Islamic Extremism: the greatest global threat to LGBT Rights?

By Ben Brittain

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The terrorist attack upon a gay club in Florida shows there’s a very real threat to the LGBT community from a violent strand of militant Islam.

“Mommy I love you. He’s coming. I’m gonna die.” Whilst sending that text from the toilets, he would’ve heard the chatter of gunfire, before the assailant eventually came in and shot him dead.

With 49 confirmed dead and over 40 severely injured in America’s deadliest mass shooting, we are reminded that despite the several rights afforded to the LGBT community, it remains under threat.

And its greatest threat right now is religion.

Domestically many Americans would argue that it is evangelical Christianity that is a threat to gay marriage and equality. But, it’s one strand of monotheism in particular that is the most dangerous and it exhibits the horrible trinity of self-hatred, self-righteousness and self-pity; I’m talking about Militant Islam.

We have now fully glimpsed what Islamism requests and forbids of us in the West: if you draw the cartoon Mohammed, you deserve to die. If you write a fictional novel that berates its theology, you deserve to die. If you go to a concert or a restaurant in Paris, you deserve to die.

And if you go out drinking and dancing at a gay club, you deserve to die.

These are the penalties they impose on us in the West. In Islamic countries the charge against civil liberties has developed a greater grip on the LGBT community.

In May, ISIS stoned a young gay man to death after a Sharia court convicted him of the crime of just being himself. In a separate incident, ISIS recorded the beheading of a gay man and sent the video clip to his lover and his mother. This death cult not only interprets the Islamic scriptures through a medieval lens, it enforces it with a modern edge, and it does so with sadistic gleefulness. In Syria it is now common practice for gay men to be thrown from the highest available building, the cringing audience watching below. In Iran, the government regulate the community, and public hangings are not as rare as the international community would like. Similarly in Egypt, whole lives and families have been ruined by losing the life of a loved one to the bars of a rusty jail.

The causes of these atrocities are very rarely the individual, but it’s always the ideology behind it – and Islamism is a dangerous ideology that is a global threat with a reach now as far as Orlando, US.

Globally, Islamism looks very different to how it appears in western communities, but Orlando gives us a glimpse of the torture that Muslim communities have long suffered under its reign. Globally, Militant Islam is spreading the ideology of Wahhabism and Salafism around the world, poisoning societies and economies, leaving nothing but footprints in the crops, savaging the minds of children, oppressing the young, training people in violence, making a cult of death, and suicide and murder. We see this in the rise of ISIS, Al Shabaab, Hamas and Hezbollah and also to some extent, the Muslim Brotherhood, which masquerade as a political organisation but spread the similar violent and aggressive aims of their fellow theocratic counterparts.

Globally then Islamism flexes as a strong force, and it has harmed ordinary Muslims most. But here people see it as a vulnerable minority, whose devotion to celestial worship you may offend. And as a minority it deserves all the protection that a small and vulnerable group might need.

But, when its ambitions and literal interpretation of scriptures clash with our way of life, and we see the ugly face of its violent undertone, with the result being 49 dead in a gay nightclub, the LGBT community have pointed the blame not on the culprit, but on those seeking to highlight the insanity of this murderous death cult.

After such a devastating, targeted and orchestrated attack on a gay club I would’ve expected the LGBT community to have awoken from its slumber, to realise that’s it’s hard won rights are at risk and to stand in solidarity against hate. The very right for a person to love now demands fierce defence. But, instead the same LGBT activists that shout about homophobia, march for LGBT rights, and berate the western political right, glaze over, fearful that vocal criticism of Islam may be deemed Islamophobic. The blame, they say, is to do with racism and gun laws.

But, the danger of ignoring the poisoned root cause of global Wahhabism and Salafism is that you permit the slow erosion of your rights. Don’t turn a blind eye to global Islamism, and the threat it poses to western values. The left may be so willing to give up our rights to these fascist thugs, but we must stand in solidarity with the family of those murdered, of those whose company will no longer be enjoyed, to face off against the oppression from thuggish theocrats which would see us thrown from buildings, hung or gunned down in a nightclub.

Thus, the question that needs to be asked of the LGBT left and the left in general is this: Will they admit that the main threat to its hard-won rights and freedoms is a global and violent strand of Islam? If so perhaps then we can begin to work out how to defeat this global menace.

SOURCEBen Brittain
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Ben works in mental health supporting vulnerable people in their journey to recovery. He also works in local politics where he has helped the development of several new services within the local community, specifically those to do with learning disabilities, Autism and LGBT drug abuse. He sits on the Board of Trustees for GroundWork West Midlands and has keen interests in defence, global security and cooperation.

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