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View Diary: Urgent appeal - Gay men escaping Iraq (150 comments)

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  •  Some good points (0+ / 0-)

    Part of my perspective comes from working largely with rural Iraqis, and also working more in the periphery than the center.  But homosexuality in general carries a very high stigma in much of Iraq - I suspect people's reactions are partially based on class, religion and background.  But I have a very solid knowledge of Kurdistan, and of the rural South.  In both areas, to be openly gay is to become a target very quickly. In the Kurdistan region, the largest terrorist attack since the war was carried out, tragically, by a group of gay men who had been blackmailed by videotapes that the organizer threatened to show to the mens' families.  That threat had to mean something for these men to subsequently participate in this attack.  Whether or not it is just, homosexuality has been associated with terrorism, at least in the KRG.  In the south, especially the rural south, there have been periods of greater tolerance. But I guarantee you that under the current religious revival, there has been a cultural change distinctly against gay men.

    I'm not saying this to trash a people or a region.  Really, I have worked in Iraq off and on for twenty years because I love the people and have a lot of respect for the culture.  It's not meant to play into stereotypes.  But for whatever reason, the Basra you remember is not the Basra that exists today.  In some ways there is the same openness and tolerance, but in some other ways that has been lost.  

    "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

    by ivorybill on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:38:19 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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