Gays in Iraq terrorized by threats, rape, murder

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    Jul 24, 2008 3:53 PM GMT
    Story Highlights

    Gay Iraqi describes being raped for 15 days by gunmen at 16

    He says he never told his family: "I could not say it, it's too much shame"

    Expert: Homosexuality is seen as a "Western import," grounds for brutality

    Another gay Iraqi says he'd commit suicide before telling his family he is gay

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/07/24/gay.iraqis/index.html

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    Jul 24, 2008 4:02 PM GMT
    Thanks, Daddy C5K! I always worry for my Iraqi friends there who used to live here.
  • fitnfunmich

    Posts: 181

    Jul 24, 2008 5:09 PM GMT
    Hey Zim: How is it for homos in Dubai? I have heard you have to be SERIOUSLY closeted to survive there. True? Always thought it would be an interesting place to visit, but the whole Islam-homo-paranoia thing freaks me out.
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    Jul 24, 2008 5:28 PM GMT
    Just last night I watched a "you tube" piece on prison rape and the psychology behind it.

    According to the guy doing the piece it stems more from mysogeny than homophobia. The rapists don't consider themselves gay and the victim is seen as less than a man for being "turned out". This situation in Iraq looks similar.

    In the "Epic of Gilgamesh" this topic presents itself too. That was all about Iraq, back in the day when civilization was just getting started. They had to deal with male female roles changing from hunter gatherer roles to that of a stationary agrarian civilization, which then gave rise to industry.

    Making a leap to Don't Ask Don't Tell, I think it would be a great psychological wake-up call for muslim culture if they knew that gay and especially lesbian American soldiers and marines were part of the force that could so easily invade and occupy them. It would rip into the soul of their perception of manhood. That would be another great reason to allow us to serve openly.
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    Jul 24, 2008 5:34 PM GMT
    Of course its a western import so is shagging sheep and goats?
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    Jul 24, 2008 5:37 PM GMT
    Wow, I so get to bust out part of my thesis!icon_biggrin.gif

    There was a psychologist from Martinique by the name of Franz Fanon who did studies of male sexuality in post-colonial countries. Invariably he found that there was a strong belief that homosexuality is a Western phenomenon; even in Martinique where burlesque weddings are commonplace and a man might have sex with other men, the idea is that men are still men.

    Adding 'homosexual' or 'gay' is seen as adding a qualifier which makes a man less-than a man. In post-colonial cultures, rejecting the 'Western' idea of homosexuality is seen as rejecting being defined by the colonizer and/or former/current colonial power-- as in the case of Iraq. It's a way of saying, 'Our men are real men-- not like your men.' It's an essentially homophobic argument and not one that is really logical at all, but it's why gay men in Iraq are seen as 'terrorists'-- colonizing from the inside-- and why there is such homophobia in many post-colonial countries.
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    Jul 24, 2008 6:01 PM GMT
    Well, thanks to George W Bush, the gays in Iraq do not have to worry about be killed by the Saddam regime anymore. And within a few years, as Iraq grows more and more into a democrocy, the gays will have less and less to worry about
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    Jul 24, 2008 6:10 PM GMT
    nycusa05 saidWell, thanks to George W Bush, the gays in Iraq do not have to worry about be killed by the Saddam regime anymore. And within a few years, as Iraq grows more and more into a democrocy, the gays will have less and less to worry about


    Hmm. I think the point of the article was that things have gotten remarkably worse for gay men in Iraq. Whereas before they were ridiculed under Saddam Hussein, now they are EXECUTED in the streets-- not only by lawless militias and death squads but ALSO by the state police force.

    No, I'd say the war has made things much, much worse.
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    Jul 24, 2008 6:14 PM GMT
    OMG, we don't have a Bush SUPPORTER among us do we! GASP! But that's another thread altogether.

    It is sad that these parts of the world still hold on to their homophobic beliefs based in religion but we aren't all in the clear in this country yet and I doubt we will ever see the total end of racists/homophobic voices in our lifetimes. Someday we will all evolve to the point where we realize that we are all of the same spirit and origin and despite our differences we are all basically the same.

    Until then we can keep moving forward step by step. Appreciate where we've come from, relish what we have today and support, however we can, those who do not enjoy the same openness and freedom we do!

    ....and NO THANKS to Mr. Bush, we earned what freedom we have LONG before he came around!

    OBAMA '08
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    Jul 24, 2008 6:16 PM GMT
    actually, Saddam's regime executed and tortured gays and woman. It is much less prevelant now. Iraq is getting better and better each week, month. Like I said..it will take time but within a few years, there will be a full fledged democracy there making it more safe for woman and gays then during the 35 year reign of Saddam as well as more safe for Americans around the world
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    Jul 24, 2008 6:19 PM GMT
    nycusa05 saidactually, Saddam's regime executed and tortured gays and woman. It is much less prevelant now. Iraq is getting better and better each week, month. Like I said..it will take time but within a few years, there will be a full fledged democracy there making it more safe for woman and gays then during the 35 year reign of Saddam as well as more safe for Americans around the world


    Did you read the CNN report at all?

