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2 teenage boys publically executed in Iran for homosexuality

topic posted Thu, July 21, 2005 - 11:17 AM by  Blair
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Report: Iran Gay Teens Executed
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff - July 21, 2005 11:00 am ET

(London) Two teenagers have been executed after a religious court found them them guilty of homosexuality according to pro-Democracy groups.

The Iranian Students News Agency reports that the executions took place on July 19 in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

One teen, ISNA says was 18, the other was a minor, believed to be 16 or 17. The organization ran a picture of what it said was the execution on its Web site.

The English language Iran In Focus also reported the executions, saying the teens were hanged in public in the city square. It quotes sources as saying the teens were executed for having sex with another minor but this could not be confirmed. The report does not name the victim. Under Sharia law the victim of a sexual assault must also be executed.

Both news services say that prior to their execution, the teenagers were held in prison for 14 months, severely beaten and given the lash 228 times.

A report of the executions was also carried on the website of the respected democratic opposition movement, The National Council of Resistance Of Iran.

Ruhollah Rezazadeh, the lawyer for the younger teen reportedly had appealed the death sentence but the Supreme Court in Tehran ordered him to be hanged.

Under the Iranian penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be hanged.

Three other young gay Iranians are reportedly being hunted by police, but they are said to have gone into hiding and cannot be found. If caught, they would also face execution.

The British LGBT rights group OutRage has called for sanctions against Iran. The organization has called for western states to break off diplomatic relations, impose trade sanctions and treat Iran as "a pariah state".

"This is just the latest barbarity by the Islamo-fascists in Iran,” said OutRage spokesperson Peter Tatchell.

"The entire country is a gigantic prison, with Islamic rule sustained by detention without trial, torture and state-sanctioned murder.

"According to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4,000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979," said Tatchell.

Iran In Focus reports that members of Iran’s parliament are applauding the court for carrying out the death sentence on the teens.

"These individuals were corrupt. Their sentence was carried out with the approval of the judiciary and it served them right,” the publication quotes Ali Asgari, a member of the Majlis Party Legal Affairs Committee.

At least three men have been sentenced over the past month to death by stoning in Nigeria which also follows Sharia law in several provinces.

In March a gay couple was beheaded in a public execution in Saudi Arabia. The pair had been convicted of killing a blackmailer who had threatened to expose them to authorities. Hundreds of other gays have been rounded up by Saudi authorities in recent months.

www.365gay.com/newscon05/...105iran.htm
posted by:
Blair
Los Angeles
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  • Unsu...
     

    The Judeo Christian scriptures also demand similiar punishments.
    I wonder why America ignores these commandments while still claiming to be "christian".
    • Christianity is an intolerant religion.

      But Christ practiced tolerance above all else.

      And Christians do kill, kill, kill--despite the commandment "Thou shalt not kill."

      And "America" is supposed to embrace freedom of religion, not demand that everyone convert to some variety of Christianity.

      It's no wonder people are so confused.




      • >>Christianity is an intolerant religion.

        No. It's not.

        >>And Christians do kill, kill, kill--despite the commandment "Thou shalt not kill."

        So do Jews. Islams. Hindus. Buddhists. Shintos. Catholics. Gays. Straights. Boys. Girls. Canadians. Botswanians. Etc. Etc. Etc.

        >>And "America" is supposed to embrace freedom of religion -

        Anyone put a gun to your head demanding you subscribe to Christianity lately? No - ah so that was just more baseless, purposeless rhetoric.

        >>he was blaming america for what happened in Iran?

        Why mention America or Christianity at all in a thread dealing with Iran and Islam?
        • "Why mention America or Christianity at all in a thread dealing with Iran and Islam?"

          Interesting question.

          I disagree with your (inflammatory) characterization of my observation as "baseless, purposeless rhetoric." Christianity as the dominant religion in this nation has a place of privilege that other religions don't, in the pledge of allegiance, for one mighty example. I suspect you simply aren't aware of the imbalance of power in terms of religion in this country, because so much of it is unstated, subtly woven into the social fabric, much like our brand of sexism, racism, and classism. or maybe you just have a chip on your shoulder.
        • Unsu...
           
          >>Christianity is an intolerant religion.

          >No. It's not.

          Do me a favor. Go to this page and do a search for homosexual and lying with womankind.

          www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/in...tml
          • >>Do me a favor. Go to this page and do a search for homosexual and lying with womankind.

            Ill pass. What I will do is ask you not to presume that CHRISTIANS dogmatically follow the Bible like other fundementalists worldwide - and perhaps assume that those who you dont agree with are able to evolve socially as well as you are. Now THAT would be a great favor to me.
            • Unsu...
               

              Anderson, I hear you. I wasn't saying all Christians are bad people.
              What I was saying is Christianity also would advocate killing these boys to prevent ppl from getting an a self righteous bandwagon about how backwards Islam is.

              BTW, if you read the Bible, by you not condemning homosexuals you are also going to hell. (Romans 1).
              Where does your theology come from? Is it arbitrarily derived? Emotionally derived? Logically derived? Scientifically derived? Or is it evolved from small aspects of scripture into a hybrid that is no longer canonical.?
              • >>America is a result of the enlightenment - it was created in spite of christian values.

                The Puritans and John Calvin might disagree with you.

                >>Right. Because our society has evolved, with all of its nice christian leaders, into such a gay friendly place.

                Until homosexuals are executed, and their deaths broadcast on State TV - we'll have to agree to disagree. . .on your knowing what you're talking about.
                • Unsu...
                   

