Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Gay Iraqis face torture and murder, report finds

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Horrible, absolutely horrible.

    And yet we have still have people – like the idiotic MEP last week – saying homophobia doesn’t exist anymore.

    Make no mistake, there are many people who would wish death on every gay person.

    We need to be loud and proud and never cease campaigning for FULL equality and presence in EVERY part of society. Do not become complacent and think “oh we have a lot of rights now” – in many, many countries of the world gay people are still imprisoned, tortured – or even killed (mostly in Islamic countries). Theoretically, in the future, our rights could be taken away again much more easily than it was to get them in the first place.

    Do not become complacent. Keep on fighting.

  2. There was a lengthy segment on this appalling situation on this morning’s Today programme, Radio 4, including interviews with several gay men in Iraq, most of whom are currently extremely frightened to leave their homes! The Radio 4 report referred to one young gay man who lived in one of the most select areas of Baghdad simply going down to his local cafe recently . . . and being stabbed to death on the street . . . simply for being known to be gay.

    All of this will resonate and anger all of we gay and lesbian people in the West, but it resonates very strongly with me because I lived in a number of Middle Eastern Islamic countries for some years and I can FEEL the terror and fear that these gay people are enduring at the moment.

    In Egypt I experienced a gay situation which was akin to the secrecy of the underground and of espionage, every movement of gay men dominated by fear of detection by fellow Muslims – not just by Islamic clerics, but by Muslim people amongst whom they lived and moved . . . who might easily pick up the phone to report them at any moment.

    In Saudi Arabia, I had several Saudi gay men, mature men in their late 20s or their 30s, calling me on the phone and weeping, yes weeping, because of some awful hostility or threat they had experienced from family members.

    In Kuwait after the first Gulf War I saw, at a public exhibition that was part of the nation’s healing process, the implements of torture which Iraqis had used upon Kuwaitis whom they believed were gay – crude electrical devices which were strapped around the genitals, broken glass bottles which were forced up their arses, and much more besides.

    In Bahrain, I saw young Filipino and Indian gays being insulted and abused by straight Arab men from both Bahrain and other Arab states – either the victims complied or they were extradited back to their home countries.

    The general hatred of Islam towards gayness and lesbians is absolutely akin to the attitude of the Nazis towards the Jews, the physically and mentally handicapped, and homosexuals during WW2. Wealthy gay Muslims, gay sons or daughters of wealthy families, are often able to escape persecution, but they are the exception. For the average gay Muslim in the Middle East generally, life is intolerable.

    Live and work amongst Muslims (not in safe expat gated communities)in Middle Eastern countries and you will eventually run SCREAMING back to the West. You have to experience the fear to experience the need to escape.

    Most gay and lesbian Westerners have no idea how fortunate we are and have become. But by the same token most people have little idea of the dangers we face by allowing Islam to establish itself as a separate and growing culture within our own. The tolerant Dutch have been horrified by recent Muslim attacks upon gay men in Holland. And various posters on these threads here at PinkNews have rightly told of the homophobia that is compounded in areas this country where there are strong concentrations of Muslims.

    Anyway, our thoughts at the moment must be with our fellow gays and lesbians in Iraq. The UK and US governments have considerable influence in these two countries at the moment. What are they doing about this problem? What can we urge them to do? What are the few organised gay Muslims in this country going to do in support of their brothers and sisters in Iraq? What can we all do TOGETHER to support them?

  3. Excellent and insightful post, Eddy.

    You are, of course, absolutely correct – Islam as a religion and as a culture is extremely homophobic. Holland has indeed experienced homophobic attacks from the rising Muslim youth population. And yet here we still have some gays on the hand-wringing, well-meaning “liberal left-wing PC” lobby saying “multiculturalism is great” and campaigning against “Islamophobia”. The phrase “turkeys voting for Christmas” seems very appropriate.

    I remain convinced that the spread of Islam in the UK is the biggest threat to gay rights and will eventually be the biggest threat to gay people in this country, *IF* work is not started now to root out homophobia from these communities and make it clear to leaders/Imams that it will not be tolerated. “Religion” or “culture” must NOT be allowed to excuse hatred.

    There are further comments on this issue on the article about the homophobic attacks in East London over the last year by asian youths.

    It’s very depressing and tempting to bury our heads in the sand, but we shouldn’t. Peter Tatchell has spoken out about the issue several times and deserves our praise for this, but now other campaigners/funders need to start joining him. Before it’s too late.

  4. John L
    I have been saying for some time that the gains of LGBT people are fragile and can easily be overturned. I think too many people in Europe are taking them for granted and think that they are irreversible.