    It's quite clear things have gotten worse. Much worse.
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    Jul 24, 2008 7:49 PM GMT
    london_nyc said
    nycusa05 saidactually, Saddam's regime executed and tortured gays and woman. It is much less prevelant now. Iraq is getting better and better each week, month. Like I said..it will take time but within a few years, there will be a full fledged democracy there making it more safe for woman and gays then during the 35 year reign of Saddam as well as more safe for Americans around the world


    Did you read the CNN report at all?

    It's quite clear things have gotten worse. Much worse.


    Yes, NYC, I agree with London. The report clearly states that under Hussein's regime they were ridiculed, yes, but were still allowed small, private gatherings. Since his downfall, they have to hide all signs of being gay, for fear of torture or even death. Hussein may have murdered and tortured gays, but not to the extent of the terror they are subjected to these days. I'm afraid it is NOT getting better. Not yet anyway.
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    Jul 25, 2008 3:54 PM GMT
    London-NYC, if you rely on television journalism for your info, you are seriously misinformed.

    After retiring from the US Army I went to school to become a television journalist, it isn't the noble profession I thought it was, in fact, it's downright disgusting.

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    Jul 25, 2008 4:06 PM GMT
    John43620 saidLondon-NYC, if you rely on television journalism for your info, you are seriously misinformed.

    After retiring from the US Army I went to school to become a television journalist, it isn't the noble profession I thought it was, in fact, it's downright disgusting.



    Assuming that I rely solely on television journalism to keep informed AND that all journalism is necessarily unreliable is foolhardy.


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    Jul 25, 2008 4:10 PM GMT
    nycusa05 saidWell, thanks to George W Bush, the gays in Iraq do not have to worry about be killed by the Saddam regime anymore. And within a few years, as Iraq grows more and more into a democrocy, the gays will have less and less to worry about

    Hello! ...We are a democracy and gays still have to fear for their lives in parts of the US.

    Democracy does not equate to freedom. A liberal autocrat can guarantee freedoms and liberties better than an oppressive democracy.

    Our democracy has grown decidely more illiberal in the last 50 years. Our freedoms and rights are greatly threatened by the increased democracy of using referendums to decide issues. It may be more democratic, but it can be far less liberal (esp. with an ignorant population like we have today in America...check out the thread I posted on RJ asking to list the 5 rights guaranteed in the First Amendment).


    I refer you all to:

    The Future of Freedom, by Fareed Zakaria
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    Jul 26, 2008 6:05 PM GMT
    Well said Casilon, a liberal autocrat would offer more freedom than a democracy. The tyranny of the majority is very real and we experience it right here in America's LGBT community.

    With that said; this is political science-101 from Plato.

    Ranked as the best form of government is the philosopher king, the liberal autocrat you mentioned.
    However, this can't be stable. Upon the death of the good king, he may be replaced by a bad one and so, the worst form of government humanity can have, a tyrant.

    Ranked next is the Aristocracy, they're usually well educated and would provide for a good kingdom. However, this can break down into an Oligarchy which would have the potential for being as oppressive as the bad king mentioned above, but probably not, not all of them could agree on the degree of oppression they could inflict.

    Ranked next is the Polity, which is basically a democratic (as we define it) institution but one made up of educated liberal minded citizens. The polity devolves to a democracy which is considered the best of the worst. This is most evident in the John Hagee/Rod Parsley types bringing us the tyranny of the majority. But, it could be worse, they don't kill us.

    The Constitution is supposed to ameliorate that tyranny of the majority problem.



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    Jul 26, 2008 6:12 PM GMT
    John, I'm loving you more and more each day. Well said.
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    Jul 26, 2008 6:16 PM GMT
    "Homosexuality as a western import" this is not true at all, we know that but in order to prove it here are some examples; http://www.homoerotimuseum.net/img/museum.jpg

    There are examples of Persian, Chinese, Indian and Japanese art depicting gay men doing what we do today, only, a long time ago. So this isn't just a western concept.

    Whoops, technical difficulty with the URL, BRB.

    OK, try this: http://www.homoerotimuseum.net/img/logo.gif

    Damn!

    How about this? http://www.homoerotimuseum.net/

    Oh good, this one works.







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    Jul 26, 2008 6:27 PM GMT
    I think it's the marketing. Western culture is becoming slightly more liberal about gays, whereas African and West Asian culture continue to demonize it. Plus, the culture of hypocrisy is pretty pervasive (even here in America): it doesn't matter what my dick smells like, if I say I'm not gay, then dammit, I'm not gay!
  • Hunter9

    Posts: 1039

    Jul 26, 2008 6:31 PM GMT
    nycusa05 saidit will take time but within a few years, there will be a full fledged democracy there


    how can you make such a bold statement? while "reports" of violence have been down recently, there is nothing to lead us to believe that the government has any stability and or that a democracy could work there among the factions

    are you a soothseer? do you have some inside information the rest of us are not privy to? if not, you are just full of hot air
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    Jul 26, 2008 6:47 PM GMT
    I think a democracy will emerge; however, I don't think a democracy necessarily bodes well for gays in Iraq. For the culture to change from conservative, dogmatic Islam to a more liberal one will take decades, if not centuries.

