Human Rights Watch, a respected organization based out of New York, released a report today stating that hundreds of homosexual men in Iraq have been killed by Muslim Shiite militiamen recently. The exact death toll is unknown, the organization says, because many Iraqi families fear the social stigma associated with reporting the death of a gay relative, and because authorities do not properly investigate such instances. While Shiite militiamen used to focus their attacks on Sunni Muslims, they are now more concerned with their campaign to cleanse society of immorality, which for them includes homosexuality. A gay doctor from Baghdad was reported as saying, “The same thing that used to happen to Sunnis and Shiites is now happening to gays.” Although there are no laws in Iraq banning homosexuality and the Iraqi government has denounced such violence, Human Rights Watch insisted that Iraqi authorities needed to do more to protect their citizens. Read more here.
Shiism in the Modern Context: From Religious Quietism to Political Activism
By Rainer Brunner, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
(Vol. 3, December 2008)
By Joseph Bristow
From The Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory