Ten Gay Men Abducted in Iraq Feared Dead

Earlier this year I posted about a 14-year-old boy shot on his doorstep because fundamentalist Iraqis who had infiltrated the police force suspected he was gay. The situation there for LGBT citizens is rapidly worsening (like everything else in Iraq) according to the British LGBT activist group Outrage, which has been providing support for gay groups there.

Iraqi_policeFive young Iraqi gay activists, the owner of a Baghdad men’s clothing shop who had been financially supporting gay men under target from death squads, and four employees of the Jar al-Qamar barbershop in the al-Karada district of Baghdad were kidnapped in November and haven’t been heard from since.

It is feared that all have been killed by Iraqi death squads masquerading as police, according to Ali Hili. Hili is a gay Iraqi Muslim living in Britain who is the Middle East spokesman for Outrage.

Said Hili: “They are systematically targeting gays and lesbians for extra-judicial execution, as part of their so-called moral purification campaign. The aim of the death squads is the creation of a fundamentalist state, along the lines of the religious dictatorship in Iran…Two militias are doing most of the killing. They are the armed wings of parties in the Bush and Blair-backed Iraqi government. Badr is the militia of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which is the leading political force in Baghdad’s government coalition. Madhi is the militia of Muqtada al-Sadr.”

The young activists had been providing information to Hili regarding the homophobic executions and providing safe houses to those in danger. Hili’s last communication with them was interrupted by a “a lot of noise” and ended in silence.

The UK gay rights group OutRage! is appealing for funds to help the work of their LGBT liaisons in Iraq. Anyone wishing to assist can send a check payable to “OutRage!”, with a cover note marked “For Iraqi LGBT”, to OutRage!, PO Box 17816, London SW14 8WT, England, UK.

Ten Gay Men Abducted in Iraq Feared Dead [out in america]
Death Squads Rounding Up Baghdad Gays British Rights Monitor Says [365gay]


  1. Marco says

    Good point, MNDIFI. Towleroad is littered with good ole fashion gay bashing to death stories in the Christian God-fearing U. S. of A.

    Just check out the archives.

  2. Daniel says

    It’s so true. Whenever I hear the “post-gay” crowd or the people who believe the battle for gay rights has been won I just see how protected we imagine ourselves to be and how we’re fooling ourselves.

  3. joshua says

    Excuse me if I barff. There is no honest way to compare what is happening to gay/bi men and Lesbians in this country to what is taking place in Iran or Iraq or Egypt. 99.9% of us will never experience more than some nut job calling us a fag, yet we have the balls to even attempt to equate what goes on daily, even hourly in fundlementalist Muslim countries, to our brethern.
    Instead of buying that next gay cell phone, or buying a round of drinks at your favorite gay bar or club or those pants that you think will have young hunks falling on their knees to worship you……take the money and give it to one of the legitimate groups that are trying to save the lives of gay men and women in the Middle East. Then maybe I will accept your complaints about what a life threatening situation we live in here in the U.S.

    Some of you people really need to get a life and look around you.

  4. Marco says

    Joshua, I am not sure who you’re directly referring to, but I don’t think one needs to “get a life and look around…” if they can hold two thoughts in mind at the same time.

    I clearly believe there is no comparison to today’s struggle with gay equality here with that found in Muslim countries. However, Muslims aren’t the only religious group who would like to see us wiped off the planet and aren’t the only purveyors of doing so – granted they do so horrifyingly and seemingly en masse.

    Maybe Lightninglad can inform us on all the support he gets as a gay or lesbian person from the right wing and their religious counterparts as an example instead of waiting for the “looney left” to say some crap about Israel. Might be a better use of time.

  5. Daniel says

    I’ve just spent a year in Oman. I couldn’t read Towleroad during that time b/c it’s censored there. I found that a huge majority of men are bisexual, so deciding who is “gay” in that type of culture is very dicey. They’ll deny homosexuality because it’s “haram”, a sin, but behind closed doors, they are gay, if not by orientation than by opportunity (ie: lack of access to women). Even the Sultan is gay! His private staff is all 15 & 16 year old cleanshaven guys. Meanwhile, next door in Saudi, there is a part of the police force that throws known homosexuals off bridges and tall buildings. Open your heart to their struggles, brothers!!

  6. nuflux says

    “I’m waiting for someone on the looney left to blame Israel for this.”

    Oh, right–as opposed to the right wingers, who think we deserve to die in any case.

    Eat shit, republicunt.

  7. ChimingIn says

    Equating the anti-gay posture of the American religious right with that of Muslim societies around the world demonstrates a severe lack of perspective. In the US, religious conservatives would like to see gays barred from public school teaching — not thrown from bridges. If you don’t know that, you haven’t spent enough time talking to your neighbors. In the US, it is a tiny, lunatic fringe who support physical violence towards gays; they are not representative of the religious right, and certainly not of the government. This is not the case in the Muslim world, where a broad intolerance for gays encompasses state-sanctioned executions. To not recognize the difference is deliberately myopic. Interpreting every happening around the world, good or bad, through the prism of American domestic politics is ugly provincialism.

