Galloway’s Iranian propaganda?

FULL TEXT HERE

The Respect MP has turned on supporters of gay rights in Iran and falsely accused us of war-mongering

By Peter Tatchell

The Guardian – Comment Is Free – 26 March 2008

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/peter_tatchell/2008/03/galloways_iranian_propaganda.html

Left-wing Respect MP George Galloway has been accused of making allegations that border on paedophile smears and play to homophobic prejudice. He claims that the boyfriend of gay Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi was executed for “committing sex crimes against young men.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/a-life-or-death-decision-792058.html

The insinuation of such a claim is that Mehdi’s boyfriend was a rapist or a child sex abuser. It also stigmatises Medhi with the shame that he was the partner of someone who committed sexual assaults on male youths. He may now suffer with this stigma when he is returned to the UK and could face considerable personal hostility from people who have heard and believe these allegations against his boyfriend. Mr Galloway made his astonishing allegation on The Wright Stuff programme on Channel 5 television.

At the anti-war protest in London on 15 March, which I supported and attended, Mr Galloway repeated these claims in his keynote speech. He said the “khaki war machine now has its pink contingent.” He went on to imply that people who support gay rights in Iran are “useful idiots” and said their aim is to “bamboozle the public to go along with mass murder in Iran.”

It is untrue and deeply offensive to suggest that those of us who oppose homophobic persecution in Iran are backing the bombing and invasion of Iran. We are not. I am on record in my writings and speeches as opposing an attack on Iran. When, for example, I exposed Tehran’s racist and neo-colonial persecution of its Ahwazi Arab ethnic minority, I stated categorically: “I am part of a new campaign group, Hands Off the People of Iran (HOPI).

http://www.hopoi.org/

“HOPI opposes both a US war on Iran and the tyranny of the Iranian regime. My motto is: Neither Washington nor Tehran! “A war against Iran would be another disastrous neo-imperial adventure, which would strengthen the Tehran dictatorship. President Ahmadinejad would play the patriot and manipulate nationalism to rally the population behind him. He would use a US military attack as an excuse to further crack down on dissent in the name of safeguarding national security. “The overthrow of the theocratic police state by the Iranian people – not by US military intervention – is the best way to resolve the nuclear crisis and prevent a needless, unjustified war. With no dictatorship in Tehran, President Bush and the neo cons would lose the rationale for a military strike against Iran.”

FULL TEXT HERE




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