                  Anderson, Christianity and its' various sects including Catholicism base their theology on the scriptures.
                  The scriptures are filled with injustice, hatred, xenophobia and specific internal fears.
                  I am not attacking America. Saddam attacked America and puppies, not me.

                  Anyway that annoying snide remark I just made to amuse myself aside, the point being as Lara pointed out most religions have intolerance in them. We for some reason do not en masse support a literal interpretation of our scriptures, and I'm wondering why not.
                  It may have to do with prosperity lowering the value of theo-emotional dependence, but I"m not sure that's the only reason.
                  Your thoughts on this are welcome.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    >>Anyway that annoying snide remark I just made to amuse myself aside, the point being as Lara pointed out most religions have intolerance in them.

                    Besides the point. As I already said - religion evolves. There was a time Hamm's misfortunes were used to justify slavery. And what happens? Abolotionist movement starts, and who do we have to thank? Those preachers and free-blacks gathering in CHURCHES evolving their interpretation or "understanding" of the Bible.

                    The Bible is but ONE facet of Christianity. The Bible is a guide. It no more makes someone a "Christian" than having a "Military Code and Conduct" book makes you a soldier. There is more to it than that, and using it (and whats contained inside) as a single frame of reference to judge those who use it, is dirty pool.
                    • Unsu...
                       

                      The scriptures are the foundation of Christian doctrine. How is it a guide if it is ignored? What portions are believed and which portions are rejected? Why believe Christ even existed? What is the basis for this decision? What is the basis for Christian belief and doctrine? It sounds like you are arguing that Christian truth is determined through committee, appeal to emotion and other socialiation methods.

                      If it is such socialization, it goes against the fundamental tennets of Christianity and is a result of only recent secularization and perversion of the scriptures. Pentacostals, Baptists, and several other Protestant sects would call you a heretic for rejecting the intellectual foundation of the religion which are based in the Cannon.

                      Your argument then becomes American Christians aren't insane militants due to socizliaed chantges. I totally agree with you, however you will need to concede authentic bible based literal interpretation canonical christianity which I might point out most of the south adheres to also condemns homosexuals in the same way Muslim scriptures do.

                      I still would like your conjecture as to why the Christian scriptures (with the exception of the bible belt and other literal churches) are rejected and the Islam ones are taken at face value. Is it our prosperity that has led to a less close study of Torah and NT?

                      Also have you ever spoken to a born again Christian? You will note they believe the bible should be believed and executed word for word. They are American. However they totally neglect their responsibility to kill their unruly child and homosexuals in the general population.
      • Unsu...
         

        " Christ practiced tolerance above all else. "

        No he didn't. He was portrayed as very judgemental. He practically pissed on Gentiles and couldn't even stand most of his own people.
        He condemned to hellfire several people and as personification of the wrath of God also is responsible for the plagues of revelations to come including some pretty bizarre tortures.

        • Unsu...
           
          Christ was a pisser.
          • CRK
            CRK
            offline 2
            << Christ was a pisser. >>

            Here's the difference... someone can say "Christ is a pisser" in America and no one will kill that person. In fact, the overwhelming majority of Americans will defend his/her right to say it -- and chances are the ones most offended by the comment will also be the ones most likely to fight, literally, for his/her right to say it (me).

            Christians, while offended by "Christ is a pisser", will dismiss the comment because of its stupidity -- if they adhere to the teachings of their Faith and their religious leaders. However, if you go to Iran and defame Muhammad... well, good luck, Sharia (Islamic Law) works a little differently than our system of law.... you might be killed and the people and religious leaders would support it, why? Because Sharia is Islamic Law (read: God's law, the only law that matters) and lets be honest, Muslims are more faithful than any other religious group. They take their shit very seriously, they actually listen to their religious leaders... point in case: in America (where people - as a matter of routine - disregard authority) you can put a cross in a jar of piss, burn a stack of bibles, dance around it and yell, "fuck God, fuck the Pope, and his stupid fucking hat!" and no one can legally harm you. Christians will not riot and kill you and all the people that may agree with you. Someone will probably tell you to shut the fuck up, which could escalate into a fist fight (if the Christian ignores his/her religious leader), but he/she would not try to kill you. However, if you mishandle or deface a Koran, especially if you are an infidel whore, then people die in riots and it's "justified" by religious and political leaders.

            To contrast Islam and Christianity:

            Imagine Catholic Law, what's the worst that would happen if the Pope made our civil laws and strictly enforced them? No abortion. No gay marriage. Mandatory church on Sunday, maybe. (Would the Pope publicly hang two homosexual young men because he views their behavior as indulgent and sinful?*)

            Our sense of moral justice renders our sense of social justice.

            The US is a Judeo-Christian nation and our laws reflect those values. Iran is a Muslim nation dictated by Sharia, which reflects Islamic values.

            Make no mistake, the majority of Muslims (maybe not in the US -- even the Catholics are "liberal" here) believe that those two young men got their just retribution. I for one, as a Christian**, am disgusted by the Islamo-fascist sense of moral justice that has rendered itself through Sharia to justify the murder of these young men.

            Personally, I hope there is a revolution in Iran and all those sick fucks running the show get their just retribution. Shit, I might be included to fight along side of the revolutionaries. Maybe it's the violent Christian in me???

            Further, I do not understand how a story about Islamic views on homosexuality and the "just" consequences for transgressing Allah's will can, immediately, be flipped to criticism of Christianity and Christians in general. To do so is a non sequitur. It is sad. And it makes otherwise intelligent people look stupid.

