Sistani renounces fatwa on gays
Tuesday 16 May 2006
Rights campaigners were claiming a moral victory after Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani appeared to renounce a fatwa calling for the killing of homosexuals "in the most severe way".
The decision by Iraq's most prominent Shia leader to remove the call for the killing of gays from his website came after a spate of attacks against homosexuals, including the murder of a 14-year-old boy revealed last week in The Independent. Ahmed Khalil was shot at point-blank range after being accosted by men in police uniforms, according to his neighbours in the al-Dura area of Baghdad.
Campaign groups had warned of a surge in homophobic killings by state security services and religious militias following the anti-gay and anti-lesbian fatwa issued by Ayatollah Sistani.
The killing of Ahmed is one of a series of alleged homophobic murders. There is mounting evidence that fundamentalists have infiltrated government security forces to commit homophobic murders while wearing police uniforms.
Rights groups are concerned that the Sadr and Badr militias, both Shia, have stepped up attacks on gays after a string of religious rulings, since the US-led invasion, calling for their eradication.
The apparent about-turn from thereligious leader came after two weeks of talks with the London office of the Iraqi gay and lesbian organisation LGBT, a clandestine network with members in many Iraqi towns.
Justin Bieber was one of the hardest hit
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a large and well ...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Accounts Assistant is requir...
£26000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company is a small, growing...
£12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A leading online retailer in the Home Im...