murder

Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki puts ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed’ cartoonist Molly Norris on execution hitlist

Religion of peace, my fucking ass.

Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki puts ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed’ cartoonist Molly Norris on execution hitlist

A CHARISMATIC terror leader linked to the botched Times Square car bomb has placed the Seattle cartoonist who launched “Everybody Draw Muhammed Day” on an execution hit list.

Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki – the radical who has also been cited as inspiring the Fort Hood, Tex., massacre and the plot by two New Jersey men to kill U.S. soldiers – singled out artist Molly Norris as a “prime target,” saying her “proper abode is hellfire.”

FBI officials have notified Norris and warned her they consider it a “very serious threat.”

In an English-language Al Qaeda magazine that calls itself “Inspire,” Awlaki damns Norris and eight others for “blasphemous caricatures” of the Prophet Muhammed. The other cartoonists, authors and journalists in Awlaki’s cross hairs are Swedish, Dutch and British citizens.

The 67-page terror rag is seen by terrorism experts as a bald new attempt to reach and recruit Muslim youth in the West.

“The medicine prescribed by the Messenger of Allah is the execution of those involved,” writes Awlaki, 39, a Las Cruces, N.M.-born American citizen.

“A soul that is so debased, as to enjoy the ridicule of the Messenger of Allah, the mercy to mankind; a soul that is so ungrateful towards its lord that it defames the Prophet of the religion Allah has chosen for his creation does not deserve life, does not deserve to breathe the air.”

Awlaki’s rant first appeared late last month in “Inspire,” which was posted to the Internet by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a Yemeni branch linked to a Christmas Day bombing attempt on a U.S.-bound jet.

Initially, only three Web pages were accessible, leading to speculation it might be fake. But yesterday, the full edition was posted on jihadist Web forums, according to SITE Intelligence Group.

David Gomez, the FBI’s assistant special agent in charge of counterterrorism in Seattle, said Norris and others were warned of the “very serious threat.”

“We understand the absolute seriousness of a threat from an Al Qaeda-inspired magazine and are attempting to do everything in our power to assist the individuals on that list to effectively protect themselves and change their behavior to make themselves less of a target,” Gomez said.

Norris initially grabbed headlines in April when she published a satirical cartoon on her Web site that declared May 20 “Everybody Draw Muhammed Day” as a way to mock Viacom and Comedy Central’s decision to censor an episode of “South Park” that showed the Prophet Muhammed dressed in a bear suit.

Soon after, the topic erupted on the Web with the start of a Facebook support group for Norris. In response, Pakistan blocked access to the social networking site as a fiery pro-and-con debate raged worldwide.

Norris eventually backed away from her cartoon and cause.

“I regret that I made my cartoon the way I made it,” she told the Seattle-based KING 5 TV.

Norris’ neighbor said yesterday he’s noticed an increased police presence on the street lined with modest Craftsman-style homes. No one answered the door at her home, where a blue baby swing hung from a tree outside.

Most of the “Inspire” entries are regurgitations of widely available jihadi propaganda, including translated speeches from Osama Bin Laden and tutorials on how to “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom.” Still, experts say the goal is clear: to reach a young, impressionable audience.

“It’s like Al Qaeda’s Tiger Beat,” said one senior U.S. counterterrorism official.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Threatened with Prosecution, Death by Pakistan Legal Authorities

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Threatened with Prosecution, Death by Pakistan Legal Authorities

It seems that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is under investigation by Pakistani legal authorities for violation of that country’s anti-blasphemy laws surrounding the recent Draw Muhammed contest.

The penalty for violating the Pakistani anti-blasphemy law can be death.

Section 295-C of the Pakistani penal code reads: “Use of derogatory remark etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet, whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable for fine.”

The Draw Muhammed Contest was started in response, in part, to Comedy Central’s censoring of an episode of “South Park” that dealt with violent Muslim reaction over the depiction of the Prophet Muhammed in the West. A Danish newspaper and cartoonist have also been under violent threat because of a cartoon depicting Mohammed with an exploding turban.

