Inside the Middle East - Blog
March 11, 2008
Gay Iranian Man Pleads For Asylum
--By CNN's Alphonso Van Marsh

An 19-year old Iranian who dared identify as gay nervously awaits a court ruling that he says could lead to his execution. “Mehdi” was studying English in Britain, when he says he learned his boyfriend back in Tehran had been arrested, charged with sodomy and hanged in 2006. But before the boyfriend was killed, Mehdi says, authorities forced his partner to name past lovers.

Days later, Mehdi’s family claims, Iranian police showed up at their Tehran family home with an arrest warrant. In an asylum claim submitted to Britain’s Home Office, Medhi said if he returns to Iran, he too would be executed.

Britain’s Home Office didn’t buy it. It turned him down – then Mehdi fled for Canada before British officials could deport him to Tehran. But he was stopped by border police in Germany and sent to the Netherlands.

He now sits in a Dutch detention center, where he waits for a judge to decide whether to grant him asylum, or carry out a British extradition request to send him to the U.K.

The British Home Office says it does not believe that homosexuals in Iran are routinely persecuted purely because of their sexuality.

But gay rights activists are outraged. Is Mehdi telling the truth? Could this be a scam to start a new life in Europe? The head of one Persian gay rights organization tells me the group’s own researchers in Tehran could not verify Mehdi’s claims – but they did find the boyfriend’s family, visited his school, searched government records; nobody would talk.

Such is homosexuality’s taboo in Iran. So how can one prove a past ‘gay lifestyle’ to British authorities when one comes from a country where being gay is illegal – and where gay sex is punishable by death?

I sat down with Mehdi’s uncle – he’s been living in England some 30 years. He says his nephew had been living as a openly gay man while in Britain – even moved to from London to Brighton, the English seaside city many consider Britain’s unofficial gay capital. If Mehdi is returned to Britain, then deported to Iran, the uncle says, whomever at the Home Office signs his deportation papers, signs his nephew’s death sentence. The uncle fears for his nephew’s safety if he’s deported.

He also tells me Mehdi’s father in Tehran has - to put it diplomatically - disowned Mehdi, “for the shame he’s brought on the family.” A growing wave of politicians, human rights organizations, gay rights activists and ordinary citizens make an interesting point: regardless of validity of Mehdi’s claims, no gay person should be sent back to Iran.

Mehdi’s case has become so well-known that if he returns home, he becomes a living symbol against the Iranian Regime’s moral code. A symbol that Regime may not be able to ignore. There are many people putting their own reputations on the line to campaign for Mehdi. It would seem quite an elaborate plan to fake. Where does the truth lie in this complicated, sensitive story?

Watch our in-depth look at Medhi’s case – and decide for yourself.
Iran is just the most flagrant example of systematic violation of human rights of gays and lesbians. If Mehdi goes back, he will face at least constant hostility and bashing, if not the death sentence. Does this mean nothingg to british immigratin authorities? As a matter of fact, very few countries in the world, mostly in Europe and in some reginns of Latin America, grant equal rights to gays and lesbians. The rest of the world simply does not see gays and lesbians as human beings worthy of rights. Iranians do not even see gays and lesbians living among them and punish them with death if found in the privacy of their sexual lives. How much longer until the world recognizes rights of gays and lesbians?
Another example of the evil AhmediNAZI regime of Iran. Everything should be done to wipe that evil government out and restore sanity to that country.
Iran has been killing Christians and Muslim who convert to Christianity for years. I am glad they are finally threatening someone that the US cares about so that it will draw national attention.
It's unbelieveble that the UK govrenement deneys that it is not dangeroues to be a gay man or woman in Iran!!! Constant reports of human rights activists say that gay men are beaten, or killed. deneying that says enough of the new labour government!! it's a scandal.

Peter from Belgium
Why is there nobody who reach out to this young men,to help him,so that he can stay neither in the Usa,or any other country.

to see the history of killings in Iran,it will be sure when he will be sent back to Iran,he wil face death sentence............and nowbody is to blame for that,,,sounds crazy to me.I will Pray for you Mehdi may God grant you this permit stay.
Of course Mehdi should be granted asylum; Iran needs to wise up to the 21st century. My thoughts are with you, Mehdi.....
I live in Iran and I really hate this islamic regime. But I should say I have never heard of executing someone just because of being homosexual. Ofcourse they hang those who rape children or young adults but as far as I know, being a gay doese not follow to be executed at all.
Yes, it's time for the whole world to recognize the legal rights of poor, innocent gays and lesbians!

