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Comment: What life is really like for gay Syrians

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  1. It is terrible that the fake Amina blog has endangered the lives and credibility of Syrian LGBTs. It is terrible what is happening to them. Is there a campaign organisation that helps LGBTs in countries where it’s illegal?

    1. Mithliya Shamiya 19 Jun 2011, 10:56pm

      Shame on Pink News for running this fake article from yet another sock puppet. The author is NOT Syrian and NOT an Arab

  2. Commander Thor 16 Jun 2011, 5:42pm

    Imagine a boot stamping on a human face. Forever.

  3. Gay Middle East Grassroots LGBT Reporting 16 Jun 2011, 5:46pm

    Yes, we are trying to do this at http://www.gaymiddleeast.com since 2003. Sami is part of the group that does this work all voluntarily. All the best.

  4. Brilliant and eye opening article to the hardship some people in the world have to suffer because of homophobia. It’s not an answer because obviously they’d prefer to stay where they are born, but all LGBT from homophobic islamic countries should be given asylum. I know the anti asylum people will kill me for saying that, and its idealistic, and I don’t know how you prove someone is gay, and it won’t happen, but It’s a silent holocaust in my opinion what is happening in the middle east. Islamic rule kills gay men and lesbians. It’s unbelievable that can still happen in todays times, but it does.

    1. Gay Middle East Grassroots LGBT Reporting 16 Jun 2011, 7:05pm

      Thanks :) FYI Syria is officially a secular state. Islam is not inherently homophobic but particular versions of it are, like Wahabbism (as is Evangelical Christianity). As in Christianity and Judaism it depends alot on interpretation of the text (and who interprets it). In fact the Quar’an doesnt even mention gays and the story of Sodom and Gomerroah narrated there (in the story of Lut) is more related to rape and mistreatment. Its how certain regimes and clerics twist things to use against LGBT people, which is often politically suspect manipulation of Islam rather than the other way around. Hope this clarifies the point.

      1. yonatan huber 16 Jun 2011, 7:18pm

        As someone who studied both Bible and Quran from a secular point of view, the Quran is actually gay-tolerant, or atleast not anti-gay in direct wording.
        The Hebrew Bible, on the other hand has a harsh statement against man-to-man anal intercorse (no mentioning of lesbians), pubishable by banishment and isolation. There’s nothing forbiding homosexual emotions (there are good examples of love between men) or lesbian sex.
        There is an argue over another statement forbiding ‘spiling sperm’ but it’s arguable to not forbid oral sex.

        1. You’re right Yonatan, jahweh apparently has a problem with gay sex more than man to man love. Which is why the majority of christians are almost okay with gay guys as long as they are celibate, even the pope thinks a celibate gay guy is okay. I imagine when the text were written, it was more to do with a health issue, as well as making sure the blood lines continued through procreation. And you’re right that the punishment for man to man sex was banishment, which is why we have been banished from society since monotheistic religions have dominated our moral compass in the west.

      2. Obviously it always comes down to interpretation when you’re dealing with a book that is nearly 1500 years old. But the koran does have sections that are and always have been interpretated as homophobic by the majority of islamic nations, and is used to justify how LGBT are being treated in syria (amongst all other nations in the middle east who are predominantly muslim), secular or not. And the hadith is very homophobic. It’s unfortunate for a gay muslim, a bitter pill to swallow, but islam, as well as christianity and judaism, is homophobic. I wish it weren’t that way, but reality speaks for itself. Maybe you will be able to change the way the islamic nations interpret their holy books to the way you interpret it, and change the way we are treated in the middle east (and other parts of the world). Good luck with that. :)

