Pakistani Islamist Groups Call Pro-LGBT Event “Cultural Terrorism”

Gay rights are a controversial topic in Pakistan, a country dominated by conservative Islamic political and religious figures.  Although these leaders do not represent all Muslims, nor all Pakistanis, they have a strong voice within Pakistani politics, and are quick to speak out against events, like a Pride Celebration recently held at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, that are seen to promote LGBT rights within Pakistan.

The meeting was hosted in late June by the deputy ambassador, Richard Hoagland, and was meant, according to the embassy, to support Pakistani citizens who identify as gay.  These people are clearly in need of support; although homosexuality is not mentioned explicitly in the Pakistani constitution, “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” often interpreted as homosexual contact, is punishable by fines or imprisonment.  Under Sharia law in Pakistan, homosexual acts can be punished by whipping, imprisonment or even death.

According to the U.S. Embassy’s website, the Pride Celebration “demonstrated continued U.S. Embassy support for human rights, including LGBT rights, in Pakistan at a time when those rights are increasingly under attack from extremist elements throughout Pakistani society.”

These “extremist elements” were, needless to say, not pleased.  ”Such people are the curse of society and social garbage,” said a statement from a number of Islamic leaders, including the head of Pakistan’s largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami. “They don’t deserve to be Muslim or Pakistani, and the support and protection announced by the U.S. administration for them is the worst social and cultural terrorism against Pakistan.”

The officials added that holding such an event was ”tantamount to stabbing the Muslim world in the chest.”

The perspective of conservative Islamist political and religious leaders in Pakistan is clearly not one that can be extrapolated to every other Muslim.  Islam, like Christianity, has a complex and multifaceted relationship with homosexuality that cannot be represented accurately by its most extreme members, nor by any interest group.  The Embassy’s choice to host event for LGBT people in Pakistan was well-meaning and admirable, not a form of “cultural terrorism” but rather a way to show Pakistanis who identify as gay that they are not alone.

Photo from Benson Kua’s Flickr photostream.

65 comments

Ameer T.
Ameer T7 years ago

Perhaps Pervez's and my hatred for Gays is apparent here as you say. But so is your hatred for Islam as well. and hatred begets more hatred. So i dont see myslef inclined to listen to someone who starts off with slander to begin with, nor would i be moved to sympathy or understanding.

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Ameer T.
Ameer T7 years ago

Rob and Jay B:

Your ignorance and bigotry are boundless. The event hosted by US embassy was not in the US embassy but in a private house in Islamabad. therefore please dont hide behind the diplomatic immunity as well.

secondly your misinformation about Pakistan and laws in Pakistan governing women are also lacking. No where are women in prison because they have been raped. most women who are brought in because they were practicising prostitution and were caught in the act, take the plea that they were being raped so they dont get prosicuted under prostitution practice charges.

thirdly if care2 gives freedom of expression and protects the rights of women, children, gays and the rest, then as a member of care2 i am entitled to its protection and my freedom of expression. the very fact that you want to shut me up makes you the bigot. Be a man and take some criticism. your idea of freedom of speech is that you can make cartoons of other Prophets, burn holy books in Florida, Slander Islam and it tenents, cristisice the muslims and then hide behind your freedom of expression clause. But you dont extend the same courtesy to muslims.

And i dont believe that Gays are born that way, i feel they become that for reasons humanity has yet to understand.

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Rob and Jay B.
Jay S7 years ago

Ameer T: you say "Maybe that will set a better example for other cultures to follow rather than imposing your beliefs over theirs"

How was hosting a gathering in the US embassy (US property remember) 'imposing their beliefs' on Pakistan? Your & Parvez' & the other raging Muslims' hatred of gay people is very clear here. You don't mind that your religion imposes itself on others. Pakistan kills gay people. What a barbaric thing in this day & age. Do you support this 'imposition' of Islamic values on others? Over 700 Christians are forced to convert to Islam each year in Pakistan too. That's an imposition on them. Do you oppose that too?

Why are you here on Care2, a site that stands for the rights of women, children, gay people, & the rights of minorities everywhere to be treated with respect & equality. Care 2 also supports freedom of religion, conscience, speech & press - none of which is allowed in any Muslim country. Who's imposing what now?

It's interesting that well over 70% of Christians polled in the US say their faith moves them to support equal rights & treatment for gay people. A similar poll in the UK among Muslims found zero (0) percent who did. Quite a difference. 'I want mine but you can't have yours!'

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Rob and Jay B.
Jay S7 years ago

Parvez & Ameer: "i dont understand why one country or culture misinformed & misguided would impose its own morals or beliefs over another."

This is the exact thing done by Islam in conquering country after country & imposing its laws & values on all of those peoples? Let's hear you Muslims apologize for all the countries your religion has forced itself on including Europe. This was very offensive to us!

When Islam conquers a people/country it Islamicizes & Arabicizes it. It imposes its laws & customs & destroys the culture/language. This is exactly what you are accusing the US doing by simply hosting a private function for invited people at its embassy? Islam offends Xtians by saying Jesus wasn't the Son of God etc, but you don't care. You arrogant hypocrites.

