I recently read an article in The Observer entitled: 'How Islamists track and kill Iraq's gays'. It was horrifying.
It seems gay men and women are being tracked down and beaten, tortured and often murdered - simply because they are gay. And one of the less-than-delightful characters engaged in this, Abu Hamizi, spends up to six hours a day searching internet chatrooms linked to gay websites looking for potential victims. When found he arranges for them to be attacked. 'It is the easiest way to find those people who are destroying Islam and who want to dirty the reputation we took centuries to build up,' he said.
He went on: 'We make sure they know why they are being held and give them the chance to ask God's forgiveness before they are killed.'
I'm not sure what god (which one?) would think of all this. We are always told (by faiths of every hue) that god loves everyone, regardless of race, creed, gender etc, etc - but I digress…
Is this what the bloody war in Iraq was fought for? Was the terrible, tragic loss of life for this? Interestingly, and not without a certain amount of irony, the article states that: 'Homosexuality was not criminalized under Saddam Hussein - indeed Iraq in the 1960s and 1970s was known for its relatively liberated gay scene. Violence against gays started in the aftermath of the invasion in 2003.'
What's happening to gay people in Iraq is an outrage. And that's what concerns me: where is the outrage? Is this another example of people being afraid to speak out against such horrors because to speak out against these murdering lunatics might be construed as an attack on Islam as a whole? Perhaps. What is clear to me is that injustice is injustice whoever is behind it. And all of us must condemn it - out of hand.