Sunday, September 12, 2010
Ah, those peace- loving, inclusive Muslims. If only this applied to gays and lesbians.
Ali Ahmad Asseri, the first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, has asked for political asylum in the United States, saying he fears he will be killed “in broad daylight” if he is forced to return to his native country.
Saudi Arabia practices one of the most radical forms of Islam known as Sharia Law.
Diplomat Asseri informed U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials that Saudi officials have refused to renew his diplomatic passport and effectively terminated his job after discovering he was gay and was close friends with a Jewish woman.
In a recent letter posted on a Saudi website, Mr. Asseri angrily criticized his country’s “backwardness” as well as the role of “militant imams” in Saudi society who have “defaced the tolerance of Islam.” Perhaps most provocative of all, he has threatened to expose what he describes as politically embarrassing information about members of the Saudi royal family living in luxury in the U.S.
If he is forced to go back to Saudi Arabia, as Saudi officials have demanded, Asseri says he could face political persecution and even death.
“My life is in a great danger here and if I go back to Saudi Arabia, they will kill me openly in broad daylight,” Asseri said Saturday in an email to NBC.
In a recent phone interview, Mr. Asseri said his problems began months ago when Saudi consulate employees who suspected he was gay began following him to gay bars. It was then they also discovered his close friendship with a Jewish woman from Israel. It was some time after these discoveries, Asseri said, that consulate officials began harassing him, refusing to renew his diplomatic passport or provide him with badly needed medical treatment for a painful back ailment. They also continued to monitor his private life and have demanded that he return to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has been sharply condemned by the U.S. State Department and human rights groups for religious and political intolerance, including the treatment of gay people. The most recent State Department human rights report on Saudi Arabia notes that, in addition to denying political and religious rights to minorities, “under Sharia (Islamic law) sexual activity between two persons of the same gender is punishable by death or flogging.” While the report stated there was no “official discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation in employment and housing, “sexual orientation could constitute the basis for harassment, blackmail, or other actions.” It noted that in one case reported in a Saudi newspaper three years ago, two men in the Saudi city of Al-Bahah were publicly lashed 7,000 times after being found guilty of sodomy.
I simply can’t understand why so many dewy-eyed American liberals refuse to accept the realities of radical Islam as it applies to gays and lesbians, as they try to equivocate Islam with Christianity. I would hate to think American liberals see less value in the lives of gay and lesbian Muslims?