Alleged Executioner of Gay Men in Iraq Speaks of Killings

English language newspaper The National, based in Abu Dhabi, reports on the recent executions of gay men in Iraq.

Sadrcity They interview a man they call Abu Muslim, who claims to be involved in the actual killings:

“We see this [homosexuality] as a serious illness in the community that
has been spreading rapidly among the youth after it was brought in from
the outside by American soldiers. These are not the
habits of Iraq or our community and we must eliminate them…We had approval from the main Iraqi tribes here to liquidate those
[men] copying the ways of women. Our
aim is not to destabilise the security situation. Our aim is to help
stabilise society…Although the Mahdi Army is today limited and in fact stalled, we cannot
sit by with our arms crossed while these homosexuals flout the rules
and ethics that must be followed under the Islamic religion. These homosexuals think that Iraq is changing and becoming a
non-Muslim, liberal society but our tribal and religious customs allow
us to punish them in the most severe way."

They also speak with Hayder al Mousawi, an imam at the Hussein mosque in the Karada neighbourhood of Baghdad: “The truth is that the homosexual brings shame on them so how can God
be angry with them for killing the homosexual? On the
contrary, in killing the homosexual they are carrying out God’s will.”

Park And a doctor at Al Shaab hospital, Taher Mustafa, tells the paper that he knows of at least three men brought in recently that he thinks were killed because they were gay: “We had bodies in, they were of men between 17 and 25 years old and they’d either been shot or burnt to death. It’s good that people are beginning to get freedoms they’ve been
deprived of for a long time, but the youth here have to understand that
they are living in a society that is governed by traditions and
religious customs, and that still has militias to enforce them. It is unacceptable that people are murdered in the streets for any
reason, or for these gangs to behave as if they are the law,. As the national security system gets stronger, this will stop.”

They also speak with a 23-year-old gay Iraqi national who says he has received anonymous phone calls with threats to kill him: “It is our right to live as we see fit and it is the responsibility of
the Iraqi government to protect us and that right, as citizens. Just
because we are not practising Muslims does not mean that we can be
treated as if we are not human beings. We all know homosexuals are killed here. They get murdered
by firing squads, but only after they’ve been tortured. There’s a large
waste dump in al Shaab and that’s where the bodies are left.” 

It was recently reported that militias were using a painful, unprecedented form of anal glue torture to kill gay men.

Today, NBC News reported on the recent state of crisis for gays in Iraq.

Last week, Reps. Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank, and Jared Polis sent a letter to Christopher Hill, the recently-confirmed U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, urging him to prioritize the investigations of the alleged killings. You can read a PDF of the letter HERE.

Iraqi 'Executioner' Defends Killing of Gay Men [the national]


  1. CJ says

    And thousands of lives have been lost in order to bring “freedom” to Iraq so that they may torture and murder innocent civilians. Way to go U.S.A.

  2. Derrick from Philly says

    “…. These homosexuals think that Iraq is changing and becoming a non-Muslim, liberal society but our tribal and religious customs allow us to punish them in the most severe way.”

    These Iraqi militia don’t practice Islam, they practice murder. How in the hell did homosexuality exist (in various forms) for 4,000 years in Iraq, but now it’s “Western Corruption”?

    The Gay Civil Rights Movement in the West is good…yes, dammit, it’s good….for us; but it’s putting tremendous pressure on gay people in other parts of the world.

  3. JoeTynan says

    That’s true, Derrick. There’s that whole history of homosexuality going back for thousands of years in that area. All the great Persian poets wote about it. So of course the “western corruption” argument just doesn’t hold up.

  4. EM says

    “These Iraqi militia don’t practice Islam, they practice murder. How in the hell did homosexuality exist (in various forms) for 4,000 years in Iraq, but now it’s “Western Corruption”?

    I’m no expert on the Koran but doesn’t it state to “throw the homosexual off the mountain!” along with other pleasantries like burning? If that’s the case, then yes, they’re practising Islam.

    Having said that I am sure Iraq was open-minded about homosexuals in the past and many muslims are probably tolerant of homosexuality, or turn a blind eye to it.

    My guess is the current motley Iraqi militia are rapidly finding they have less to fight against as the country stabilises so are going back to in-fighting between themselves and picking on anyone they can within their own social groups. Of course they will blame the West. It’s the mark of an excellent liar to blame everyone else.

    At least this yet proves on the whole homosexuality is not a choice. Who’d want to chose to have their anus sealed with glue or live in fear of torture and burning if they didn’t “have” to?