Guantanamo and the Israeli prisons are the ideal example of human rights on earth! Why doesn't evil Ahmadinejad call for the gays and lesbians to be placed there?

By the way, the Nazis are those who threaten (and make a holocaust). However, one good thing about the German Nazis: they exterminated the Jews on their land, not the Palestinians whose land they stole!

Another thing: Iran does not kill Muslims and Christians! You believe your own lie! Correction: It is the Israelis and Americans who keep assassinating them in several regions of the world.

Stop your double-standards! Before speaking of human rights, feel for the Arabs who you enjoy exterminating all the time, simply because you're too greedy you crave for their oil and land!
I was shocked by this piece of news. To be honest, I am also a gay guy. However, the situation here in China mainland is not that bad in Iran. From my point of view, this is mainly because that i am an college student. Fornuately, I am able to live and study as a gay with ease. The school authority never force me to drop out of school. I get on well with most of my classmates and friends.
But, I am worried about the atmospher in the society. I dont konw how to deal with the discrimination and misunderstanding against gay men. Whats worse, marriage is indeed a tough problem for me in the foreseeable future.

My blog:
I'm not gay, and I dont like them either, but I think that this guy should not be send back to IRAN, this is a total lack of humanity, the british goverment should take this as a special case and guarantee him a legal status in the country, otherwise this man is gonna get killed because of stupid burocracy and legal issues between countries.

it looks like people are more interested with gay than with killing children in Gaza.
God Bless America. We are quite fortunate that we have opened our minds in this Country to different lifestyles. It is a part of our every day lives. Unfortunately for Mehdi, the deportation process deals only with whether he is eligible for Asylum. There are several criteria that must be met for our Courts to grant Asylum. If those are not met, our Courts have not yet included the "human factor." It's all about eligibility...not race, religion, sex or sexual preference. Best wishes Mehdi.
Have the officials in the British government not seen the photos of gay people in Iran who have been hanged by cranes and then left there for days as a reminder of the consequences for being who they are? Whether some reports are exagerated or not, it is no doubt that Iran does not like the idea of gay people in it's country.

I hope for the best for "Mehdi". I know our thoughts and prayers are with him, but honestly, for someone in his position, it cannot be nearly enough.

Charles from Arlington, VA, USA
"God Bless America"? This has to be a joke. There are NO federal protections for gays and lesbians living in the United States. If you are a homosexual in the United States you can be fired without cause and have no legal recourse. Granted some states offer legal protection, but not all states. How can you say "God Bless America" and then say that the "human factor" is not considered in Immigration Courts? If God was blessing America wouldn't the human factor be considered. This has nothing to do with God or patriotic flag-waving. The US is far behind in human rights (Jena Six). Why not fold up the flag and put it away for a while. Bring it back out when we catch up with most European countries. And don't hold your breath.
Well, this is the problem with asylum granting. If nothing is provable in regards to being gay, what is to stop someone from saying I am Iranian and gay and I need asylum when really that is not truly the case? If they decide not to follow a gay lifestyle upon getting to Britain, can they be deported? What if they decided to become celibate? Celibacy for asylum might not be too bad a deal to some...

