Death Squads Now Targetting Gays in Iraq: Many Flee
I have mentioned elsewhere that, while I abhore all dictatorships, brutal secular dictatorships are often slightly better than brutal theocratic dictatorships. Under Saddam and the Baathists, Iraq was a brutal, incredibly repressive dictatorship that was a threat to minority groups within its borders (like the Kurds), and sometimes to its neighbors (Iran, Kuwait, Turkey, and, at least during Gulf War I, Israel). It was a brutal, repressive, dangerous dictatorship that the U.S. armed and loved until Kuwait, but STILL, it was never a nice place to live. Yet, for all that, the 1 million Iraqi Christians were protected under the Baathists from extremist Muslims. Now, as I reported earlier, they have been leaving Iraq in droves.
Women now have much FEWER rights than under Saddam (not that this bothers many Christian fundamentalists who share the same attitudes toward women). Those not wearing veils have been targetted for honor killings.
And, now, as Jennifer Copestake reports in the U.K. Observer, Shi’ite death squads are targetting suspected gays and lesbians. Those who can are fleeing. Again, a brutal, but secular, dictatorship protected sexual minorities from those who would enforce a rigid understanding of Sharia law. It is clear that some Christian fundamentalists (not all, but some) would also like to impose that here, too.
For the purposes of this post, I don’t care WHAT your opinions are on the morality of same-sex acts or other aspects of “homosexuality.” I would HOPE that you would nevertheless have the decency to realize that universal human rights (like the right to life, not being tortured, harassed, etc.) belong to everyone, including those some of us believe to be immoral. Let us stand up for the rights of all persecuted minorities, including gays and lesbians now forced to flee Iraq–and those GLBT folk who are persecuted in the U.S.A., too.
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