            *If this was a hard question for you, you should be ashamed of yourself.

            **I should note that I didn't start identifying myself as Christian until so many people started identifying themselves as anti-Christian and anti-Jewish. I haven't been to church since I was 13 and don't plan on going in the future.


            • "Christians, while offended by "Christ is a pisser", will dismiss the comment because of its stupidity "...the overwhelming majority of Americans will defend his/her right to say it -- and chances are the ones most offended by the comment will also be the ones most likely to fight, literally, for his/her right to say it"

              Some Christians raised a stink about Serrano's "Piss Christ." The Catholic League and conservative Protestant groups have tried to shut down productions of plays they didn't like.

              "Make no mistake, the majority of Muslims (maybe not in the US -- even the Catholics are "liberal" here) believe that those two young men got their just retribution."

              There are many Iranians who believe that the clerics have gone too far. (And the Catholics here are more conservative than the Catholics in Spain, Canada, and Belgium-- who overwhelmingly support gay marriage.)

              It's not much of a defense of Christians to say that unlike Muslims, they don't kill those who offend them. First of all, Christians have killed millions of Jews, Christians, Muslims and those other faiths. Even in the US, there are Christians who try to kill gays. (Two tried to kill me.)

              "Further, I do not understand how a story about Islamic views on homosexuality and the "just" consequences for transgressing Allah's will can, immediately, be flipped to criticism of Christianity and Christians in general. To do so is a non sequitur. It is sad. And it makes otherwise intelligent people look stupid."

              There is nothing wrong or stupid with pointing out that fundamentalists of religions other than Islam are intolerant, too.
              • Unsu...
                 
                Good points Dan seems the mere thread gets off subject a tad go figure unfocused thiughts. As for the young men I cannot say in their nation they were held to the law right or wrong it is the law. But that is also a point is it not then? Really upon what law does humanity operate a mans vision of what is Gods design or mands design in what they think God means? Who gave special powers to these men then they follow the teachings of god I hear yet I see a saint been placed in untild meeting of mere mroal men and a puff of smoke as holy, whom is man to decide the true word of god what group what man. If you werea God the one would you place all your teachings withing one race one faith one man? I think the answer would be No one would not if one is truly a God then what you show is withing the cultures of the humanity your yourself created you would leave word.

                I see none of these things I see men faiths in battle as the one true path to a god. The mere fact of a god excapes me do I beliefve humanity os connected above this realm yes the energy has to go somewhre the end is before me a fact all humans must face. Have I lived to the words of some mans God nope burn in hell think not after all the power of evil is given it only as and example for good.

                What people do in their private life not sure and I'm so sure of that I'd say there is not a nned for a law banning it to do so is a waste of time and effort.

                Humanity will win out in this mess I have no problem with any faith only mine is not in the top two bracket in todays news, nor has there been any killing over it for oh a century or better.
    • Unsu...
       
      The Judeo Christian scriptures also demand similiar punishments.
      I wonder why America ignores these commandments while still claiming to be "christian".>>>>>>>>>>>


      Where in the *New* Testament does it demand we kill Homo's?

      (((Jesus said let he who is with out sin cast the first stone.)))
      That is the message this Christian follows.

      The Old Testament commands the killing of people for a multitude of violations.

      Christians didnt write that book. :-) The Jews did.
      • Unsu...
         

        Jesus said not one iota of the Torah would be pass away until heaven and earth pass away, and therefore until the end of time the Torah stands.
        It was not until Paul that liberal Judaism really made a b line towards greek thought. Jesus came to fulfill the Torah not do away with it.
        And so the NT excluding the Pauline epistles don't really supercede the OT, but complement it and fulfill it.

        But even Pauline doctrine which has since been integrated into Jesus' liberal Judaism noted that Homosexuals are worthy of death in his epistle to the Romans.

        Go to the link above at skepticsannotatedbible.com and checkout all the places it notes that homosexuals will be tortured by fire forever, kill them etc. in both the NT and OT.

        The whole colloquial understanding of Christ that you point out below is pop-culture and overly simplified and is not the only character trait he possessed. Christ "came to Judge" and "to set mother against son" and "to bring a sword and division"

        And yes Jews wrote the bible, which is why I always thought the KKK and other "christian" neonazi groups were just ludicrous.
  • this poses a dillema for the united states:

    on one hand, we, as the moral beacon for mankind, ought to support the executions of homosexuals, whom we've all agreed do not deserve the same rights as "normal people" (read: white heterosexual middle-class christians from iowa);

    on the other hand, we absolutely must find some moral excuse to deliver iranians to democracy by killing them, to further our goal of bringing freedom to the world through perpetual war.

    trying times for a great president...
    • Unsu...
       
      This is so depressing. I feel like hiding under the bed and never coming out.
      • Well it may not be a crime to be Gay in America (just with a few less rights) but apparently it is a crime to be Black in America.
        • It *was* a crime to be gay in America until the 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas decision.

          And many Republicans want that decision overturned.
          • "It *was* a crime to be gay in America until the 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas decision."

            That's not true. It was a crime to engage in gay sex in a handful of states, but it wasn't illegal to BE gay in the US at that time.
            • > "It *was* a crime to be gay in America until the 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas decision."

              >>That's not true. It was a crime to engage in gay sex in a handful of states, but it wasn't illegal to BE gay in the US at that time.

              In fact that was often a distinction without a difference, when the homophobes were interpreting the law.

              For example, gays and lesbians were banned from serving as police officers in Dallas. The stated justification for firing a lesbian police officer was that she must be engaging in criminal behavior since she was a lesbian, though she had not been caught violating the Texas sodomy law.