The idea of the Draw Muhammed Contest was that it would be a response to violent, Islamic extremists to show that freedom of expression in the West applies to everyone and every subject. Muslims do not get to tell non-Muslims what to do and what to say.

It appears that Pakistani law enforcement disagrees with this sentiment. The Pakistanis actually expect Interpol to arrange for the arrest of Mark Zuckerberg and his handing over to the Pakistani authorities for trial and presumed punishment. A complaint to the UN General Assembly is also being contemplated.

The situation seems to derive in large part from cultural insensitivity on the part of Pakistanis and many other Muslims. Muslims may feel somewhat sensitive about depictions of their Prophet, especially unflattering ones. This has been known since the Salman Rushdie affair. On the other hand, Muslims need to realize that the right to express oneself, on any subject, with any point of view, is held as sacred in the West as Islam is considered in their own countries. Religion and the religious are scrutinized, criticized, and ridiculed frequently. This applies to all religions, not just Islam.

The difference is that Christians, Jews, and so on seem to be secure enough in their particular faiths that any assaults on them get relatively mild complaints in response. Not so with Muslims. It seems that many Muslims just want to kill people for disdaining Islam. This not only demonstrates a somewhat shaky religious faith, but also tends to reinforce the image of the Muslims as violent extremists.

Coddling or giving into this attitude, as Comedy Central did, is somewhat counter-productive. Self-censorship only enables violent extremists and ensures that the threats of violence will continue.

Thanks to JT Hundley for the link

Massacres Shake Uneasy Nigeria

Massacres Shake Uneasy Nigeria

DOGO NAHAWA, Nigeria— The attackers came at night and surrounded this small farming village, firing shots in the air to scare residents from their homes. Men, women and children were hacked with machetes as they rushed out. Several houses were set on fire with residents still inside.

Details are beginning to emerge from attacks Sunday on four villages in central Nigeria, where witnesses say members of the predominantly Muslim Fulani ethnic group targeted villages that were home to members of the mostly Christian Berom ethnic group. On Monday, local officials counted 378 bodies in the villages of Dogo Nahawa, Rasat, Zot and Shen.

The dead, in a freshly dug mass grave, included a pregnant woman and at least one infant. A few miles away in Jos, a city of a half-million at the crossroads of Nigeria’s Muslim north and predominantly Christian south, troops patrolled the outskirts and set up checkpoints. There was a light police presence in Dogo Nahawa.

“I was sleeping at night next to my husband when I heard shooting,” said village resident Nomi Dung, 38 years old, her eyes red. “My husband told us to run, but I said, ‘No I will not run—even if I die, let me die in my home.’ My husband ran, and entered into the [attackers’] hands. My children ran outside because they were afraid from the shooting.”

Ms. Dung could not finish. A relative said her three children, ages 8, 5 and 3, had been killed.

The new violence compounds the political uncertainties in Africa’s most-populous nation. With sub-Saharan Africa’s largest Muslim population, Nigeria has largely avoided extremist ideology. But the threat of a deepening religious divide adds to security problems and a leadership vacuum that have prompted worries that one of the world’s largest oil-producers could be careening out of control.

Nigeria’s president, Umaru Yar’Adua, has traveled abroad frequently for medical treatments and hasn’t been seen in public for three months. His vice president, Goodluck Jonathan, has been given temporary executive powers and control over the military, but has faced political resistance from aides loyal to Mr. Yar’Adua. Meanwhile, militants have attacked energy pipelines belonging to Western multinationals and one major group recently abandoned an amnesty deal with the government.

Responding to Sunday’s killings, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both called on the involved parties to exercise restraint.

Mr. Jonathan, Nigeria’s acting president, deployed the Nigerian military to Jos and said the situation was under control. He also fired the country’s national security adviser on Monday, according to a statement.

The weekend’s attack appeared to be a reprisal for violence that claimed at least 300 lives in January, when Christian villagers targeted Muslims in a separate, nearby village, according to rights groups.

Officials and witnesses say the latest attack appeared well planned and brutally executed. The attackers didn’t shoot victims, but rather shot into the air to lure residents out of their homes, where they awaited them with machetes.

