"Here's a tip: if you're killing someone in the name of God, you're missing the message." ~ Nick Annis
CNN's Ivan Watson reports on a new Turkish film dealing with the sadistic "honor killings" of gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals by Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East. These murders are the byproduct of narrow religious dogma.
Anti-LGBT honor killings are not a recent phenomenon in Turkey. From a 2010 report on The Federalist:
Fatih Söyle, a lawyer who specializes in hate crimes, said such crimes toward different sexual identities was not uncommon, but added that Turkish law did not mete out severe punishment for such cases. “I was right at the court the other day and I saw that two murderers who caused a homosexual and a transsexual to die were sentenced to 13 and 25 years respectively,” Söyle said. “They were first sentenced to life in prison, but the court lowered it for their good manners in court.”
Jodi Hilton writes on the Global Post:
An international community of friends, activists and civil rights supporters have posthumously adopted Ahmet Yildiz as a brother and as a cause, they say, after his father killed him for being gay... The long history of “honor killing” against women and girls is well documented in the Middle East and elsewhere. But LGBT activists in Turkey and around the world say homosexuals are now increasingly targeted... Though Ahmet’s case brought national and international attention to the struggles of LGBT people in Turkey, activists are still piecing together information on anti-gay violence. What they have gathered so far points to a traditional, tribal culture that often promotes a hostile and dangerous environment. “We basically try to get hold of complaints,” says Nevin Oztop, 25, spokesperson and magazine editor at Kaos GL one of Turkey’s first gay rights groups, “which doesn’t happen often, as people are afraid of being humiliated. We don’t have an explicit idea of what’s going on from the angle of families.” Working in concert with other human-rights organizations, Kaos GL tracked 16 “hate crime” murders of gay men and transgendered people in Turkey in 2010. Oztop believes this number represents only a fraction of the actual violence as most crimes go unreported.
The website Mission Islam uses verses from the Qur'an to justify the execution of gays and lesbians. Although redundant and non-persuasive, the site brings into focus the prejudices many Muslims feel toward sexual minorities.
In this country, there are more than a few "born-again" Christian leaders who advocate the death penalty for queer folk - and I'm not merely referring to the deranged Phelps clan. I'm talking about nationally known homobigots who have the ear (and in certain cases the support) of Republican politicians.
When it comes to LGBT citizens, most organized religions have cast themselves as foes of compassion and the enemy of equality.