              Until 1990, being gay was grounds for exclusion from the US and for deportation. *Not having committed sodomy, but being gay or lesbian.*

              Gays and lesbians, even those who are virgins, are still banned from the US military by virtue of their inner orientation, if that orientation is known.
              • My point with the below is not that the US treatment of gays is equivalent to Iran's or Saudi Arabia's, but that homosexuality was illegal here too until recent years, and many Christian conservatives would like to re-criminalize homosexuality.

                Ron stated that only homosexual sex was banned in the US, not homosexuality. In fact, only homosexual sex is banned in Muslim countries-- the US is unusual in having had and still having laws discriminating against celibate gays and lesbians (based on gay identity), as well as having had sodomy laws, at one time in all 50 states.


                > "It *was* a crime to be gay in America until the 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas decision."

                >>That's not true. It was a crime to engage in gay sex in a handful of states, but it wasn't illegal to BE gay in the US at that time.

                In fact that was often a distinction without a difference, when the homophobes were interpreting the law.

                For example, gays and lesbians were banned from serving as police officers in Dallas. The stated justification for firing a lesbian police officer was that she must be engaging in criminal behavior since she was a lesbian, though she had not been caught violating the Texas sodomy law.

                Until 1990, being gay was grounds for exclusion from the US and for deportation. *Not having committed sodomy, but being gay or lesbian.*

                Gays and lesbians, even those who are virgins, are still banned from the US military by virtue of their inner orientation, if that orientation is known.
                • Unsu...
                   
                  "Ron stated that only homosexual sex was banned in the US, not homosexuality. In fact, only homosexual sex is banned in Muslim countries--"

                  Not all muslim countries even have laws against homosexuality or sodomy. Turkey, for instance, or Jordan, their legal codes are silent on the issue. The way homosexuality is addressed in the Muslim world varies widely.

                  "the US is unusual in having had and still having laws discriminating against celibate gays and lesbians (based on gay identity), as well as having had sodomy laws, at one time in all 50 states."

                  Please cite these laws, Dan. As far as I'm aware, homosexual orientation has never been illegal in the United States, just sodomy. Keep in mind that bans on sodomy often extended to straight couples too.

                  "In fact that was often a distinction without a difference, when the homophobes were interpreting the law.

                  For example, gays and lesbians were banned from serving as police officers in Dallas. The stated justification for firing a lesbian police officer was that she must be engaging in criminal behavior since she was a lesbian, though she had not been caught violating the Texas sodomy law."

                  This is true and is one of the reasons the Texas anti-sodomy statute was overturned on the state appelate level. A lesbian cop was presumed guilty of violating the Texas anti-sodomy statute for the simple reason that she was a lesbian. This does not, however, amount to a legal prohibition on sexual orientation.

                  "Until 1990, being gay was grounds for exclusion from the US and for deportation. *Not having committed sodomy, but being gay or lesbian.*"

                  I don't doubt the veracity of this statement, but I would like a citation.

                  "Gays and lesbians, even those who are virgins, are still banned from the US military by virtue of their inner orientation, if that orientation is known."

                  Don't ask, don't tell is a mess and bad policy. However, it too is not the same as a legal prohibition against sexual orientation.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    "As far as I'm aware, homosexual orientation has never been illegal in the United States, just sodomy."

                    "the US is unusual in having had and still having laws discriminating against celibate gays and lesbians (based on gay identity)"

                    I didn't say that homosexual orientation was specifically banned, but that the US had laws discriminating on the basis of orientation. These included immigration laws until 1990. Similarly, the firing of the Dallas lesbian police officer was (until 2003) discrimination under law, even if the law was a sodomy law. In Texas, Oklahoma, and some other states, only homosexual sodomy was banned. In other states, the sodomy laws were only used against heterosexuals who were charged with rape, but were used for consensual homosexual sex.

                    In Nebraska, two (mentally retarded) teenagers engaged in oral sex. If they had been of opposite sex, the maximum sentence would have been 18 months, because one of them was 18. Because they were male, the 18 year old is serving a 17 year prison sentence.

                    "Turkey, for instance, or Jordan, their legal codes are silent on the issue. The way homosexuality is addressed in the Muslim world varies widely."

                    True, but gays are treated harshly in Jordan, too:
                    www.sodomylaws.org/world/ca...ws021.htm

                    Here's your reference that until the Immigration Act of 1990, being openly gay was grounds for being denied entry into the US, and being allowed to become a naturalized US citizen:

                    "The U.S. was the last industrialized country to amend its complete bar on homosexual immigration. It finally removed the express bar on U.S. visits and immigration by GLBT foreign nationals in (Immigration Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-649). Some criminal sex offenses, including "solicitation of sodomy," may still allow denial of immigration benefits due to lack of "good moral character"; they may even constitute Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude-grounds for deportation. However, INS and the State Department are no longer authorized to consider GLBT status, in itself, a bar to U.S. immigration benefits."

                    www.abanet.org/irr/hr/win...itshaw.html


  • Unsu...
     
    I don't get it - how did this turn into a thread about America and Judeo-Christianity?

    If this story is true it's utterly revolting! How is this any better or worse than women in Nigeria getting stoned to death for adultery, or honor killings in Pakistan?

    Sad to say, but there are some applications of religion on this planet which are utterly regressive, and at this point in history, Islam seems to take the prize.
    • Unsu...
       
      In Iran, this is pretty much business as usual.

