Brutal persecution of gays in Chechnya

Imagine that just by calling your boyfriend on the phone because you want to kiss, feel and love him can lead to a death sentence. This is exactly what’s happening in Chechnya and the world is watching. However, it’s only gays who are being persecuted, and the tormentors are not merely Russians either. They are members of the „religion of peace“, which prevails in autonomous Chechnya.

According to the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, gay men in Chechnya have been allegedly imprisoned and tortured for several months in a secret detention center in the city of Argun. Torture is supposed to lead to the names and whereabouts of male lovers in order to punish them also for the „crime“ of homosexuality. The tormentors ensure that their prisoners’ mobile phones stay turned on. One victim told the newspaper: „Anyone who called me on the phone became a potential victim.“

The man also reported that homosexuals were tortured with electric shocks and beaten with sticks until unconsciousness. Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina states that several hundred men have been kidnapped. Several of them are said to have died after being tortured. She says: „Such a campaign against gays is unprecedented in Chechnya.“

Ramsan Kadyrov, The president Chechnya, denies such allegations:

„The publication is an absolute lie. That which doesn’t exist in the republic can’t be arrested or oppressed.“

That response is reminiscent of former President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said at Columbia University in New York in 2007: „There are no homosexuals in Iran.“

It’s no coincidence that these two statements are similar since Ahmadinejad and Kadyrov have one thing in common: they adhere to the religion of Islam. Kadyrov explains: „Homosexuality is worse than war.“ He’s certain that there are no homosexuals in Chechnya and stresses: „Even if there were such people in Chechnya, security authorities wouldn’t have any problems with them because their own relatives would bring them to where no one comes back.“

The same man said in 2008: „There’s no such tradition („honor killings“) in Chechnya or in Islam.“

It’s a fact, though, that in all countries where homosexuality is punishable by death, Islam rules. In Chechnya, homosexuality is a taboo that can carry dangerous implications. Gannuschkina says, „People are very cautious, no one wants to complain. The victims don’t want to talk to us.“ Many victims prefer not to talk in order to avoid any further problems. Their families and friends can feel humiliated, because a gay man in the family is regarded as a disgrace for the whole family. This attitude often leads to „honor killings“, by which homosexuals are killed by their own relatives.

Worldwide, polls confirm that the vast majority of Muslims believe that homosexuality should be punished. Even in enlightened countries like Great Britain, 52% of Muslims there reject homosexuality.

Of course, homosexuals are also discriminated against in countries where Christianity prevails. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state of such countries. In Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Luicia, St. Kitts and Nevis, homosexuals can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Fourteen years imprisonment threaten homosexuals in the British territories of the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomons and Tuvalu. Fifteen years threaten homosexuals in Antigua and Barbuda. But the worst place for gays and lesbians is Barbados, where Queen Elizabeth II is also head of state: there, homosexuals can even be imprisoned for life.

However, homosexuals are killed and executed only in Islamic countries, and the list of homophobic Islamic countries is long. The persecution of homosexuals in those countries cannot be criticized without violating the „religious feelings“ of those who go against gays in the name of Islam. The removal of the factor “religion” from the equation avoids solving the problem.

On September 2, 2010, Ramsan Kadyrov had his title changed from „president“ to „chief“ by the Chechen Parliament. In parliament it was suggested to lend Kadyrov the title of „Imam“ or „Father of the People“. We are clearly dealing with religious fanaticism.

There are also discriminatory words about homosexuals in Jewish writings and not a few fundamentalists make no secret of their abhorrence towards that kind of love. Nevertheless, Judaism has the best reputation in relation to homosexuality. In all countries where Judaism is the prevailing religion, homosexuals enjoy the same rights as other citizens. It’s true, though, that the list of Jewish majority countries is very short:

End of the list.

Israel is the only place in the Middle East where homosexuality is not illegal, and where there’s freedom of religion and expression. That’s why I’m for Israel! Not because someone first put his or her foot in the sand there, or some god invited some bearded man over to discuss dividing up the world, but because Israel is the only country in the Middle East where women and men are equal, homosexuality is recognized by the state, where opinions, art and science are not sanctioned, no religion is discriminated against and Jews have to be neither better nor worse than all other people.

Every square meter in the Middle East which emulates Israel is a liberated square meter! So then, why criticize Israel, a country which allows people to live as they wish? What power can make people go against their own wishes? There is only one power that is so self-destructive: hatred. In this case, it’s Jew-hatred!

It’s not difficult to position oneself in political questions. There is a method of finding the right moral position which is quite simple!

The decision can be based on one direct question: „Where can I, as a man, safely suck cock?“

North Korea or South Korea? South Korea!
Israel or Palestine? Israel!
San Francisco or Dubai? Cologne!
Russia or Ukraine? Ukraine! (but uneasily, because although homosexuality has been legal in the Ukraine since 1991, homosexuality is still largely rejected.)

There is indeed gay hatred in all cultures, religions and countries. But only a very naive person can’t see differences in the present-day Islamic and Christian worlds. Mecca and the Vatican are not at all comparable. If homosexuals were being thrown from roofs, women stoned and heretics decapitated in the Vatican, there would certainly be a massive outcry. Jerusalem and Tehran are also two different worlds! Israel’s declaration of independence extends its hand to its Arab neighbors, but the Iranian regime wants to see Israel disappear from the map. So, why is it so difficult to decide for which side? The answer is very easy when one believes in life and love!


Translation: William Wires

Über tapferimnirgendwo

Als Theatermensch spiele, schreibe und inszeniere ich für diverse freie Theater. Im Jahr 2007 erfand ich die mittlerweile europaweit erfolgreiche Bühnenshow „Kunst gegen Bares“. Als Autor verfasse ich Theaterstücke, Glossen und Artikel. Mit meinen Vorträgen über Heinrich Heine, Hedwig Dohm und dem von mir entwickelten Begriff des „Nathankomplex“ bin ich alljährlich unterwegs. Und Stand Up Comedian bin ich auch. Mein Lebensmotto habe ich von Kermit, dem Frosch: „Nimm, was Du hast und flieg damit!
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