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  • Gays in Britain, 2008


    by Rumbold
    7th March, 2008 at 8:59 pm    

    Alan Duncan MP, a leading Conservative, will have a civil partnership ceremony in July with his boyfriend. Happily, most of the shadow cabinet is likely to attend, and credit is due to Tony Blair, who introduced this legislation. Mr. Duncan’s engagement was announced in the pages of the Daily Telegraph, a mark of pure class. The fact that this news was largely greeted with either indifference or congratulations prompted a wave of smugness, especially when compared to the way homosexuals are viewed by some in America.

    I too am glad that Mr. Duncan’s engagement was widely accepted, but before we rest on our largely illusionary laurels, consider this case:

    “Mehdi Kazemi, 19, came to London to study English in 2004 but later discovered that his boyfriend had been arrested by the Iranian police, charged with sodomy and hanged. In a telephone conversation with his father in Tehran, Mr Kazemi was told that before the execution in April 2006, his boyfriend had been questioned about sexual relations he had with other men and under interrogation had named Mr Kazemi as his partner.

    Fearing for his own life if he returned to Iran, Mr Kazemi claimed asylum in Britain. But late in 2007 his case was refused. Terror-stricken at the prospect of deportation the young Iranian made a desperate attempt to evade deportation and fled Britain for Holland where he is now being detained amid a growing outcry from campaigners. He appeared before a Dutch court yesterday to plead with the authorities not to return him to Britain where he is almost certain to be sent back to Iran.”

    Nice to see that we can’t deport suspected terrorists to India but we can send homosexuals to Iran for hanging:

    “Mr Kazemi’s future will now be decided by a Dutch appeal court, which will rule whether to grant him permission to apply for asylum in Holland, which offers special protection to gay Iranians, or whether he will be deported to Britain. His case has attracted support from leading gay rights groups across Europe who are campaigning to allow him to live in Britain.

    Omar Kuddus, from Gay Asylum UK, said that Britain must do more to protect homosexual asylum-seekers such as Mr Kazemi: “The challenge and legality under question and debate in the Dutch court is if he can or should be deported back to the UK under the Dublin Treaty which compels EU states to send asylum-seekers to the first European country they claim asylum.”"

    Peter Tatchell sums it up:

    “Peter Tatchell, of the gay rights campaign group Outrage, described the Government’s policy as “outrageous and shameful”. He said: “If Mehdi is sent back to Iran he will be at risk of execution because of his homosexuality. This is a flagrant violation of Britain’s obligations under the refugee convention.

    “It is just the latest example of the Government putting the aims of cutting asylum numbers before the merits of individual cases. The whole world knows that Iran hangs young, gay men and uses a particularly barbaric method of slow strangulation. In a bid to fulfil its target to cut asylum numbers the Government is prepared to send this young man to his possible death. It is a heartless, cruel mercenary anti-refugee policy.”"

    Even the Home Office accepts that Iran executes homosexuals (but doesn’t persecute them):

    “According to Iranian human rights campaigners, more than 4,000 gay men and lesbians have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979. The last reported case of the death penalty imposed against a gay man was that of Makwan Moloudzadeh, 21, who was executed in December after being convicted for sodomy, or lavat, a capital offence under Iranian law.

    Last year, the Foreign Office released correspondence sent between embassies throughout the EU dating back to May 2005. They refer specifically to the case of two gay youths, Mahmoud Asqari, under 18 at the time of his execution, and Ayad Marhouni, who were hanged in public. The Home Office’s own guidance issued to immigration officers concedes that Iran executes homosexual men but, unaccountably, rejects the claim that there is a systematic repression of gay men and lesbians.”

    Hopefully Holland will give him sanctuary, as we, shamefully, will not (via Brett at Harry’s Place).


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    Filed in: British Identity,Current affairs






    73 Comments below   |  

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    1. Leon — on 7th March, 2008 at 9:19 pm  

      Civil partnership sounds so sterile, why can’t we call them marriages?

    2. thara — on 7th March, 2008 at 9:26 pm  

      Probably bogus asylum claim. Came in as a student liked what he saw in this land of milk und honey and put in a asylum claim, as you do.

    3. Sid — on 7th March, 2008 at 9:41 pm  

      Great post Rumbold. I was thinking of writing on this myself. Good thing too as you’ve done a much better job.

      A great case which shows what a pile of shit the Immigration Service has become when it can’t distinguish between an obvious terrorist threat and a bona fide asylum seeker.

    4. gump — on 7th March, 2008 at 10:55 pm  

      you deride the fact that we can’t send terrorists back to india.

      the use of ‘we’ is a misnoma considering the fact that the government has attempted to deport the individual but the courts has refused.
      so, who exactly is we?
      should the judicial system be privy to the govt?

      and more importantly, the refusal for deporting him was the fact that it would contravene article 3 as he would be tortured upon return.
      so, ‘we’ should deport someone who may be tortured or even suffer the death penalty to india but not to iran?….right.

    5. SalmanRush — on 8th March, 2008 at 12:08 am  

      Wow, that kid is so young at 19 to be going through that. Makes me more grateful for my rights and freedoms.

    6. Rumbold — on 8th March, 2008 at 11:07 am  

      Sid:

      “A great case which shows what a pile of shit the Immigration Service has become when it can’t distinguish between an obvious terrorist threat and a bona fide asylum seeker.”

      Thanks Sid. It is astounding that the Home Office actually accepts that homosexuals are executed because of their sexuality in Iran, but doesn’t class that as persecution.

      Gump:

      “The use of ‘we’ is a misnoma considering the fact that the government has attempted to deport the individual but the courts has refused.
      so, who exactly is we?
      should the judicial system be privy to the govt?”

      I meant we as a nation. The government could overturn the ruling, all it needs to do is pass another law (As the courts can only rule on what is legal and what is not).

      “So, ‘we’ should deport someone who may be tortured or even suffer the death penalty to india but not to iran?….right.”

      The contrast was between the fact that the government considers one to be a terrorist, while the other hasn’t coommitted any crimes. Despite this, the former stays in Britain while the latter was ordered back to Iran. I don’t want to see anyone Britain deports tortured, but I don’t hold with the notion that we cannot deport anyone, however bad, just because their country’s legal system might not be perfect.

    7. gump — on 8th March, 2008 at 1:45 pm  

      no, it can’t just pass another law. it’s not that simple.
      again, if you read the article it’s the European Convention for Human Rights.
      We can’t just pass the law to get rid off it.
      We would either have to remove ourselves from the convention, therefore not offering that protection to anyone, or find a way of circumventing it.
      It’s not as simple as : “all it needs to do is pass another law”
      read some debates about human rights and you’ll find out it is not that straightforward.

      your second point doesn’t make sense.
      you say that you don’t want anyone that is deported to be tortured but then go on to say that you don’t want people not to be deported because their legal system is “bad”
      using your definition of “bad” as being a legal system which includes torture as a practice, you will be happy for a suspect to be tortured because they may be a terrorist.
      again, your happy to have someone tortured in India but not in Iran.

      Regardless of the crime committed, if your against torture the stance should be nobody should be tortured. And the govt should seek reassurances from the destination country that they won’t be.
      Otherwise your stance is: well, if the crime is serious enough i’d like to see them sent back, and if they are going to be tortured, well, there’s not much we can do because their legal system is bad.

    8. digitalcntrl — on 8th March, 2008 at 2:03 pm  

      “The fact that this news was largely greeted with either indifference or congratulations prompted a wave of smugness, especially when compared to the way homosexuals are viewed by some in America.”

      I have to admit you g suys have omething to be smug about. At least your primary right wing party is ok with gays. Here most republicans have a visceral reaction to them. Most gays are respected in cosmopolitan cities but may have problems if you live among rednecks. The social conservative wing of the Republican party follows the three G’s: God, Guns, and Gays.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNC8qQwuysA

    9. Rumbold — on 11th March, 2008 at 11:31 am  

      Gump:

      “no, it can’t just pass another law. it’s not that simple. again, if you read the article it’s the European Convention for Human Rights.
      We can’t just pass the law to get rid off it.”

      Legally, it is simple enough. We can simply repeal the act, then bring in to law all the bits that we want to keep. Politically though, you are right.

      “Otherwise your stance is: well, if the crime is serious enough i’d like to see them sent back, and if they are going to be tortured, well, there’s not much we can do because their legal system is bad.”

      Or rather I don’t like torture but occasionally would endorse a person being deported if he is a serious risk to this country, even if he may be tortured in the future.

    10. paul canning — on 11th March, 2008 at 1:45 pm  

      Hi, thank you for covering this.

      If readers want to follow this story I am updating news here
      http://paulcanning.blogspot.com/2008/02/update-iranian-gay-deportee-mehdi.html

      cheers

      Paul Canning

    11. Ashik — on 11th March, 2008 at 2:05 pm  

      In my opinion, it is not possible to comment on the individual case of Mr. Kazemi without having perused the Secretary of States (SoS) decision as communicated in the Reasons For Refusal Letter. The decision will no doubt address various matters such as the general credibility of this gentleman’s claim, his immigration history, country of origin information and current caselaw regarding the treatment of homosexuals in Iran. Findings in caselaw are arrived at by an independent body, namely the Judiciary.

      Therefore, comparisons made between individual unrelated decisions ie. an Iranian and Indian citizen are futile and misleading.

      Has Mr. Kazemi appealed the SoS’s decision in the courts? If not why not?

    12. sonia — on 11th March, 2008 at 5:13 pm  

      Some of you guys on this thread are terrible - no feelings for what this young man is going through, none at all. there are far easier lower-profile ways to sort out immigration without announcing to the world you’re gay, given how much trouble that would cause for him, given his background. really, just cos no one is going to send some of you anywhere you dont have your precious rights, you just don’t give a damn do you?

      Rumbold thank you for highlighting this case. I really really hope this guy finds some way of evading what would happen to him if he ever found himself in Iran again.

    13. sonia — on 11th March, 2008 at 5:15 pm  

      Ashik -

      “current caselaw regarding the treatment of homosexuals in Iran.”

      what- do you live in la la land or something? “current caselaw” my foot.

    14. sonia — on 11th March, 2008 at 5:18 pm  

      Oh yeah, and let’s remind anyone who wants to talk of Khilafas ever again, how everyone will then need to rush off somewhere else if they are gay to avoid situations like these.

    15. Ashik — on 11th March, 2008 at 6:04 pm  

      ‘what- do you live in la la land or something? “current caselaw” my foot’

      I’m sure there are Iranian Country Guidance (CG) cases out there. The findings in those cases are BINDING on an Immigration Judge. Failure to follow CG can lead to an IJ’s decision being overturned on appeal either by the Home Office or the clients representative. Therefore caselaw is often determinative. Another reason why comparing India and Iran is not consistent.

      As for Iranians, due to the current Islamist regime claiming asylum as homosexuals is rather common. Just as amongst Bengalis claiming to be Behari is en vogue. As i stated, credibility is a factor in asylum decisions.

    16. Don — on 11th March, 2008 at 6:36 pm  

      ‘credibility is a factor in asylum decisions.’

      http://vwt.d2g.com:8081/iran_hanging.jpg

      Credible?

    17. soru — on 11th March, 2008 at 6:39 pm  

      Regardless of the crime committed, if your against torture the stance should be nobody should be tortured.

      Yes, but the alternative to deportation should be indefinite detention, not the de-facto legalisation of the murder of indians, americans and anyone else outside europe.

    18. fugstar — on 11th March, 2008 at 11:20 pm  

      one way out that seems to have been found in iran these days is through a sex change operation.

      i think canada’s a more likely, accepting attractive asylum destination for the lad. (if he has other qualifications)

    19. douglas clark — on 12th March, 2008 at 12:23 am  

      Ashik.

      Lets leave the Iran, India thing to one side.

      What exactly is a ‘Country Guidance’, and why should Judges be expected to adhere to it?

      It would seem to me, that anything that cuts across the European Convention on Human Rights will be, correctly, struck down. I’ve not checked recently, but I’d assume extraditing folk to cruel and unusual punishments might just be within that jurisdiction.

      You appear to have found a loophole. Please tell us more, so we can shut that loophole down.

    20. A Councillor writes — on 12th March, 2008 at 8:05 am  

      No, fugstar, that’s no way out.

      I’ve been happily and openly gay for 24 years now, at no point in my life have I ever wanted a sex change. Transgendered and Gay are very different things.

      British asylum policy towards LGBT people is quite appalling in a number of areas.

    21. Ashik — on 12th March, 2008 at 10:22 am  

      Country Guidance cases are used to make specific findings about certain countries for appeals. It isn’t a ‘loophole’ as findings are made with the UK’s commitments under the ECHR in mind. Sometimes the findings favour the appellant and sometimes the Home Office. It depends on the in-country situation, hence the name Country Guidance.

