Akinola, Repudiate Anti-Gay Violence

October 27, 2007

Prison Terms (or Death) for Gay People in Africa & Elsewhere


The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., jailed in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting injustice.

Since this blog is concerned with anti-Gay violence (and Anglican support for it), let’s compare the record of various African countries and others around the world. In those places where LGBT sex is criminalized, what’s the legal punishment?

Do bear in mind that in many cases actual genital sex doesn’t have to take place for the charge to be made; visiting a website or attending a party with Gay people present will suffice. And for God’s sake don’t dress differently!

(That was sarcasm. Read the list, recently circulated on the Integrity list-serv.)

The Cost of Being LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and/or Trans) in Today’s World:

Algeria – A Fine to 3 Years in Prison
Angola – Labor Camps
Antigua and Barbuda – 15 Years in Prison
Bahrain – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Bangladesh – 10 Years to Life in Prison
Barbados – Life in Prison
Belize – 10 Years in Prison
Benin – 3 Years in Prison
Bhutan – 1 Month to 1 Year in Prison
Botswana – A Fine to 7 Years in Prison
Brunei – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Cameroon – A Fine to 5 Years in Prison
Cook Islands – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Djibouti – 10 to 12 Years in Prison
Dominica – 10 Years in Prison
Egypt – 5 Years in Prison
Eritrea – 3 to 10 Years in Prison
Ethiopia – 10 Days to 3 Years in Prison
Gambia – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Ghana – Not Known
Grenada – 10 Years in Prison
Guinea – 6 Months to 3 Years in Prison
Guinea Bissau – Labor Camps
India – A Fine to Life in Prison
Iran – Death
Jamaica – 10 Years Hard Labor
Kenya – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Kiribati – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Kuwait – A Fine to 7 Years in Prison
Lebanon – A Fine to 1 Year in Prison
Lesotho – Not Known
Liberia – A Fine
Libya – A Fine to 5 Years in Prison
Malawi – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Malaysia – A Fine to 20 Years in Prison
Mauritania – Death
Mauritius – A Fine to 5 Years in Prison
Morocco – 6 Months to 3 Years in Prison
Mozambique – Labor Camps
Myanmar/Burma – 10 Years to Life in Prison
Namibia – Not Known
Nauru – 14 Years Hard Labor
Nepal – A Fine to 1 Year in Prison
Nicaragua – 1 to 3 Years in Prison
Nigeria – 14 Years in Prison to Death
Niue – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Oman – A Fine to 3 Years in Prison
Pakistan – 2 Years to Life in Prison
Palau – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Palestine – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Papua New Guinea – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Qatar – A Fine to 5 Years in Prison
Saint Kitts and Nevis – 10 Years in Prison
Saint Lucia – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Saint Vincent and Grenadines – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Samoa – A Fine to 7 Years in Prison
Sao Tome and Principe – Labor Camps
Saudi Arabia – Death
Senegal – 1 Month to 5 Years in Prison
Seychelles – A Fine to 2 Years in Prison
Sierra Leone – Life in Prison
Singapore – 2 Years in Prison
Solomon Islands – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Somalia – 3 Months in Prison to Death
Sri Lanka – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Sudan – 5 Years in Prison to Death
Swaziland – A Fine
Syria – A Fine to 3 Years in Prison
Tanzania – A Fine to 25 Years in Prison
Togo – A Fine to 3 Years in Prison
Tokelau – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Trinidad and Tobago – 25 Years in Prison
Tunisia – A Fine to 3 Years in Prison
Turkmenistan – A Fine to 2 Years in Prison
Tuvalu – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Uganda – A Fine to Life in Prison
United Arab Emirates – Death
Uzbekistan – A Fine to 3 Years in Prison
Yemen – Flogging to Death
Zambia – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Zimbabwe – A Fine to 1 Year in Prison

Never underestimate the violence of the patriarchy.

October 16, 2007

Ugandan Muslim: Put Gays on an Island, Let Them Die


That’s Mubajje up there on the left, dedicating a mosque paid for by Muammar Gaddhafi.

Here is a report from Pink News, a Gay British website. (I hate the name Pink News and I’m ambivalent about their journalism, but this report appears authentic to me.) It was also quoted on the Episcopal Church website epiScope. If they hadn’t circulated it, this horrible news would have gone unnoticed in the West. I am very concerned for our sisters and brothers in Uganda. And I cannot believe American ex-Episcopalians would affiliate with the phony Christians there — but they do:

The leading Muslim cleric in Uganda, Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje, has come up with a novel solution to deal with gay and lesbians speaking up in the country.

He told journalists at a press conference on Friday that he had recommended to the country’s President at a meeting last week that all gay people should be sent into exile on an island in Lake Victoria.

“If they die there then we shall have no more homosexuals in the country,” he added.

There has been rising tension in the country over gay and lesbian rights.

Ugandan law outlaws homosexuality as “against the order of nature.” Trans people are also targeted by police and regularly subject to abuse and harassment.

In August activists in spoke out about the prejudice LGBT people face in the country.

30 people gave a press conference drawing attention to the state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia they face every day.

They called themselves the “homosexual children of God” and demanded that attacks on LGBT people stop.

The following week churches in the country showed their disapproval with a demonstration organised by the Uganda Joint Christian Council.

UJCC member churches include the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.

The Muslim community, who make up 12% of the country’s population of 27 million, were quick to add their voices of disapproval.

In response to the gay rights press conference Muslim youth belonging to the Tabliq movement announced they plan to set up ‘Anti-Gay Squads’ to fight homosexuality.

Sheikh Multah Bukenya, a senior cleric in the sect, announced the squads at the Noor Mosque in the capital, Kampala.