Islam has never apologized for imposing its 'values' on other peoples' countries. It invaded Jewish Jerusalem & committed blasphemy by building your Dome of the Rock/Al-Aqsa mosque on the Jews' holiest site & won't even allow them to pray there. The Jews have left it standing, tho they have the right to destroy it. If they'd invaded Mecca & built a Temple on top of your Kaba'a/mosque you know you Muslims would tear it down, burn every Torah & kill every Jew in the world, wouldn't you? Hypocrites.



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Rob and Jay B.
Jay S7 years ago

Parvez, Ameer & you other Muslims here, you are so opposed to this little event in your hateful Islamic paradise of Pakistan with its bigoted ideas where you can marry a child or have sex with one, a man can slake his lust with 4 'wives'. Your prophet had sex with a 6 y/o girl, rubbing his penis between her thighs getting semen on her & his clothes then penetrating her when she was only 9! He had sex with a dead woman in her coffin. And you have the gall to call for the killing of gay people? People who are simply born with a different sexual orientation? This is modern science, not ancient tribal superstition passing itself off as 'religion'.

Pakistan is so puritanical & allows no freedom of religion or speech & kills people for even just telling the truth about Mohammed & Islam. It can't allow any questioning of these things because it knows once people know the truth they will renounce it all.

Pakistan bans internent sites that tell the truth @ Islam, yet it is ranked by Google as the number 1 country for the downloading of pornography including 'child sex', 'rape sex', 'animal sex', 'camel sex', 'donkey sex', 'dog sex' & 'horse sex'. Yet 3/4 of women in your prisons are there because THEY'VE been raped & can't produce 4 male witnesses to prove it as your not very wise god demanded. If there were 4 witnesses, wouldn't they stop it? Do some thinking.

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Rob and Jay B.
Jay S7 years ago

Pego your comments on al Husseini ignore how vile he really was. He was a rabid Jew Hater & was called The Arab Fuhrer because of his close ties with Hitler & his visits to Nazi Germany. Arabs were a big part of this ugly history.

He stopped the Nazis from trading Jewish children for prisoners of war & got 100,000 Bosnian Muslims to join Hitler's military & they killed 90% of Yugoslavia's Jews. He tried to get Hitler to come to 'Palestine' to kill the Jews there too, but Hitler declined. (Hitler loved Islam & had many prominent Muslims on his side, as well as being very popular in Islamic countries. His 'Mein Kampf' is the 6th best selling book in 'Palestinian' stores).

Speaking of Palestine which Israel has had to suffer with for 70 yrs: It is not a country & never was. It has always, for millenia, been part of Israel, the Jewish State. This is not Arab territory. It was Islam that invaded & built their scandalous Dome of the Rock/al-Aqsa mosque on the most sacred site for Jews & refuses to let them even pray there. Palestine is a modern British/Arab construct. If it were a historical country when was it founded & by whom? What were its borders? What was its capitol? What were its major cities, its currency, its form of government, its language & religion. When was it ever recognized as a nation?

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Pego R.
Pego R7 years ago

Hmm

You guys are fairly ignorant of the efforts to rewrite history to disinclude Arabs or to change them into something radically more menacing than the real thing. During WWII several groups of Islamic peoples forcefully aided Europe’s Jewish population to survive and the Allies to win. There also were a couple of groups that fought for the Axis, like Mufti Huseyni, who had already realized that the Brits and Europe were likely to play shenanigans with his country the "Twice Promised land" of Palestine that had already born 35-40 years of Zionism. Mufti Huseyni was likely right thinking he had to fight for his power base. However, it bears remembering that the concentration camps in Morocco were French, not Middle Eastern in origin.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15033852

At the end of the war Europe assumed the complete prerogative to dissect the Middle East as they desired. They redrew Palestine as Israel, awkwardly and plump in the middle of oil regions. If there is animosity between Islam and Jew, it is gratis Europe and the US.

http://www.raoulwallenberg.net/press/albanian-muslims-sheltered/


BTW, I have no interest in supporting these countries in any of these civil rights disasters, however, it behooves us to clean up our own act before pointing fingers and whining that we are better because they are worse, especially when we gained a fat profit of making them worse to start with.

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monica r.
monica r7 years ago

@Ameer T
"Muslims are the new Jews now."

No, Jews are the new Jews now. In the US there are far more anti-Jew hate crimes than anti-Muslim ones.

Also, look at places like Malmo, Sweden's third largest city. Due to intense harassment and hate crimes against them by the huge influx of Muslim immigrants, nearly the entire population of Jews have fled Malmo for their own safety.

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Salma A.
Salma-Ahmad Khan7 years ago

@ Pego R. Thanks for your green star acknowledgement!

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Lindsey DTSW
.7 years ago

Yes, Ameer. Our tax dollars are indeed also used to sponsor events here in the U.S. From the LGBT Pride dinner at the White House to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival our various levels of government do indeed sometimes sponsor LGBT events.

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