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Author Topic: Islam - Religion of tolerance  (Read 1126 times)

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Offline alisenjafi

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  • Posts: 811
  • They say HIV comes from monkeys!
Islam - Religion of tolerance
« on: September 17, 2006, 08:01:49 AM »
  Not to say America is much better: 
Protests, dialogue mark Iranian teen deaths
      Larry Buhl, PlanetOut Network
      Thursday, July 20, 2006 / 04:35 PM
SUMMARY: More than two dozen anti-death penalty vigils are held around the world to mark the anniversary of Iran's hanging of two teens accused of homosexuality.

More than two dozen anti-death penalty vigils were held around the world Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of Iran's hanging of two teens accused of homosexuality.

Before Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni were executed publicly, they were held in prison for 14 months and lashed 228 times. While the teenagers were accused of raping a 13-year-old boy, several human rights groups believe that the rape charge was merely trumped up and that the teens were killed under Muslim sharia law for the crime of homosexuality.

Vigils and protests were held Wednesday in Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, New York, Provincetown, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Sioux Falls, Washington, D.C. and more than a dozen cities across Europe and South America.

In London, Labor MP Chris Bryant hosted a meeting at the House of Commons, which included Green Party European lawmaker Jean Lambert and activists Simon Forbes and Peter Tatchell.

In addition to protesting the execution of children and gays, speakers from the U.K.-based gay rights group OutRage called on Iran to halt the arrest, imprisonment and torture of LGBTs and called on other countries to halt the deportation of Iranian LGBT asylum seekers.

At the London event, OutRage founder and worldwide protest organizer Tatchell claimed that a year-long investigation into this case has revealed that the Iranian governments allegations against the two hanged teens were riddled with contradictions, lies."

"At first it was claimed by Iranian officials that they were aged 18 and 19, then that they were 19 and 21, then aged 18 and 20, and finally they made the claim that they were both above 18 at the time of their alleged crimes," Tatchell said. "However, the best evidence is that both youths were aged 17 when they were executed and therefore minors, aged 15 or 16, at the time of their alleged crimes. And by instituting charges of kidnap and rape, the Iranian authorities apparently hope to discredit the victims, discourage public protests and deflect international condemnation."

In New York, the demonstration took a quieter approach as Human Rights Watch and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Committee hosted a forum to set new goals and strategies for changing Iran's human rights policies. A standing-room only crowd at the New York Gay and Lesbian Center discussed the difficulty of pressuring Iran, and discussed new for dealing with human rights issues in a country that resents western interference, according to Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of the international rights group.

"In the U.S. we are acculturated to stepping in and taking action," Ettelbrick told the PlanetOut Network. "That's not how other countries do it and it certainly doesn't work when dealing with Iran. Condoleeza Rice can't just tell Iran to stop executing gay people. We know now that bringing change in human rights means being globally sensitive."

The New York gathering, which featured moving stories from Iranian LGBT refugees and their families, marked a shift in tactics about how to overturn Iran's practices. The consensus was, before the country's government can be engaged, human rights groups outside Iran need a much greater understanding of all of the forces at work in the country, Ettelbrick said.

"We have to think more strategically about how to deal with these issues at a time when any human rights group associated with a western group is discredited and marginalized (in Iran)," she said.

The human rights situation in Iran is intertwined with political conditions, and with the saber rattling of the Bush administration, the job of human rights groups has become especially dicey, said Scott Long, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights project at Human Rights Watch.

"It's a delicate time to do advocacy in Iran," Long told the PlanetOut Network. "The Bush administration's stance since spring of 2005 has increased the power of (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) and given the government legitimacy to crack down on political opponents."

And under the hard-line Iranian president, civil rights groups, workers groups, women's movements and others are all considered political opponents, Long said.

Long concurred with Ettelbrick that more information about LGBT life inside Iran is needed to devise effective strategies for ending civil rights abuses. And they both agree that it will take time.

"One of the things that came out of the meeting was a question: Is our intent to make ourselves feel good or to affect change?" Ettelbrick said. "If it is to really affect change, then we need to talk to more people from Iran to understand their environment, we then, as a nation, need to look at our own policies such as the death penalty, and see how they are affecting the situation over there."

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« Last Edit: September 17, 2006, 08:04:17 AM by alisenjafi »
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Offline Cliff

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  • Posts: 2,645
Re: Islam - Religion of tolerance
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2006, 08:06:14 AM »
A bit grafic....beware.  Picture of the boys, from Wiki, just prior to their execution.
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