An Iraqi police official says as many
as six gay men have been killed in Baghdad after religious clerics
condemned being gay.
The Reuters news agency is
reporting that two gay men were killed in Sadr City, a Baghdad slum,
on Thursday, and police say they have found the bodies of four
Being gay is illegal in Iraq and nearly
universally in the Middle East. Conditions in Iraq, however,
continue to deteriorate for gay men and lesbians as religious leaders
gain greater influence.
“Two young men were killed on
Thursday. They were sexual deviants. Their tribes killed them to
restore their family honor,” a Sadr City official told the news
The source also said four bodies were
discovered just weeks ago, each marked “pervert” on their chests.
Shiite cleric Sattar al-Battat has
repeatedly condemned being gay during prayers, saying Islam prohibits
Men who adopt the more Western values
of short hair and a clean-shaven face are often accused of being gay
in the Middle East.
“This [homosexuality] has spread
because of the absence of the Mehdi Army, the spread of sexual films
and satellite television and a lack of government surveillance,”
the office's of Sheikh Ibrahim al-Gharawi, a Shiite cleric, told the