And to the gay man from China, I hope you will someday soon be able to be married the way you want and not the way society wants!
If countries such as Britian will grant asylum to peoples facing imprisonment, much less of death, for political views then why won't it grant asylum to peoples facing the same punishment for their sexuality that they have no control over? Sounds to me like the British are a bit homophobic and don't want any more gays in their country than they already have now.
I’m a little suspicious; many Iranians have sought asylum in many countries using this as their defense as well has their religion affiliations like Christians and bahai when they are neither. There are so real people with real threats out there, but some Iranian play the gay and religion and political game to enter western countries then a few years later they travel back to Iran. Check it out most got their papers base on religion, political persecution, but then return to Iran to visit every year Ummmm
Mehdi's case does indeed look strong. The fact that no one in Iran wants to talk about it makes it all the stronger. I hope the Dutch court will allow him to stay in The Netherlands. As for the British, they need to reflect on how best to handle these cases.
Yes, and again I say "God Bless America"...I served my country for 5 years. I know about protecting rights and more. I'll wave my flag wherever I want to. In case you haven't noticed, it doesn't take being a homosexual to be let go from a job. Employers can exercise their right to let ANYONE go without cause. That's just the way it is. It goes back to his RIGHTS to be in this Country. The law is the law, whether you are black, white, gay, Muslim, Christian, or whatever. If he does not meet the criteria for Asylum, then he is illegal and will be deported. Our Courts don't descriminate on the basis of sexual preference....unless it has caused harm to another. Yes....God Bless America. I'm proud to be an American and proud to serve my country.
"it looks like people are more interested with gay than with killing children in Gaza" Who ever made this comment is obviously a Palestinian. what does this have to do with this news article. Why don't you just stop your hatrid & of w/ everyone else to live in peace. therefore no innocent people die.
Poor, Poor, Mehdi!! Lets also look at the reason for his deportation. Just because someone like the same sex shouldn't exempt you from all other laws!

I hope this guy will be OK, but I feel that if they let him stay, anyone from Iran can just say they are gay and never be deported! There has to be law and order.
This is amazing.

I hope for Medhi's safety and that the Netherlands do not send him to the UK. Being gay does not mean you have to die. What makes me shake my head are some of the stupid comments left on this blog. IRAN is an evil empire and it is lead by an inept looser, but more over, how can the Home office think that Gays are not persecuted in IRAN? Their presendent, or (Bin Laden's Minnie Me)went to the US last year. While blowing hot air at a University lecture, he stated there are no gays in IRAN. Well, do I need to keep going? A leader who states there are no gays in IRAN and that it is a disease of the west, surely indicates the state of mind in IRAN. DUH! And in this blog, there is a comment on the NAZI's and killing the Jews. Well, here's a thought of mine about that. There are plently of westerners that are sick and tired of Allah, or Islam, or suicide bombers, or Osama, or Iraq, or Iran, or Palestine or the Koran. If you think that killing people is just, then you are no better than the american's or jews you protest. So, here's my solution based on his attitude...How about we herd all of those sick extremest bastards into IRAQ and I mean every last one of you. Then, we take our own type of bomb, and well, that will rid the world(everyone's world) of a true disease such as that. One wonders why there is such hate between men, well, it's because of dumb ass comments like that. Or for that matter, the one about "not being gay, and I don't like them." Why doesn't that person like someone. What did they do to them? They should try to say, "I'm not gay and I don't agree", but to say I don't like, wow, that's how hate starts. Bottom line, just like at the end of the movie "The Kingdom" ....we're going to kill them all..... How sad.......
Reading the comments in this blog one is reminded of why the middle east is in the troubled condition it is. The unbelievable nerve of people to say that the Nazis did a good thing by exterminating Jews. Is this the 21st Century? When will the Arab and Muslim world realize that the desperation in Gaza would stop if the people who live there would stop terrorizing the Israelis who live on the other side of the border, recognize their right to exist, and stop threatening their country with extinction? What country in the world would tolerate constant bombardment with rockets and terrorist attacks without reprisals? The Israelis as a whole have never called for the wholesale destruction of the Palestinian people or their lands - only an equitable way of living together side by side. When the Palestinians can accept that, there will be peace. Not until.
Maybe i am a naive 30 year old. But these individuals work/study, eat, have fun and do the same things as I do, with the exception of a sexual partner. I don't consider it a different "lifestyle" Why are people so concerned with what another does in their own bedroom??? (as long as their not hurting children) Give this gentleman asylum before your government becomes an accessory to murder
What is wrong with the UK. How could they think of sending a young boy back to Iran to face a death sentence when all he did was declare his homosexuality? The UK should be ashamed of itself and I feel the US should step up and let him enter the US and show the world we are not prejudice. I just can't believe this world. We seem to be so caught up in what people think is their God given right to judge people that they are willing to have a young boy put to death because of his sexual orintation. Shame on everyone envolved.
It so devastating to hear a story like this in this day and age...Especially since the UK is known to be a gay-friendly country.
The people who run the british office of deportation are being ultimate clowns...Read all the information about the sensless killing of teenagers and even pre-teen boys and girls who are found to have had gay relations in that country...I am outraged to hear that he may be sent back...his hanging which would surely be carried out should lie in the hands of the british person who signs his papers and they in turn should be charged with murder.

