American Way of Grief
2001: Purple Catsup
Does It Take 5 Great Big Guys?"
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IN MY OPINION
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Books Read in 2006
(newest books added 7/30)
"Reunion, Part 2"
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Electric Company - The Plumber
Circle of Life (Tonys)
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9 August 2006
I cannot tell a lie. I read this article
as a result of a link from Steve's
journal, but I know we have very little overlap on readers (though some) and I wanted
to be sure that other people also read it. It's from a newspaper in the UK.
|Gays flee Iraq as Shia death squads
find a new target
Evidence shows increase in number of executions as homosexuals plead for asylum in
Sunday August 6, 2006
Hardline Islamic insurgent groups in Iraq are targeting a new type of victim with the full
protection of Iraqi law, The Observer can reveal. The country is seeing a sudden
escalation of brutal attacks on what are being called the 'immorals' - homosexual men and
children as young as 11 who have been forced into same-sex prostitution.
There is growing evidence that Shia militias have been killing men suspected of being gay
and children who have been sold to criminal gangs to be sexually abused. The threat has
led to a rapid increase in the numbers of Iraqi homosexuals now seeking asylum in the UK
because it has become impossible for them to live safely in their own country.
Ali Hili runs the Iraqi LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) group out of London. He
used to have 40 volunteers in Iraq but says after recent raids by militia in Najaf,
Karbala and Basra he has lost contact with half of them. They move to different safe
houses to protect their identities, but their work is incredibly dangerous.
Eleven-year-old Ameer Hasoon al-Hasani was kidnapped by policemen from the front of his
house last month. He was known in his district to have been forced into prostitution. His
father Hassan told me he searched for his son for three days after his abduction, then
found him, shot in the head. A copy of the death certificate confirms the cause of death.
Homosexuality is seen as so immoral that it qualifies as an 'honour killing' to murder
someone who is gay - and the perpetrator can escape punishment. Section 111 of Iraq's
penal code lays out protections for murder when people are acting against Islam.
'The government will do nothing to tackle this issue. It's really desperate when people
get to the stage they're trading their children for money. They have no alternatives
because there are no jobs,' Hili says.
Graphic photos obtained from Baghdad sources too frightened to identify themselves as
having known a gay man, and seen by the Observer, show other gay Iraqis who have
been executed. One shows two men, suspected of having a relationship, blindfolded with
their hands tied behind their backs - guns at the ready behind their heads - awaiting
execution. Another picture captured on a mobile phone shows a gay man being beaten to
death. Yet another shows a corpse being dragged through the streets after his execution.
One photograph is of the mutilated, burnt body of 38-year-old Karar Oda from Sadr City. He
was kidnapped by the Badr Brigade in mid-June. They work with the Ministry of Interior and
are the informal armed wing of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq, who make
up the largest Shia bloc in the Iraq parliament. Oda's family were given an arrest warrant
signed by the Ministry of Interior which said their son deserved to be arrested and killed
for immorality as a homosexual. His body was found ten days later.
I can't understand hatred this deep. It is
completely beyond my powers to process.
But then I can't understand hatred between races either. People
have been trying to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth since Biblical times and I
don't understand that.
I don't understand the thought process behind the Skinheads or the
KKK or the Hutus or the Tutsis.
I can't understand why people have to be treated based on their
ethnic or gender classification or any other arbitrary way of grouping people
together ... women, blondes, fat people, Republicans, flower children, cat-lovers,
African-Americans, Baptists, itsy-bitsy spider people, etc.
I don't understand the condemnation...and to the extreme of torture
and death...merely for belonging to what one group finds an objectionable group. Why
can't people be judged on their merits or demerits as individuals, and not condemn an
But then I've long realized I am out of step with much of the world.
I don't feel that all of ANY group are bad. Not even Republicans or itsy bitsy
By a sad irony, I was looking at entries for
previous years. Tragically, "Why
Does It Take 5 Great Big Guys" from 2002 also details violence against gay
people, from Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago).