"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Monday, July 27, 2015

Iraq: Huge crowd gathers to watch ISIS throw gay man off building

New photographs have emerged showing Islamic State militants throwing yet another man off a building accused of being gay.

In the images, which have not been verified, hundreds of other militants carrying weapons gathered on the main street in the Iraqi town of Mosul to watch the execution. 

In one photo, several children can be seen at the front of the crowd in khaki robes.

In another, four jihadis in white robes and black tactical vests stand in a line behind the accused who is blindfolded and keeling on the ground, while a judge reads out a statement condemning the man to his death over a microphone system.

It is unclear how the man was discovered to be gay.

The terrorist group did not release images of the moment they threw him off the building, as they have done previously. Instead, the last image shows his dead body crumpled on the ground.

And to ‘celebrate’ the legalization of gay marriage nationwide in the US last month, ISIS posted photos of militants throwing four gay men off a building in Raqqa, Syria with the hashtag #LoveWins.

ISIS have killed dozens of gay men, whom they have branded the ‘worst of creatures,’ since the beginning of the year.

Source: Gay Star News, July 27, 2015

What Does Islam Say About Being Gay?

At the heart of the Islamic view on homosexuality lies the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is narrated in the Quran, too. According to scripture, the Prophet Lot had warned his people of “immorality,” for they did “approach men with desire, instead of women.” In return, the people warned by Lot tried to expel their prophet from the city, and even tried to sexually abuse the angels who came down to Lot in the guise of men. Consequently, God destroyed the people of Lot with a colossal natural disaster, only to save the prophet and a few fellow believers.

The average conservative Muslim takes this story as a justification to stigmatize gays, but there is an important question that deserves consideration: Did the people of Lot receive divine punishment for being homosexual, or for attacking Lot and his heavenly guests?

The even more significant nuance is that while the Quran narrates this divine punishment for Sodom and Gomorrah, it decrees no earthly punishment for homosexuality — unlike the Old Testament, which clearly decrees that homosexuals “are to be put to death.”

Medieval Islamic thinkers inferred an earthly punishment by considering homosexuality as a form of adultery. But significant names among them, such as the eighth-century scholar Abu Hanifa, the founder of the popular Hanafi school of jurisprudence, argued that since a homosexual relationship did not produce offspring with an unknown father, it couldn’t be considered adultery.

The real Islamic basis for punishing homosexuality is the hadiths, or sayings, attributed to the Prophet Muhammad. (The same is true for punishments on apostasy, heresy, impiety, or “insults” of Islam: None come from the Quran; all are from certain hadiths.) But the hadiths were written down almost two centuries after the prophet lived, and their authenticity has been repeatedly questioned — as early as the ninth century by the scholar Imam Nesai — and they can be questioned anew today. Moreover, there is no record of the prophet actually having anyone punished for homosexuality.

Such jurisprudential facts might help Muslims today to develop a more tolerant attitude toward gays, as some progressive Islamic thinkers in Turkey, such as Ihsan Eliacik, are encouraging. What is condemned in the story of Lot is not sexual orientation, according to Mr. Eliacik, but sexual aggression. People’s private lives are their own business, he argues, whereas the public Muslim stance should be to defend gays when they are persecuted or discriminated against — because Islam stands with the downtrodden.

It is also worth recalling that the Ottoman Caliphate, which ruled the Sunni Muslim world for centuries and which the current Turkish government claims to emulate, was much more open-minded on this issue. Indeed, the Ottoman Empire had an extensive literature of homosexual romance, and an accepted social category of transvestites. The Ottoman sultans, arguably, were social liberals compared with the contemporary Islamists of Turkey, let alone the Arab World.

Click here to read the full article

Source: The New York Times, The Opinion Pages, Mustafa Akyol, July 28, 2015. Mustafa Akyol is the author of “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty.”

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