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The Jihad Against Gays



Jihad Against Gays

By Robert Spencer

In response to San Francisco officials’ self-defeating
hostility to AFDI’s jihad truth ads, Pamela Geller devised a brilliant new ad
campaign for that city, calling attention to Muslim persecution of gays. Theresa Sparks, the transgender head of the San
Francisco Human Rights Commission, falsely claimed that Geller was “posting
these ads to suggest that all Muslims hate gays,” and declared, according to
the San
Francisco Examiner
, that it’s “actually easier to get insurance for
sexual transition procedures in Iran than in America.” And it’s true – but,
paradoxically enough, only because Iran is so very hostile to homosexuals.

An Iranian-born filmmaker, Tanaz Eshaghian, pointed
“the pressure felt by gay men and women in Iran to have sexual
reassignment surgeries as a means of legitimizing their sexual orientation. As
gay individuals, they are committing a crime. As transsexuals, they can exist
under Iranian law.”

This is of a piece with the hypocrisy of a society that stations Muslim
clerics in brothels, so that the customers can be given a Shi’ite temporary
marriage (mut’a) to the employees,
thereby avoiding the sins of fornication and adultery. But in reality, Iran’s –
and Islam’s – hostility to gays is well-established.

The Qur’an contains numerous condemnations of homosexual activity: “And [We
had sent] Lot when he said to his people, ‘Do you commit such immorality as no
one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with
desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.’…And We
rained upon them a rain [of stones]. Then see how was the end of the criminals.”
(Qur’an 7:80-84)

Muhammad specifies the punishment for this in a hadith: “The Messenger of
Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Whoever you find doing
the action of the people of Loot, execute the one who does it and the one to
whom it is done.’” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4462)

And so one Muslim cleric concluded: “God is very
straightforward about this — not we Muslims, not subjective, the Sharia is very
clear about it, the punishment for homosexuality, bestiality or anything like
that is death. We don’t make any excuses about that, it’s not our law — it’s
the Koran.”

So spoke Sheikh
Khalid Yasin in 2005
. Yasin is an American-born, England-based Islamic
preacher who is in great demand all over the U.S. as a speaker on Islamic
issues. Yet despite the controversy generated by these views and others, Yasin
continues to be an important figure on the Muslim Student Association’s college
speaking circuit. Rather than repudiate Yasin’s views, Muslim groups that
profess moderation have only sought to limit publicity of his speaking
engagements, so as to head off negative criticism. In May 2008, for example, the
Islamic Society of Greater Columbus, Ohio, a chapter of the Islamic Society of
North America, announced that Yasin would be speaking at four local mosques on
the day of his first appearance, after an earlier lecture
at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, sponsored by Dayton’s
Masjid-at-Taqwa, brought publicity to his views on gays and other issues.

If MSA members were to turn to the popular website
IslamOnline, one of the primary “go-to” sites for English-speaking Muslims,
they would find only confirmation of Yasin’s death sentence on gays. In “Homosexuality
Is a Major Sin
,” the internationally renowned Al Jazeera and Muslim
Brotherhood cleric, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, agrees, saying that homosexuals
should be executed. “While such punishments may seem cruel,” he explains, “they
have been suggested to maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep
it clean of perverted elements.”

Another IslamOnline scholar, Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, in
and Lesbianism: Sexual Perversions
,” quotes Muhammad: “Whoever you find
committing the sin of the people of Lut [that is, Lot, the Biblical prophet who
fled Sodom and Gomorrah], kill them, both the one who does it and the one to
whom it is done.” Al-Munajjid adds: “That is, if it is done with consent.”
Islamic scholars differ on how homosexuals should be executed. In another
IslamOnline piece, “Death
Fall as Punishment for Homosexuality
,’ Sheikh ‘Abdel Khaliq Hasan
Ash-Shareef states, “Some scholars hold the opinion that the homosexual should
be thrown from a high building as a punishment for his crime, but other
scholars maintain that he should be imprisoned until death….However, if the man
survives death fall, the judge has the right to sentence him to death.”

Such views can be and are easily accessed by Muslim students
on campuses in the United States. And of course the most famous incident
involving Islam’s attitude toward homosexuals occurred on a college campus,
Columbia University, in September 2007, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
– who is featured on one of the new AFDI ads — declared: “We don’t have
homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country.”

If Ahmadinejad’s claim was true, it was because his regime
and its predecessors had killed them all, or has tried to do so. On July 19,
2005, two teenage boys, Mahmoud Asgari, 14, and Ayaz Marhoni, 16, were hanged
in a particularly brutal manner in Iran for, according to the National
Council of Resistance of Iran
, the crime of homosexual activity – although Iranian officials
that the death sentence was for the rape of a third boy. But
Asgari and Marhoni were not alone. According to the Iranian gay and lesbian
rights group Homan, the Iranian
government has put to death
an estimated 4,000 homosexuals since 1980. According to Scott Long, director
of the Human Rights Watch Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights
Program, Iranians who are suspected of being gay commonly face torture. Hossein
Alizadeh of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission said Iran
gays live with “constant fear of execution and persecution and also social
stigma associated with homosexuality.”

Legal views on
punishment vary
. Among the Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence (madhahib), the Hanafi school mandates a
severe beating for the first offense, and the death penalty for a repeat
offender. The Shafi’i school calls for 100 lashes for an unmarried homosexual,
death by stoning for a married one. The Hanbali school requires stoning across
the board. Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, directed his followers to “kill the
one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him” (‘Umdat al-Salik, p17.3).

In many areas these words are still heeded. The Islamic
Penal Law Against Homosexuals in Iran calls for the death penalty for sodomy
and one hundred lashes for lesbianism for the first three offenses, with death
for the fourth offense. Homosexuality
is a capital offense
not only in Iran, but also in Saudi Arabia, Sudan,
Yemen and Mauritania. In Malaysia, it can draw a twenty-year prison sentence,
and is illegal also in
Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait,
Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria,
Tunisia, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan, among others.
In 2003 the
Islamic bloc at the UN killed a resolution on human rights for homosexuals

by introducing a series of amendments removing all reference to discrimination
on the basis of sexual orientation.

Disapproving of homosexuality and considering it sinful is
one thing; appointing oneself the executor of what one assumes to be the divine
wrath is quite another. Everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim, regardless of his
views on homosexuality, should stand against this religiously sanctioned
brutalization and killing, and with Pamela Geller and AFDI.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the
New York Times bestsellers
Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)
and The
Truth About Muhammad
. His upcoming book, Not Peace But A Sword:
The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam
, will be available
March 25.

The Truth Must be Told

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