On US Embassy and Pakistani Homosexuals – By Nuwas Manto


Now that its been sometime since the US embassy Pride event took place I believe it is time to shout back at the ensuing homophobia resulting out of it. The resultant fear of many queers that a public anti-homophobia discourse would only be harmful and call more of uncalled attention to the LGBT community made me contain my thoughts and emotions for the right time. The pride event was held on June 26 but reported later on, and that is when the trouble started.
The fact that the pride event was held by an American embassy, made it a field day for Islamist parties in Pakistan. According to Jamaat E Islami homosexuals “…don’t deserve to be Muslim or Pakistani, and the support and protection announced by the US administration for them is the worst social and cultural terrorism against Pakistan,”.
Once again the Mullah pressure groups have deemed it their responsibility to assure us who is and is not a Muslim. If anything the Islamists who are largely responsible for the notorious image of Pakistan in the world “don’t deserve to be Muslim or Pakistani”.

What social and cultural terrorism? Homosexuality was,is and will be an aspect of Pakistani society,just as it has been present in all times and places. Rants by the religious parties of homosexuality being a western import are laughable, especially given the amount of same-sex pedophilia cases against Mullah class itself.
Nevertheless, Uncle Sam must understand it has to stop poking its nose unnecessarily and that may one be secular, liberal or conservative, there is hatred for American foreign policies across the board. Given the situation American embassy’s insouciant behavior to issue a statement showing encouragement to LGBT activists is plain shocking. Have they hit the same road of complacence British Empire did? Hold a pride event for sure, as US embassy is technically considered American soil. Call whomever you wish. But why endanger already handful of LGBT activists? An event consisting of mere seventy-five people decided behind the closed and protected walls it was time for gay rights in Pakistan, showing their oblivion to the turmoil Pakistani state at present is going through and the disastrous result it could result in.

 

It was all the more astonishing for me, when I heard a fellow queer activist inform me how she was told by someone she knew in the embassy that US would not be willingly to give asylum to any homosexuals in Pakistan. No security. No funding for community building in Pakistan. No asylum for the bunch of activists, on whose head danger already looms, in case extremist parties come for their lives. But oh well! We have the wonderful words of encouragement from Mr.Richard Hoagland.
Our kind request,and I speak for a plethora of queer community in Pakistan, to any embassy, especially Anglo-American, is to kindly deal with such a sensitive issue in the light of present circumstances in Pakistan, for it can easily endanger many a lives, after much consultation and farsighted critical thinking.

 

In  a country where raped women still await justice, where Ahmedis are targeted out and about and where every other person roams around the street as a guardian of Islamic faith ready to slit the throat of dissident it seems we’d have to work thrice as hard as India or US for Gay equality.
It would be much wiser if US pushes Pakistan for a more Secular constitution and to provide security to the warriors of humanity. The rest than then would be the job of activists and communities themselves. The change has to come from within and not without. Perhaps Anglo-American officials need to embed this notion. At most they can be our allies with unflinching support. But given the history of American politics it seems like a silly idea.

 

The anti-Gay protests in Karachi,Lahore and Islamabad were not as much about as homosexuality but US. Its an old trick called “killing two birds with the same stone” and it just could not have been more perfect of an opportunity for the anti-American rightwing. Raising a fear of impending doom were homosexuals to be allowed basic rights and freedoms,right wing made sure to fuel anti-Americanism. So were this pride event held by Dutch or Swede embassy, it would not have led to so much clamoring by the rightwing and Islamists.And so it puts an extra pressure on Britain and US when dealing with advocacy of minorities.

 

As for the Jamaat E Islami and other religious parties and clerics, it is kindly advised to focus on and label much more ruthless event and acts as inhuman and vile than what goes between two consenting and loving adults of same sex who harm none. I am waiting for them to take out the rally next time against those who bury five women alive in Balochistan. And it would be really appreciated if they first try to eradicate pedophilia and same-sex activities within their own class and institutions before barging into other people’s homes.
They are also advised to read or listen to  Amreen Jamal, Imam Muhsin Hendricks or Imam Daayiee Abdullah next time before they go around as the only authority on the story of Lot and his people with their orthodox analysis.

 

Nuwas Manto is a Human Rights activist,particularly LGBT/Queer activist. He has contributed to Indian LGBT Magazine,Pink Pages and Express Tribune,Pakistani English daily. He has founded the Facebook group Pakistan Queer Movement.


12 responses to “On US Embassy and Pakistani Homosexuals – By Nuwas Manto”

  1. Homosexuality was part of our(Pkaistan) society but as an evil has’nt been accepted in vast majority of society and as far as pedophilia cases against Mullah concerned they never been encouraged from society but unfortunately they always escaped from conviction.so you can’t prove right one evil from another.i think we have to deal this issue with argument instead violence and we have to find out the reasons that why people are moving towards homosexuality is there any inefficiency for growing our kids?

