Monday, April 20, 2009

Parvez Sharma

an Indian Muslim gay activist (

as a Muslim, strongly disagrees with Cotler's statements about Ahmadinejad's presence

not a supporter of Ahmadinejad
talks about apartheid in Israel, genocide of Palestinians that has continued for several generations [people are getting up and leaving]

"to actually call the Iranian state a state of genocide is deeply problematic"

problems of gay Muslims pale in comparison with genocides in Rwanda and Darfur

several states and supra-national organizations have repeatedly blocked the decriminalization of homosexuality by the UN
(many anti-sodomy laws were implemented by the British and have nothing to do with shari'a law)

Hosni Mubarak had 52 gay man arrested in 2001 and launched a "state-sponsored pogrom" against gay men: thousands were arrested and put into prison

"it would be welcome at discussions like this to hear from real Muslims [...] like myself who are not just interested in bashing Iran"


the chairman, Hillel Neuer, who was a student of Cotler's at McGill, makes deferential comments about Cotler and says he was a champion of gay rights as Canadian justice minister

Cotler retorts, saying he is against Ahmadinejad, not the Iranian people
doesn't think that what's happening in Gaza is a genocide
Israel is being denied basic rights

Sharma replies that there is not enough criticism of Israel

[More people are leaving, probably to go listen to Ahmadinejad]

Neuer says Sharma was invited exactly to have an open discussion

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