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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 9, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 41
ISIS throws more Gay men to their death; what, if anything, can be done to stop this horror?
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ISIS throws more Gay men to their death; what, if anything, can be done to stop this horror?

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The photos are horrible to look at. The words are disgusting to read. But we cannot look away. We mustn't ignore the fact that on what has become almost a monthly showing of barbarism and bigotry, Islamic State (ISIS) militants throw men off of the tops of buildings because they are found guilty of being Gay.

On October 4, ARA reported that ISIS murdered two Iraqi men for being Gay. ARA News is a Syrian independent press agency concerned with covering local developments across Syria, including its Kurdish region.

'On Sunday afternoon, Daesh (ISIS) called on the people of Mosul to gather in the square of Bab al-Toub [in the city of Mosul] in order to witness the execution of the two men,' an eyewitness told ARA News. 'The victims were taken to the top of a building and were brutally thrown off the roof.'

These murders follow reports on Twitter account Terrormonitor.org, that two other men were murdered in the city of Nineveh in the same fashion.

In July, Islamic State militants threw two men off a building for 'being Gay' before stoning them to death. In April militants fighting in Syria brutally stoned two Gay men to death only seconds after they were photographed embracing and 'forgiving' them. And at the beginning of June, militants threw three men, accused of being Gay, from the top of a high building in front of a huge crowd of bloodthirsty onlookers. The baying crowd were then encouraged to surge forward and stone the men, who had been horrifically injured on impact, to death with a mass of rocks.

In August, several Gay Muslims told the U.N. Security Council, 'We are hated, and our suffering and death brings joy to people.'

On August 24, the United Nations Security Council met to discuss LGBT persecution for the first time in its history. A Gay Muslim man, calling himself only 'Adnan' gave his testimony over the phone, speaking from an undisclosed location, where he lives in fear.

The meeting was convened to discuss the terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) and its attacks on LGBTQ people. Adnan's testimony was an upsetting description of running from one homophobic attack after another since 2013 - at the hands of not only ISIS, but the Iraqi army, other Iraqi citizens, and even his own family.

'There were militiamen or security men who - if they found out someone was Gay - would arrest him, rape him, torture him. There were lots of murders supervised by the Iraqi Army,' said Adnan in his testimony to the U.N. Security Council. 'Videos came out of people being burned alive or stoned and you can see soldiers in them. I have seen a video where some Gay men had ropes put around their necks and they were dragged around the streets, and people were throwing stones at them. And when they were half-dead, they were set on fire. Some people had their rectums glued up and were then left to die in the desert.'

When ISIS took control Adnan was in college. Militia members began to visit his family's home and threaten his life. His family turned against him; and because being Gay in Iraq is punishable by death, and he couldn't get help from police or the state, he fled.

'They [ISIS] hunt them down one by one,' said Adnan. 'When they capture people, they go through the person's phone and contacts and Facebook friends. They are trying to track down every gay man. And it's like dominoes. If one goes, the others will be taken down too.'

Adnan has been personally attacked by groups of people on the street. One time, he says, three people knocked him to the ground and shaved his head. Another time, he was beaten and kicked 'almost unconscious,' he said.

Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), says that ISIS militants have killed at least 30 people for the perceived crime of sodomy. The violence particularly plagues Iraqi and Syrian LGBT people. However, murder is the most extreme form of violence. In addition to men perceived as Gay, Trans-identified people and Lesbians are among those who have been raped and killed.

The OutRight Action International (formerly known as IGLHRC or the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission) has been tracking reports of Islamic State-led homophobic murders on a timeline.

But many of the speakers discussed facing just as much of a threat from their own families as from ISIS.

'If I'd stayed, ISIS would have come for me and killed me the way they've killed others. If ISIS didn't get me, members of my family would have done it,' Adnan said.

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