Surely all the gay rights activists here in the West are going to vociferously condemn this? Then again, maybe not; after all, doing so might make them appear "closed-minded" and "intolerant" of different cultures -- anathema for all "enlightened" and "progressive" Westerners. More on this story. "Iraqi gay men face 'lives of hell,'" by Jim Muir for the BBC, April 18 (thanks to Alexandre):
Grainy footage taken on a mobile phone and widely distributed around Baghdad shows a terrified young Iraqi boy cowering and whimpering as men with a stick force him to strip, revealing women's underwear beneath his dishdasha (Arab robe).
"Why are you dressed as a girl?" roars one of the men, brandishing his stick as the youth removes his brassiere.
The sobbing boy, who appears to be about 12, tries to explain that his family made him do it to earn money, as they have no other source of income.
The scene, apparently filmed in a police post, reinforced reports of a campaign against gay men in Iraq which activists say has claimed the lives of more than 60 since December.
In the latest manifestation of the campaign, posters have appeared on walls in the poor Shia suburb of Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, listing alleged homosexuals by name and threatening to kill them.
Those named have gone underground, while gay men throughout the city and in some other parts of the country also live in fear.
The phenomenon seems mainly to be affecting Shia neighbourhoods, where a number of clerics have given sermons seen as homophobic incitement.
In Sadr City, Sheikh Jassem al-Mutairi used his Friday sermon to attack what he called "new private practices by some men who dress like women, and are effeminate".
He called on families to prevent their youngsters from following such a lifestyle.
Police sources say that in the past month alone, the bodies of six young men have been found in Sadr City, some with placards labelling them "perverts" or "puppies", the derogatory Iraqi term for gays.
"The campaign started in 2004, but now it's very much worse," said a Baghdad homosexual who goes by the name of Surour. He talked to the BBC on condition of anonymity.
"They kill the gays, they beat them up… I have a lot of friends that have been killed - 15 or 16, something like that, too much."[...]
Gay activists believe the campaign emerged as police, militias and tribes took their cue from the clerics.[...]
A spokesman of the Sadrist movement - followers of the militant young cleric Moqtada Sadr whose Mehdi Army militia used to rule Sadr City - also said that there was nothing in Islam to say that homosexuals should be killed.
A shameful lie (i.e., taqiyya). Islamic law commands the execution of the homosexual. According to one legal manual, Minhaj al-Muslim ("the way of the Muslim"): “Gay people should be thrown head first off high buildings and if not killed on hitting the ground, they should be then stoned to death." Still not convinced? Read on:
But they are being killed, and the Shia militias are among the most oft-cited suspects...