- The Washington Times - Monday, June 13, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, pushed two gay men, blindfolded, to their deaths from a roof in Homs, Syria, last August. After plummeting to the ground, with their heads splattering on the concrete, they were stoned by an angry mob, which included children. All of it was recorded and posted to the Internet.

This year, the U.K.-based Observatory for Human Rights estimates at least 25 people have been killed by ISIS for being gay: six stoned, three shot in the head and 16 thrown from highrise buildings.

“The people of Lot,” or so the LGBT community is called by Muslims, a Koranic euphemism for sodomy — are singled out and executed by the religious group simply for being gay.

But perhaps the fact most hidden by the mainstream media is that you don’t have to be part of ISIS to believe this. It is part of Muslim Sharia law, shared commonly in Middle Eastern countries.

According to a Pew Research Study conducted last year, Muslims around the world are united by a belief in God, the Prophet Muhammad and the practice of religious rituals, like fasting during Ramadan.

Asked whether they want sharia law, a legal code based on the Koran and other Islamic scripture, the responses were varied — but not in the Middle East, where nearly all Muslims in Afghanistan and most in Iraq and Pakistan support sharia law as official law, the study showed.

“God is very straightforward about this — not we Muslims, not subjective, the Sharia is very clear about it, the punishment for homosexuality, bestiality or anything like that is death,” Muslim cleric Sheikh Khalid Yasin said in a YouTube video posted online. “We don’t make any excuses about that, it’s not our law — it’s the Koran.”

In Saudi Arabia, lawmakers are looking to impose the death penalty on gay people who show their sexuality in public and on social media, according to reports. They claim social media has caused an uprise in the number of gays in their country. In Iran, in accordance with sharia law, men and women can be flogged for lesser acts such as kissing. In fact, in the Middle East, there are 10 countries where homosexuality may be punishable by law.

“What is [Islam’s] judgment on sodomy and lesbianism?” said Ayatollah Ali Sistani, an influential Shiite sharia authority, when asked about the subject. “Forbidden. Those involved in the act should be punished. In fact, sodomites should be killed in the worst manner possible.”

Omar Mateen, the shooter responsible for the horrific attack in Orlando early Sunday morning, was the American-born son of immigrants from Afghanistan, where homosexuality may be punished by death.

An Islamic scholar who spoke earlier this year at an Orlando mosque has previously said gay people should be killed according to Islamic law “out of compassion.”

“Death is the sentence,” Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar said at a speech at the Husseini Islamic Center in Orlando in 2013. “We know. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about this. Death is the sentence.”

“We have to have that compassion for people,” he continued. “With homosexuals, it’s the same. Out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.”

There have been reports of U.S. liberal activists blaming Christians for Sunday’s massacre.

“The Christian Right has introduced 200 anti-LGBT bills in the last six months, and people are blaming Islam for this. No,” Chase Strangio, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a Twitter post.

I’m sorry, Mr. Strangio — your line of thinking is moronic. It was not the Christian-right who radicalized Mr. Mateen.

Sally Kohn, an MSNBC contributor who is outspoken about LGBT rights, accused those who subscribe to traditional sexual mores of hypocrisy for condemning the murder of gay people.

“Always fascinating to watch conservatives who won’t support basic non-discrimination laws bash Islamic fundamentalists for being anti-gay,” Ms. Kohn said on Twitter.

Ms. Kohn lacks an understanding in Christianity, where the sanctity of life is valued.

“At least fifty people — created in the image of God — were slaughtered in cold blood,” wrote Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“Let’s call our congregations to pray together. Let’s realize that, in this case, our gay and lesbian neighbors are likely quite scared. Who wouldn’t be? Demonstrate the sacrificial love of Jesus to them,” Mr. Moore wrote.

“We don’t have to agree on the meaning of marriage and sexuality to love one another and to see the murderous sin of terrorism,” he said.

Exactly right.

What happened in Orlando was a hate-crime driven by a fundamental belief in Muslim Sharia law.

Let’s not pretend it was anything otherwise.

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