Currently, one hundred twenty-eight Iraqis convicted of homosexuality and transgenderism have been imprisoned for sometime, said to be executed in batches of twenty.
These executions began on 27 March.
Iraq is a country in turmoil and since the invasion in 2003, a creeping in of the hardline Sharia law has left many Iraqi gays, lesbians and transpeople in jeopardy. Many Muslims see homosexuality as sinful enough to be an executable offense, and even though the Ayatollah Khomeini has declared transsexuality a birth defect, many transpeople are under threat from Shi’a and Suni who do not agree with him.
In many ways, Iraq is in a civil war between the two major religious groups and the various ethnic groups within the country.
Many are targeted for breaking Sharia law as interpreted by certain militias. Iraq itself has no laws dealing with homosexuality. Not all Muslim countries ban homosexuality or transsexuality, and each country that does has differing punishments for it.
The Qur’an is far clearer on the subject than the Old Testament:
“We also (sent) Lut: He said to his people: ‘Do ye commit lewdness: Such as no people/ in creation (ever) committed/ Before you?/ For ye practice your lusts/ On men in preference/ To women: ye are indeed/ A people transgressing/ Beyond bounds.’” (Sura 7:80-81).Despite this, there are many who question such a hardline interpretation of this and other verses concerning homosexuality.
Since 2007, the Badr Organization and the Mahdi Army have been busy enforcing their version of hardline Sharia on the population of Iraq, while their attacks are not limited to just those who are gay, lesbian or transsexual. What is worse is that it is not just the militias who are seeking to enforce their ideological interpretation of Sharia on the Iraqi people. Many corrupt members of the government are more than willing to arrest and execute gay, lesbian and transgender Iraqis on the basis of trials which are not only shrouded in secrecy, but highly illegal.
Indeed, the Iraqi government’s use of the death penalty is startling and even scary; however, it is unclear just how many people have been executed due to the lack of proper recording of the executions.
Much of the normal media channels have not been covering the deteriorating situation in Iraq. Iraq is, unfortunately, largely deteriorating into a lawless situation where the government’s reach is limited and highly corrupt.
Currently, what is known about the situation in Iraq is because of bloggers getting the message out.
One of these bloggers is Ali Hili, a gay refugee from Iraq, who has kept the world informed of the situation in Iraq thanks to his Iraqi LGBT blog. However, it is time for those of us outside Iraq to take a good look at what is going on there and do our best to help. The reach of the internet is vast. Its threads reach the corners of the world which we can hardly visit.
Ali Hili is only one person, but there are many of us worldwide who can make a difference.
What we really need however, is for everyone to take the time RIGHT NOW to spread the word. We MUST stand up and fight, we have to send a united message that the world will not accept this.
USE THIS LINK TO SEND A LETTER RIGHT NOW
DONATE TO ALI HILI's PROJECT TO FREE THE IRAQI LGBTs
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