      The answer, of course, is NOT to invade and kill a few thousand more.

      Actually, when it comes to mass murder and historically-speaking, Judiaism can't hold a candle to "Christianity". Another reason to utterly keep church and state seperate--mix the two, and some hideous mutant strain appears and people start dying.
    • Unsu...
       

      > I don't get it - how did this turn into a thread about America and Judeo-Christianity?

      My fault I'm afraid. I know there is a common sentiment among conservatives that Christianity is "the correct" "benign" religion and that Islam is the "false God" "war religion" and was anticipating an anti-Islamic rant coming on that I wanted to head off.
      I started by saying the scriptural foundation is laid for killing homosexuals in both Christian and Islamic scripture, and therefore the canonical version of Christianity is no better.

      Then I started speculating as to why the west has so liberalized the canonical literal interpretation of the bible versus the middle east which still seems to be mired in fundamentalism.

      One potential reason put out there was the relative prosperity we enjoy in the West making a fundamental literal adherence to religion not as necessary for individuals.
      • Which has nothing to do with Iran executing two gay men.
        • Unsu...
           

          I think it has a lot to do with it. These guys were executed under Islamic law.
          When I saw that I thought it was tragic and thought these fuckers are really backwards for doing something like this.
          Then I became worried that these people would become homogeniously labelled as 'crazy islamic people', and that their 'crazy' religion itself would be blamed for their crime.
          I then pointed out that our religion has the same stipulations, we just for some reason or another ignore them.
          I am not at all justifying what they did. I was actually quite sad and pissed when I saw it.
          • Though I think the main story here is the horror of living under the religious fundamentalism that inhabits Iran, if we in the west want to conclude something from it, I would say that the further we get from relying on religion to make our morality, the healthier our society becomes.

            What also interests me is how the West reacts to this. Can we stop this?

            If the civil war had never been fought, the South remained seperate from the North, and we black slaves still being lynched in public executions on live TV every month, would we wash our hands of it and say "hey it's their country, we can't stop them"? At what point does this sort of cultural horror show become enough to justify intervention? Or do we simply continue to let it happen and hope they stop someday?

            I ask this question mainly because I read the terrifying book on lynchings "Without Sanctuary" this past Monday and it really haunted me to see what human beings will standby and allow to occur. This is far too similiar and it bothers me to know the same thing is happening to this day while we standby and do nothing.

            The book is available to read here, and I warn anyone that it's some pretty disturbing images and stories:
            www.withoutsanctuary.org/main.html
            • Unsu...
               

              >I would say that the further we get from relying on religion to make our morality, the healthier our society becomes.

              I couldn't agree more that we should probably get away from literal scriptural adherence.

              I believe we need to take care of our own and have little responsibility to other countries. I think they need to solve their own problems, but yes I too am saddened by what's going on.

              Let's hope that a side effect of O.I.L will be a continued secular inertia in the region.
            • <I would say that the further we get from relying on religion to make our morality, the healthier our society becomes. >

              Nazi germany was secular. Saddam's regimie was allegedly secular. So whats so great about being secular?


              (I'm not a religious person, and dont plan on being one. I'm just not going to fall in lock step with this anti-religion movement.)
              • <Nazi germany was secular. Saddam's regimie was allegedly secular. So whats so great about being secular?>

                Well they both enjoyed executing jewish people, so I wouldn't say they were entirely secular. But I wasn't suggesting a secular dictatorship is any improvement over a religious one. They're both pretty miserable.

                I'm saying in a free society we should try and vanquish the prejudices and irrational beliefs that cause misery. Consider how many young gay men and women are suffering terrible emotional destruction from being rejected by their parents. Parents who believe because of their religious instructions, that their children are immoral. There's many problems with religion, but one key issue is it's insistence on mistreating those with different beliefs.
            • "What also interests me is how the West reacts to this. Can we stop this? "

              Well the wierd thing is Xtians here will argue to nuke them for Christ - all the mean while a bunch of them will smile to themselves everytime they think of Mathew Shepard - because you know god hates him some fags.
              Present company excluded of course.
              Just like they argued for going after Afghanistan becasue SUDDENLY they are concerned about women's equality HA HA HA.

              www.rawa.org

              INTERESTING NOTE:

              Karzai our GUY!

              RAWA demonstration to mark the Black Day of April 28
              April 28, 2005 - Islamabad


              While the warlords-fostering government of Mr. Karzai every year observe April 28 as a victory day, for Afghan people, particularly women, it is the odious day in our history when the criminal fundamentalist bands took power in Kabul in 1992 following the collapse of the Russian puppet regime. It was start of a new wave of terror, destruction and barbarism all over Afghanistan and especially the capital Kabul in the hands these terrorist gangs.

              RAWA every year stages a protest rally to denounce it as a gloomy day. On April 28, 2005, RAWA organized a demonstration in front of the UN headquarter in Islamabad which was attended by hundreds of women, girls and boys.

              Through this demonstration, RAWA strongly condemned pro-fundamentalists policies of Mr. Karzai government and pointed out to it as a main factor in continuation of human rights catastrophe in Afghanistan.
              -----------
  • Of course, a cultural relativist would say that we have no right to judge, and it's their culture, and we're being ethnocentric by assuming that our cultural rejection of such actions is morally superior.

    And that's one big reason why cultural relativism is wrong.
    • What's so bizarre about this story is that homosexual behavior and acts are totally rampant in conservative Muslims countries and kind of considered "OK". "Straight" buddies jerking each other off or sitting on each other's laps is not an unusual practice.

