Gay Rights threaten and “seriously jeopardize the entire international human rights framework”, according to Zamir Akram, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, and the official representative of the greater Islamic Bloc of Nations, in such matters.
This week, Ambassador Akram made this statement in response to U.S. Secretary of State’s statement that “gay rights are human rights.” The Islamic Bloc, which includes countries like Iran and Syria, among other oppressive regimes, immediately sought to oppose this notion, arguing that the US is, “misinterpreting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” by creating these “new standards.”
However controversial the Islamic Bloc’s position is on gay rights, this statement doesn’t come as a shock to anyone well-acquainted with the Muslim world’s treatment of homosexuality.While there are an array of punishments for homosexuality in the Muslim world, no Muslim country sees the sexual orientation as legal, rather un-Islamic or lewd sexual conduct. While some Muslim states punish homosexuality with short prison terms, others, like Iran, chose the death sentence. Under Iranian law, homosexuality in punishable by death – a harsh reality for Iran’s often closeted gay community and their families.
This is yet another issue of contention for Iran – while the overwhelming and ever-growing oppression of Iran’s citizenry, and rampant human rights abuses, has been grounds for the mounting criticism against the Iranian Regime, it also further fuels the anti-nuclear movement. The argument? While a nuclear Iran may be a threat to world stability, first and foremost, it is a threat to the prosperity and human rights of the Iranian people looking to break the shackles of the deadly Regime.