Friday, November 20, 2015

Being Openly Gay in Iraq 'Is Definitely Going to Get You Killed'

No one (with a brain) is saying all Muslims are terrorists. But try telling this guy -- and other marginalized people in many Muslim countries -- that they aren't being terrorized.  And the perpetrators are NOT so-called extremists -- it's friends, family and fellow citizens ... and even a government militia.
"A lot of people are married and have a secret life on the side," explains Amir Ashour, a 25-year-old Iraqi and the founder of the country's only organization for its queer community, IraQueer. "No-one is publicly gay in Iraq. It is definitely going to get you killed if you are public. Best case scenario is that you’re going to lose your job, education, whatever you have in your life -- even if it is a volunteer project. It is impossible to live an openly gay life." 
Back in Iraq, Amir was attacked by his own friends, "both because of my work and who I am." 
One of the main threats to the queer community in Iraq, Amir explains, is the armed militias in Baghdad and other cities. “The main one that has been practicing all the killing campaigns in Iraq actually announced a partnership with our government a few months ago, under the name of ‘fighting ISIS’.  
“The last campaign we documented was in January this year, while in July 2014, [the militia] killed 35 gay people and sex workers in one day. Not even one report was made about that. Not one single person has been imprisoned for killing a gay person.”
And in Afghanistan you can rape little boys and the U.S. military is supposed to look the other way -- and in "peaceful" Indonesia, young women are required to submit to "virginity tests" for college in some states. There's a problem here. And until the world is willing to stop looking the other way for fear of being called anti-Islam, it's never going to get resolved. I'm not ashamed to say I'm anti-anything that makes people think this is acceptable.

Read HERE.

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