At a mass burial Monday in Dogo Nahawa, site of the worst violence, angry residents talked of revenge as they gathered around a large pit and scattered dirt on several dozen charred and bloodied bodies, some brought from neighboring villages. When an infant was lowered into the pit, women broke out in wails.

A village chief chastised area youth for not being ready to fight. “This is a lesson,” the chief said. “Now is the time for everyone to wake up. Elders are calling you youths to come out.”

An elderly woman prayed at the edge of the burial pit, chanting. “By God’s grace we will enter their villages and kill their women and children,” she repeated.

“We will do much worse to them,” one baby-faced man said.

When plumes of dust appeared in the distance during the burial service, mourners began to worry that the attackers were coming back. The dust was actually being kicked up by a truck carrying the bodies of 16 more victims, including an infant and a toddler, from another village.

A local journalist was nearly killed when the crowd of mourners at the burial site recognized him as a Muslim. The man was beaten for several minutes while young men shouted, “Kill him! He must die!” before police appeared and fired shots into the air. Young men continued to beat and throw rocks at the man while the police carried him away to a hospital.

Another local journalist, suspected of being Muslim, was asked to recite the Lord’s Prayer as proof of his Christianity. Mourners asked members of an international television crew if they were from Al Jazeera, saying there would be trouble for them if they were. The journalists, an American and a Kenyan, wore hats identifying their organization, CNN.

As journalists left the village by a rutted dirt road before the village’s dusk-to-dawn curfew, which was set Sunday, groups of young men gathered at the roadside with sticks and clubs.

Dogo Nahawa sits amid rolling hills, surrounded by former tin and columbite mines. Residents are predominantly farmers, cultivating corn and acha, a type of rice often called “hungry rice” because of its small size.

Several residents and officials, including Gabriel Gyong, 59, a civil servant, said there hadn’t been conflicts between Christians and Muslims in Dogo Nahama before.

Mr. Gyong said he woke to gunfire early Sunday. “Children were frightened and began running helter-skelter,” he said. “People who ran out of town were the ones who were slaughtered….They burned my house down, and they burned my car. I lost three grandchildren.”

Pastor Yohanna Gyang Jugu, of Church of Christ in Nigeria, sat outside his burned-down church, tears in his eyes.

“We were sleeping and we heard gunshots all around,” he said. “I woke up and went outside. There was nowhere to pass. Fulani men had surrounded the village. They caught my wife and killer her, and my daughter. They were cutting people down with machetes.”

During the burial service, Solomn Zang, the commissioner for works and transport in Plateau State, where Dogo Nahawa is located, said that the military was not sufficient for protection.

“God willing, we will do something about this,” he said. “Next time if this happens you shouldn’t call the police or the military, call on your neighbors to come and fight.”

Baby ‘starved to death’ because he did not say Amen

Baby ‘starved to death’ because he did not say Amen

For more than a week, Ria Ramkissoon watched passively as her one-year-old son wasted away, denied food and water because the older woman she lived with said it was God’s will.

Javon Thompson was possessed by an evil spirit, Ramkissoon was told, because he didn’t say “Amen” during a mealtime prayer. Javon didn’t talk much, given his age, but he had said “Amen” before, Ramkissoon testified in a US court in Baltimore.

On the day Javon died, Ramkissoon was told to “nurture him back to life”. She mashed up some carrots and tried to feed the boy, but he was no longer able to swallow. Ramkissoon put her hands on his chest to confirm that his heart had stopped beating.

Ramkissoon and several other people knelt down and prayed that he would rise from the dead. For weeks afterward, Ramkissoon spent much of her time in a room with her son’s emaciated body — talking to him, dancing, even giving him water. She thought she could bring him back.

Ramkissoon told the tale of her son’s excruciating death from the witness stand on Wednesday, at the trial of the woman she says told her not to feed the boy. Queen Antoinette was the leader of a small religious cult, according to police and prosecutors, and she faces murder charges alongside her daughter, Trevia Williams, and another follower, Marcus A. Cobbs.