Kraig Rasool
Ft Washington Md
i think that if the UK decided to deport him back to Iran that would be wrong. But reading comments about how wrong Iran is and how cruel they are, is seriously ignorant. The islamic religion follows the Old Testament by its word. If the old testament says to stone those who perform homosexual acts with the samesex, then they have to follow the word of God or Allah and execute them. Being in the 21st century means that everyone should understand other religions and accepting it instead of being ignorant. I personally think that it is wrong because I am a catholic but if its in the Islamic religion to do that then so be it. But they should grant him permission to stay in the UK because that would be very unethical for the parliament or whoever makes the decision.
Gay or not. This is a human being. This is a human being who has not been convicted of murder (the only reason another person should ever be executed). This is a human being who will be executed if he is returned to Iran. If you have one shred of moral fiber in your body you will realize that no matter what color, religion, orientation, etc an innocent man will die if he is not granted asylum.

Yes, I agree with whomever posted that children are also dying in the middle east. It is terrible and they are also innocent. With the nature of war, sadly killing innocent bystanders can not be avoided. This case however, we know Mehdi's situation, he is currently in a safe country that will preserve his right to live, there is a way to prevent this one death. I see no reason why he should not be granted amnesty.
I respect anyone who serves their country and wishes to waive their flag. But are you implying firing someone for their sexual orientation is "with cause"? It appears so. Employers cannot discriminate based on race, gender, disability, religion, veteran status or age. It is against the law. A hard-working gay or lesbian person can be fired WITHOUT cause because there is no federal law making that illegal. So when you think of how great America is remember it is a country that allows discrimination until federal laws are passed. You seem to have no empathy for this man who faces certain death upon his return to Iran. If that's a "Thank God for America" attitude, that's tragic. And the United States could go on record supporting asylum for this individual, but you hear the silence of "the home of the brave". I respect your service to this country but not your support of Immigration Courts who will throw people out of the US with little consideration of what happens to them afterwards. Red tape kills somtimes. I "thank God for America" when my nation nation does something that makes me proud of. This isn't one of them.
"It goes back to his RIGHTS to be in this Country." "God bless America!" Does Buddha have a right to be in this country? Allah? Or would you have them deported along with Mehdi. Only certain people are welcome in your version of America. Mehdi has a right to asylum if he will be murdered when he returns to Iran. If we won't extend asylum when the immigrant will return to certain death, why even have Immigration Courts hear asylum cases. Just export them to their deaths like Eichmann would have done. Either America and the rest of the West have a spine and say sending immigrants to their deaths is wrong or lend a hand in the practice of political murder of deported immigrants. But Mehdi is gay right so who cares? You should care because that is what God would do: care. Or are you so wrapped up in the flag and "God bless America" that you can't see right from wrong.
"The islamic religion follows the Old Testament by its word. " Uh, Simon, the treatise of Islam is the Koran. No Old Testament there. You are referring to either the wrong book or the wrong religion.
If a Cuban were to make it across the Atlantic ocean to the shores of the U.K.. would they let him stay? If so, why?
How can a country execute someone for being gay? How antiquated can a country be?
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of course he should be allowed to stay... i can't believe the UK government refused him asylum, since we're supposed to be a country which respects human rights, and he will evidently not be given fair treatment if he is forced to go back to iran. It seems that the government is responding to tabloid hysteria over asylum and illegal immigration rather than addressing the really important issues here... and will end up sending a man to his death at the hands of a barbaric regime which wants to kill all gays/jews/amy westerners or anyone who doesn't follow some antiquated "islamic" moral code..
Note: Thanks to all for participating, but a reminder that no racist rants, no personal attacks and no profanities will be published in the comments section of this blog... so don't waste your time sending those in.
Best, Hala
How is tolerating comments that say the Nazi extermination of Jews is a 'good thing' following the rules prohibiting racist rants? Is that somehow reasoned discourse? Or is it just not racist when the writer is discussing Jews?
uh i dont have a comment speaking for a gay male myself from the usa, and tx at that ... there is more to the story that isnt being said...? i doubt any respectable government would send this person home to be killed.... becuz of his lifestyle?
No comment has been published advocating the extermination of any group.

