August 19, 2006 9:37 PM   Subscribe

A Message from Iran was distributed on August 6 by the editors of MAHA, the clandestine gay ‘zine in Iran. MAHA means “we” or “us” in Persian. Originally begun in 2004 as a newspaper after a crackdown on Iranian gay Web sites by the Tehran regime, MAHA is now distributed in PDF format to its subscribers. Iran has been censoring the Internet in earnest since 2003, and homosexuals are only a small part of that story. Likewise, Internet censorship is merely an element of the systematic persecution of gay men and boys in Iran. [more inside]
posted by owhydididoit (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There's an online petition condemning the censorship. Comments are beginning to appear on the president of Iran's new blog, though none yet addresses censorship or persecution.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:37 PM on August 19, 2006

I forgot to mention lesbians and hope this link makes up for it.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:47 PM on August 19, 2006

Meanwhile, Afghanistan to reconstitute religious police
posted by homunculus at 10:36 PM on August 19, 2006

The authorities in Tehran are concerned about the bad publicity they are getting all over the world.

I find this statement difficult to believe.
posted by blucevalo at 10:59 PM on August 19, 2006

Wait, you mean to tell me that nations with fundamentalist religious leaderships (or leadships who's constituenties are largely religious radicals) want to persecute and censor homosexuals?

My jaw is on the floor.

That said, I hope for the day when none of this is true any more, for any person of any persuasion in any place.
posted by moonbiter at 3:46 AM on August 20, 2006

Not sure if this also concerns MAHA, but Amnesty International has an anti censorship campaign which gets the censored stuff into the open. You can collaborate by putting a JavaScript snippet in a webpage which then contains a randomly selected censored piece of text.
posted by stFire at 6:15 AM on August 20, 2006 [1 favorite]

Thanks for posting this. It's important for people to be reminded Iran isn't all Mad Mullahs, and there are gay people everywhere. (Incidentally, traditional Persian poetry is to a large extent gay-oriented: the "beloved" in classical poems is a young man, not a woman.)
posted by languagehat at 6:41 AM on August 20, 2006

Why don't you gays living (and bemoaning) in fundamentalist Muslim countries (that are waging an overt or a thinly disguised covert war of terrorism against the West) prove to yourselves and to the free world that you have a modicum of testosterone in your blood streams and become a guerilla fifth column in your countries. Sabotage is easy and effective.
You know your fate if a united Islamic theocracy becomes world dominant. Fight back now while you have strong and sympathetic allies.
Or do your campy flamboyant daydreams completely stifle every vestige of warrior instinct that was assigned to you with your congenital issuance of male hormone?
I address you rather than all those in the Islamic World who are desirous of Western freedoms only because your Metafilter item spoke specifically of the plight of homosexuality therein.
posted by fautedemieux at 11:13 AM on August 20, 2006

The same persecution in now happening in Iraq as well. Thanks for this, mary.
posted by amberglow at 12:26 PM on August 20, 2006

"Why don't you gays..." blah blah blah blah blah

Maybe cuz they don't wanna get their body parts chopped off or, you know, be DEAD and all that.

"Sabotage is easy and effective..."

You think so, huh? You done any sabotage of Iran recently? Speak from personal experience?

It has nothing to do with testosterone, fautedemieux. The more you fight against these turds the more you give them validity. However, like bullies back in grade school, it never seemed to be possible to avoid them at three fifteen. Live by stupidity, die by stupidity. They're fancy pancy bullies, hiding under the skirts of their gods. If it weren't for the fact right wing fundamentalist Christians and right wing Islamic fundamentalists argue over which prophet to follow, they could join forces and really bully the rest of the planet.

I used to wish they'd all realize they're arguing about the same god. I mean if they're all monotheists, then they are worshipping the same god. They have to be. Now I hope they don't figure that out though, cuz on that day, we'll see some real fucked up shit.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:47 PM on August 20, 2006

ZachsMind took the words right out of my mouth. Grow up, fautedemieux. Life isn't about playing Special Forces Op. Gay people in societies like that have enough to do just getting through each day. Try putting yourself in someone else's shoes before you start advising them to fulfill your campy flamboyant daydreams.
posted by languagehat at 1:49 PM on August 20, 2006

Right, ZachsMind, and since we know there's only one sun and only one moon, they must be the same thing. Also, all governments with one executive leader are the same, because there's just one leader.
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:40 PM on August 20, 2006

become a guerilla fifth column in your countries.

Yep. Commit yourselves to becoming active agents of outside imperialist powers.

How do you say "coalition-building behavior" in Farsi?
posted by jason's_planet at 6:10 PM on August 20, 2006

Fight back now while you have strong and sympathetic allies.

would that be you?
posted by owhydididoit at 7:08 PM on August 20, 2006

That's a helluva first comment, fautedemieux. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure where, or even if, I should begin.

I suppose I'll just thank you: Thank you, fautedemieux, on behalf of all those whose "campy flamboyant daydreams" have "completely stifle[d] every vestige of warrior instinct." Not sure where you're going with this, but welcome to metafilter you sexy bastard.
posted by kosem at 9:40 PM on August 20, 2006

campy flamboyant daydreams

Fautedemieux, did you even read the letter? Or are you just applying an innate homophobia? Idiot.
posted by applemeat at 6:12 AM on August 21, 2006

The Iranian regime's policy on homosexuality is despicable. However, for ignorants like faute, it should be known that anti-gay beliefs or violence cannot be divided along western/eastern lines. Only a few months ago the US, Iran and China acted in concert to discriminate against gay organizations seeking UN affiliation. Additionally, while the developing world, including the many Muslim countries, are intolerant of gays and lesbians, homosexuality has only recently been decriminalized in Western countries and likewise been removed from the list of psychiatric disorders. In many former British colonies like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, sodomy became a crime due to the introduction of the British (Anglo-Saxon) Penal Code, and was not one before then. Many Muslim parts of the world have had a much more tolerant attitude towards homosexuality than other places east and west, even in the twentieth century. Because they have fallen behind in the last five decades ought not to give anyone a feeling of civilizational superiority or progressiveness, if only because the pendulum can swing in any direction, anywhere in the world.
posted by Azaadistani at 3:05 PM on August 21, 2006

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