    I think the best way to influence a culture is to be a little more of a beacon of prosperity, charity and justice ourselves. Good works like that can win any argument. Warfare and subjugation never does.
  • Tyinstl

    Posts: 353

    Jul 26, 2008 8:39 PM GMT
    Well, at least there are no gays in Iran right? Thanks for clearing that up Mahmoud.
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    Aug 17, 2009 12:25 PM GMT
    This makes me really sad. Today on Yahoo! Canada News an article about:

    Torture and Execution of Iraqi gays on the Rise: HRW

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090817/world/iraq_gay_rights

    BEIRUT (AFP) - Iraqi militias are increasingly torturing and executing men suspected of homosexuality but the authorities in Baghdad are doing nothing to stop the violence, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.

    "This report... documents a campaign of violence against men in Iraq who are suspected of being gay or who simply don't act masculine enough in the eyes of their killers," said Scott Long, director of HRW's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Programme.

    The New-York based group said hundreds of men have been kidnapped, tortured and killed this year in a wave of violence that began in the Sadr City stronghold of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia in Baghdad.

    The report, entitled "'They want us exterminated': Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq'," said it is almost impossible to calculate how many men were killed, but estimated the figure in the hundreds.

    Mahdi Army spokesmen have suggested that violent action was the remedy for the "feminisation" of Iraqi men, according to the report in which survivors are quoted as saying militiamen invade homes and interrogate victims before killing them in order to identify other potential victims.

    HRW said in the report issued in Beirut that Iraqi doctors and morgue employees also have records of grotesque torture marks on the bodies of men, including mutilation and even anuses glued shut.

    Motives for the murders include "fears that Iraqi men's masculinity is under threat," HRW reported.

    It also said some of the murders were so-called honour killings, carried out by victims' family members "because 'unmanly' behaviour threatens the reputation of the family or tribe."

    Some Iraqis interviewed by the rights group charged that in some cases members of the security forces had colluded and even joined in the killing.

    "Iraq?s leaders are supposed to defend all Iraqis, not abandon them to armed agents of hate," Long said.

    "Turning a blind eye to torture and murder threatens the rights and life of every Iraqi."

    One man recounted the night his life partner of 10 years was abducted and killed in April: "It was late one night, and they came to take my partner at his parents' home. Four armed men barged into the house, masked and wearing black.

    "They asked for him by name; they insulted him and took him in front of his parents... He was found in the neighbourhood the day after. They had thrown his corpse in the garbage. His genitals were cut off and a piece of his throat was ripped out."

    The report said men have fled to neighbouring countries, despite consensual homosexual activity being illegal in states such as Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, even though it is not a criminal offence under Iraqi law.

    "Although many militias in Iraq claim to be enforcers of Islamic law, the Human Rights Watch report also shows how the killings -- committed without evidence or trial, on the basis of prejudice and whim -- violate standards in sharia law for legality, proof and privacy," the report said.
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    Aug 17, 2009 3:58 PM GMT
    gansevoort_market saidWow, I so get to bust out part of my thesis!icon_biggrin.gif

    There was a psychologist from Martinique by the name of Franz Fanon who did studies of male sexuality in post-colonial countries. Invariably he found that there was a strong belief that homosexuality is a Western phenomenon; even in Martinique where burlesque weddings are commonplace and a man might have sex with other men, the idea is that men are still men.

    Adding 'homosexual' or 'gay' is seen as adding a qualifier which makes a man less-than a man. In post-colonial cultures, rejecting the 'Western' idea of homosexuality is seen as rejecting being defined by the colonizer and/or former/current colonial power-- as in the case of Iraq. It's a way of saying, 'Our men are real men-- not like your men.' It's an essentially homophobic argument and not one that is really logical at all, but it's why gay men in Iraq are seen as 'terrorists'-- colonizing from the inside-- and why there is such homophobia in many post-colonial countries.


    Admittedly, I've read less Fanon than I probably should, but your thesis sound awesome. Is there any way I can read it?
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 17, 2009 4:26 PM GMT
    Oooh .... let's see

    The wonders of the Iraqi democracy and the legacy of George Herbert walker Bush
    First we have Hundreds of thousands dead from the war itself and the sectarian violence that followed
    We have Millions of people displaced from their homes
    Now we have a full fledged war between the Sunnis and the Shiites
    (Something that Bush had to ASK about when he heard the names)
    Women in Iraq had held jobs they ddin't have to cover themselves like they do in other Arabic countries ... and they had the most freedom in any of the countries around it
    That's taken a backstep
    Gays are in MUCH more danger now because of the Islamic government there is there now
    Under Saddam all he cared about was himself ... gays weren't even on the radar
    I'm sorry but this rewriting of history makes me throw up in my mouth a little icon_confused.gif