, the bodies of as many as 25 boys and men suspected of being gay have turned up in the huge Shiite enclave of Sadr City, the police and friends of the dead say. Most have been shot, some multiple times. Several have been found with the word “pervert? in Arabic on notes attached to their bodies, the police said.

“Three of my closest friends have been killed during the past two weeks alone,? said Basim, 23, a hairdresser. “They had been planning to go to a cafe away from Sadr City because we don’t feel safe here, but they killed them on the way. I had planned to go with them, but fortunately I didn’t.?
Basim, who preferred to be called “Basima? — the feminine version of his name — wears his hair long for Iraq. It falls to just below the ear. His ears are pierced, uncommon for Iraqi males. White makeup covers his face, a popular look for gay men in Sadr City who say they prefer light skin.
Though risky, his look is one result of the overall calm here that has allowed Iraqis to enjoy freedoms unthinkable two years ago: A growing number of women walk the streets unveiled, a few even daring to wear dresses above the knee. Families gather in parks for cookouts, and more people have begun to venture out at night.

But that has not changed the reality that Iraq remains religious, conservative — and still violent. The killers, the police say, are not just Shiite death squads, but also tribal and family members shamed by their gay relatives. (And the recent spate of violence has seemed aimed at more openly gay men, rather than homosexuality generally.)

Clerics in Sadr City have urged followers to help root out homosexuality in Iraqi society, and the police have begun their own crackdown on gay men.
“Homosexuality is against the law,? said Lt. Muthana Shaad, at a police station in the Karada district, a neighborhood that has become popular with gay men. “And it’s disgusting.?

For the past four months, he said, officers have been engaged in a “campaign to clean up the streets and get the beggars and homosexuals off them.?

Gay men, he said, can be arrested only if they are seen engaging in sex, but the police try to drive them away. “These people, we make sure they can’t get together in a coffee shop or walk together in the street — we make them break up,? he said.

Gay men and lesbians in Iraq have long been among the targets of both Shiite and Sunni death squads, but their murders have been overshadowed by the hundreds of overall weekly casualties during the height of sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007.

In 2005, the country’s most influential Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a religious decree that said gay men and lesbians should be “punished, in fact, killed.? He added, “The people should be killed in the worst, most severe way of killing.? The language has since been removed from his Web site.

In recent months, groups of gay men have been taking greater chances, gathering in cafes and other public places in Baghdad, Basra, Najaf and other cities. On a recent night in Sadr City, several, their hair parted down the middle, talked as they quietly sipped tea at a garishly lighted cafe, oblivious to the stares of passers-by.

Basim, who would not give his last name out of fear for his safety, said he knew at least 20 young men from Sadr City’s large but hidden gay community who had disappeared during the past two months. He said he had learned later that each was found dead. After three of his friends were killed, he stayed inside his house for a week. Recently he has begun to go out again.

“I can’t stay at home all day,? he said. “I need to see my friends.?
Publicly, the Iraqi police have acknowledged only the deaths of six gay men in the neighborhood. But privately, police officials say the figure is far higher.

The chief of a Sadr City police station, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak to reporters, said family members had probably committed most of the Sadr City killings. He played down the role of death squads that had once been associated with the Mahdi Army, the militia that controlled Sadr City until American and Iraqi forces dislodged them last spring.

“Our investigation has found that these incidents are being committed by relatives of the gays — not just because of the militias,? he said. “They are killing them because it is a shame on the family.?

He said families typically refused to cooperate with the investigation or even to claim the bodies. No arrests have been made in the killings.
At the same time, though, clerics associated with Moktada al-Sadr, an anti-American cleric with significant influence in Sadr City, have devoted a portion of Friday Prayer services to inveighing against homosexuality.

“The community should be purified from such delinquent behavior like stealing, lying and the effeminacy phenomenon among men,? Sheik Jassem al-Mutairi said during his sermon last Friday. Homosexuality, he said, was “far from manhood and honesty.?

Abu Muhaned al-Diraji, a Sadrist official in Sadr City, said the clerics were in no way encouraging people to kill gay men.

“All we are doing is giving advice to people to take care of their sons,? Mr. Diraji said. He acknowledged, however, that some of the killing had been committed by members of “special groups,? or death squads.

“In general, it is the families that are killing the gay son, but I know that there are gunmen involved in this, too,? he said. “But we disavow anybody committing this kind of crime and we encourage the people to follow the law.?

In addition to the killings, a Sadr City cafe frequented by gay men recently burned down under mysterious circumstances.

Some young gay men in Sadr City have become nihilistic about the ever present threat.

“I don’t care about the militias anymore, because they’re going to kill me anyway — today, tomorrow or the day after,? said a man named Sa’ad, who has been taking estrogen and has developed small breasts. “I hate my community and my relatives. If they had their way, the result would be one gunshot.?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/world/middleeast/08gay.html?hp

Friends can send Donations to IRAQI LGBT: The immediate urgent priority is to Support and Donate Money to LGBT activists in Iraq in order to assist their efforts to help other Lesbians, Gay, Bisexuals and Trans gender Iraqi's facing death, persecution and systematic Targeting by the Iraqi Police and Badr and Sadr Militia and to raise awareness about the wave of homophobic murders in Iraq to the outside world. Funds raised will also help provide LGBTs under threat of killing with refuge in the safer parts of Iraq (including safe houses, food, electricity, medical help) and assist efforts help them seek refuge in neighbouring countries.

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URGENT – Iraq: Letter From a Member of Iraqi LGBT who Pleads for Help “Before It’s Too Late?

Comments Off on URGENT – Iraq: Letter From a Member of Iraqi LGBT who Pleads for Help “Before It’s Too Late?
7 April 2009
Is there anyone to help me before it’s too late? That is the question asked by a member of Iraqi-LGBT in Baghdad, who says he is to be executed, in a letter released at the weekend by Iraqi-LGBT in London.

The handwritten letter in Arabic was received by the group in London last week, the writer claiming that he has received the death sentence for belonging to Iraqi-LGBT – a banned organisation in the country.

Releasing the letter to UK Gay News, Iraqi-LGBT requested independent translation – and this was done by two separate translators in the USA.

“We are confident that the letter is genuine,? Ali Hili said, adding that the name on the letter is known to him.

“I have known this person for the past 18 months,? he said.

“At the moment, we think that there are five gays among the 128 people who are reported to be awaiting execution,? Mr. Hili said.

And he added that while the Ministry of Interior is officially denying that there are five people sentenced to death for having contact with Iraqi-LGBT, he has spoken to someone in the Ministry who has confirmed the five death sentences.

In the letter released by Iraqi-LGBT in London, the writer claims that at his court case he was not permitted to defend himself, or even get legal representation.

It is virtually impossible to check on the authenticity of the letter, which translated into English, with names and an address removed, says:

Call for help.

“My name is [name and address removed], Baghdad, Iraq.

I was detained at my residence December 15, 2008 after midnight, by the Ministry of Interior.

During the detention process, they hit me on the head and my rear end to make me confess that I am a member of the Iraqi-LGBT.

Later on the Ministry of Interior transferred me to the criminal justice court in al Karkh, and after a short trial I was sentenced to death.

I was sentenced without given the chance to defend myself or to hire an attorney. Two days later I was returned to the same place and was told that the execution will take place in two weeks.

Please pass this message to [my friend] in London. I just wish to tell him not to forget about my mother and siblings, I was their only supporter.

I am all hopeful that Allah will show Iraqis a life with no death sentences.
And lastly, I ask you for help.

Is there anyone to help me before it is too late??
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