      An example of a CG case is LP Sri Lanka CG (2007). This assesses the risk of persecution for Sri Lankan Tamils with (suspected or actual) links to the LTTE. This appeal was heard before a panel of Senior Immigration Judges due to it’s importance. It was found that Tamils were not at risk per se in Colombo, hence the Home Office often argue that ‘internal relocation’ for returning asylum seekers is a possibility. In reply, representatives will counter by pointing to the risk of an asylum seeker being identified, interviewed and detained at Colombo airport. A list (13 factors) of factors that may increase the risk of persecution was also arrived at eg. a young male Tamis with visible scarring and an outstanding arrest order is more likely to be at risk than an elderly female Tamil returni8ng asylum seeker with no previous criminal record.

      One other reason CG cases hold such importance is that independent expert evidence is provided by the asylum seeker and heard by the Judges in making their findings. For example Dr. Chris Smith, an expert on the situation in Sri Lanka was commissioned to gave expert evidence in LP. It is therefore quite correct for the Judge to be bound by CG cases. Otherwise how does one make an assessment which is fair and consistent, for example with regards Tamil appeals (or Iranian homosexuals for that matter)?

      I have read that Mr. Kazemi has lost his appeal to the Dutch authorities. His is appeals rights are exhausted. I therefore support his deportation.

    22. fugstar — on 12th March, 2008 at 10:59 am  

      #20
      Call it a different institutional categorisation or something. Im not expecting western style pride political activism in iran, though im expecting folks in the west to encourage it.

    23. Ashik — on 12th March, 2008 at 11:20 am  

      Isn’t the Islamic position on homosexuals to push them off cliffs? Why are the Iranians hanging them? Isn’t that unIslamic? Is it a Shia thing?

    24. fugstar — on 12th March, 2008 at 12:24 pm  

      The religious position is that activity, not feeling, is forbidden. I think.

      cf. ‘push them of the cliff’
      Im no lawyer btw. but I beleive thats a cartoon of an approach. A decontextualised slogan probably truncated from a scripture which might suit some to believe is ‘Islamic’ over all time, scale and space. It serves someone’s purpose i guess.

      There are many other approaches (some of which dont exist yet) that dwell more on ‘enjoining the good’ part of the social ethic. It’s not my pet topic though. some others have made it. I do wonder what kind of religiously social research they do on this in the muslim world. Someone somewhere must have looked into this in the past.

      I dont think we’ve been all that bothered with mass spying, policing and witch hunting in history. Its only recent thing. Besides i dont beleive this issue ranks highly in the public interest in mainly muslim societies. On the micro scale though families and individuals do need to learn how to deal with it gracefully and drop the victorial values that we somehow picked up during colonisation.

      http://gaymuslims.wordpress.com have some resources on it that id call social-religious. its probably not everybodys cup of tea.

      Theres a funny recent article on the issue in ‘modarn’ Bangladesh. In true missionary style it concludes with a plea for western style political mobilisation, kinship and community building.

      http://himalmag.com/2008/march/cover_bangladeshi_gay_community.htm

    25. Sid — on 12th March, 2008 at 12:38 pm  

      Except that gaymuslims blog is rabidly homophobic, if you care to look. No idea why anyone should link to it and give it the respectability of calling it “social-religious”, whatever that may mean.

      The himalmag article is a plea to muslims in Bangladesh to come out of the cyber-closet and assert themselves politically. Why do you sneer at this honest call for politicisation in the face of conservative myopia, when you yourself say in #22 “though im expecting folks in the west to encourage it”?

    26. fugstar — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:05 pm  

      “Except that gaymuslims blog is rabidly homophobic, if you care to look.”

      If youre a muslim struggling with issues of integrity of faith and samesex attraction I would direct you either to a person, or to that website. That mainly a comment on the lack of resources and mojo on the issue. I suspect public guidance on this will improve with time. Like i said, not everyones cup of tea. I dont think its as malicious as you though. Maybe we have normalised different values..

      “Why do you sneer at this honest call for politicisation in the face of conservative myopia, when you yourself say in #22 “though im expecting folks in the west to encourage it”?”

      I think they both support eachother. Liberal eastern wannabe journo trying to turn his people into a joke, and righteous indignation encrusted imperialistic habits of some in the west, bound to ‘civilise’ and westoxify.

      I dont know of the chaps honesty, but i really find it sad how mental captives of the east copy their masters in their political islam, their civil society, their educational systems, their civil services, their ideas and now… in this.

    27. sonia — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:19 pm  

      goodness Ashiq, do you think the Islamic world is full of cliffs? what if there wasn’t a cliff to push them off? e.g. there were no cliffs in kuwait where i grew up - its a bloody flat desert - what should they do in that instance? i wonder who came up with ‘throwing people off cliffs’ idea!

