NY Times: 25 Gay Iraqis Murdered In Past Two Months

Jim Burroway

April 8th, 2009

Last week, we received reports that six suspected gay men were found murdered in Iraq in one week. The New York Times is now reporting that those six were just the tip of the iceberg:

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.”

One cafe popular with gay men in Sadr City has been torched.

Police blame the killings on tribal and family members who are shamed by their gay relatives, and it’s believed that they are being aided by Shi’ite death squads. But it also appears that police aren’t exactly helping the situation:

“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.

In 2005, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most influential Shi’ite leader, issued a fatwah that said gay men and lesbians should be “killed in the worst, most severe way of killing.”

Joel

April 8th, 2009

For these proclaimed people of faith, the muslims, that promulgate their religion as peace and literal interpretation, is just goes to show what this really means.

In this cultural war where one of the controversial and most covered news are gays. Where the news are supposed to give more emphasis on these subjects… it annoys and sadens me that this will not be headline news. Instead, you see in bold, jesus-blood print, a ‘VERY’ important headline, “Less People Are Self-Proclaimed Christian”.

I truly beleive that when ppl are tortured and beaten on the basis of ‘ew gross’ or ‘God said so’, it does help to further the gay cause in any progressive country, like to me, is the US.

David C.

April 8th, 2009

Islam is worse than Christianity where it comes to just about anything perceived to be a “sin”. The US occupation of Iraq has struggled mightily just to bring the two major streams of Islam in Iraq close enough to form a stable government. I doubt that in the remaining 18 months or so if any US influence is going to change how Islam in any flavor will treat gay people.

Perhaps in time, given a measure of stability, widely available education, and economic opportunity, the people of Iraq will get beyond enough of the evil manifestations of Islam to at least stop their persecution of gay people, starting with families accepting their gay children instead of being “shamed” by them.

Attmay

April 8th, 2009

And since homosexuality was criminalized in 2001, you can’t blame this on Bush.

It will take generations to weed out the anti-gay bigotry in what passes for Iraqi culture. Since this pseudo-country will probably collapse after we leave, that’s not enough time.

James

April 8th, 2009

Sistani was likely urging the death penalty for adult men penetrating underage youths. See Juan Cole’s discussion of this at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/03/18/18087751.php?show_comments=1. Or google “Sistani on homosexuality.”

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