        1. Gay Middle East Grassroots LGBT Reporting 17 Jun 2011, 2:41am

          Well empowering people to feel good about themselves within the context of their faith is very important. Only then they can point out to the different interpretations and can argue against certain Hadiths or Ayats; see for example here http://aobm.org.uk/main/?p=1045 The way Islam is manipulated in certain countries to confuse and cover up issues sometimes easily is married to homophobia. Because of cultural and traditional values (not necessarily only religious ones) certain feelings can be inflamed with certain versions of islam; or put differently – Islamic policies are used to cover up economic, political and social issues. Within most countries of the Middle East, even the “secular” ones, certain family and cultural laws are linked to religion (in most cases Islam, but not only), human rights are thus directly linked in to them. So empowering self esteem, knowledge, and theological clarity can also help provide, in the end, some changes. However much we think it unlikely :)

          1. Mithliya Shamiya 19 Jun 2011, 10:55pm

            More pro-Israel propaganda from Littauer. He’s a faker a thousand times more dangerous than McMasters ever was

    2. I agree that it is a remarkable account that gives insight into the very difficult situation faced in Syria (and similar situations in other countries worldwide). There are many Islamic countries that are homophobic, but commentators on here are correct to point out that none of the monotheistic religions are homophobic per se – some particular denominations or groups certainly are, and require challenge and criticism. I have mixed feelings on the asylum issue – I do agree with Eddy Two that there is a strong case for automatic asylum for LGBT people from clearly homophobic countries, that said – I do not think the UK should shoulder the entire responsibility and so it must be a case by case business.

  5. Interesting article. Born a woman in the wrong body I had GRS to align body and gender. South Africa of course being Constitutionally and Human Rights Law LGBTI friendly and equal. I identify as a woman with no “alphabet soup” labels. I’ve dated three Syrian male nationals, resident in South Africa over the past two years during respective time periods. Due to the sensitive current situation I can not divulge who they work for. two part-time, but let’s just say they’ll all loose their jobs if the regime changed. One has since returned. All three expressed the sentiment that they have NO problem with my history. I’m still friends with two. One of the three was platonic dating…the other two took me to “Mount Hermon and beyond” ;-)

    1. Dan Filson 16 Jun 2011, 8:29pm

      The phrase with no “alphabet soup” labels” is a little dismissive of LGBT people, and I think should be avoided. If you are now a woman and have preference for men, I’m happy for you but please do not be dismissive in return

      1. Dear Dan

        The challenge within the LGBT community is to free itself from labels. Additionally your statement “If you are now a woman” is erroneous. I’ve always been one just my body was incongruent. It’s amazing how transphobic the LGB communities still are, insistant o refering to “Transgenders” according to the appendage or orifice between their legs which does NOT determine gender. A “Trans”male has always been a male whether he has a womb or has had it removed and a “Trans” woman has always been a woman even if she still has a penis (for those who do not seek full surgery)

        I am proud to say that as a South African, in South Africa a large percentage of the LGBTI community has realised the negativity connected to the alphabet soup and are making concerted efforts to move away from it. A statement made at a recent meeting last year at Mount Grace, Gauteng Province, South Africa by 15 LGBTI groups represented. We prefer to be all inclusive of Human Rights instead of LGBTI rights

        1. friday jones 16 Jun 2011, 10:44pm

          Then just what the hell are you doing at an LGBT website, gobbling down our “alphabet soup” and sneering at how much you dislike the taste? The website for the National Organization of Women is over THATAWAY. Hie thy straight female form hence, for this site is for people who are NOT ashamed of their queerness.

          1. Dear Friday Jones. I have no idea which country you reside in but in South Africa we subscribe to freedom of speech irrespective of sexual orientation. It is my “LBGTI” counterparts in SA who have or are on the way of moving beyond labelling themselves according to this alphabet soup while striving for its eventual obliteration to recognise people as people and nothing less. Kindly read my previous reply to Dan. The term “alphabet soup” is widely used within the “LGBTI” sector in SA with a conscious decision at Mount Grace, Gauteng, SA meeting to throw the soup down the toilet. Of course there are detractors in SA as well. The theme of Joburg Pride is “Born this Gay”. A large number of the “gay male” community are up in arms about this specific labelling. We are all homosapiens in SA. Period. I co-present a radio programme called Outspoken for the “LGBTI” community. Tune in Mon 20h00 CAT http://www.1485.org.za, live audio streaming. I advocate the flushing of any label constantly incl race

          2. If they don’t want to be called LGBT then they don’t have to but to start sneering at us for being in this “Alphabet Soup” is offensive let people call themselves whatever they want to be called we use LGBT as a way of uniting us as a group not to label ourselves

  6. Jock S. Trap 17 Jun 2011, 8:41am

    A well written artilce that reminds us life is easier here in the West compared to those in the Middle Eastern regions.
    The current unrest their is a matter of concern for all but of course for the LGBTQI community.
    I’d like to say I seriously that I hope things will get better but sadly we all know it won’t.