      I don’t really care whether it is ‘un-Islamic’ to hang gay people or it if its preferable to push people off cliffs, the fact that enough people out there think homosexual activitiy is punishable by death of some kind or other is grotesque.

      There is disagreement among scholars on what kind of punishment, and the severity, of punishment, for ‘practising’ homosexuals.

      You guys probably should be reading ‘eye on gay muslims‘ the people there would be right up your street.

      But we know anyway that it would all depend on the particular judge’s ruling - in any case - given the lack of codification of Islamic Law. there appears to be general agreement amongst the people i call ‘hard-liners’ that “sodomy” is punishable by ‘death’.
      but again, disagreement on what form that should take.

      Some people have also suggested that the punishment need not be “of this world”. Some people have also suggested that the punishment should be the ‘least severe option’, whatever that is.

      So there you go - all depends on who’s in power, who’s ruling. Goodness, what a mess - why would anyone in their right mind let themselves in for any of this kind of crap I don’t know.

    28. Sid — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:21 pm  

      Its myopic attitudes like yours which makes gay people struggle with their sexuality. People are gay whether they may be muslim or not. Ten to fifteen of any human population is going to be gay. If you want to see “westofied” then tale a look at Iranian or Saudi society and you will see a mirror image of Victorian values.

      I would advise muslim homophobes like you, that if sharia can’t accept homosexuals then it’s well on the way to irrelevance. Muslim homosexuals do not need to accept sharia if’s interpretation by dunces like you means that they have been created to be punished by death.

    29. sonia — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:29 pm  

      very good point Sid.

      it always seems that homophobia is rife in people who can’t honestly accept that they might be interested in someone of the opposite sex.

    30. sonia — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:30 pm  

      same sex i mean

    31. fugstar — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:30 pm  

      oh dear. gollums back. homophobe as well now am I? do you ever just think about thing for more than a nano second… or say the second thing that comes into your head?

      sonia, ever heard of the majella?

    32. Sid — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:31 pm  

      My comment is not directed at Sonia, of course, but to the homophobic “vanguard of Islam” on this thread. And I meant Ten to Fifteen percent of any human population, not just ten to fifteen, though I’m sure that’s how many Ahmaidejad would like. Would mean massive savings on hanging rope.

    33. Sid — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:34 pm  

      oh dear. gollums back. homophobe as well now am I?

      If the shoe fits…

    34. sonia — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:41 pm  

      seems to me fugstar can’t stand anything he refers to as ‘western’..the poor thing, no wonder he’s so full of existential angst. sounds like he needs to give up his British passport (hanging on to it is just increasing your sin and you know it brother ) and go and sit on a mountainside in Tibet or something.

      no ive never heard of the majella why dont you enlighten me o blessed one?

    35. sonia — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:42 pm  

      fugstar hasn’t a critical bone in his body when it comes to his religion it seems to me.

    36. Sid — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:53 pm  

      its not religion for him, it’s a “badge of honour”. The Grand Mufti of Western Islamicism

    37. sonia — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:56 pm  

      true.. he seems to think it marks him out somehow from the ‘masses’..ah the poor sod, if only he’d been born in saudi or sth instead of the east end, perhaps he wouldn’t feel the need to prove himself so much. sigh..

    38. fugstar — on 12th March, 2008 at 1:58 pm  

      folks, the south asian religion issues are getting very grating. dont you bore yourselves to death already?

      Majella was a codification of Islamic Law in late ottoman times. There are translations of it that are available in english if you are interested. It was a western influenced innovation that may or may not have been right or successful.

    39. Sid — on 12th March, 2008 at 2:01 pm  

      folks, the south asian religion issues are getting very grating. dont you bore yourselves to death already?

      Yep, especially since the only person who’s mentioned “south asian” on this thread has been you.

    40. fugstar — on 12th March, 2008 at 2:01 pm  

      oh dear. the expato-freshi seems to be making very wrong assumptions. my commiserations on growing up in the gulf area. trouble separating religion and contemporary arab malaise from an early age?

      interesting.

    41. Sid — on 12th March, 2008 at 2:06 pm  

      Do you not think it might be in the interests of your credibility to eat your own dogfood; by living in the societies and experiencing first hand the malaise that you defend so readily?