The three are acting as their own attorneys.

Javon died in either December 2006 or January 2007; Ramkissoon isn’t sure of the exact date. His body was hidden in a suitcase for more than a year and has since been buried. But even now, she maintains her faith in his resurrection.

“I still believe that my son is coming back,” Ramkissoon said. “I have no problem saying what really happened because I believe he’s coming back.

“Queen said God told her he would come back. I believe it. I choose to believe it,” she said. “Even now, despite everything, I choose to believe it for my reasons.”

Later, she acknowledged that her faith makes her sound crazy. “I don’t have a problem sounding crazy in court,” she said.

Ramkissoon, 23, was born in Trinidad and moved to Baltimore at age seven. She stands 5 feet (1.52 metres) tall and weighs about 100 pounds (45.4 kilograms).

She wore a white sweater and blue jeans and was calm throughout her testimony, speaking in a clear and even voice. She appeared mildly agitated at certain questions but otherwise showed little emotion, even as she described how her starving son lost weight, became lethargic and lost his voice.

She was led to the courtroom in handcuffs. She pleaded guilty last year to child abuse resulting in death, agreeing to the deal only under the condition that if Javon is resurrected, the plea will be vacated. Prosecutors and a judge accepted that extraordinary condition, specifying that only a “Jesus-like resurrection” would suffice.

Because Antoinette is representing herself, she was able to cross-examine the young woman who lived with her for two years, much of that time after her son’s death.

Antoinette asked whether her statement about not feeding Javon was an order or a “suggestion”.

Ramkissoon said she has consistently told prosecutors and her attorney that she was not forced to starve her son, but she made clear the idea was Antoinette’s.

“When I was about to feed him,” Ramkissoon said to Antoinette, “you said, ‘You shouldn’t feed him anything’, and then you told me why. … I believed you.”

Williams and Cobbs also lived in the home, along with Antoinette’s three other children and a childhood friend of Ramkissoon’s. No one challenged Antoinette’s statement that the boy should not be fed, Ramkissoon said.

Ramkissoon detailed how the group relocated to Philadelphia and brought Javon’s body in a suitcase. She described how Javon was packed with sheets and blankets and how she sprayed his body with disinfectant and stuffed the suitcase with fabric softener sheets to mask the odour.

The suitcase was hidden in a shed in Philadelphia for more than a year before it was discovered by police, according to testimony.

Members of Antoinette’s household were told to wear only white, blue and khaki. They left the home only in pairs, and they avoided doctors or hospitals. They destroyed identification cards and had little contact with their families.

Ramkissoon said she often questioned Antoinette’s rules and orders but never disobeyed her because she believed her to be “a godly woman”.

“Looking back now,” Ramkissoon told Antoinette, “I won’t say that everything you thought was right, was right.”

God wants gays dead, says beauty queen

God wants gays dead, says beauty queen

CARRIE Prejean isn’t the only beauty queen open to expressing her objection to same-sex marriage. Miss Beverly Hills 2010 Lauren Ashley is also speaking out in support of traditional nuptials, Fox News reported.

“The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Ms Ashley told Fox News.

“In Leviticus it says: ‘If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.’

“The Bible is pretty black and white

“I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone.

“If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that’s a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life.”

Ms Ashley, 23, will be representing Beverly Hills in the Miss California pageant in November.

Her statements mirror former Miss California Carrie Prejean’s answer to a question about same-sex marriage in last year’s Miss USA pageant.

At the time, Ms Prejean said her answer opposing same sex marriage cost her the title.

But with the Miss California Pageant still months away, and Ms Ashley already echoing the views that got Ms Prejean in trouble last year, is she concerned that she may ruin her chances of taking home the tiara?

“That isn’t really the issue,” she said.

“I have a lot of friends that are gay, and … I have a lot of friends who have different views, and we share our views together.

“There’s no hate between me and anyone.”

And according to the Miss California state director, Keith Lewis, a contestant’s personal opinion should have no bearing on the result.

