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By now you might have heard about the two gay teenagers put to death in Iran, even though there is not yet an American news story reporting the atrocity. Why? The U.S. State Department has not issued a statement! Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper reported the story six days ago and the BBC has continuing coverage. If this news is important enough for our staunchest allies, why can’t we get a f*cking statement?
After being thoroughly appalled yesterday when I first heard about the executions, I was then thoroughly puzzled today by this article in the Guardian, which tells the mythic story of Maryam Molkara, an Iranian transsexual who so moved the late Ayatollah Khomeini 22 years ago that he issued a decree that allows for sex change operations throughout Iran.
As a result of his fatwa (religious decree), Iran now has the highest rate of sex change operations in the world, because being homosexual is against Islamic law and punishable by death. Forthcoming: a web poll. Would you rather be hanged or become a woman? The choice apparently is a no-brainer:
Dr Mir-Jalali, 66, a Paris-trained surgeon, has performed 320 gender operations in the past 12 years. Around 250 have involved the complex and physically painful process of transforming men into women by creating female genitals through a skin graft from the intestines. In a European country, he says, he would have carried out fewer than 40 such procedures over the same period. The reason for the discrepancy, he says, is Iran’s strict ban on homosexuality, as required by the Qur’an. (from The Guardian)

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