From Iran to New Iraq, Ayatollahs Are Murderers of Homosexuals: Massive Crimes Against Humanity Are Committed by the Pro-Iranian Iraqi Government Installed by the Amerikan Occupation and Its Sectarian Militias
Iran, Iraq and that gay-hunt the Left keeps ignoring, The Cat’s Blog
By Gabriele Zamparini
From Iran to New Iraq
The horror Amerika brought to New Iraq has outshined the Third Reich’s. This is true for all Iraqis and particularly for Iraqi homosexuals, the most vulnerable and targeted community in New Iraq.
“The U.S, and other allied forces are doing nothing to stop the massacres of any ordinary Iraqi, not to mention the homosexuals, the most unpopular portion of Iraqi society under the new evil regime” recently said Ali Hili, a 34-year-old Iraqi exile now living in London.
Hili, who launched Iraqi LGBT in late 2005 “after hearing about the killing of so many of my friends”, also said: “Homosexuality was generally tolerated under Saddam. There certainly was no danger of gay people being assassinated in the street by police. Since his overthrow, the violent persecution of gays and lesbians is commonplace. Life in Iraq now is hell for all LGBT people; no one can be openly gay and alive.”
Long-time human rights activist Peter Tatchell wrote last year:
Two militias are doing most of the killing. They are the armed wings of major parties in the Bush and Blair-backed Iraqi government. Madhi is the militia of Muqtada al-Sadr, and Badr is the militia of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which is the leading political force in Baghdad’s government coalition. Both militias want to establish an Iranian-style religious dictatorship – or worse. Some of the anti-war left in Britain and the US support Muqtada al-Sadr, despite his goal of clerical fascism and his militia’s involvement in death squad killings. They hail him as a national resistance hero for fighting the US and UK occupation of Iraq; totally ignoring his militia’s sectarian murder of innocent Sunni Muslims, women and gay people. The allied occupation of Iraq is bad enough. But victory for the Madhi or Badr militias would result in a reign of religious terror many times worse. The execution of lesbian and gay Iraqis by Islamist death squads and militias is symptomatic of the fate that will befall all Iraqis if the fundamentalists continue to gain influence. The summary killing of queers is the canary in the mine – a warning of the barbarism to come (…) while Saddam was in power, discrete homosexuality was usually tolerated. There was certainly no danger of gay people being assassinated in the street by religious fanatics. Since his overthrow, the violent persecution of lesbians and gays is commonplace. It is actively encouraged by Iraq’s leading Muslim cleric, the British and US-backed Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. In late 2005, he issued a fatwa ordering the execution of gay Iraqis. His followers in the Islamist militias are now systematically assassinating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as indicated by the following sample reports received from my clandestine Iraqi LGBT activist contacts inside Iraq… (Read more here)
The violence against Iraqi homosexuals has also been denounced by the United Nations. A Human Rights Report of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) released in January reads:
Armed Islamic groups and militias have been known to be particularly hostile towards homosexuals, frequently and openly engaging in violent campaigns against them. There have been a number of assassinations of homosexuals in Iraq. (…) HRO [UNAMI Human Rights Office] was also alerted to the existence of religious courts, supervised by clerics, where homosexuals allegedly would be “tried,” “sentenced” to death and then executed.
About these “religious courts”, a note in the UN Report explains:
According to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, “the trials, presided over by young inexperienced clerics, are held (…) in ordinary halls. Gays and rapists face anything from 40 lashes to the death penalty.(…) One of the self-appointed judges in Sadr City, believes that homosexuality is on the wane in Iraq. “Most [gays] have been killed and others have fled,” he said. Indeed, the number who’ve sought asylum in the UK has risen noticeably over the last few months. (…) He insists the religious courts have a lot to be proud of, “We now represent a society that asked us to protect it not only from thieves and terrorists but also from these [bad] deeds.” Institute for War and Peace Reporting: Baghdad Gays Fear for Their Lives (20 October 2006), (http://www.iwpr.net)
The UN Report continues:
According to the Iraqi LGBT society, twenty-six of their members have been killed since 2003. This include the murders in 2006 of two minors, eleven-year-old Ameer and fourteen-year-old Ahmed, because of their alleged sexual orientation even though both were reportedly forced into child prostitution. Another two young women were murdered in Najaf also because of their allegedly sexual orientation. Allegedly, three Fatwas would have been issued by Islamic clerics authorising “good Muslims” to hunt and kill homosexuals.”