  5. Bill Perdue says

    The planned murders of gays and lesbians in Iraq has a long history beginning with Bush’s invasion. They’re entirely and solely the result of the Clinton/Bush/Obama oil wars.

    They’re part and parcel of the greater genocide against muslims from Palestine to Pakistan in a war to gain hegemony over oil and gas products in the region. Clinton’s embargo killed half a million Iraqi children, Bush’s invasion and occupation raised the total to over one million Iraqis and now Obama’s become the butcher of Baghdad and Kabul. As of January 20th he’s responsible for the deaths of GIs, resistance fighters and civilians as fighting escalates throughout the region.

    Those deaths won’t stop until the US military is given the bums rush, as they were in Vietnam, and Iraqi unions are able to form a government.

    We should insist that Obama and SoS Clinton announce that asylum is available for all GLBT folks in the region threatened with violence and that an emergency airlift begins to evacuate them. We should insist that the doors of US embassies, consulates, offices and military bases be thrown open to welcome them.

    We should demand the immediate and total withdrawal of all US military forces, mercenaries and secret police agencies to US home bases.

    We should demand that the US stop paying the costs of zionist ethnic cleansing and apartheid practiced against Palestinians.

  6. qjersey says

    Another “the europeans introduced homosexuality to our country” claim.

    What a joke, because of the separation of sexes, homosexual behavior is common in muslim countries. It’s only a sin when you prefer it to heterosexuality.

    And too many of these muslim nations pimp out young teenage boys to sexual use by men?

  7. jimmyboyo says

    “”….our tribal and religious customs …..”

    Strangely and sadly funny those same tribal and religous customs were not tolerated by Saddam. He was a secularist.

    Not that there were gay parades and marriages under Saddam, but the lives of gays and women in Iraq were much more tolerable and liberal compartvly to small tribal and religous customs now dominating iraq.

  8. Andalusian Dog says

    As in many religions, homosexuality is considered a punishable offense in Islamic religious law. Over the centuries, the enforcement of this law sometimes did and sometimes did not take place, with varying degrees of punishment meted out when it was enforced. The idea of an unquestioned, full punishment of death was rare until recently. In the Sunni Islamic world, there are four main schools of legal thought, some being more tolerant of homosexual acts than others. In a couple of the legal schools, the act had to be witnessed by four adult Muslim men who testified that it indeed took place. Often, this was not a possibility and thus homosexual acts were rarely prosecuted.

    All this to say that it is disturbing that such widespread punishment, including torture and death, is taking place in Iraq right now as a reaction to broader social changes – the fear that one’s society will irrevocably change causes the conservative wing of that society to do things that are overall uncharacteristic of that society – how soon we forget the Evangelical Religious Right…it is so easy to cast stones, no? Our own hands are hardly clean.

    It is equally disturbing the notion that many people who are not aware of the history of the Islamic world much less the nuances and complexities of Islamic law and religion still feel that they have the right to paint Iraq and the entire Islamic world with such a broad brush. Please, do your homework first, and then we can have a debate. I am not condoning violence of any kind, or excusing the monsters who are engaging in an apparently systematic eradication of gay men in Iraq, but I do think one needs to have her/his facts straight before making any comments, lest one be legitimately considered a bigot.

  9. Domo says

    Andalusian Dog, I’m not certain who you were addressing with your post but the idea of a “debate” is hardly open to those who have been murdered. I’d say that “broad brush” is far more heinous than any perceived bigotry you’re protesting. Despite your contrary insistance, you do seem to be asking us to “tolerate” these murders. Humanity is not some academic “homework” assignment. Where, for God’s sake, is your heart?

  10. Drake says

    It’s time to have daily witnessing in front of the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, DC. It is located right in the center of DC’s gay neighborhood, DuPont Circle, a block down from Lambda Rising Bookstore, at 19th and P St NW. Every day at lunchtime, stand there for 30 minutes. See you.

  11. Mark Smelzer says

    I appreciate the idea behind the statements “homosexuality has existed for X number of years…”

    However, homosexuality has been a part of the human condition since the beginning of humanity.

    It only made the Levitical law books about 4,000 years ago, but was obviously something that already existed among “Israel” (the people of the Old Testament not the current nation), or else it wouldn’t have come up.

    It has been and will always be a component of humanity.

    Oh, and while I’m at it…I find any reference to “natural” or “unnatural” sex hysterical…where’d it come from, Outer Space?? LOL!

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