Last edited: December 31, 2004

Iraqi Rebels Say They’re Fighting to Prevent Gay Marriage, December 30, 2004

By Newscenter Staff

Baghdad—Three Iraqi rebel groups, including the one claiming responsibility for the Dec. 21 suicide bombing of the U.S. military base at Mosul where 22 people were killed, said Thursday they are fighting to prevent “homosexual marriage”.

Ansar al-Sunnah and two other rebel groups, posted messages on their websites warning people not to vote in the January elections, declaring that democracy is un-Islamic.

The statements said that democracy would lead to passing un-Islamic laws, such as permitting same-sex marriage.

“We also warn everyone to keep away from all military targets, whether they were bases, American Zionist patrols, or the forces of the pagan guard, and police,” Ansar al-Sunnah said on its website and in a statement it released in Baghdad.

“Democracy is a Greek word meaning the rule of the people, which means that the people do what they see fit,” the statement said. ``This concept is considered apostasy and defies the belief in one God—Muslims’ doctrine.”

The warning followed Monday’s audiotape statement from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden urging Iraqis to boycott the elections and praising attacks against Americans and those who co-operate with them.

Homosexuality is illegal in most Islamic countries.

An Islamic court in Nigeria last month issued an arrest warrant for a middle-aged man accused of having gay sex. If caught and convicted the Sharia court could sentence him to death by stoning.

Last year Australia refused to grant asylum to a Bangladesh gay couple who feared they would be put to death if returned to their homeland.

Egypt routinely rounds up gay men, many as a result of entrapment.

On Thursday American troops and warplanes repulsed a large insurgent attack against an outpost in the restive northern city of Mosul, killing at least 25 rebels. One U.S. soldier died in hospital after the firefight and 20 were wounded.

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