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Conversation with the Co-Founder of the Upcoming United Atheists of Europe


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/06/01

​Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How are sexual and gender identity minorities treated in the Muslim majority world?

Karrar Al Asfoor: They are treated in a very bad way​. Their life is really miserable. T​hey are considered evil individuals and less humans.

Jacobsen: How is this reflected in cultural representation and the social treatment?

Asfoor: They could be insulted, beaten or even assassinated​. T​hey suffered many large assassination campaigns by the religious militias in Iraq during the past years.

Jacobsen: What are some reflections of this in law in places like Iraq?

Asfoor: If someone ​is ​caught having sex with ​a ​same gender mate, they could be sentenced for five years of imprisonment and usually the judge sentences them five years and one day so that the 3 months’ reduction from every year would be useless for them.

Jacobsen: Do these laws violate the UN Charter and rights of said sexual and gender identity minorities?

Asfoor: I would start with article one of the universal declaration of human rights,​ which states that all human beings are equal to each other​. Th​at’s enough to have the same rights of other people​,​ but these laws clearly violate the declaration​. T​here should be more effective actions taken by the international community to protect those people, like sanctions for example.

Jacobsen: Who are some Iraq vanguards and spokespersons for the rights of the sexual and gender identity minorities?

Asfoor: Given that the Iraqi society is very strict, not only because of religion but also because it is a tribal society that consider “not being man” as a shame​,​ many people avoid to talk even about the subject of the rights of the sexual and gender identity minorities​.

T​herefore​,​ we are left with no one to speak for them, except very few not so famous social media activists​ .​I am one of them​. It is​a ​really tough task because there is no tolerance for these minorities even among the Iraqi atheist community.

I would also mention Jaafar Al Qaraghuli who is an Iraqi poet and rights activist​. H​e wrote several poetries defending their rights.

Jacobsen: What are some books by Iraqi authors that speak about these issues in depth?

Asfoor: To my knowledge, unfortunately there are none.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Karrar.

Asfoor: It is such an honor for me to participate in this interview with you, many thanks, Scott.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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