It’s a fairly recent phenomenon, the account tells us, since homosexuality was not illegal in Saddam Hussein’s time, and there was even a healthy gay scene in the 1960s and 1970s.
The recent killings “are brutal, with victims ritually tortured”, says the newspaper, adding:
Azhar al-Saeed’s son was one. “He didn’t follow what Islamic doctrine tells but he was a good son,” she said. “Three days after his kidnapping, I found a note on my door with blood spread over it and a message saying it was my son’s purified blood and telling me where to find his body.” [. . .]
Hashim, another victim of violence by extremists, was attacked on Abu Nawas Street. Famous for its restaurants and bars, the street has become a symbol of the relative progress made in Baghdad. But it was where Hashim was set on by four men, had a finger cut off and was badly beaten. His assailants left a note warning that he had one month to marry and have “a traditional life” or die.
“Since that day I have not left my home. I’m too scared and don’t have money to run away,” Hashim said.
One of those responsible for the barbarity is 22-year-old Abu Hamizi, a computer graduate, who spends several hours a day searching Internet chatrooms.
“It is the easiest way to find those people who are destroying Islam and who want to dirty the reputation we took centuries to build up,” he’s quoted as saying.