“The Miss California USA system has always had a place for an individual’s thoughts and opinions when it comes to all sides of political issues,” Mr Lewis told Pop Tarts.

“It is an organisation which empowers women, and everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.”

Mohammed Cartoon Protester – Defends The Murder of Homosexuals

Mohammed Cartoon Protester – Defends The Murder of Homosexuals – Translated:

Mohyeldeen Mohammad, who held the main speech in the muslim demonstration against Dagbladet (the newspaper that recently reprinted one of the Mohammed cartoons) last friday, tells Klassekampen (a left-wing newspaper) that gays must be killed.

Mohammad explains that he supports the islamistic al-Shabaab rebels in Somalia, who recently stoned a man to death.

– To my knowledge, that person was a homosexual, and that’s the punishment he deserves. That’s the point of view every muslim is forced to have through his religion, says the 24-year old from Larvik (a town about 2 hours south of Oslo) to Klassekampen.

Mohyeldeen Mohammad has a his roots in Iraq, and currently studies in Medina, Saudi-Arabia.

When asked about why he demonstrated against Dagbladet after saying that muslims don’t have to participate in the Norwegian democracy, he replies:

– The demonstration was a legal way to respond to the attack. In other countries we would have used other methods. Democracy has no place in Islam, because Islam forbids man-made laws. The only one who can create laws is Allah.

He then goes on to reject that a society based on sharia is a dictatorship.

– Sharia is not a dictatorship. It’s the best and most just laws. But today, no countries are ruled by God’s laws. Those who claim to rule according to sharia don’t.

Turkish girl, 16, buried alive for talking to boys

Disgusting.

Turkish girl, 16, buried alive for talking to boys

Turkish police have recovered the body of a 16-year-old girl they say was buried alive by relatives in an “honour” killing carried out as punishment for talking to boys.

The girl, who has been identified only by the initials MM, was found in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a two-metre hole dug under a chicken pen outside her home in Kahta, in the south-eastern province of Adiyaman.

Police made the discovery in December after a tip-off from an informant, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported on its website.

The girl had previously been reported missing.

The informant told the police she had been killed following a family “council” meeting.

Her father and grandfather are said to have been arrested and held in custody pending trial. It is unclear whether they have been charged. The girl’s mother was arrested but was later released.

Media reports said the father had told relatives he was unhappy that his daughter – one of nine children – had male friends. The grandfather is said to have beaten her for having relations with the opposite sex.

A postmortem examination revealed large amounts of soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that she had been alive and conscious while being buried. Her body showed no signs of bruising.

The discovery will reopen the emotive debate in Turkey about “honour” killings, which are particularly prevalent in the impoverished south-east.

Official figures have indicated that more than 200 such killings take place each year, accounting for around half of all murders in Turkey.

Americans’ Role Seen in Uganda Anti-Gay Push

Americans’ Role Seen in Uganda Anti-Gay Push

KAMPALA, Uganda — Last March, three American evangelical Christians, whose teachings about “curing” homosexuals have been widely discredited in the United States, arrived here in Uganda’s capital to give a series of talks.

The theme of the event, according to Stephen Langa, its Ugandan organizer, was “the gay agenda — that whole hidden and dark agenda” — and the threat homosexuals posed to Bible-based values and the traditional African family.

For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”

Now the three Americans are finding themselves on the defensive, saying they had no intention of helping stoke the kind of anger that could lead to what came next: a bill to impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.

One month after the conference, a previously unknown Ugandan politician, who boasts of having evangelical friends in the American government, introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, which threatens to hang homosexuals, and, as a result, has put Uganda on a collision course with Western nations.

Donor countries, including the United States, are demanding that Uganda’s government drop the proposed law, saying it violates human rights, though Uganda’s minister of ethics and integrity (who previously tried to ban miniskirts) recently said, “Homosexuals can forget about human rights.”

The Ugandan government, facing the prospect of losing millions in foreign aid, is now indicating that it will back down, slightly, and change the death penalty provision to life in prison for some homosexuals. But the battle is far from over.

