Pakistani clerics call U.S.-sponsored gay rights meeting "cultural terrorism," an attack almost as dangerous as drone strikes
There are at least two noteworthy aspects of this report. One is the pitch of the rhetoric, supported by Sharia's punishments for homosexual acts, which Pakistan upholds. The other is that the report offers yet another case study in the useless elasticity of the term "terrorism." It is quite the case of selective outrage, as countless Pakistani lives lost to jihadist attacks do not often seem to warrant this kind of attention or condemnation.
"Islamic officials condemn US gay rights meeting as ‘cultural terrorism’ against Pakistan," from the Associated Press, July 4 (thanks to Kenneth):
ISLAMABAD — A group of conservative Islamic political and religious officials has condemned a meeting by the U.S. Embassy supporting gay rights in Pakistan as “cultural terrorism” against the country. The group, which included the head of Pakistan’s largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami, claimed the meeting — the first of its kind held by the embassy — was the second most dangerous attack by the U.S. against Pakistan, following missiles fired from unmanned drones.
So if we launch a fleet of gay aerial drones, we'll be unstoppable?
The meeting on June 26 was hosted by the U.S. deputy ambassador, Richard Hoagland, and was meant to support the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Pakistan, said the embassy.
“Such people are the curse of society and social garbage,” said the statement issued by the Islamic officials on Sunday. “They don’t deserve to be Muslim or Pakistani, and the support and protection announced by theU.S. administration for them is the worst social and cultural terrorism against Pakistan.”
Takfir, or excommunication: "They don't deserve to be Muslim," and Sharia's penalty for leaving Islam is death.
Homosexual acts are illegal in Pakistan. Homosexuality is not explicitly mentioned in Pakistan’s penal code, but “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment for a period of two years to life, according to the United Nations.
Also, under Islamic, or Sharia, laws in Pakistan, homosexual acts are punishable by whipping, imprisonment or death, according to the U.N.
Hoagland, the deputy ambassador, said during the meeting that the U.S.would support LGBT rights in Pakistan.
“I want to be clear: the U.S. Embassy is here to support you and stand by your side every step of the way,” said Hoagland in a statement released by the embassy.
While they're lending support in such unequivocal terms, how about a shout out to Pakistan's Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs?
Over 75 people attended the meeting, which was co-hosted by the Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies, the embassy said. The crowd included U.S. Embassy officials, military representatives, foreign diplomats and leaders of Pakistani LGBT advocacy groups.
The Islamic officials demanded the Pakistani government arrest the participants under the country’s laws and said the meeting was “tantamount to stabbing the Muslim world in the chest.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: It would appear to most Americans that our State Department should be promoting the freedoms found in the First Amendment to our Constitution, not a particular lifestyle. The First Amendment prohibits the making of any law "respecting an establishment of religion", impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. These are the core values of America and should be the focus of American diplomacy.