On Sunday, ISIS executed 10 people, including a 15-year-old boy, for alleged homosexuality. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that seven of the victims were shot dead in the city of Rastan, capital of the Homs province in western Syria. The teenager and two other men were slaughtered in Hreitan, close to Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.
Access to Islamic State territory is not really possible at the moment—although a patchwork of scattered sectarian Iraqi security forces appear to be working on fixing that. However, compelling first-hand accounts of the subjugation of homosexuals speak to the barbarity of these killings.
In August, one witness said that victims were thrown “off the top of a high building.” If the victim remains alive, gasping for air and pleading for mercy, after his limbs crash against the concrete, the fanatical militants proceed to stone him until the religiously-sanctioned judgment is carried out accordingly. Another report in June indicated that the accused were “blindfolded and dropped head first from the roof of a tall building in front of a large crowd of spectators, children included.”
The Islamic State’s colonialist Caliphate considers homosexuality a capital offense.
The Islamic State’s colonialist Caliphate considers homosexuality a capital offense, a cardinal sin punishable by death. UN investigations indicate that ISIS has executed 30 men for homosexuality this year alone. According to Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, victims accused of homosexuality are “brought to a city center, with militants purporting to read from a self-styled ‘court’ ruling before conducting the execution in front of a crowd.” The perverse spectacle is part of a zealous mission “to spread terror among people who do not conform to traditional ideas about what women and men should look like, do, or say.”
Corpses and blood outline the borders of the Islamic State’s Sodom. ISIS deliberately publishes photos of gay bodies, beaten, mangled, disfigured, and lifeless, in order to further their apocalyptic religious narratives. In 2015, the supposedly post-Enlightenment era, medieval forms of torture against sexual minorities continue while the Obama administration has done little to address these heinous crimes against humanity. As the White House is glistened by rainbow colored lights, homes within the Islamic State are darkened by the plague of persecution.
Last month, Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, convened the first meeting at the United Nations Security Council concerning the plight of the LGBT community in the Middle East, specifically in ISIS-held territories. Months of moral paralysis and video after video of beheadings forced the United States to finally take a concrete stand against what can only be described as a genocide.
Yazidis, Kurds, Christian sects, Bahai’s, women, children and members of the LGBT community need more than a meeting. They need more than lip service from this administration about upholding human dignity. These oppressed minorities need far more than nihilism disguised as moral relativism.
Most importantly, they don’t need red herrings, patronizing lectures, and historical lessons from the president about the sins of 11th-century Europe.
With clear resolve and unequivocal language, this administration must stand with the ideological captives of the Iraq and Syria, forcefully condemning all forms of discrimination under the auspices of dogma.