More homo-hating horror out of war torn Iraq. Gay activist group Iraqi LGBT confirms that anti-gay militias on both sides of the religious divide have launched a fresh campaign against queers. Doug Ireland writes for Gay City News:
Mustafa, 26, was a well-known gay man in his neighborhood in the city of Najaf, south of Baghdad, who went out for a walk with a friend to shop for clothes. Mustafa was stopped and arrested by the local militia of the Badr Corps – the armed branch of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which is the largest Shia political formation in Iraq.
In the small Southern Iraqi town of al-Simawa – a stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi army, which has also deployed anti-gay death squads – two gay friends, aged 29 and 30, received death threats targeting their homosexuality. Within a few days, the two young men were assassinated.
The Shia forces also killed a 17-year old boy named Ali.
The new wave of violence comes only two weeks after two boys, Ahmed and Zaid, were kidnapped and subsequently released by two Mahdi Army officers. Iraqi LGBT’s director, Ali Hili, estimates that at least 400 gays have been killed since October, 2005, when Shia spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa against the fagalas. Despite these nauseating numbers, American forces continue to ignore the issue, which only perpetuates the nausea.
Iraqi LGBT’s ‘s security efforts have collapsed in recent months, largely due to lack of international support, says Hili, who lives in London:
We often feel let down by the gay community in the West. We need help to protect our friends and save lives. We need money for the safe-houses, food, electricity, security protections, clothing, and to help pay the phone bills of members of the Iraqi LGBT group so we can continue to report these murders and kidnappings.
We are also paying for medication for our members in Iraq who are HIV-positive – otherwise, they will get no treatment. If it is discovered they have HIV, they will surely be killed.
In these hard times for gay Iraqis, the whole worldwide LGBT community should stand up for the rights of Iraqi LGBTs, and support these victims of sexual cleansing in Iraq.
Those of you looking to lend a hand can donate on Iraqi LGBT’s website. Those of you who don’t want to help should consider spending the money on a soul.