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Iraq Anti-Gay Torture, Murders Continue

Jim Burroway

April 26th, 2009

We reported earlier about that at least 25 men who were suspected of being gay have been murdered in Baghdad’s Shi’ite enclave of Sadr City. Most of those murdered have the hallmarks of an honor killing by members of the men’s clans. That campaign is continuing, according to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC):

…[A]n Iraqi group identified as “Fazilat” (Virtue) posted flyers threatening homosexuals with death on walls in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad. The flyers, distributed on April 17, list the names of some of the would-be targets and states that “we will soon punish all you perverts.” Residents of Sadr City say the people who were outed in these fliers have gone into hiding.

The IGLHRC has written a letter to the Iraqi Minister of Human Rights, Wijdan Salim, asking for protection of Iraq’s LGBT population. Amnesty International is writing to Iraq President Nouri al-Maliki, demanding “urgent and concerted action” to stop the killings.

An Arab news source reports that an Iraqi LGBT activist alleges Iraqi militia groups have devised a particularly gruesome torture involving a very strong glue:

According to her, the new substance “is known as the Ameri gum, which is an Iranian-manufactured glue that if applied to the skin, sticks to it and can only be removed by surgery. After they glue the anuses of homosexuals, they give them a drink that causes diarrhea. Since the anus is closed, the diarrhea causes death. Videos of this form of torture are being distributed on mobile cellphones in Iraq.”

The source reports that sixty-three have been tortured in this way. Some survived after being treated, but others were taken to hospitals which refused treatment. She also said that Sunni’s are also answering calls from religious leaders for the “eradication” of LGBT people from Iraq.

Here in the U.S., Congressman Jared Polis (D-Co) has asked the US State Department to investigate. He had recently returned from a visit to Baghdad where he brought up the killings with the chargé d’affaires, including allegations that the Iraqi government is complicit in some of the killings.

According to Polis, the Iraqi governenment has arrested five or six members of the advocacy group Iraqi LGBT. One reportedly has escaped custody and one has been executed. Polis describes these “egregious human rights violations” as being carried out with the sanction of the “highest levels of the Iraqi government.”

Comments

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AJD
April 26th, 2009 | LINK

I’m sorry if this is ethnocentric, but there is something seriously dysfunctional about Islamic cultures. Only a culture that upholds antisocial personality disorder as one of the highest virtues would have people sharing videos of innocent men being forcibly given a diarrhea-inducing drink with their anuses glued shut.

I was against the war in Iraq, and I still am, but I can’t help thinking that the neocons had a point. The Fertile Crescent may have been the earliest birthplace of civilization, but it looks like civilization moved out of there a long time ago.

Bruno
April 26th, 2009 | LINK

Barack Obama included “homophobia” in his speech at the Holocaust Museum the other day. Homophobia is the fear of treating gays equal to yourself. If one doesn’t believe in marriage rights for same-sex couples, isn’t one by definition homophobic? Obama has learned that taking a loose stand against the amorphous concept of “homophobia” helps him. Taking a hard stand against anyone’s actual homophobia hurts him.

The silence outside of LGBT blogs on the issue of the tortures and murders of Iraqi gays is deafening, with Obama and Clinton taking the lead on this silence.

JJQR
April 26th, 2009 | LINK

AJD : I think your summation of the Fertile Crescent area is spot on. But most politically-correct gays will tell us we’ve got “colonialist” attitudes if we criticize non-Western culures, so…

Timothy Kincaid
April 26th, 2009 | LINK

JJQR,

If you want to battle “politically-correct gays”, you will have to do it elsewhere. No one at this site has mentioned colonialist attitudes so your strawman argument is not welcome.

Andrew Conte
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

What is going on in Iraq and other Islamic countries is atrocious. But, we do need to clean our own house out first before we start cleaning out others. We have a president who does not believe in equality. Separate but equal did not work for his ancestors and it is not working for the gay community. We are far from what is happening in Iraq. We are also far from what is happening in Canada, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, South Africa, Norway. The United States is not a leader.

jim
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

I got as far as the mention of the word “clan” and realized that we’re talking about cavemen, not normal people.

AJD
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Andrew,

It’s true we’re not a leader — far from it — but we’re the ones who invaded Iraq and threw it into disarray in the first place. Gay people were by no means tolerated under Saddam Hussein, but they were able to live in relative safety.

Islam has a rotten core that is causing people to behave in this way, but we bear a lot of responsibility for what’s happening in Iraq as well. It should come as no surprise that after we overthrew an evil but nevertheless secular leader, the mullahs would step in to fill the power vacuum.

Priya Lynn
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Andrew, the highest priority should not be those closest to you but those in the greatest need. The gays in Iraq are in fare more dire need of help than the gays in the U.S. Have some humanity.

Andrew Conte
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

AJD, you made my point exactly. We are not a leader. We were there for oil and control. Priya, where did I show that I have no humanity. What I was saying is that our attitudes toward gays in this country is far from stellar. It is rather hypocritical to tell someone else they are wrong, when you are wrong too.

Priya Lynn
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Andrew, the U.S. is not anywhere near as wrong as Iraq is. What you’re suggesting is that someone who is 10lb overweight cannot suggest to someone who is 200lb overweight that they should drop a few pounds.

Andrew Conte
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

priya, Not sure I agree with your comparison. Every day an LGBT is murdered at the hands of a homophobe. The suicide rate for LGBT youth is much higher than the general population. We have kids bullied and beaten at schools every day while teachers and guidance counselors and principals do nothing. A boy just recently hanged himself in Massachusetts. The mother tried to intervene in the school but to no avail. If we were to use your comparison, I might say that it would be like a 100 pound overweight person telling a 200 pound person to lose weight. We have a long way to go. AND, we created the mess in Iraq to begin with. If we had taken the trillion dollars spent and put it to use here, our problems might not be as great. The U.S. is a bully and many in this nation condone bullying in all forms. You clean up your own house first.

Priya Lynn
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Andrew, not even remotely the same thing. I doubt your suggestion that every day in the U.S. an LGBT is murdered at the hands of a homophobe – any statistics to back that up? In any event the few murders of American LGBTs aren’t being widely sanctioned by the government and the community and the level of torture and murder in Iraq is much much higher than it is in the U.S. I’m sure if you asked any American or Iraqi LGBT where they’d prefer to take their chances, in Iraq or in the U.S. you’d find the U.S. the overwhelming choice.

I don’t at all buy the idea that one must be perfect before one can suggests improvements to others. If that were the case no one would ever encourage better behavior in anyone else, the justice system would let murderers go because god knows every member of it is imperfect and probably some of them even told lies at some point or spoke harshly to their children.

I find your humanity lacking when you suggest looking the other way to what is going on in Iraq. People can walk and chew gum at the same time. Pressure can be brought upon the Iraqi government to improve the situation there while at the same time working to improve things in the U.S. If you want a perfect U.S. before encouraging improvements in Iraq you’ll turn your back on those atrocities forever. Saying (falsely) “where almost as bad” and doing nothing is cooperating with evil.

JJQR
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Oh, sorry Timmy Kincaid. I didn’t realize we’re only allowed to criticize those who have posted their own views right here on BTB.

Peter LaBarbera Wants To Kill Gay People « Queer Hatred
January 22nd, 2010 | LINK

[…] so Peter doesn’t want to see gay people tortured with electric drills and surgical glues before they are killed. Good to know. But other than that, what does he […]

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