Monday, November 9, 2015

Why Legalize Apostate & Gay Rights in Afghanistan

In the first two days over 100+ supporters have signed and shared our petition to legalize apostate and gay rights in Afghanistan. This is a huge undertaking that requires the sustained conviction of activists, convincing Afghan politcal elites to demonstrate their courage and leadership, and changing the minds of a critical mass in a parochial and war-torn society. Let me address some criticism I've received:
1. Children and women don't have rights in Afghanistan. Why gay rights?"
-This is a logical fallacy. I'm a feminist-queer and an outspoken critic of misogyny and pedophilia. LGBTI persons are children too and by serving lesbian and transgender women, I'm advancing the causing of women's rights. Besides, just because women and children are second-class citizens and inferior to heterosexual Muslim men, that doesn't give permission to disenfranchsie and murder apostate and gay Afghans or push us into exile.
2. "Why are you lumping apostasy with LGBTI rights? Just focus on gays and leave apostates out of it. You know how fanatic Muslims are about Islam."
-I'm not only gay but also an ex-Muslim atheist/secular humanist. I'm a voice for millions of LGBTIQA persons and countless ex-Muslim and non-Muslims. Apostates and LGBTI persons face a similar fate since we all have no legal status. Additionally, LGBTI Afghans are criminalized twice. Once for being born homosexual or transgender and second for honoring our LGBTI identity, we are accused of going against Islam and labeled an apostate. To succeed in getting our freedom, we must combine the voices of gender, religious and sexual minorities in a common struggle for equality.
3. "Its too early for apostate and gay rights. You're moving too fast. Afghanistan has more urgent priorities to worry about."
-Freedom of speech and sexual liberty is the basis for creating a civilized society. Regardless, why should apostate and gay Afghans continue to be denied justice and rights and wait our turn. How many years, decades, centuries or millennia must pass before apostate and gay Afghans have the right to exist?
As Afghanistan grieves today from the beheading of Shia Hazara civilians in Zabul province, we should ask ourselves when will the bleeding and butchering stop. To get our nation out of darkness and achieve lasting peace, we must question irrational beliefs, teach our children the facts about evolution science, make the UN declaration of human rights our holy book, embrace gay marriage and liberal secularism, and open our hearts to all people regardless of gender, race, religion, sexuality, or tribe. This is the way forward. If you haven't signed and share our petition, you can do so by clicking on this link here: http://chn.ge/1ksIwux

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