One would think that stories like this, which make it so abundantly clear that gays face persecution and death under Sharia, would lead gay groups in the United States to support anti-Sharia laws. But they don’t, of course, preferring instead to side with the oppressor. When Pamela Geller and I ran a series of ads in San Francisco calling attention to Sharia mistreatment of gays, not only did gay groups not support us, but the San Francisco City Council actually condemned the ad (the first time they have such a thing) and gay activist Chris Stedman wrote articles denouncing and smearing us.
These gay activists will not, for all that, be spared the whip and the stone when the Sharia they have aided and abetted finally comes to them.
“Wielding Whip and a Hard New Law, Nigeria Tries to ‘Sanitize’ Itself of Gays,” by Adam Nossiter for the New York Times, February 8:
BAUCHI, Nigeria — The young man cried out as he was being whipped on the courtroom bench. The bailiff’s leather whip struck him 20 times, and when it was over, the man’s side and back were covered with bruises.
Still, the large crowd outside was disappointed, the judge recalled: The penalty for gay sex under local Islamic law is death by stoning.
“He is supposed to be killed,” the judge, Nuhu Idris Mohammed, said, praising his own leniency on judgment day last month at the Shariah court here. The bailiff demonstrated the technique he used: whip at shoulder level, then forcefully down.
The mood is unforgiving in this north Nigeria metropolis, where nine others accused of being gay by the Islamic police are behind the central prison’s high walls. Stones and bottles rained down on them outside the court two weeks ago, residents and officials said; some in the mob even wanted to set the courtroom ablaze, witnesses said.
Since Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, signed a harsh law criminalizing homosexuality throughout the country last month, arrests of gay people have multiplied, advocates have been forced to go underground, some people fearful of the law have sought asylum overseas and news media demands for a crackdown have flourished.
Gay sex has been illegal in Nigeria since British colonial rule, but convictions were rare in the south and only occasional in the mostly Muslim north. The new law bans same-sex marriage and goes significantly further, prescribing 10 years in prison for those who “directly or indirectly” make a “public show” of same-sex relationships. It also punishes anyone who participates in gay clubs and organizations, or who simply supports them, leading to broad international criticism of the sweep of the law….
Homosexuality is illegal in 38 of 54 African countries, according to Amnesty International, and carries the death penalty in Mauritania, Sudan and Somalia, as well as Shariah-governed northern Nigeria. Recently Uganda’s president declined to sign a bill that carried a life sentence for gays, though he called them sick. In Senegal, where the press regularly “outs” gays, same-sex relations carry a penalty of five years.
Rights advocates say they have recorded arrests in multiple Nigerian states, but the country’s north has experienced the toughest crackdown. Mr. Jonathan’s national ban has redoubled the zeal against gay people here and elsewhere, according to officials and residents in Bauchi, where Shariah law prevails and green-uniformed Hisbah, or Islamic police officers, search for what is considered immoral under Islam.…
Officials here in Bauchi say they want to root out, imprison and punish gays. Local lawyers are reluctant to represent them. Bail was refused to the gay people already jailed because it was “in the best interests of the accused,” said the chief prosecutor, Dawood Mohammed. In the streets, furious citizens say they are ready to take the law into their own hands to combat homosexuality.
Officials are also inflamed. “It is detestable,” said Mohammed Tata, a senior official with the Shariah Commission here, which controls the Hisbah. He added: “This thing is an abomination.”…
The prisoners’ only local support comes from two gay activists who slip into and out of the area, not daring to stay overnight. “They started crying when they saw us, begging us to take them out of this place,” said one of the activists, Tahir, 26, after returning from the prison, where he and his friend Bala, 29, had taken the men food. The two activists feared being prosecuted themselves, so they said they were relatives of the prisoners to try to avoid suspicion….
At a downtown restaurant in Bauchi, under suspicious glances from other patrons, Bala said, “Let us leave this place.” Hurriedly concluding the interview, the two left for a town farther south and not under Shariah law. “We are not safe here,” Bala said.
His words were borne out by the mood on the street. “God has not allowed this thing; we are not animals,” said Umar Inuwa Obi, 32, a student who said he was in the mob that hurled stones and bottles at the court and the prison van transporting the gay suspects two weeks ago.
“In Shariah court you are supposed to kill the man,” Mr. Obi said, adding that he favored this judgment. “But the government has refused. That’s why they started throwing stones and bottles.”
Frightened, the judge retreated to his chambers, the van forced its way through the crowd and gunshots were fired to disperse it.
“People are out to kill,” said Abdullahi Yalwa, a sociologist who teaches at a Bauchi college.
“The stones increased,” said Musa Kandi, a lawyer who briefly represented one of the men on his bail application. “They wanted to have those people, so they could kill them.”
Civil authorities here, handed the case by the Hisbah, say the suspects have been charged with a very serious crime. “They had been meeting among themselves, which is quite prohibited — religiously prohibited, socially unacceptable and morally wrong,” said Mr. Mohammed, the chief prosecutor.
In the prison, the men are separated from other prisoners, not for their protection, but “so that they should not indoctrinate the other inmates,” said Mr. Mohammed’s deputy, Dayyabu Ayuba, who is handling the case….
For gay Nigerians, the risks of coming out could not be higher. “In the north, you will be killed,” Tahir said. “You will bring total shame to your family.”