Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

The tragedy of unforeseen things that should have been foreseen

There are lots of ways of talking about this.

The simplest is the best.

All of the religious factions and militias and Kurdish nationalists and government police in Iraq have one thing that they can agree on, which is killing queers.

Most weeks, three or four people are hacked, stoned, burned or shot to death for being lesbian, gay, bi or trans. The highest Shia religious dignitary Sistani has again promulgated a fatwa calling for the execution of all non-repentant LGBT people - people talk of him as a liberal and in this degree he is - he allows people to repent on pain of death when most of his rivals would just kill. Contacted by the UN about this campaign of murder, the Iraqi government has refused to acknowledge that it is even a problem.

This is a direct consequence of the war - the Saddam regime, vile as it was, was secular in this respect, just as the Ba'athists in Syria still are. No-one does well in a totalitarian state, but LGBT folk were left alone, mostly.

Those who survive, flee. Through a network of safe houses and incredibly brave people and escape routes to the West.

The British home office is disinclined to regard the likelihood of being murdered by a variety of non-state agents as persecution, because it is not the government that is doing it. The leaders of the diaspora queer community are under death threats - again from Sistani - and live under police protection of a moderately minimal kind.

When troops leave, as leave they will in the runup to the British and American elections, there will be no change, except possibly for the worse.

One of the diaspora spoke to us at Translondon this evening.

He said something amazingly moving to the effect that this is not a movement of Resistance so much as a movement of Existence. Because when everyone wants to kill you, staying alive is the most radical form of resistance possible.
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