Thursday, June 29, 2006

Denial of Anti-Gay Pogrom in Iran

In a terribly-researched article, Leslie Feinberg wrote that there's no anti-gay pogrom in Iran, which was published in Workers World. In the article, she quotes a few sources, all from 2005, which state that the famously-executed gay teenagers in Iran, which I wrote about here, were executed for rape. This may be true, but my previous posts explains that a lot of the charges that gay men are habitually executed under are most likely fabricated. They attribute horribly gruesome crimes to gay men to make it seem like homosexuality begets bloodlust.

If Feinberg had bothered to use updated sources in her hypothesis, she probably would have come to a different conclusion. Her last paragraph, explaining the repercussions of a the realization of the lack of a pogrom:

This more nuanced view of the situation facing the LGBT community in Iran
doesn’t fit in with U.S. finance capital’s propaganda war, which is demanding
“regime change” in order to re-conquer the oil wealth, land and labor of 70
million Iranian people. In such a bellicose climate, progressives must be
vigilant against any reports—real, manufactured or exaggerated—that seem to
support the imperialist re-enslavement of Iran.

She's saying that the United States is using fabricated anti-gay persecution as a means of covertly taking over Iran as it did overtly with Iraq. This is a conspiracy theory if I ever heard one. And a flimsy one at that. The theory would make sense if:

1) The American populace actually cared about gay rights.

2) The American mainstream media willingly covered the persecution of gay people in Iran, which it didn't. All coverage originally came from gay media, which obviously reaches a limited audience.

3) Sanctions based on human rights, especially those of gay people, were ever truly enforced. As it stands now, Iran has very little to lose if the world finds out about its persecution of gay people.

4) The US were willing to stick up for gay rights at the UN. The US supperted Iran in February in keeping lgbt non-governmental organizations from receiving UN recognition.

5) Anti-gay militarism were not being exported from Iran into Iraq.

Furthermore, the fact that Iran is accepting of transgendered surgery is not equivalent to being accepting of gay men. Transgendered people are the way they are because they feel they've been born in the wrong body. Thus, in an enlightened person's eye, a male-to-female transgendered person is not a confused man, but an actual woman. This is what the leaders of Iran see. When they see gay men, however, they see men acting in ways that society tells them are sinful, forbidden, and unlawful. Thus, they persecute to protect their image of what a "real man" is. It's apples and oranges.

In reality, Feinberg just wants to trot out the endless liberal "America is a drooling devil that does everything for oil" line. Granted, the US has done a lot of really horrible things in the Middle East, a large amount of which are based on oil. But fabricating an anti-gay pogrom? That's far-fetched and simplistic thinking.

I understand people who want to speak out about the atrocity that is US foreign policy. But don't diminish the struggle that gay people in the Middle East undergo to do it.


Anonymous Gyms in Tel Aviv said...

you can never know whats really happening in Iran.
They practically control the media. TV is pretty much in total control and internet is monitored and limited..

December 13, 2010 3:59 AM  

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