Samantha Power is Obama’s Ambassador to the United Nations. At the first UN Security Council meeting on LGBT rights, she did the absolutely predictable thing: dissembled about the root causes of why the Islamic State persecutes gays. “No religious beliefs,” she asserted confidently, “justify throwing individuals off of buildings or stoning them to death because of who they love.”
Oh really? Here is a quote from a manual of Islamic law, al-Siyaasah al-Shar’iyyah, as reproduced at IslamQA.com:
Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas said: The highest point in the town should be found and the homosexual should be thrown head first from it, then stones should be thrown at him.
Ibn ‘Abbaas derived this hadd punishment from the punishment that Allaah sent upon the homosexuals of the people of Loot.
“Loot” is the Biblical figure Lot. When this says that the punishment of throwing homosexuals off high places and stoning them is derived from the punishment of Allah upon the homosexuals of the people of Lot, it is referring to this Qur’an passage:
“And Lot when he said to his people, ‘Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.’ But the answer of his people was only that they said, ‘Evict them from your city! Indeed, they are men who keep themselves pure.’ So We saved him and his family, except for his wife; she was of those who remained. And We rained upon them a rain. Then see how was the end of the criminals.” (Qur’an 7:80-84)
This “rain” that Allah rained down upon them is generally understood by Islamic authorities as referring to a rain of stones, as per this Qur’an passage:
“By your life, indeed they were, in their intoxication, wandering blindly. So the shriek seized them at sunrise. And We made the highest part its lowest and rained upon them stones of hard clay. Indeed in that are signs for those who discern. And indeed, those cities are on an established road.” (Qur’an 15:72-76)
Samantha Power ignores this, and probably doesn’t know about it. But the Islamic State does.
“Making History: The First UN Security Council Meeting on LGBT Rights,” by Samantha Power, Medium.com, August 24, 2015 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):
…But crucial and unprecedented as this step is, condemning ISIL’s violent and systematic targeting of LGBT individuals is the easiest step we can take today. Because while today’s session is focused on the crimes against LGBT persons committed by ISIL, we know the scope of this problem is much broader. Consider the report released in June by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights — a report that found that thousands of people have been killed or brutally injured worldwide because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. According to the report, “the overall picture remains one of continuing, pervasive, violent abuse, harassment and discrimination affecting LGBT and intersex persons in all regions…often perpetrated with impunity.”
We are all horrified by ISIL’s videos of men being thrown to their death. But what is it about these crimes that so shocks our collective conscience? At its essence — it is the denial of a person’s most basic right because of who they are. It is ISIL deciding that, because of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, they do not deserve to live.
Yet if these crimes feel utterly unjust and wrong to us, we must also ask: Why is it acceptable to deny LGBT persons other human rights? Why should LGBT persons be imprisoned for who they are? Why should police be allowed to refuse to investigate attacks or threats against LGBT persons? Why should we accept LGBT persons being turned away from schools or jobs or social services because of who they love? The answer to all of these questions is the same: We should not accept it. But too often we do.
No religious beliefs justify throwing individuals off of buildings or stoning them to death because of who they love.
No cultural values excuse refusing to investigate a killing, assault or death threat because the victim is gay. These are not Western-imposed rights, or the North trying to force its values on the South.
Yet in too many parts of the world, denying LGBT rights is still seen as moral and just. Laws are used to criminalize LGBT persons, rather than to prosecute the people who violate their rights. That must change.
That change begins by working to stop attacks against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. And by taking steps to ensure that those who commit these heinous and brutal crimes are held accountable, whether the perpetrators belong to ISIL or police forces or are members of our own communities….