Iraq | News

More on the Reported Surge in Anti-Gay Violence in Iraq

A few days ago there was a report from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission "of a wave of targeted killings of individuals who are perceived to be gay or lesbian." According to the group more than 40 individuals have been kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in a new surge of violence.

IraqVICE magazine spoke to Ali Hili, a gay Iraqi living in London who started the group Iraqi LGBT about the reports. They were provided with an unauthenticated document Hili says shows that the Iraqi Ministry of Interior is authorizing such killings:

Though I have no way of verifying the document's authenticity, a translator tells me that it reads:

"It has been decided to form a yellow cell to ensure the elimination of the so-called homosexuals and will start its tasks in our known areas to stir chaos starting from Al-Karrada district. To accomplish the missions with absolute secrecy please use the transmission code 115/1/4"

The Badr Organisation – whose name is at the top of the cheery memo – used to function as a militia supporting a Shi'a political group called the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. Since the 2003 Allied invasion of the country, the official line is that its members have gone legit, and now only pick up guns on behalf of government security forces.

VICE has an interview with Hili about the situation there.

Meanwhile, activist Scott Long has been digging into the story as well, and reports that the government is also targeting "Emo" kids: "They’re kids addicted to weird music; they’re girls with earrings in strange places, or guys with their hair too long. In the midst of a moral panic galvanizing a demoralized and degraded country, these adolescents become the emblems of evil and the aliens to be extirpated."

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  1. Nothing good ever comes of America invading a sovereign foreign country and trying to impose its culture on that country.

    When will we ever learn?

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 9, 2012 11:44:23 AM

  2. There was a kid with an Iraqi script word on his T-shirt the other day that read Heresy (translated) Rocks. I want one (for all religions) and will send link when I find it.

    Posted by: uffda | Mar 9, 2012 11:56:48 AM

  3. Rick, what the phuck does the US military operation there have to do with this? Absolutely nothing.

    This is a society that is stuck in the stone age, so it's not shocking news.

    Posted by: Artie | Mar 9, 2012 12:28:22 PM

  4. @uffda. Actually the invasion has everything to do with this and other problem. While life under Saddam was no picnic, he did make sure the theocracy was kept in check. Gays at least some, if not just a little room to live. Now this country is hot bed of extreme fundamentalists. The balance of power has been changed and now Iran will have a great deal of say in what goes on in Iraq. If getting rid of Saddam is really all we can say for all these years of war, then this whole policy and war was just a huge drain on our economy with no benefit to us or the Iraqi people.

    Posted by: Ladislav | Mar 9, 2012 1:20:30 PM

  5. What do all of these smug and hateful westerners who call for bombing half the countries on this planet "back to the stone age" think they're going to get when they actually do this? Destroy all that is functional in a poor and socially backwards society and expect some progressive overnight transformation??? Act shocked and superior all you want when brutality fills the void you've created but you are also responsible for the nightmare.

    Posted by: Vlad | Mar 9, 2012 2:39:16 PM

  6. Ladislav, so who is to blame for the "hot bed of extreme fundamentalists" taking over Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Syria? Blame the Arabs for their own Arab violence.

    Posted by: Max | Mar 9, 2012 7:43:15 PM

  7. Max, I am not saying that Islamist, Zionist and Christian fundamentalism is caused by any one factor, they all are nuts. I am just saying that Saddam controlled Iraq, maintained a secular society, kept the nut case clerics in their place and maintained Iraq as a power to counter Iran. The war on Iraq changed all that and alllowed these nut cases to gain a foothold. The war on Iraq was a total failure. Dont get me wrong. Our military did a great job. The morons that started the war, think W and his cronies are to blame.

    Posted by: Ladislav | Mar 9, 2012 8:54:38 PM

  8. Ladislav,

    1. Zionism is Jewish self-determination in the Jewish homeland. And this Jewish homeland, Israel, recognizes same-sex marriages performed abroad (as mandated by its highest court) and boasts a robust gay tourist industry. If you want to call that "fundamentalism," then that's your opinion, but it's the exact opposite of how Muslim and Christian fundamentalists treat LGBT people.

    2. Iraq was not secular. It was, perhaps, less fanatic than Saudi Arabia, but that's a very low bar. Arabs are Arabs, and all but a small minority are conservative Muslims.

    3. You are right about the Iraq War being a total failure, and in the way you describe (thumbs up to the military, thumbs down to Bush and his cronies).

    Posted by: Max | Mar 9, 2012 9:40:14 PM

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