    These religious groups (all of the Abrahamics) are a great danger to gay people, mentally and physically. They only differ by degree but in general they hate gay people and would prefer them not to upset their religious beliefs, which like women, they do. And they upset them to the very core – hence the hatred for gay people.

    All I can say is: be very very vigilant because there are many powerful groups who would like to see gays down trodden and obliterated.
    Their religious “love cults” do not extend to us – far from it.

  5. Agree with all the other postings; there is some evidence of asian youths causing harrasment in Birmingham’s gay village as well. However, the situation in Iraq is a sad consiquence of going to war without an exit strategy and destabalising an entire nation and wondering why we have had kidnaps, suicide bomn=bers and now this latest craze for killing gay men!!!I hope Mr Blair and Mr Bush are reading these dreadful stories!!!

  6. James Lees 17 Aug 2009, 2:58pm

    What you are all saying is true just now – the religions are most vicious when they know most clearly that they are most wrong (think Gallileo). But we also have to remember David and Jonathan, Saints Sergius and Bacchus, Rumi and Shams, Cardinal Newman and his lover, Brother (name escapes me). Fight on, yes, and love on too.

  7. Robert, ex-pat Brit 17 Aug 2009, 3:38pm

    Now will Jacqui Smith quit denying that this isn’t happening when it comes to deportations, along with a lot of right wingers in the Tory party and their apologists who post here.

    These cults, religions are cults in my view, are the threat to LGBT rights and equality in any country. The C of E, RC cults are no better than the Islamic and other fundamentalist cults either. The former two, if they could get away with it, would like nothing better than to see us marginalized, discriminated against and dehumanized even more than we already are. These are evil organisations for the most part. Karl Marx was so right, “religion” IS the opiate of the people…the insecure and the weak-minded, most of whom are in a permanent state of paranoia. They’ve been at the root of a lot of the unrest in the world as we’re now seeing in the middle and far east. The execution of Iraqi gays is further evidence that religious cults are it again, annihilating anyone that stands in their way for control and power and subjugation of entire nations. These are dangerous, mentally sick people.

  8. Eddy, thank you for your post. Awful, yet good to be aware of these things from someone who’s seen them firsthand.

    It’s sickening what human beings will do other human beings just because they’re different.

  9. James Lees 17 Aug 2009, 5:35pm

    I’m not a Christian or Jewish or a Muslim or any of them. But i used to be a nurse and I’ve worked with nuns, known priests and monks and I’ve got more Jewish and Muslim friends than….you know.
    Violent people will be violent whatever – I don’t remember that religion-free communists were a bunch of daisies! I’ve seen a Muslim cleric in Turkey getting into extreme trouble for preaching love when his parisioners were looking for a bit of incitement. If we don’t want the men and women of violence to keep the upper hand, then we can best start by not becoming one ourselves. If we don’t keep fighting, we’ll lose. If we don’t keep loving, then what was the point in the first place?

  10. Jean-Paul Benthem 17 Aug 2009, 5:41pm

    “One gay man, “Hamid”, told HRW: “The cheapest thing in Iraq is a human being, a human life… They want us exterminated. All the violence and all this hatred: the people who are suffering from it don’t deserve it.”

    This is nothing short of nightmarish. I’ve see Geert Wilders’ DVD and I can’t imagine why it was banned from entering the UK. We need to know these things are happening now – today – to guys very much like you and me.

    EDDY: You know you would be a valuable member of our team because we do plan on becoming more informed on this issue, It would be right right up your alley, and we want to know.

    Do you know how to get in touch with me through the ‘Forum’ called ‘…crackpots…’?

    If not, let me know on the threads, persuming you are interested.

  11. Terry Floyd Johnson 17 Aug 2009, 5:52pm

    What can we do, become more security conscious; learn how to fight back, build a silent army, who will take on these milita, stop being afraid of fighting back, and learning how to control our environments with our intutive talents, skills and abilities.

    We need to become a world wide security force, and fight those who kill our gay/bi/trans friends, neigbors, etc.

    Security and defense; doesn’t mean to kill, but to stop the war against us…peace

  12. Jean-Paul Benthem 17 Aug 2009, 8:32pm

    It seems to me that getting to know one another, forming study group, brinstorming and hooking uo with Human Rights Watch would be as good a place to sart as any. Interested?

  13. Jean-Paul Benthem 17 Aug 2009, 8:33pm

    er,,,brain storming…tehee

  14. James, there is a time for love, a time for peace, a time for anger, and a time for hate. (You’ve heard the song, “To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn, and a time for every purpose, under heaven”.) Right now, with regard to THIS issue, it’s time to be angry and it’s time to hate the people who are killing our brothers and sisters in Iraq. No side ever won against an oppressor by going into the fight with love in their hearts and smiles on their faces.