If one slips through because of the dozens of comments we must sift through every day, I invite you to notify us at

That said, the terms "holocaust" and "Nazi" have been used in equal measure by both sides of this argument. I invite you to look back at the body of what we have published as proof.

We gladly feature - and even invite - comments that are colorful, opinionated and even controversial, but I repeat that outright racism and profanities will not be allowed. Again, thanks and looking forward to a healthy discussion.

The UK doesn't believe this young man is in danger?

July 19, 2005: Two teenage boys (ages 17 and 18) were executed for the crime of homosexuality... after being held for 14 months. (They were both 16 at the time of the "crime". That's nothing new for Iran - they currently have at least 71 children waiting to be executed.)

Nov 13, 2005: Two men were executed for "lavat" (sexual acts between men).

Those are just two cases out of many. Even a superficial search of the subject will turn up many incidents where Iran's Moral Police have arrested and executed those who have broken the law by being a homosexual or, in some cases, of being raped.

President Ahmadinejad himself recently stated that homosexuality does not exist in Iran, yet the Home Office doesn't believe that Mehdi's claim that he'll face persecution and death if he returns.

No. I can't believe the Home Office doesn't know exactly what's going on in Iran - my guess is that they simply do not wish to rock the boat and further antagonize a leader who has shown nothing but contempt for others who are not like him.
"The British Home Office says it does not believe that homosexuals in Iran are routinely persecuted purely because of their sexuality"? Is this statement a joke? Of course any gay will be punished, even executed, in Iran. The sad fact is that there isn't much isn't between so-called "radical Islamic states" and so-called "liberal, secular democracies" when it comes to gays.
When are we going to stop fearing gay people and let them live their lives? This is a perfect example of the choice argument, which asks, "Why would someone knowing put their life on the line to live openly gay?" The answer is that they don't have a choice and that they were born that way. Simple and true.
What a disgrace! Send that poor soul to Canada, the only true FREE Country!
To the people who are bickering with the guy/gal who started his post with "God Bless America", I have the following to say.

I have been fired before, without cause. I have had a lucrative offer for employment rescinded before...without cause. I'm not gay, I'm straight, I'm not African American, I'm white, and you know what????

What they did is perfectly legal. Many states are what's called "At-Will Employment" states, which means that you can leave whenever you want, w/o cause and you can be fired whenever you want...w/o cause. To be able to demand the cause, b/c you are Gay or Non-White or Buddhist or whatever your status that puts you in a minority in this country is not fair to everyone else who gets canned and gets no explanation.

