While different media sources have turned their focus towards the progressing process in Iraq, Belagh Media Center, an internet based media outlet established by its Secretary General, Ammar Al-Hakim, chose a different topic to publish on its website.
Ammar Al-Hakim is the son of Abdul Aziz Al Hakim, the president of the “Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council” and the leader of the “United Iraqi Alliance”, the largest block in the Iraqi parliament. Both are very extremist Shiites and have openly attached Iraqi from other sects.
The Belagh Media Center published an article under the title, “Four Corpses of Homosexuals Were Found in Baghdad.” The article says that the Iraqi security forces found the four corpses in the Sadir City, one of Al-Mahdi Army’s, Muqtada Al Sadir’s militia’s strongholds in Baghdad. The article also calls homosexuals with a demeaning slang from the Iraqi dialect, “Little dogs.”
The article expresses fear of the act being one sign of the deteriorating security situation in Baghdad, however, the author justifies, “Even though homosexuality is very spread in the Arab countries, but it is a phenomenon that is hated by Baghdadis.”
This is a media outlet that is followed by many Iraqis just for the fact that they are religious clerics. It is time for human rights organization to advocate against the religious extremism the country is moving towards by these clerics. It is time that the Iraqis live a more liberated life. That is a clear attack against homosexuals. Iraq has no specific laws against sex individuals’ sexual preferences. One might argue that it is too naive to be asking for gay toleration or even gay rights in the Middle East but even during Saddam Hussein’s era, homosexuals were tolerated in Iraq more than most other Middle Eastern countries. This act can be very well related to Iranian influence. Many were outraged by Ahmedi Najad’s comment in New York last year when he told the American public that there are absolutely no homosexuals in Iran and it is against the culture. Ammar Al-Hakim grew up in Iran, where he also attended several Islamic education institutes. Al-Hakims have very strong relations with the current Iranian government.
Homosexual might not be the most popular and most common label to have in Iraq, but to killing them was never common and is one more reason to make targets out of Iraqis.
This is one more example of the obstacles those political religious figures have set in the Iraqi society. If we are to be ruled by Islamic extremist demagogues, democracy, human rights, prosperity will never find their way to the life of the Iraqi individual.