    It’s why I hope pathetic creeps like MacMaster gets to realise the damage they have caused for all those in Syria who are brave enough as it is.

  7. Marcel Wiel 17 Jun 2011, 9:20am

    What a moving piece – well written and well commissioned – congrats on a great job at letting us know the full horrors of state-sponsored homophobia.

  8. john sharp 17 Jun 2011, 3:53pm

    I will never respect Islam
    for islam does not respect US
    there are 10% of gays in all countries i know for i have been there .
    most of my first lover where Arab and Iranians ,so your god is not real . he is like religion fake and we LGBT are real born that way

  9. Mithliya Shamiya 19 Jun 2011, 10:54pm

    Sami Hamwi is NOT a real person but is a fictional character created by Dan Littauer. Shame on Pink News for running this garbage

    1. Anti-Pinkwasher 21 Jun 2011, 6:35pm

      Personally, I doubt that Mithliya Shamiya exists. Although I can guess who they are!

      You’re the next Amina. Gays won’t forgive you for this.

    2. SocialMediaWitness 10 Jul 2011, 5:46pm

      When I first sent Sami Hamwi my interview request, I was mostly concerned about the disinformation that may come from Syrian government and supporting groups after A Gay Girl in Damascus hoax. These posts made me realize that I just did the right thing. I met with Sami in Istanbul and did this interview at the end of June. You can find it in my blog. You can also read the English version at the end of the interview.

      http://socialmediawitness.net/2011/07/10/suriyeli-gay-adam-ulkedeki-baski-rejimini-anlatiyor/

      I hope it will end this ridiculous discussion.

  10. Sami Hamwi 21 Jun 2011, 5:59am

    To Mithliya Shamiya… I am Sami Hamwi… and I am a real Syrian Arab person who can write in Arabic… if you bothered to check GME website you would have seen Arabic news and articles. Mr. Littauer can’t write in Arabic. So before you start to make accusations try to be more realistic, many people can confirm that I am a real person… Soon will do someone who is NOT connected to Mr. Littauer, or GME. so wait up for that. meanwhile keep safe, so you can be ashamed of your accusation.

    1. Mithliya Shamiya 21 Jun 2011, 2:55pm

      Ha ha, Dan. Good save but you’re about to be exposed as a total fake. Maybe time to start backpedalling on your anti-democracy and pro-Israel comments in the media

      1. Anti-Pinkwasher 21 Jun 2011, 6:14pm

        Mithliya Shamiya – a classic “Pinkwasher”!

        Pinkwashers are gay people who use their sexual identity in order to UNDERMINE the struggle for LGBT rights.

        Pinkwashers will always back a tyrannical homophobic regime or political movement, and attack its opponents, in order to push their extreme far left politics. We’ve been here before you know. We remember what Stalin did to gays, and how gays were treated in Cuba.

        Here’s what I think. I think that the anti-gay Pinkwashers – you know who you are – invented their own sock puppet “Amina” to attack real gay activists in the Middle East. When that fell apart, they continued, dauntless, to attack real gay activists in the Middle East.

        Shamefully, a lot of these Pinkwashers have jobs in Western Universities. Look to your laurels!

      2. paul canning 23 Jun 2011, 1:15am

        How on earth is Sami’s article ‘pro-Israel propaganda’? Madam, you are nuts.

        I can personally attest to Sami being a real person – and he is not Dan Littaeur.

        Do you have any idea what you sound like ‘Lesbian Syria’?

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