    42. Rumbold — on 12th March, 2008 at 2:15 pm  

      Fugstar:

      Why do you wish to deny others the freedoms you yourself enjoy? Honestly, I cannot fathom your reasoning.

    43. Ashik — on 12th March, 2008 at 2:33 pm  

      Whenever I feel disgusted by the idea of homosexual activity I remind myself how disgusting the thought of heterosexual activity must be to homosexuals.

      My observation is that homosexuality is quite acceptable in Bangladesh. And it’s quite open as well. I’ve seen blokes holding hands in public without anyone commenting.

    44. Sid — on 12th March, 2008 at 2:42 pm  

      In Bangladesh, men holding hands in public or more tactility in general is a cultural norm and does not necessarily mean they’re gay. No more than the French custom of men kissing means the kissers are gay.

    45. fugstar — on 12th March, 2008 at 3:01 pm  

      ashik,
      deshi blokes holding hands and being touchy is normal. what bothers me is if hypersensitivity is aroused by western style politicisation.. so i wont be able to get a room with a mate in some random ganj or town without suspicion. you can’t even do official youth work in this country(uk) without having to prove your lack of convictions. public displays of affection to children and real organic social relationships are threatened by this kind of lack-of-trust-thing.

      rumbold,
      im not malicious. its the deed, not the dude.

      If something is regarded as wrong in the religion i hold, im not going to change the religion. What’s a crime against god in the muslim view, isnt a crime against me and doesnt concern me all that much. State doesnt interest me as much as society. So the denial of freedom thing isnt my objective. I dont know why you got that impression, was it anything i said? or was it stuff that rhymes with what i said? I don’t apply my view (as if thats ever important) outside the community that holds the religious belief.

      i’m interested in this to the extent of finding a better answer to the question ‘What ways can sexual morality and chastity be maintained and improved amongst the beleivers, without tired social techniques like boycotting and legalese?’

      Real believing people have real problems with this and it makes them miserable. Sorry its not as sexy a topic as stuff like ‘radicalism’.

      does that make my reasoning clear?

      armchair sid.
      Where did you get the impression that i hadnt already done that? Is your view the only one that can exist?

    46. Arif — on 12th March, 2008 at 3:08 pm  

      I’d argue if an asylum-seeker’s claim is rejected, and they are deported, then they should have the protection from the British State of a UK Citizen in the country they are deported to. If the UK Government is so sure the person is not in danger, this should be no skin off their nose.

      What if Mr Kazemi is “disappeared” or given due process under laws which infringe his human rights? Do we wash our hands and say we followed due process here as well? If that is what is happening, we should change the laws, ours as well as theirs - and obviously a sincere human rights advocate in the UK should focus on the UK’s laws changing to protect people like Mr Kazemi, and a human rights organisation in Iran should focus on changing Iran’s laws.

      The more important thing is to protect Mr Kazemi, not find ways to justify getting rid of him. He does not fit the UK or Iranian Governments’ vision of the society they would like or believe to be workable or fair. The compassionate policy is to work out what would make it workable, likeable and fair to include Mr Kazemi in our societies and be willing to change every law there is to get it. I’d prefer this to leaving it to compassionate people to take risks in order to protect Mr Kazemi as a fugitive from (compassionless sytems of) justice.

    47. Sid — on 12th March, 2008 at 3:10 pm  

      im not malicious. its the deed, not the dude.

      So you’re saying is that the homosexual act is criminal under sharia law not the homosexual? Except, you realise don’t you, that “sharia law” punishes the dude with death, but the deed. I’m not willing to believe that you don’t understand that.

    48. sonia — on 12th March, 2008 at 3:11 pm  

      did all the schools/madhabs accept this codification? what have the implications of this codification been - historically - and following on from that, on current scholarship? seeing as there is no central authority, who accepts the legitimacy of this document? And you say it dates back to Ottoman times, more information on this is appreciated, yes i am very interested.

      what contemporary arab malaise are you talking about? too much money? lack of human rights? yes of course and that applies to where i myself come from, and to my own family background and ancestors, unfortunately for me i am descended from zamindars. yes we are a bunch of imperialists, some of us can admit it and move on, and some of us can’t. my background definitely makes me appreciate places where a) there is egalitarianism and a concept of social welfare and b) people are critical of imperialism, regardless whether their precious families/tribes/’imagined communities’ had a hand in it or not.