He said: “We are ready to act swiftly and form this squad that will wipe out all abnormal practices like homosexuality in our society.

“It is the work of the community to put an end to bad practices like homosexuality.”

The Tabliqs are well known for their militant – and sometimes violent – measures.

In 1991 they accused the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) of not serving the interests of Islam and promptly stormed their headquarters to forcibly remove the administration. A few policemen and Tabliqs were killed.

Conservative forces in Uganda have painted homosexuality as a kind of foreign import, but anthropologists point to the well-documented traditions of Bugunda royalty before European colonisation, where gay relationships were openly practised at the court.

October 9, 2007

Human Rights Watch: Nigerian Corruption Endemic


The Primate of All Nigeria

The Washington Post notes this report from Human Rights Watch about how Nigeria is governed:

JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 9 — Human Rights Watch warned on Tuesday that wealthy and violent political godfathers have hijacked Nigeria’s eight-year-old democracy while enjoying almost total impunity for their misdeeds.

The group’s 123-page report portrays April’s disastrous and widely condemned national elections as symptomatic of a system in which political players compete mainly with rival gangs of heavily armed youths, who rape, kill and intimidate opponents. The winners of these battles then use the Nigerian government’s vast oil wealth to entrench their power.

“In violent and brazenly rigged polls, government officials have denied millions of Nigerians any real voice in selecting their political leaders,” the report says. “In place of democratic competition, struggles for political office have often been waged violently in the streets by gangs of thugs recruited by politicians to help them seize control of power.”

The report does not detail the Anglican Church’s involvement, so let me add a few facts which, if more widely known, ought to embarrass American “Anglicans” who have been quick to pledge allegiance to Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola because of his assiduously publicized anti-Gay campaign:

• The Nigerian government donates the land on which many Anglican churches are built, including Akinola’s own cathedral in Abuja. There is no such thing as separation of Church and state in Nigeria.

This is a much bigger danger to the Church and the Gospel than it is to the government. When the Church gets co-opted, injustice invariably results.

• The Nigerian presidency, by common consent, rotates between Christians and Muslims. Christian presidential candidates choose Muslim VP’s and vice-versa. The previous president was an Anglican; the current president is Muslim, and his vice-president is an Anglican. Among all the Christian denominations in Nigeria, only Anglican politicians win the top slots.

• Government officials attend every important Anglican event—a school here, a bishop there—arriving in their Mercedes and BMWs and mixing with the “in” crowd. Indeed, belonging to the Anglican Church is seen as a way to get ahead financially and politically.

• The president of the Christian Association of Nigeria—Akinola until recently, when he was defeated for re-election by his fellow Christians for being too close to the government—is an automatic member of the government’s National Security Council. Akinola tried to stack the deck for his re-election by rescheduling the vote for a date when his main Catholic rival was out of the country attending a Vatican event. Akinola’s fellow Christians saw through his manipulation and denied him even the loser’s automatic vice-presidency. He’s losing prestige at home, even as he continues to attract homophobes in America.

By the time this schism is done there’s going to be hell to pay. Akinola’s American backers have hitched their wagon to a mafioso in a Mercedes; can blood be far behind?

October 2, 2007

Akinola Protestor Rev. Deborah Lake on YouTube

Kenyan Human Rights Chair Slams Anglican Bishops


L. Muthoni Wanyeki, the executive director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission, is one African leader fearlessly doing her job. In an opinion column in The East African newspaper, she says this:

On July 7 this year, two black South African lesbians were executed in Soweto. It is believed that they were followed home after a party. They were removed from their car, taken to a field and gang-raped before being executed.

Their deaths were not isolated. Another woman, also known to be a lesbian, was killed in Cape Town around the same time. And, in line with the ignorant idea that lesbians can be “fixed,” over 10 women known to be lesbians were raped. An atmosphere of fear has been created.

That is South Africa. Closer to home, the Tanzanian Lesbian Association has had to help relocate two lesbians following the publication of a picture of them kissing under the banner: “Uchafu.”

Lawrence Mute, formerly a commissioner with the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, remarked last week, “Being blind, I know what being disadvantaged, being vulnerable, being discriminated against, is all about.” He was, on behalf of the KNHRC, one of the drafters of the so-called Yogyakarta Principles — an attempt to being together, in one document, the range of already agreed upon international and regional human rights standards that apply (or should apply) to ensure the equal treatment of the gay community (or communities).

Noting that the history of human rights is one of claim, contestation and confirmation, sexual rights are human rights — but remain abstract until those oppressed begin that arduous and long process of first staking claim.

That no less than one of the most powerful mainstream churches on the continent does not seem to understand this — or to even be willing to try to do so — is a cause for deep concern. Prejudice and stereotypes both cause and enable systemic discrimination. When they are “sanctioned” by those considered to be authorities, the logical outcome is the kind of hate crimes now being witnessed in South Africa.

LET US BE CLEAR ABOUT THIS. WE all reacted with horror to the kind of human-rights violations seen during the genocide in Rwanda. We all asked ourselves: How could family, friends, neighbours turn on each other in such a devastatingly vicious manner. What we all should remember is that all it takes is sanction from authorities of any kind — the state, religious organisations and so on. We are all capable of being genocidal. We just need to believe that we are “right” in being so.

What the African Anglican bishops have essentially said is that African citizens are “right” in their prejudices and stereotypes about African gay communities. It is thus the African Anglican hierarchy that should “repent.” If we do not stop and check ourselves, we can rest assured that the damage ultimately caused will not just be to the Anglican family worldwide. The damage will be to our own.

Kenyan Anglicans are some of the leaders in the current anti-Gay schism.

You can read the whole thing here.

It is nice to hear an African woman’s voice for a change in all this. Who better knows about rape as a weapon?

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