  2. All I can say to this is encapsulated in this song:

    Maulvi Sahab Kay Gear Baksay Par Chota Bacha Baitha

    Maulvi Sahab Kay Gear Baksay Par Chota Bacha Baitha

    Maulvi Sahab Kay Gear Baksay Par Chota Bacha Baitha

    Aur…
    Phir…
    Uss…
    Nay…
    ♫CHALANG LAIEE!!!♫

    Maulvi Sahab Kay Gear Baksay Say Chota Bacha Bhaaga!♫

    Maulvi Sahab Kay Gear Baksay Say Chota Bacha Bhaaga!♫

    Maulvi Sahab Kay Gear Baksay Say Chota Bacha Bhaaga!♫

  3. People refers to pedophilia, child abuse and other such things regarding mullahs and often misunderstand it and mix it with homosexual tendency, which is completely wrong as in mullahs and madressahs, its due to the lack of sexual opportunities and ultra conservative bullshits attached to Women bodies, which gave rise to abuse of underage boys as sex objects.

    Homosexual tendency is quite natural and is found in thousands of other species as well as proven scientifically.

    Nuwas piece has described this and referred to pedophilia in mullahs cynically, it should not be mixed up.

    We will soon publish the second part of this article by the same author discussing its other aspects and islamic teachings.

  4. The peodophilia must not be confused with homosexuality, thats unfortunate and mis information

  5. I might not have commented back but the issue raised by Shaheryar and Shaista is very pertinent.
    I didnt intent on MISINFORMING about homosexuality by CONFUSING it with pedophilia. However the point is to ask Mullahs to SHUT UP about moral policing when they are themselves guilty of a heinous crime like child rape/molestation, especially SAME-SEX molestation/pedophilia. Child rape/molestation PALES,literally, in the face of CONSENTING Same-SEX activity.I FAIL to understand how this equates to “misinforming” and “confusing” the issue on homosexuality.

  6. Not just the mullahs, but it has also exposed the stupidity of the US Embassy and its staff for hosting such an event at such a time when anti-american political and social sentiments are at fever pitch!

    All this event has done has put the lives of many LGBT people and activists across Pakistan at risk and given the mullah brigade yet ANOTHER excuse to spill their vicious rhetoric and hypocrisy out in the streets!

    America and political lunacy often go hand in hand. Such a cowboy approach to LGBT rights (when homophobia still exists due to the religious right of their own country!) is a disgrace!

    Thanks but no thanks America! Your good intentions of ‘raising awareness for freedom etc’ has done us no good. Ever!

  7. Acha? Ooops…! Sorry, my bad. It seemed like it was about the article. Chalo whatever the case, glad that I clarified atleast MY stance. 🙂

  8. Nuwas i did really mean to comment on your article. i know you didnt mean to say that but when you put in the same line “eradicating peophilia and same sex activity in their ranks” you have to keep in your mind that a strong perception exist even in west that pedophilia some how induces homosexuality, keeping in mind that many mispereptions exist in Pakistan you can never be sure what message you are delievering. I am also not comfortable with this whole line of reasoning,why you want to bring this argument on pedophila in an article concerning freedom of homosexuals and most importantly why you are devicing a counter moral argument? we have to understand the sensitivity of the matter. Why you want to “eradicate” the same sex activity in this community? Gsy prierst is a big and very hotly contested theological and theoretical point, not now in debate for muslim priests but its ought to become important in this community too in future.
    And why to link my freedom to piety of a particular community? esp those who are opposing it? if they eradicate pedophilia and same sex activity ( Like Pope’s witch hunt in Roman Catholic Church against gay priests) will they be allowed to say “chop theit heads”? will it be better for them to protest on streets against my rights?
    No! clerik or no clerik pedophile or not pedophile, pious or not pious its no body business to decide or object to with whom i sleep in my bedroom!, its my and my partnar choice one. For me i am not comfortable if a pious non pedophile gay free clerik community is protrsting against the choice that is fundamentally mine. Its no solace to me if they have eradicated all evils from their community, even than its none of their business!
    Counter moral argument is like chemical reaction in reverse it may give emotional satisfaction but its not productive at all.

    Otherwise i totally agree with your article, congratunations for writing it and keep it up.

  9. Couldn’t agree more with the article. There are so many problems in Pakistan and US is clearly focusing on the secondary after thoughts rather than the main issues.

  10. Shaharyar,
    I would have to agree. However here is a pertinent question which still remains. By pointing out how the Mullah class is committing heinous crimes ,INCLUDING pedophilia, the point is to show people their true face and minimize the effect of their “holier than thou” argument. It is NOT ask them come chop our heads off once they clear off their institution of the pedophiles (one, its impossible given their sexual frustration. Two, it would always be a part of their history, just as is the case with Vatican’s support for Nazis).
    Plus, was thinking how many wold buy the argument ” they just dont have any right come dictate religion to me EVEN if holier than me”?
    But on the whole, I agree with your perspective and thank you for the constructive criticism. 🙂