I think EVERYONE should be informed of the reason they are fired, and NOBODY should be fired w/o cause, but to state that minorities have it worse, because they are fired without cause is bogus, unless your state IS NOT an at-will employment state; in which case, you should go to your EEOC office, because you have a case.
I feel for Mehdi and his family. Imagine, his own family had to banish him from their lives. Not by choice I'm sure. Sending him back to Iran would mean sending him to prison and maybe his death. Iran does not have the monopoly of persecuting gays. China, Mexico, yes Mexico also persecutes gays. It is illegal to be gay in Mexico, what a shame. Asylum is a long process and as a gay Mexican man now living in U.S.A. it was worth the wait! I implore the British Government to grant asylum to Mehdi.
I feel very bad for this young man and discouraged at countries like the UK and the US that openly "quietly" discriminate against gays. For instance, our state passed a "protect marriage" issue a couple of years ago. What are they protecting? People can still get divorced just as easy, and do. They were letting gays know that they need to hide their lifestyle. This young man would be best suited to stay in the Netherlands, if they grant him asylum, and I can't see them NOT granting him asylum.
I hope for the best for Mehdi. I hope that he will be able to live his life the way he wishes, and not by the standards of others. To not live life to the fullest is the only true blasphemy.
I think there is something else going on. But I am not "Mehdi" or the Iranian authorities so I cannot judge that matter. What I can judge is the way this situation is being handled by a so-called Islamic country which claims to be ruled by Shari`a (Islamic law). Homosexuals cannot be given the death penalty unless their acts cause harm to the community. Meaning, unless gay men are raping innocents such as children, then it is permissible. Otherwise, what a man does in his own home is his own business (unless again, it causes harm to an innocent person(s)). BTW I am a Muslim who adheres strictly to the Quran & Sunnah and even though homosexuality is an evil act, we do not pass judgement such as life and death so easily on another human who chooses to live like that.
The British Home Office assessment on Iranian gay's current situation is most likely accurate. According to my gay Iranian friend, seldom are Iranian gays targeted exclusively for their sexual orientation. Incidentally, Iran is one of the few Muslim countries that allow and pay for sex reassignment surgery. Regarding the President's comments at Columbia University, those were taken out of context and due to bad translation. Lastly, Iran allows you to skip Military service if you declare yourself a homosexual.
"...When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out." Niemoller.

There should be no tolerance for governmental violations of any basic human right be it Iran, Saudi Arabia, the US, China or others. It is amazing we never learn from history and continue to fear what is different.
i don't understand why people think Iran is a Muslim country? they have completely different believe system for some reason they seem ashamed to admit it. anyhow, Mahdi should have a right to stay in England but that would open a wide door to the Iranian s who may or may not be gays to ask for asylum. it is a tough decision!
First, the old testament does not rule homosexuality to be punishable to death. As with everything else, these kind of interpretations are the major cause of all evil in our world. Also to those who are more concern with the life of children in the Gaza Strip, Life should be regarded as precious no matter where, why, when or under which circumstances. If one is more important to you than the other, please recheck your set of moral values. The Iranian leader declared during a UN visit of the non existence of homosexuality in Iran, now this statement alone, should light up a serious red light to the European authorities who are deliberating asylum for this young man.
It's a horrible decision, but it is what it is.

Must say first...great discussions.
Now my comments:

Mr. Mehdi and his man did crimes in Iran that call for hanging, and his man has already been hung. Having said that, then it is reasonable to assume that Iran will view this as:

1. The West and its evil ways infecting his 'Un-Gay/Immune' people with the 'Gay Virus'.

2. West created Evil then Evil came home to roost.

3. West is cancerous/infectious tumor that needs to be cut out of the world before it spreads.

Pres of Iran is a shrewd dude. It will be simple for him to twist/pervert a 'kind/merciful act by the UK' into something a people, who are not allowed to think for themselves, can believe. Fanning the fire further between the Middle East and the West.

This will all seem ridiculous to many, however, I’ve found that this line of logic does make sense in some cultures (Iran for example). Blood seems to be the drug of choice to soothe the soul, heart and mind. Iran's pres represents his people as a such a group who need this to quench their thirst.

I simply don't understand it!

Those who strive to protect the gays' rights don't believe in a Moslem woman's right to wear the veil. Still they never object to the Christian nuns who wear their head covers!

Those who refuse to understand the Moslems' anger because of the cartoons lampooning Prophet Mohammad, cannot violate the law of anti-semitism i.e. they believe the Moslems don't have the right to object to insulting their religion but still they expect from the whole world never to get close to the red line of insulting the Jews!

Everyone bought the "story" of Mehdi, whereas the British Home Office cannot buy it. Everyone took it for granted that what Mehdi says is 100% true and that he would surely be hanged if he goes back to Iran. Why are so many people biased when it comes to Iran or the Arabs and Moslems in general? Why does everyone want to believe that Iran will hang the guy? Even when there are moderate voices which stress that the man would never be hanged in Iran unless he had raped a child or committed a murder, no one wants to believe it?

Why doesn't everyone pity the children, women and men who die out of hunger, torture, wars, diseases and poverty? Does everyone feel for Mehdi because "my enemy's enemy is my friend"? Isn't that biased thought?

I am not for Mehdi's hanging but I know all religions do not approve of homosexuality. Tell me of one religion which approves of gays or lesbians?