      And having spent most of my growing up years in Kuwait.. from the point of view of religion = islam, it was as good as it was going to get. In the shadow of Saudi, one was certainly was very much aware of what life could’ve been like, but thankfully wasn’t. And yes i thought very poorly of Saudi Arabia, one visit there at the age of 6, when i lived in zambia, was enough for me to know i never again wanted to set foot in that religiously fundamentalistic psycho place. And i never did again thank goodness, despite living next door to it later on, and fingers crossed i never will.

      and the best thing was i never met a single person who desired khilafas - anywhere in the middle east. oh im sure there were people who thought that, but they were clearly religious freaks or hardline mullahs. that sort of rubbish as a ‘standard theory’ I only heard after moving to the UK as an international student and most bewildering i found it. ‘what just cos you’re a muslim you swallow anything labelled as ‘islamic’? how freaky. and those people who fell for this nonsens seemed to think it was not a freakish idea, and that absolutely bizarre.

    49. sonia — on 12th March, 2008 at 3:18 pm  

      its the deed not the dude, good so don’t punish him then.

    50. sonia — on 12th March, 2008 at 3:20 pm  

      ..”that absolutely bizarre”.. i meant to say, and that i find absolutely bizarre.

    51. fugstar — on 12th March, 2008 at 3:33 pm  

      on the sharia, its origines, principles and evolution through time and space there are plenty of non humanrights bitchy sources in good english by beleivers. eg. Kamali and Nyazee.

      For your record. I dont believe caliphatehood is the eternally mandated solution for muslim problems and get exceedingly pissed off with ummahchocolate/ ummahfoods. I would like better leadership and greater Muslim dignity though, am in awe of the ummah and the position of khalifa wrt humankind and earth. this latter issues are bog standard muslim values.

    52. fugstar — on 12th March, 2008 at 3:37 pm  

      im not punishing him. where did you get that idea.

      if you have credible time series data on number of homosexuality convictions/Total number of practicing homosexuals in iran id be interested. but no. this is about headlines.

      id like for muslim society to be better able to guide people like him.. and the taslima nasreens et al of the world. So we dont have the undignified situation of folks running off to escape.

    53. Sid — on 12th March, 2008 at 3:49 pm  

      If you don’t care what happens to the guy in the religious world you live in, why do you care that he has to “run off to escape” a lynching by your muttatwas? You haven’t thought this through, judging from the your warped synthesis of a value system you can’t evaluate without sentimentalising it in your own head. Luckily we don’t all live in there with you. Come back when you’ve overcome your own personal contradictions.

    54. Rumbold — on 12th March, 2008 at 7:17 pm  

      Fugstar:

      “If something is regarded as wrong in the religion i hold, im not going to change the religion. What’s a crime against god in the muslim view, isnt a crime against me and doesnt concern me all that much. State doesnt interest me as much as society. So the denial of freedom thing isnt my objective. I dont know why you got that impression, was it anything i said? or was it stuff that rhymes with what i said? I don’t apply my view (as if thats ever important) outside the community that holds the religious belief.

      i’m interested in this to the extent of finding a better answer to the question ‘What ways can sexual morality and chastity be maintained and improved amongst the beleivers, without tired social techniques like boycotting and legalese?’”

      Well, if you don’t want homosexual acts to be prohibited by law then I apologise for the misunderstanding.

    55. fugstar — on 12th March, 2008 at 7:22 pm  

      mehdi bhai, try canada. dont let these people use you.

    56. Rumbold — on 12th March, 2008 at 7:24 pm  

      “Dont let these people use you.”

      ?

    57. fugstar — on 12th March, 2008 at 7:46 pm  

      56
      Some folks, prolly myself included, have a tendancy to use other people’s problems for their own intellectual self pleasurement. should be avoided.

    58. Sid — on 12th March, 2008 at 7:52 pm  

      i’m interested in this to the extent of finding a better answer to the question ‘What ways can sexual morality and chastity be maintained and improved amongst the beleivers, without tired social techniques like boycotting and legalese?’

      Why should “sexual morality and chastity” in Iran, and for you that means reducing homosesual actvity I’m sure, be “maintained” by Westerners recoiling in horror at the lynching of gays?

      This is analoguous to saying,

      “i’m interested in this to the extent of finding a better answer to the question of improved human rights and freedom amongst the beleivers, by bringing the word of god to bear on homosexuals.

    59. sonia — on 13th March, 2008 at 2:04 am  

      yes let’s not talk about mehdi ‘bhai’ -why that would be using him! so let us ignore him, leave him to his fate, and reconcile ourselves to his no doubt sure torture and death - that would be the honourable, not-using, thing to do.