      BEING homosexual is considered the big sin, though, i.e, not getting married or having kids, and falling in love with another man is Bad, bad, bad.

      The straight American men I know who traveled in strict muslim countries were repeatedly approached by "straight" muslim men for play. These same muslim men didn't consider themselves gay and thought homosexuality was gross (go figure).
    • Unsu...
       
      "And that's one big reason why cultural relativism is wrong."

      I disagree. It's just as easy for them to look at us, and, say, see women walking about untethered, and argue the exact same point, Ron. From their perspective, their actions ARE morally superior. We can judge and say that what they did was wrong, but what gives us that authority? Either you accept the fact that one man's bad is another man's good, or you have to be prepared to assert your so-called moral superiority - which means that one culture will be need to be wiped off the face of the planet.

      Besides, there are very large swathes of this country's populace that would be thrilled to see every fag swinging from the end of a rope. We're in no position to preach about how superior American culture is. I'd agree that relativism in general is extremely problematic and too often serves as a good excuse for copping out, but in a situation like this, I think it's relative.
      • Unsu...
         
        Cultural Relativism is what it is if I observe somthing in my like and travels even within the USA the term could hold value. Then not to be insulting the old term when in Rome do as the Romans, only America wants everyone to have their flavor of freedom in short we take what we have ship it else where and because it's American it is right and just, but is it really when looked at with an objective mind the answer is nope it's full of it's own flaws and predesposed positions. This time scale America has imposed upon the Middle East what your women do not have rights well they do now as the Brits they are under attack their involvement in Egypt wireservice.wired.com/wired/story.asp is far longer then the USA, and oops in a terror investagation they wasted a Brazillian for having on a heavy coat because it was 70 degrees and he was used to more like 80 to 90 degrees so was cold wireservice.wired.com/wired/story.asp
        Justification after "Evil Doers" and terror imagine strage city confornted and oops do not speak the language if the cops in fact ID whom they were.

        So a bit confused I am NYC starts random searchs in subways now, have I been there yes have I rode them yes and I spoted some very people that as a tourest made me uneasy. So go there I think not, under present international hunts for evil doers the mere fact I may run from events I am not sure of and I feel pose a danger could in fact get me at the end of empty clips from who knows how many guns.

        As far as gay peolple what is it one must be so concerned about what other people do in their bedrooms? What sense is there in that to me none, pose a risk to family do they how and why? If I'm straight and marry have children and I have I've done what I'm desposed to do. Soemone gay and why is it it's a male issue? Lets speak some facts not all women like men nor want to have sex with them they are called Lesbian in short it's not always about men yet men make it an issue and in most cases homo or straight want to peek at the women...LOL what they do? Whyis that? Being a homosexual is not all about men homosexuality includes both sexes go figure by what ever name they wish to be called.

        Me I know both men and women most if not all gay in long term 20 or 30 years together well beyond what men and women marrages make it to today. I have forgotten really Gay or Lez I simply call them people with partners AKA friendsdo they destroy anything nope make butts pucker yes some but it is their life I fail to see how same sex realtionships destroy family after all my family is well ok I'm staight but then maybe to just mix it up my wife and I have a few kinks to us LOL then you open another can of worms what is proper sex?
        I've turned around 3 times many times devorced her manytimes yet the old gril is still there.

        Cop out or opt out it is human nature, not American Nature
      • Unsu...
         
        <We're in no position to preach about how superior American culture is.>

        No, we're really not. But we ARE in a position to be damn proud that our Bill of Rights still stands (tenuous though it is) and that it isn't LEGAL for fags to swing from ropes in this country.

        We should and must promote human rights - nothing relative about the absolute WRONG BADNESS of what occurred in this case.
        • Unsu...
           
          "No, we're really not. But we ARE in a position to be damn proud that our Bill of Rights still stands (tenuous though it is) and that it isn't LEGAL for fags to swing from ropes in this country."

          Oh, I agree. Though, I must hasten to point out that your second point may be invalid once the fundies finish taking control.

          "We should and must promote human rights - nothing relative about the absolute WRONG BADNESS of what occurred in this case."

          Why must WE promote anything? We criticize the US for invading foreign countries, starting adventurous new wars, but are totally cool with shoving American ideas on human rights down the throats of non-Americans? Don't you see that as a bit problematic? Furthermore, shouldn't we Americans reach a consensus on what exactly human rights are before we start exporting them all over the world?
          • Unsu...
             
            <Furthermore, shouldn't we Americans reach a consensus on what exactly human rights are before we start exporting them all over the world?>

            Well, Big Daddy, darling. Many zillions of us have reached a consensus and we don't support our country's trade policies or military activities. Part of the human rights package is getting American interests out of the "3rd World" and not supporting US involvement in China or any belligerent nations until they get their shit together with human rights and, at the same time, giving us time to get OUR shit together. See? It's a brilliant, symbiotic world view.
            • Well, Big Daddy, to some degree i think you are right. It is impossible and probably detrimental for us to try to impose our cultural values on Islamic countries.

              In the meanwhile, however, we can and should offer assylum to gays and women persecuted under these systems and promote education in these countries. The more educated people become, generally the more tolerant and reasonable they become.

              I also think it is always OK to take a stand in the form of a statement. There is nothing wrong with us condemning these actions.
              • Unsu...
                 

