Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ahmadinejad and The Gays



Several months ago, in September of 2008, the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that homosexuals do not exist in Iran. That’s Ahmadinejad at left kissing another man, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Well, there’s a reason that one might not notice any homosexuals in Iran, and that’s because when identified, the government kills them.

A few years ago, the situation garnered publicity when two teenagers were hung for committing such an atrocity. Here’s an actual picture of them about to be hung at right. They look awfully young. Their names were Ayaz and Mahmoud. If they really were gay lovers, we can only hope that they are now in a place where they can be together in peace. Hanging is particularly gruesome in Iran. They don’t kick out a chair from underneath you so that your neck breaks neatly like we used to do in the U.S. Instead, they lift you up gently into the air by the neck so that you suffocate slowly.

According to Iranian law, homosexual conduct which involves penetration results in the death penalty. That which does not involve said action, are sentenced to a brutal public flogging; but even in those cases, one only gets three strikes until they finally hang you. What’s more, is that once tagged as a homosexual, a person will be constantly harassed by the local Basij paramilitary club, who probably find it entertaining to do so, and aren’t above framing somebody. And how would the court be able to prove that a person has committed such acts? They elicit a confession. Why somebody would confess to a crime that would automatically get them the death penalty is illogical, and not surprisingly charges of torture and threats against ones family during questioning are common.

This is what Ahmadinejad had to say to a reporter in New York after his laughable comment:

Our religious decrees tell us that it’s against our values, and all divine laws, actually, believe in the same. Who has given them permission to engage in homosexual acts? It’s considered as an abhorrent act. It shakes the foundations of a society, the family foundation. It robs humanity. It brings about diseases.
That argument sounds an awful lot like the ones used in the U.S. by fundamentalist Christians, incidentally. And why are homosexuals the consistent target of neo-fascist governments? Because they need a marginalized group to scapegoat, whether it be Jews, Christians, secularists, homosexuals or what have you. Targeting the disenfranchised is not likely to meet resistance from the general population, while at the same time sending that very population the message that they better conform themselves, or they could be next.

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