    60. Ashik — on 13th March, 2008 at 11:00 am  

      It’s probably fair to say homosexuality is severely punished in closed societies where deviation from the norm is frowned on.

      I think Abrahamic faiths abhor homosexuality mainly because of the implications for procreation rather than just for being gay. Hence the severe punishments in the Quran/Bible. A middle ages Pope once said that it was better that a man rapes a nun than that he masturbates because at least he is not wasting his seed!

      Homosexuality was also severely punished in Secular countries like the Ex-Soviet Union. Weird since Communism was supposed to be about sexual and gender equality (and was relatively speaking in places like Communist Afghanistan).

    61. sonia — on 13th March, 2008 at 1:52 pm  

      Yes there are plenty of examples of closed societies and their transgressions. It does not excuse any of it.

      And it is also pretty stupid about ‘wasting seed’ because the human race is = if anything - in danger of dying out because of over-population, not underpopulation.

    62. sonia — on 13th March, 2008 at 1:53 pm  

      i’m not suggesting you are stupid Ashiq, in case you get the wrong idea, but suggesting that the obsession with “seed” is stupid.

    63. Sid — on 13th March, 2008 at 1:59 pm  

      wasting seed? most hetereosexuals are wankers anyway.

    64. Ashik — on 13th March, 2008 at 2:00 pm  

      Couldn’t agree more. No offence taken.

      Concept of seed is still important in Eastern societies for inheritance purposes. It used to be important in Europe till recently. Hell, the treason laws in the UK still class having sexual intercourse with the wife or eldest unmarried daughter of the reigning monarch as treason.

    65. Katy Newton — on 13th March, 2008 at 2:17 pm  

      I guess credibility would come into it if there was some reason for believing that this man wasn’t really gay or didn’t really have a boyfriend who had named him as his lover. There are undoubtedly immigrants who lie about their circumstances to get leave to stay. Hell, there are immigrants who lie about which country they came from. An interpreter told me that a lot of the time she was called in to interpret for people from, say, Iraq, and it would be immediately obvious to her that the person she was speaking to hadn’t even been there on holiday. So in that sense, yes, credibility is an issue. But if what this boy says is true I do not understand how anyone could think it would be right to send him back to be executed and as far as I’m concerned that’s the end of it.

    66. Rumbold — on 13th March, 2008 at 2:50 pm  

      George Galloway is now smearing the dead boyfriend of Mehdi Kazemi. Apparently Iran is nice to homosexuals (if it even has any), and the boyfriend was executed for ‘sex crimes’. This a common slur used by Iran and other regimes who want to kill homosexuals. The other common one is to arrest people for ‘terrorist offences’, knowing that there then will not be much protest.

      Video here:

      http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2008/03/13/galloway_shills_for_iranian_gallows.php

      Just when you think he cannot sink any lower, he does. If dark-skinned Muslims said half the things he said they would be under arrest and charged with glorifying terrorism.

    67. ZinZin — on 13th March, 2008 at 3:18 pm  

      Rumbold
      I don’t think anyone doubts the existence of Galloway’s humanitarian credentials. The man is a homophobe and his dissembling is appalling. He should be sued for defamation.

    68. bananabrain — on 13th March, 2008 at 5:55 pm  

      i personally would like to know if his humanitarian principles extend as far as supporting the right of a future islamist government to [re-]introduce slavery as provided for in shari’a!

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    69. tim — on 13th March, 2008 at 6:10 pm  

      you need to realise that Galloway is now being paid by the Iranian Regime through Press TV.

      Remember his attitude to the sex criminal Uday Hussein.
      He grovelled and referred to him as “Your Excellency”
      Months later the cash began to flow.

    70. Rumbold — on 13th March, 2008 at 7:55 pm  

      ZinZin:

      “He should be sued for defamation.”

      It might not come to anything but it would be fun to watch.

    71. ZinZin — on 13th March, 2008 at 9:04 pm  

      “It might not come to anything but it would be fun to watch”

      One day..One day

    72. sonia — on 13th March, 2008 at 11:27 pm  

      68 good question bananabrain

    73. Jet — on 21st March, 2008 at 8:42 pm  

      Mehdi is not completely safe yet and he needs all the support he can get!

      Please visit http://www.madhikazemi.com/ and
      http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/UKMADHI/signatures.html as well.

      Thnx in advance,

      Jet

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