Muslim soldiers in Cote d’Ivoire beat transgender sex workers: “He said, ‘in the Qur’an it says that when you kill a homosexual you go to heaven’”
These soldiers quote the Qur’an to justify brutalizing and beating people, and no one says anything. We quote the Qur’an in an AFDI showing how Muslims use the Qur’an to justify violence, and the media outcry is intense.
Note also the use of the word “savage” to describe one of these beatings. Will Mona Eltahawy spray-paint the offices of the Mail and Guardian?
Transgender sex workers in the Cote d’Ivoire have increasingly become the target of violence since President Alassane Ouattara came into power.
It seemed like a case of simple blackmail. Late one night last month, two cars carrying around 10 soldiers pulled up to a group of prostitutes in Abidjan’s Vallon neighbourhood and began demanding bribes.
To save themselves, some of the women in the group approached the soldiers and told them what they knew would divert their attention: they pointed to a sex worker cowering among them who goes by the street name of Raissa. And they sold her out.
The soldiers cornered her, stripped her and discovered her secret: Raissa, who requested that her real name not be used out of fear for her safety, is not a woman at all, but rather a man dressed as one.
They savagely beat her with their belts. Such scenes have become routine since the Republican Forces of CÃ´te d’Ivoire assumed control of Abidjan in April 2011 at the end of a five-month conflict to oust ex-President Laurent Gbagbo and install his elected successor, Alassane Ouattara.
In interviews with the Associated Press, five victims and activists say transgender sex workers have been regularly stripped and beaten.
Sexual violence In the most extreme case, those dressed as women who were discovered to be men were held overnight at military camps and raped with Kalashnikov rifles, they say. Others charge their heads were shaved with broken beer bottles.
Raissa said she has endured three attacks during which she’s been stripped, beaten and forced to beg for her life as soldiers threatened to shoot her. “With the rage that’s in their eyes, you never know when they’ll stop,” she said.
“It’s hard to talk about the first time or the second time because it’s just happened so many times,” said a transgender sex worker who goes by the street name, Sara. “No one has escaped the army.”…
Victims said they immediately noticed a difference under Ouattara compared to the Gbagbo years, when such abuses were not nearly as extreme or widespread.
Ouattara signed a decree creating the FRCI in March 2011, and it was composed primarily of members of the New Forces rebel group, which used to control CÃ´te d’Ivoire’s predominantly Muslim north.
Victims almost uniformly attribute the attacks to the fact that many soldiers in the new army are Muslim.
During one attack in Abidjan’s Zone 4 district in July, Raissa said a soldier invoked the Quran in justifying the violence.
“He said, “in the Qur’an it says that when you kill a homosexual you go to heaven,’” she recalled….