Why doesn't someone suggest that the guy is offered a psychological and medical treatment instead of encouraging him to lead the life he is leading (or even pray for him like one blogger did)?

Why are so many people interested in this item and sharing with their points of view in order to save Mehdi, when there are other news items speaking of hundreds who are dying in Iraq, Palestine and Israel?

...that, I don't understand unless when I take into consideration "biased thought".
Thanks for your input. I'll bet we are the last ones left on this blog.

The reason it seems unfair from the M-East's point of view, is the West does not have the same mind set as the M-East. I'll cite an example:

When I see a mob dancing around the streets like Hooligans after a Football Match in the M-East, burning things and screaming death threats, I only think three things...
1. God help them, for they know not what they do.
2. How can anyone EVER talk to these guys peacfully...
3. When are they going to attack next?

West just doesnt view violence the same way as the Middle East. I think the ME could use a good Personal Relations rep.

From our standpoint, being Gay does not require someone to die, drawing cartoons doesnt require death and I could go on and on. Just not our culture.

Death is not a way to solve things. Just because the M-East is the underdog, doesnt mean people will feel sorry for you.

Peace be upon you. Raise your children free of hate and murderous thoughts. I do.

Thanks for your reply.

I totally agree the West doesn't have the same mind as the ME. I too, can cite examples: When a desperate man in the ME acts violently, he is a Moslem extremist but when collective massacres of Moslems (and eventually Christians) take place in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans, .... (the list is too long) this is pure democracy!

The West claims it interferes in our affairs in order to protect us against our "wicked" rulers, guide us to democracy and economic development and teach us logic! Does anyone believe that? even in the West?

We don't want no one to feel sorry for us. We feel sorry for you! The problem is: you in the West don't want to understand that we don't look at you as an example (I'm sorry to say that, but that is the truth). We highly look upon the Malaysian experience for instance and we respect countries like Japan, Korea, even Iran! (See how totally different our points of view are!)

We have nothing in our past to be ashamed of. We live on our own land which we never "stole" from any other peaceful nation. Our history does not include any massacre of tens of thousands of innocent land-owner civilians! We have never been bloody murderers. We don't commit crimes and blame it on others and we don't prentend we are an innocent peaceful and free-from-greed nation!

Why doesn't the West first look very closely in the mirror and see their real face before blaming the others and distributing hollow preaches?

I believe, in countries like the US or Israel, all this giant budget spent in order to improve their image in front of the world is spent in vain. It is because in many regions around the globe, billions disapprove of both countries' excessive use of violence. So, do send us your PR and if he/she succeeds in improving your image, maybe we too can explain to him/her our points of view!

I already bring my kids according to the morals of Islam. And I keep telling them they cannot be real Moslems unless they believe in Christianity and Judaism. I always tell them one more thing the West doesn't know: the whole world doesn't have to be a photocopy of the West simply because they are not the ideal example.
"I am not for Mehdi's hanging but I know all religions do not approve of homosexuality. Tell me of one religion which approves of gays or lesbians?"

While the majority of the world seems to follow a religious denomination, this is not an argument that can be won by numbers. Tell us why religions SHOULD condemn homosexuals in the first place. Also, there are, in fact, PEOPLE who follow religions AND approve of homosexuality. Don't forget that religions in themselves are powerless without the aid of followers.

"Why doesn't someone suggest that the guy is offered a psychological and medical treatment instead of encouraging him to lead the life he is leading (or even pray for him like one blogger did)?"

What kind of life do you propose that he is leading? To say that you know someone's lifestyle without actually being personally acquainted with him personally is rather presumptuous. There is no such thing as a "gay lifestyle" because the word 'gay' simply denotes homosexuality whereas the word 'lifestyle' entails innumerable factors, including dietary and exercise habits, religious beliefs, socioeconomic position, work ethic, sexual behaviors, etc.
Welcome to the Inside the Middle East blog. Our reporters, producers, cameramen and editors will regularly add to this with colorful behind-the-scene stories. This page is about how we put the show together -- from on-location shoots to the editing room -- as well as for anecdotes and stories that don't always make it into our finished on-air product.
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