                I'm not sure education alone is the answer.
                Isn't it possible that this theologically mandated homophobia is only truly catalyzed because of a sublimation of anger towards America?
                i.e. supporting Allah even more fervently because he is the enemy of 'the great Satan'.
                As I pointed out in the above we also have homophobia in our scriptures, and I'm not so sure our population is all that well read. I think maybe our innate homophobia supported by the scriptures doens't break out into murder as often is again because of our reduced reliance on religion due to our prosperity.

                Therefore they not only need more education, but the U.S. needs to stop screwing the region over. As long as some of those countries have oil and an animosity towards Israel, I'm not sure that's bound to happen.
              • Unsu...
                 
                Ellen, all attempts to impose our culture on other countries will backfire. We've developed a specific way of life suited for our circumstances, just as they have for theirs. There's no reason our culture would or should be better suited to them than what they've got already.

                I want to make clear that though I've promoted a form of cultural relativism here, that I do believe in some universal truths. I reject the whole postmodersnist/structuralist notion that everything is relative. Among my truths are a belief that men and women are inherently equal and deserve to be treated as such, that capital punishment is wrong under all circumstances, that homosexuality is a normal variation in human sexual orientation and isn't a big deal. Still, despite my beliefs in these things, I also believe that you can't force them on other people. They will have to arrive there on their own. Because they're true and universal in nature, they eventually will. In the case of Iran, there's no amount of education the United States could ever hope to offer that would change their beliefs or adherence to Sharia law. Any change will have to come from inside the country, organically.

                And, condemning these actions via statement is A-OK in my book. They should be made aware of how we feel, so long as we're not forcing them to feel the same.
                • <<Ellen, all attempts to impose our culture on other countries will backfire. We've developed a specific way of life suited for our circumstances, just as they have for theirs. There's no reason our culture would or should be better suited to them than what they've got already.
                  .........
                  And, condemning these actions via statement is A-OK in my book. They should be made aware of how we feel, so long as we're not forcing them to feel the same. >>

                  Of course in this scenario they didn't merely condemn the actions of these two teenage boys with words, they hung them by the neck until they died after beating them mercilessly. That's "their culture."

                  So by that logic you could justify all attempts of violently exerting your will on others behavior as "culture." And if they are invaded, destroyed, or annhilated, cultural relativism's logic justifies that violence as the aggressor's "culture."

                  If imposing your will or innocents through violence is considered culture then all forms of it must be valid no matter the scale.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    "Of course in this scenario they didn't merely condemn the actions of these two teenage boys with words, they hung them by the neck until they died after beating them mercilessly. That's "their culture.""

                    I'm sorry it's not 'their culture' it is an element of PART of thier country -- jsut liek we have fundamentalists here who kill abortion doctors and such. There are people THERE fighting there fundamentalists...our governmetn has often underminded those groups fighting for real liberation...that is why I am so sarcasting about 'our' role in promoting 'gender equality' there...or any other type.... we supported the Taliban , the Mujhadeen and the Saudis...and elites here do NOT care how many women are beaten or gays are hanged. They are merely convenient ways to point out how 'different those people are..."


                    I think big Daddy gets it wrong too... Thier culture is NOT monolithic and niether is ours.
                    • <<I'm sorry it's not 'their culture' it is an element of PART of thier country -- jsut liek we have fundamentalists here who kill abortion doctors and such. >>

                      No, this is incorrect. Killing abortion doctors is ILLEGAL. Hanging gays is following THE LAW OF THE LAND. So that analogy is totally false.

                      If publically slaughtering teenage girls for having sex was part of the law of the United States, then you could say it is definitively part of our culture. Of course this is not a theoretical in Iran.
                • "all attempts to impose our culture on other countries will backfire"

                  Seemed to work pretty well in Japan and Germany didn't it?
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     
                    "Seemed to work pretty well in Japan and Germany didn't it?"

                    Are you suggesting we drop some atom bombs on Iran and then occupy it for the next 60 years? That tactic isn't working too well for us in Iraq. Different cultures, different reactions.
                    • "Are you suggesting we drop some atom bombs on Iran and then occupy it for the next 60 years?"

                      No, but you said this:

                      "all attempts to impose our culture on other countries will backfire"

                      which is contradicted by our experiences in Japan and Germany. Given that at least on two occasions we have successfully imposed our cultural values on two other countries, then it's not the case that "all attempts to impose our culture on other countries will backfire". And we didn't occupy Japan and germany for 60 years. We have had bases there, but they've been independent for a long time.
      • "It's just as easy for them to look at us, and, say, see women walking about untethered, and argue the exact same point, Ron."

        It's just as easy for a cultural relativist to say that, but a moral objectivist can say that yeah they can say that, but they would be wrong. A cultural relativist is in no position to say that a culture that, say, practices genocide and torturous medical experiements on children is morally inferior to a culture that rejects such practices, even on that limited issue.

        "From their perspective, their actions ARE morally superior."

        And they would be wrong.

        "We can judge and say that what they did was wrong, but what gives us that authority?"

        The fact that we're right. What gives someone the authority to say that the Earth revolves around the sun? The fact that the Earth DOES revolve around the sun.

        "Either you accept the fact that one man's bad is another man's good, or you have to be prepared to assert your so-called moral superiority - which means that one culture will be need to be wiped off the face of the planet."

        That's a false dichotomy. To claim that one cultural characteristic is superior to a cultural characteristic of another culture (e.g. egalitarianism is superior to the Indian caste system) doesn't entail that any culture needs to be wiped off the face of the planet. At most, it entails that the rules of one culture on some issue should prevail over the rules of the other culture on that issue.
        • Unsu...
           

          >>"From their perspective, their actions ARE morally superior."

          >And they would be wrong.