    Hi, Jean-Paul, will have a look at the Forum area again.

    Where’s Simon these days? Maybe he’s on holiday.

  15. Mihangel apYrs 17 Aug 2009, 10:07pm

    and to think it was safer for our brothers ans sisters under the previous regime. The US and UK went in without a plan, and are too pusilanimous to impose civilised standards.

    I do fear Islam, or at least its current expressions. There is a hateful puritanical creed running through the most vocal sectrs, and these appeal to the uneducated and tribal. Many of the people who are coming to the EU as economic migrants. While the islamification of Europe is exagerated, there is a rise of no-go areas.

    We have to be vigilant that the freedoms and rights we have are defended and implemented through the Union (ie in places like Poland) so that there can be no exceptions made for “religious” reasons,

  16. paul canning 18 Aug 2009, 2:10am

    If you want to practically help send some $$$ the way of ‘Iraqi LGBT’ http://iraqilgbtuk.blogspot.com

    They run safe houses inside Iraq as well as supporting refugees in the rest of the middle east.

    Whilst the HRW report is good news for raising the profile of the pogrom, only Iraqi LGBT is actually supporting people (saving them from murder) inside the country. But funds are scarce and they consequently have to turn people away.

    To find out more, read their annual report which is published on their website.

  17. Eagle Ashcroft 18 Aug 2009, 6:59am

    What can you expect from a bunch of uncivilized towel heads who follow after that whore monger Mohammed? Mohemmed was the biggest pimp and child molester in history and any a-shole dumb enough to follow the teaching of the assholiness coward eats sh-t for breakfast. We should have nuked the bastards. Maybe if we blew up some of their mosques and turned their Koran into toilet paper or fire starter we could rid ourselves of these sh-t heads who haven’t the brains to blow themselves to hell. I’d like to go over to Iraq with a bomber and blow up all their mosques. They are worse than the Christians. But then anyone who believes in fairy tale gods is nuts anyway and are going to be dangerous and unreasonable. What we need in this world is a world wide gay revolution to wipe out these religious a-holes once and for all.

  18. We supposedly invaded Iraq to make them free of a vile dictator and now look at the mess , the killings the torture and murder! We went into Afghnistan to secure democracy and if you see todays news its crazy; selling votes and bribes and everything that is not democratic; how did we (the British) get into theis mess? Mr Blair and Mr Bush of course!!!

  19. Steady on, Eagle! I appreciate how really angry you are, and that anger is absolutely justified . . . but the image of someone wondering around the skies of Iraq dropping “nukes” wherever there is a mosque . . . that is no rational solution.

  20. Donate to the IRAQI LGB PayPal Account: iraqilgbt@yahoo.co.uk.

    Or make a cheque payable to “IRAQI LGBT” and send it to:

    Iraqi Lgbt
    22 Notting Hill Gate
    Unit 111London,
    W11 3JE
    United Kingdom

    Tel: ++44 (0) 79-819 59453
    Email: iraqilgbt@googlemail.com

  21. Donate to the IRAQI LGB PayPal Account: iraqilgbt@yahoo.co.uk.

    Or make a cheque payable to “IRAQI LGBT” and send it to:

    Iraqi Lgbt
    22 Notting Hill Gate
    Unit 111London,
    W11 3JE
    United Kingdom

    Tel: ++44 (0) 79-819 59453
    Email: iraqilgbt@googlemail.com

    AND PASTE THE ABOVE DETAILS AROUND THE INTERNET
    and send to friends.

  22. “most people have little idea of the dangers we face by allowing Islam to establish itself as a separate and growing culture within our own.”

    RACIST! they scream…..

  23. Jen Marcus 18 Aug 2009, 1:40pm

    We in the West have made a real mess of things in the Mideast since W.W.II all stemming from the unresolved issues between the Palestinians and state of Israel and until those questions are finally resolved we will continue to have problems in that part of the world. What compounds the problems are the religious and sectarian differences, rivalries, intolerance and violence between the parties not only internationally between the Mideast nations but within the borders of each respective country. Normally, I do not condone violence but we do have a right and duty to defend ourselves. Since the Allied Coalition Forces exacerbated this mess and seemingly cannot, or will not, protect and defend us and given the international warfare and sectarian violence that already exists within most of the countries in the region, I think we have no choice but to a page from Che’ Guevera’s playback and engage in guerrilla warfare against those that wish and do us harm.

