LGBT posters spread in Baghdad call for acceptance and tolerance
Posters calling for the acceptance of homosexuality have been put up in the streets of Baghdad, calling for tolerance and equality.
The posters depict two rainbow coloured hands making a heart shape with featureless men and women.
Many of the posters are written in Arabic and read, “I am equal to you. Difference is the basis of life.”
It is currently unclear who is behind this campaign.
This campaign has stirred up a lot of controversial discussions as it is also the holy month of Ramadan in Islam.
Iraq’s population totals 38 million people, 90 per cent of these people are Muslim.
In some Muslim countries, people who engage in homosexual acts can face the death penalty.
A Facebook page, Baghdad1 posted images of the posters and many people have voiced their outrage.
Although many are against this, others have taken to social media to defend the LGBT communities right to express themselves.
One Facebook commenter said, “I care about the person his humanity and his morals and his treatment and I have nothing to do with who participates in his bed.”
Although the Iraqi constitution does not incriminate homosexuality there have been many reports over the years suggesting there is a lot of violence against members of the LGBT community in the country.
Reports carried out by the human rights watch in 2009 reported instances of kidnappings, murders and torture targeting the LGBT community.
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An Observer report published in 2009 found that between 2004 and 2009 there were 680 cases of LGBT’s being murdered in Iraq.
LGBT activism in Iraq didn’t exist until a few years ago when an underground activist group for LGBT’s emerged called IraQueer.
According to their website, IraQueer is a registered “human rights organisation focusing on the LGBT+ community in Iraq/Kurdistan region.”
The activist group aim to raise awareness about the LGBT community by sharing news and personal stories from LGBT community members.
However, since the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) established a foothold in Iraq in 2014 there have been reports and even video footage of public executions of suspected homosexual men.
Members of the LGBT community in the region are now at a greater risk than ever before.