Queers For Islamofascim

30 01 2009

James Kirchick, writing on Advocate.com on Jan. 28, calls into question the sanity of a San Francisco group calling itself “Queers For Palestine.” Kirchick is quite correct in doing so. As he further points out, there is a long history on the left-most fringe of queer activism, of assuming a preposterous solidarity with every other radical cause and revolutionary front – a solidarity often neither welcomed nor reciprocated. This particular example is among the more ludicrous and logic-defying I have yet seen.

    To begin with, one may ask why a group of gays in San Francisco thinks it is necessary to involve themselves in a conflict on the other side of the world. Are there no deserving causes left in California? Are all the homeless queer kids finally off the street? Has every HIV positive person in the state been given full health care and decent housing? Did Prop 8 get reversed while I was taking a nap? Fine – let’s move ahead then on the assumption that in California, The Millennium has dawned and the world has been perfected.  (By report, it actually was that way in California for about a week in…oh…about 1952, I think – but that’s all long ago now.) That being the case, this band of soulful flagellants,  seeking a new cause with which to beat we less enlightened and empathetic passers-by, seizes upon the Israel-Palestine conflict as being the big news of the day and the issue most likely to garner attention, quite regardless of the fact that it has nothing to do with the queer community whatever. Having decided upon this cause and hoisting it aloft like the banner “Excelsior,” this brain trust lands themselves on the Palestinian side! Now let’s give this just a moment’s thought. No one wants to see Palestinian civilians being killed by Israeli bombs, just as no one wants to see Israelis being blown up by Palestinian bombs and we have seen plenty of both. Getting beyond who has thrown the most or biggest bombs, and leaving aside the question of why anyone thinks we have a dog in this race anyway and, in utter defiance of logic, accepting the notion that we need to be activists in this conflict, the obvious question remains, why would anyone think we should be a friend to Palestine, a place where queers are actively persecuted and murdered? Why in the name of all reason should we oppose Israel, the only state in the Middle East where gays have full rights, including open service in the military? Do these fools know what happens to queers in Palestine? Under the Islamofascists controlling Gaza, queers are tossed off high buildings whenever opportunity presents. Palestinian officials routinely extort, imprison and torture gays. A senior Hamas leader called us “mentally and morally sick.” And these idiots in San-Fran want us to support Palestine? Are they off their meds or what? Israel has actually granted asylum to some queer Palestinian refugees – and the  fools are saying we should oppose Israel? I shall retire to Bedlam!

   Don’t suppose this group is merely a fringe of ineffective idiots. They successfully lobbied the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission to boycott the 2006 World Pride Conference in Jerusalem in spite of the fact that no even moderately same and logical queer person could possibly support ANY Islamic regime. The existence of Queers for Palestine merely proves that our community is not immune to mush-brained, self-defeating fools.

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4 responses

31 01 2009
paul canning

Toby

this is what I posted on the gayswithoutborders list about this article

> Israel is an oasis of liberal tolerance in a reactionary religious
backwater, and if gay people want to stand with the “oppressed” of the
region, it is the Palestinians seeking a peaceful, two-state solution,
not the murderers of Hamas or their backers in Tehran, who merit support.

This is a racially biased view of Israel. If you are not Jewish – gay
or straight – you are second-class. If you are a Palestinian in the
occupied territories – gay or straight – you are subject to all sorts
of arbitrary actions, not ‘tolerance’.

The point about the reality of Islamists is correct (and the PA) vis
gays but you forget that another lesson of history is that openly gay
support for oppressed peoples leads to an increase in their support
for gays – look at the South African constitution, look at the
explicitly gay support for UK miners in the early 80s.

I would add to you that it is not about supporting people like Hamas (or the SA communists, or right-wing UK Labourites) but being openly gay and (in) supporting others. Not all gays can flee to israel. What can be done to help those who cannot except support the fellow humans in palestine and be openly gay whilst doing so?

31 01 2009
31 01 2009
Aristide Laurent

When Palistinians and Muslims of every country begin allowing gay pride parades, or even allow gay people to congregate openly, in their Sharia-dominated countries, or stop demanding that women are a man’s property and not allowed in public without being completely covered, I will begin to consider them worthy of support & tears. ‘Til then, for a gay person to wring his/her hands over a goup of people who continue to stone us to death is, to me, the height of masochism akin to gay KKKs or Jewish Nazis. So you and other “Queers For Islamofascism” are welcome to sit around wringing your hands in masochistic pity and waiting to receive “support” from an enormous group of severe religious fundamentalists, I don’t have that much time left above group. AJinLA

1 02 2009
charlievazquez

Well done Tobygrace. People should do their homework before making outrageous statements as such. I’m sure that Queers for Palestine had good intentions, but as you pointed out, queerness and Islam are not the friendliest of bedfellows. What queers in the Middle East and other Islamic countries endure is the worst in the world. I covered this on my blog entry titled “Homophobia and Planet Earth”.

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