  24. Jen Marcus 18 Aug 2009, 4:10pm

    POST SCRIPT CORRECTION EDIT To Comment 23: Sorry! the last sentence should read:”I think we have no choice but to TAKE a page from Che’ Guevera’s PLAYBOOK (not playback) and engage in guerrilla warfare against those that wish and do us harm

  25. Jean-Paul Benthem 18 Aug 2009, 6:38pm

    Eddy:

    First, you have to go here: http://my dot pinknews dot co dot uk/

    Sign in as a member. Any info you post will be visible to the public. Be discrete; show off; up to you.

    Once your profile is in, click on ‘Forum’ on the black bar, then look for a forum called ‘How to deal with religious Crackpots…’

    Cilck…I mean click on the title of the Forum, scroll to the end of the last page and enter a word or two just to say ‘hell’…I mean ‘Hello’.

    I will be notified through my e-mail that you have entered a comment and I will be in touch.

    Whatever you do, come alone…don’t bring MIKE, or EAGLE, or that CYAMREG fellow, what’s-his-name, or any of the other great guys on this thread.

    Is that understood???

    While you’re waiting, you can check out the profile of the guys who are already there.

    Just click on ‘Members’ on the black bar, then click on ‘Advanced Search’, enter the name you’re looking fo’, I mean for, scroll to the bottom of ther page and click ‘Search’ or whatever and Bingo, there I am!

    You can also catch up on the comments left by others and make yourself at hame…I mean home. Ha ha.

    It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Simon’s name. Could be in Barcelona! John K should be back soon.

  26. Jean-Paul Bentham 18 Aug 2009, 6:43pm

    I mean Bentham…

  27. Thanks, JP. Done!

  28. A brutally shocking eye opener from the Human Rights Watch. Download the PDF file from their website and read (very long) some of the shocking reports! I truly wept at times. Should be sent to every MP and global political figurehead to get something done. We ‘liberated’ Iraq to get this!?
    **** me!

  29. Jean-Paul Bentham 19 Aug 2009, 3:36pm

    John,

    I’ve been receiving weekly newsletters from HRW for some time. And yes, I do cry, and often I can’t sleep.

    But I wouldn’t have it any other way; I want to be informed about abuses to the Rainbow community. We are just ordinary people, for gawd’s sake; most of us are more concerned with making the world a better place than the extremist religious fanatics who are butchering us and forcing us to live in terror in the 21st Century!

  30. JP, I delight in hearing you say you wouldn’t have it any other way, that you want to be informed, that if there are horrific abused you want to read about them and if it makes you cry so be it. If only those responsible for HIV/AIDS education were not shying away from disseminating the facts.

  31. Bill Perdue 24 Aug 2009, 10:10pm

    This is hardly surprising in a country where (christer) US and English armies have spent the better part of a decade engaged in mass murder of civilians. The christian American military command deliberately provokes and arms competing sunni and shiite groups. It pits them against each other in horrific communal violence and against easy targets like catholic cultists and GLBT folks to cover their theft of oil and petroleum resources.

    Religion is just the excuse for murder and violence. Empire building and oil piracy are the direct and sole cause.

    And yes, anti-Arab islamophobes are racists.

    We should demand that the US and England adopt an open arms policy of granting open asylum and generous social services for GLBT folks from Iraq and wherever religion is used as an excuse for violence, including ‘legal’ violence, against our brothers and sisters.

  32. Eagle Ashcroft 24 Aug 2009, 10:47pm

    (quote):Whatever you do, come alone…don’t bring MIKE, or EAGLE, or that CYAMREG fellow, what’s-his-name, or any of the other great guys on this thread.

    I lost friends and relatives to these towel head bastards and if we don’t stop them they are going to take the world over like Hitler wanted to do and kill everyone that is not a Muslim or “straight,” so if anyone here wants to kiss up to these sh-t heads, you will be beheaded by these pricks should we not stop them before they take over the world. And don’t you worry your head off because I’ll not be coming to Jolly Ole England any time soon as I did my hitch for my country many long years ago and was in England during the time I was sent in behind the enemy and boarded a plane home from there. Lots of “straight” people say gays are a bunch of pansies who are afraid to fight as that is how they stereotype us which is not true. I know dozens of gay men and women that will fight if they’ve challenged or attacked. I am one of them and fought for the freedom of my country against the Red Commie bastards and my brother fought the Nazi German pricks. If you try kissing these towel head’s ass by putting your fingers in the sign of the peace symbol they will only chop your fingers off and next your head as they are a bunch of crazy religious nuts who go about blowing up innocent people and flying airplanes into skyscrapers.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all