          The only pragmatic epistomology I trust is empiricism.
          Is your claim repeatable and more importantly falsifiable as your below /silly claim/ that the earth revolves around the sun?

          They could just as easily make the argument that homosexuality is a genetic variation they are selecting for in order to prevent extinction. IMO a strategy that makes 'sense' in times of intense conflict.
          • We can say that their behaviour is demonstrably wrong because we have more information than they do. The average fundamentalist is not armed with facts but rather fervent anger preached from demagogues designed to instill them with fear of the unknown and a closed mind.

            If their average level of education improved, things like violent lynchings will no longer tolerated in the society. So yes we can say they are wrong and committing violence based on false information and completely undefendable notion that an invisible being in the sky wants them to torture and hang gays.
            • Big Daddy- Again, I mostly agree with you, except about the education part.

              Let me clarify a bit- when I talk about promoting education, I do not mean "re-education" or "indoctrination". I hold the (possibly naive) belief that liberal arts education can radically transform the way people perceive the world. Reading Jane Austen or even Rumi, learning art history, all these things are, IMO, a subtle yet transformative invitation to be more open to new ideas and ways of thinking. I think money spent on promoting liberal arts education would pay off in Middle East countries.
              • Unsu...
                 
                Ellen, what makes you think liberal arts educations in the western mold aren't already widely availble in countries like Iran? Furthermore, how many people from the Middle East pursue education in the west? Quite a large amount actually. Though I agree that a good, solid liberal arts education is important, it's no guaranteed ticket to western styled enlightenment.
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              "We can say that their behaviour is demonstrably wrong because we have more information than they do."

              Blair, that's an interesting theory. However, all you're really doing is arguing for selection of one narrative over another. Information? Why is our information superior to their information? Do we have some secret knowledge that the Iranians lack? Iran is not, contrary to your seeming belief, a backward country full of uneducated peasants. The population is fairly well educated with prolly one of the highest literacy rates in the Middle East. What information do we have about homosexuality that could possibly make their culture more tolerant of this variation?

              And I agree that we can say it's wrong and condemn them for their actions. Ultimately, however, that won't mean anything for the simple reason that they have no reason or obligation to agree with us.
              • <<Blair, that's an interesting theory. However, all you're really doing is arguing for selection of one narrative over another. Information? Why is our information superior to their information? Do we have some secret knowledge that the Iranians lack? Iran is not, contrary to your seeming belief, a backward country full of uneducated peasants. The population is fairly well educated with prolly one of the highest literacy rates in the Middle East. What information do we have about homosexuality that could possibly make their culture more tolerant of this variation? >>

                #1) We are well aware of issues affecting sexuality that are laragely forbidden from public discussion in Iran

                #2) Religious fervor that grips the older generations means they have many many wrong notions based on primitive ancient texts that made crude assumptions about the world and "evil" behaviour. Having wrong information from any religion (believing Xenu was living in a mountain or Allah wants vengeance) creates a misinformed society.

                #3) Though Iran has a high literacy rate, the available choices of reading material can lead to a very narrow focus. Not to mention what they can see everywhere else in their culture. On our television screens we turn on the tube and see 5 gay men re-decorating houses for straight folk, they can turn it on and see 2 gay men being murdered. If they had the choice to see gay people interacting with society in a normal, open, everyday fashion and still chose to lynch them, I for one would be very shocked.

                #4) Do you honestly think that the Iranians who believe that gay people should be lynched are not lacking information about homosexuality? Because I would say that describes an unconscionable evil.

                #5) I don't believe these people are born evil anymore than Alabama klansmen are born evil. Their culture feeds them misinformation, mistrust, hatred, and prejudice, and then they act on it.
                • Unsu...
                   
                  Blair -

                  "#1) We are well aware of issues affecting sexuality that are laragely forbidden from public discussion in Iran"

                  IRRELEVANT. The issue is not the orientation, it's the act. There is nothing compelling homosexuals to participate in sexual acts. Had these two kids refrained from getting it on, would they not still be alive? Were there public discussion of sexuality in Iran would that change the Sharia code? No. Not at all.

                  "#2) Religious fervor that grips the older generations means they have many many wrong notions based on primitive ancient texts that made crude assumptions about the world and "evil" behaviour. Having wrong information from any religion (believing Xenu was living in a mountain or Allah wants vengeance) creates a misinformed society."

                  Religious fervor grips people of all ages. Either way, how are YOU able to determine that their information is wrong? Based on what? You just saying so is of no use to me. Explain why you believe it's wrong. Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality are perfectly logical if you look at them within the context in which they were originally created. Also, comparing Xenu to Allah is tacky.

                  "#3) Though Iran has a high literacy rate, the available choices of reading material can lead to a very narrow focus. Not to mention what they can see everywhere else in their culture. On our television screens we turn on the tube and see 5 gay men re-decorating houses for straight folk, they can turn it on and see 2 gay men being murdered. If they had the choice to see gay people interacting with society in a normal, open, everyday fashion and still chose to lynch them, I for one would be very shocked."

                  I think you do not understand the basis for their execution. No amount of exposure to that horrible television program would have changed the fates of those two young men. Furthermore, these two young men were executed, not lynched. Please don't use the word "lynch" here. It's inaccurate.

                  "#4) Do you honestly think that the Iranians who believe that gay people should be lynched are not lacking information about homosexuality? Because I would say that describes an unconscionable evil."

                  I'm sure that many Iranians are lacking information about "gay" people as we know homosexuals in the West. I also know that no amount of information presented to the Iranian public would have any be