Instead, Uganda seems to have become a far-flung front line in the American culture wars, with American groups on both sides, the Christian right and gay activists, pouring in support and money as they get involved in the broader debate over homosexuality in Africa.

“It’s a fight for their lives,” said Mai Kiang, a director at the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, a New York-based group that has channeled nearly $75,000 to Ugandan gay rights activists and expects that amount to grow.

The three Americans who spoke at the conference — Scott Lively, a missionary who has written several books against homosexuality, including “7 Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child”; Caleb Lee Brundidge, a self-described former gay man who leads “healing seminars”; and Don Schmierer, a board member of Exodus International, whose mission is “mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality” — are now trying to distance themselves from the bill.

“I feel duped,” Mr. Schmierer said, arguing that he had been invited to speak on “parenting skills” for families with gay children. He acknowledged telling audiences how homosexuals could be converted into heterosexuals, but he said he had no idea some Ugandans were contemplating the death penalty for homosexuality.

“That’s horrible, absolutely horrible,” he said. “Some of the nicest people I have ever met are gay people.”

Mr. Lively and Mr. Brundidge have made similar remarks in interviews or statements issued by their organizations. But the Ugandan organizers of the conference admit helping draft the bill, and Mr. Lively has acknowledged meeting with Ugandan lawmakers to discuss it. He even wrote on his blog in March that someone had likened their campaign to “a nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda.” Later, when confronted with criticism, Mr. Lively said he was very disappointed that the legislation was so harsh.

Human rights advocates in Uganda say the visit by the three Americans helped set in motion what could be a very dangerous cycle. Gay Ugandans already describe a world of beatings, blackmail, death threats like “Die Sodomite!” scrawled on their homes, constant harassment and even so-called correctional rape.

“Now we really have to go undercover,” said Stosh Mugisha, a gay rights activist who said she was pinned down in a guava orchard and raped by a farmhand who wanted to cure her of her attraction to girls. She said that she was impregnated and infected with H.I.V., but that her grandmother’s reaction was simply, “ ‘You are too stubborn.’ ”

Despite such attacks, many gay men and lesbians here said things had been getting better for them before the bill, at least enough to hold news conferences and publicly advocate for their rights. Now they worry that the bill could encourage lynchings. Already, mobs beat people to death for infractions as minor as stealing shoes.

“What these people have done is set the fire they can’t quench,” said the Rev. Kapya Kaoma, a Zambian who went undercover for six months to chronicle the relationship between the African anti-homosexual movement and American evangelicals.

Mr. Kaoma was at the conference and said that the three Americans “underestimated the homophobia in Uganda” and “what it means to Africans when you speak about a certain group trying to destroy their children and their families.”

“When you speak like that,” he said, “Africans will fight to the death.”

Uganda is an exceptionally lush, mostly rural country where conservative Christian groups wield enormous influence. This is, after all, the land of proposed virginity scholarships, songs about Jesus playing in the airport, “Uganda is Blessed” bumper stickers on Parliament office doors and a suggestion by the president’s wife that a virginity census could be a way to fight AIDS.

During the Bush administration, American officials praised Uganda’s family-values policies and steered millions of dollars into abstinence programs.

Uganda has also become a magnet for American evangelical groups. Some of the best known Christian personalities have recently passed through here, often bringing with them anti-homosexuality messages, including the Rev. Rick Warren, who visited in 2008 and has compared homosexuality to pedophilia. (Mr. Warren recently condemned the anti-homosexuality bill, seeking to correct what he called “lies and errors and false reports” that he played a role in it.)

Many Africans view homosexuality as an immoral Western import, and the continent is full of harsh homophobic laws. In northern Nigeria, gay men can face death by stoning. Beyond Africa, a handful of Muslim countries, like Iran and Yemen, also have the death penalty for homosexuals. But many Ugandans said they thought that was going too far. A few even spoke out in support of gay people.

“I can defend them,” said Haj Medih, a Muslim taxi driver with many homosexual customers. “But I fear the what? The police, the government. They can arrest you and put you in the safe house, and for me, I don’t have any lawyer who can help me.”