  8. dave says

    Apropos to this discussion was today’s “Fresh Air” NPR interview of gay journalist Brian Whitaker. He is the Middle East editor for the British newspaper The Guardian, and has released a new book – Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East. Whitaker also runs the al-Bab Web site, which aims to provide Arab cultural and political information to non-Arabs.
    The interview was extremely interesting and gave a first hand account of some of the complex and often contradictory sides of gay life in the middle east.

  9. joshua says

    As a matter of fact Daniel is correct. The Sultan of Oman is gay. He was briefly married many years ago and may have a son or 2.
    Then what can you expect from a guy who went to English private schools then to Sandhurst….lol

    His brand of Islam is very Liberal, and even though everyone in the country knows he’s gay, it’s not an issue. Gays there are tolerated pretty much. But being an openly gay flambouyant type isn’t advisable.

  10. bamabamabamaoriim says

    Of course, what self-hating republican homophobes NEVER mention here is that USA claims to be home of equality and freedom, and Arab countries don’t. So STFU about it. The mideast is full of self-professed dictatorships, and the USA is full of self-loathing republikkkan dick-suckers who make other gay people into second-class citizens.

    It wouldn’t be an issue, you assholes, if USA did not CLAIM that it has only one class of citizenship instead of one for rich white closeted males and one for everyone else. It’s only remarkable because the USA lies about it. Why are stories like this even noteworthy? Because of the hypocrisy, which finally made the electorate puke out the Foley/Dobson/Abramoff axis of evil.

    Mary Cheney’s Partner ‘Will Have No Legal Relationship With Her Child’ Under Virginia Law

    The Washington Post reported today that Mary Cheney and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, are expecting a baby. The right wing is already on the attack:

    Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America described the pregnancy as “unconscionable.”

    “It’s very disappointing that a celebrity couple like this would deliberately bring into the world a child that will never have a father,” said Crouse, a senior fellow at the group’s think tank. “They are encouraging people who don’t have the advantages they have.” …

    Carrie Gordon Earll, a policy analyst for the conservative Christian ministry Focus on the Family: “Just because you can conceive a child outside a one-woman, one-man marriage doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.”

    Cheney and Poe will also face discrimination from Virginia state law. According to Equality Virginia:

    While there are no specific Virginia laws addressing the custody and adoption rights of gays and lesbians, Virginia courts have routinely discriminated against gays and lesbians by finding that the parent’s status as gay or lesbian is not in the “best interests” of the child.

    The result, according to Jennifer Chrisler of Family Pride, is that Poe will “have no legal relationship with her child.”

    “In the state of Virginia, it’s very difficult for lesbian couples to have children together,” says Chrisler. “Heather Poe will have no legal relationship with her child. She can’t adopt as a second parent. She won’t have her name on the birth certificate.“

  11. mark m says

    Is it worse here than in Iraq? Of course not. Not by a long shot. But the lesson here is to take note of the worst case scenario and make sure it NEVER has a chance to happen here.

    There was a time that a nation had gays who were very open about their sexuality. Some found celebrity in the theater or in cabarets. The cities had bars and clubs where gays regularly met and enjoyed a rich social lifestyle. That was Germany circa 1925.

    Then a tiny fringe group called the Nazis (a group that was often not taken very seriously) found a charismatic leader who took the radical group to new heights of power. The gay culture that thrived in Germany was the first to disappear into concentration camps.

    So we must be vigilant to prevent something like that from happening here, because, while we think we are above that kind of horror, there exists an atmosphere of hate that is waiting for the right opportunity to seize control.

    And if you think these American “crazy fringe” groups would not hesitate to round us up and take us to the firing squads you live in a state of denial.

  12. shane says

    Yes, G&L Americans have been killed in the U.S. BUT, the article is on Iraqi gays and Muslim fundamentalist bigot murderers, NOT the U.S. and the radical Christian whacko groups. (btw, Muslims and Jews in the U.S. also hate us in case you weren’t paying attention). The point of the article is that G&L in the Arab world are moving targets.
    BAMABAMA – you are a douche.

  13. Oscar says

    As an immigrant from a represive society and now an american citizen I tell you all this bla, bla, bla is pure bunk. I rather be in the USA any day, even with the bigots and rightwinger than anywhere else. I least I can walk in mayor cities with my friends hand-in-hand and maybe, and I say maybe, an sob doesn’t like it and tries to beat me up but I walk without fear and feeling free. The biggest problem in Middle East countries is that those feelings are not there. Gays are prisioners of their own fear which I do not have here in the USA. Their problems are monumental and so sad compare to ours. Wake up, they are in hell and is very, very, very sad.

Leave A Reply