Independent journalist and long-time human rights activist Doug Ireland reported in January:
“The Badr Corps – the military arm of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the country’s most powerful Shiite political group – launched a campaign of “sexual cleansing,” marshaling death squads to exterminate homosexuality, following a “death to gays” fatwa issued in October 2005 by the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the 77-year-old chief spiritual leader of all Iraqi Shia Muslims, to whom the SCIRI and the Badr Corps owe total allegiance. Late last year, the Badr Corps – whose members up until then had been paid their salaries by Iran – was integrated into the Iraqi national police under the Ministry of the Interior, and its death squad members now have full police powers and wear police uniforms, which they don to carry out murders of gays. Death squads of the Mahdi Army, the armed militia under the control of fundamentalist Shia cleric Moqtada al Sadr, have also carried out assassinations of gays.”
Persecuted by the new regime installed by the Amerikan Occupation and supported by the Iranian theocracy, Iraqi homosexuals can be persecuted, tortured and killed openly and freely in New Iraq.
Disgracefully too many Western minds, both pro and against the war, have this queer idea that this is the norm in Middle East countries. The pro-war nuts tell us that we cannot blame the US-led war of aggression against Iraq for causing this horror against Iraq’s homosexuals; as the many other horrors in New Iraq, we are told Iraqis, their culture and their sectarianism are to blame. The anti-war folks instead tell us that we can blame neither New Iraq’s sectarianism nor Iran for its nefarious role in New Iraq; we are told these horrors are exaggerated and in any case we must understand a different culture without demonizing it.
I believe all these arguments – when not the fruit of homophobia, still very present among us, even in the so-called “Left” – are the result of hypocrisy and racism, both when they come from the pro-war side and when they come from well-intentioned anti-war folks.
First of all, the horror Iraqi homosexuals have been forced to live is not the norm in Middle East countries and certainly it was not the norm in pre-invaded and pre-occupied Iraq. That horror stems directly from the supreme international crime, the war of aggression waged by Amerika and its allies.
“The US has unleashed bloodshed in Iraq that is rarely known even in countries we think of as violent and torn by civil strife. It is amazing to think that this has occurred in what was only recently a liberal and civilized country by the region’s standards. This was a country that had a problem with immigration, particularly among the well-educated and talented classes. They went to Iraq because it was the closest Arab proxy to Western-style society that one could find in the area. It was the US that turned this country into a killing field”, wrote this past September Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., the president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a research and educational center of classical liberalism, libertarian political theory, and the Austrian School of economics.
Now the mass murderers of the Badr Corps and the Mahdi Army, responsible of huge crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing against the Iraqi people, are the Amerika’s New Iraq’s “security forces”. As for the puppet, sectarian New Iraqi government, both the Badr Corps and the Mahdi Army have the full support of Iran, whose fanatic regime likes to see homosexuals tortured and hanged.
The Iranian connection to the many horrors inflicted upon the Iraqi people is indeed the Grand Taboo in many quarters on the “Left” and within what is known as “the anti-war movement”. Besides the guilty ignorance, the immoral denials, the hypocritical justifications and the opportunistic explanations of activists and intellectuals who prefer to close both their eyes or to look through the deforming lenses of their arrogance or indifference, there is one argument that instead deserves much more serious consideration.
This argument warns us that we must be very careful not to play into the warmongers’ hands and fall in the human rights trap now that Iran would be under Amerika’s military threat. This is a very serious argument and certainly human rights have been used to sell wars, imperialism and colonialism to the Western audiences, from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan and Iraq, from the White House to Human Rights Watch.
But can this argument justify the silence over ethnic cleansing and massive crimes against humanity committed by the pro-Iranian Iraqi government installed by the Amerikan occupation and its sectarian militias, the Badr Corps and the Mahdi Army, supported, trained and funded by Iran? Can this argument justify the silence over the devastating role Iran has had in the annihilation of Iraq? Should we ignore the many cries for help coming from Iraq? Should we ignore the truth?
Not only have many on the so-called “Left” and in what is known as the “anti-war movement” been ignoring those cries, lying and spreading conspiracy theories on the responsibilities of heinous crimes, denigrating those few people within the movement who have been trying to highlight the truth from the beginning, they have also been actively supporting the pro-Iranian factions within Iraq responsible for those heinous crimes. In most cases, the result has been to hijack the Left and the anti-war movement toward a sectarian direction, spreading propaganda and helping the infamous Amerikan project known as the “political process”. Influential intellectuals, activists and “anti-war” organizations have contributed to manufacture this consent around the New Iraq, its Quisling government and those sectarian militias responsible, together with the Amerikan occupation, for reducing Iraq into a wilderness.