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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Iraq's prominent leader removes a call to kill gay people from his Web site

Independent Online Edition > Middle East:

Well, it's depressing that this amounts to a victory in Iraq, but it's a victory nonetheless I suppose. Imagine what we could accomplish if we simply had one criterion for picking a person to support: equality without compromise. Is that so radical? Sheesh.

Rights campaigners were claiming a moral victory after Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani appeared to renounce a fatwa calling for the killing of homosexuals "in the most severe way".
The decision by Iraq's most prominent Shia leader to remove the call for the killing of gays from his website came after a spate of attacks against homosexuals, including the murder of a 14-year-old boy revealed last week in The Independent. Ahmed Khalil was shot at point-blank range after being accosted by men in police uniforms, according to his neighbours in the al-Dura area of Baghdad.
Campaign groups had warned of a surge in homophobic killings by state security services and religious militias following the anti-gay and anti-lesbian fatwa issued by Ayatollah Sistani.
The killing of Ahmed is one of a series of alleged homophobic murders. There is mounting evidence that fundamentalists have infiltrated government security forces to commit homophobic murders while wearing police uniforms.
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