Here is yet more evidence of the welcoming attitude toward Sharia, even in its most draconian aspects, on the part of Western governments. “US and UK failing to take Iraq’s gay pogrom seriously: Both countries deny any Iraqi state involvement in anti-gay militias, but LGBT supporters suggest otherwise,” by Paul Canning in The Guardian (Comment Is Free), June 23 (thanks to Bob):
Last week, 12 Iraqi police officers burst into a house in Karbala, beat up and blindfolded the six occupants and bundled them off in three vans, taking the computers they found with them. The house was then burned down by unknown people.
The house was a new “emergency shelter” run by the Iraqi LGBT organisation.
Two days later, one of the men turned up in hospital with a throat wound saying he’d been tortured. Iraqi LGBT has ordered those in its other two safe houses to move immediately.
The group says the police action is consistent with other state attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Iraq. It has information that the other five – two gay men, one lesbian and two transgender people – have been transported 100 miles north to the interior ministry in Baghdad, where they’ll be interrogated (ie tortured) to find out more about the group. Then, going on past experience, they’ll probably be handed to militias loyal to Shi’a clerics Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani and Muqtada al-Sadr (both of whom have called for homosexuals to be put to death) and their mutilated bodies will turn up later.
But it is also clear from past experience that there is unlikely to be a sustained international outcry from gay people, governments or others about this latest incident.
Last year, the US state department, following representations by Rep Jared Polis, said that it was investigating reports of trials and executions of LGBT people – including for membership of the Iraqi LGBT group – as well as reports of arrests, beatings and rape by interior ministry security forces. Polis said that at least one gay man has been executed by the government for “membership of a banned organisation” and that “egregious human rights violations … [are] being carried out by Iraqi government officials from the ministry of the interior”.
But this was immediately undermined by the US embassy in Baghdad. Patricia Butenis, its chargÃ© d’affaires, said: “We have no evidence that security forces are in any way involved with these militias.”
This official dismissal is echoed in the British foreign office’s latest human rights report that does acknowledge persecution in Iraq but claims that “official figures do not show a significant overall increase in violence against, or systematic abuse of, the homosexual community by fundamentalists or militia groups”. It makes no mention of allegations of state involvement and repeats claims by Iraq’s human rights minister and the interior ministry that murders of LGBT people “will be prosecuted” (none have) and that “homosexuality is not a criminal offence in Iraq”. Iraqi LGBT, however, has two documents from a judge ordering arrests of homosexuals in Babel province earlier this year; those arrested have disappeared….