Social Minorities

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The Yazidis – A Case for Justice, Retribution and Help

Towards the end of February 2019, coalition troops engaged in the assault on Islamic State’s last stronghold – Baghuz on the banks of the Euphrates in eastern Syria – made a gruesome discovery.  Dumped in dustbins they found the heads of 50 Yazidi women who had been forced to act as sex slaves to the jihadists.   Bloodthirsty and utterly inhumane to the last, they had decapitated the women before fleeing.

Demonstrators raising Tunisian and Rainbow flags during a march at the World Social Forum 2015 in Tunisia Jalila Baccar © Image: #Mawjoudin

Tunisian LGBT+ Organisation under Attack

The Tunisian government is attempting to dissolve Shams, a local association that defends the rights of LGBT+ people. Tunisian authorities have launched an appeal to overturn a 2016 court ruling, which concluded Shams, following previous attempts to shut the organization down. The authorities appealed the decision on the grounds that Shams’ stated goals contradict Tunisia’s religious principles and culture.

© REUTERS / Ahmed Jadallah

Government Formation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Regulations, Scenarios and Potential Obstacles

Introduction In the Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRI) the process of government formation is not only conducted through legal regulations but also under the pressure of various political forces. Furthermore, the process must pass through numerous stages, negotiated agreements, political party rivalries and the filter of the regions dominant political actors. This impression comes from the experience gained from previous government formation processes in the region and is expected to be the same for any government formation processes going forward. Hence, the primary question of the article is: Why does the government formation process in the KRI involve avenues that…
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Hafsa says people see her headscarf and assume she is straight, married or a parent

Too Queer to Be Muslim and too Muslim to Be Queer

Hafsa Qureshi says being Muslim and bisexual has seen friends reject her and discrimination at work. She describes why it’s vital to break stereotypes and encourage diverse LGBT+ role models.

© Photo: Waar Media - Peace Process Failure between Turkey and the PKK

Peace Process Failure between Turkey and the PKK

Introduction From the establishment of the Turkish State in 1923 by its founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk until 1974, the Turkish government had opposed the rights and demands of its Kurdish population. In 2013 after almost four decades of conflict, a cease in hostilities was announced between the Turkish state and Kurdish militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). However, the ceasefire between the two sides did not last. After the success of the Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey’s 2015-elections, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unilaterally announced the end of Turkey’s cease-fire with the PKK resuming the conflict between…
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Lebanese Security Forces Try to Close LGBT Conference

Lebanese Security Forces Try to Close LGBT Conference

  Lebanese General Security officers unlawfully attempted to shut down a conference on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people on September 29, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch staff members were among the participants at NEDWA, a conference organized by the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality (AFE), a group that works to advance LGBT and other human rights.

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Love & Violence: Inside Morocco’s LGBT+ Community

Omar is a 21-year-old gay Moroccan. He spends his life looking over his shoulder, trying not to draw attention to himself. I interviewed Omar while researching my book, Gender and Violence in the Middle East, and he told me: Personally, I try to be discreet, avoid getting too much attention when I’m in certain places or with people who could react badly. Omar’s fears are rooted in the fact that homosexuality is a criminal offence in Morocco, as it is in many other African countries. The law combines with a strongly conservative society to create a real sense of danger for members of Morocco’s lesbian,…
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Syria - MPC Journal - bashar-al-assad

The Kurds and Assad

International politics are subject to strange twists and turns. By one such convolution the future of Syria’s Kurdish population and of its president, Bashar al Assad, have become intertwined. Formed in 2015, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) is the political wing of the mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls north-eastern Syria. Kurdish forces have fought the Syrian military on several occasions during the 7-year civil war, but the SDC has clearly begun to seek better relations with the Assad regime. On July 27, 2018, in response to an invitation from the Syrian government, a delegation of the SDC…
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Who is the Turkish Televangelist Adnan Oktar?

Who is the Turkish Televangelist Adnan Oktar?

On 11 July 2018, Turkish police detained the cult leader televangelist Adnan Oktar along with 234 people associated with him over accusations including forming a criminal gang, fraud and sexual abuses. The Istanbul police raided 120 residences and offices after criminal complaints filed by multiple plaintiffs, whose ages range from 11 to 40 years old.

Allah loves equality, decriminalise homosexuality in Morocco #LoveisLove

LGBT+ from Turkey to Morocco: Allah Loves Equality

While Turkish police cracks down on a Gay Pride parade with tear-gas, LGBT+ Moroccans demand the decriminalisation of homosexuality in their country. For the fourth time in a row, the pride parade was banned in Istanbul. When LGBT+ people gathered on 01 July 2018 at the central shopping street “Istiklal”, the police intervened and occasionally used tear gas and plastic bullets to end the parade, according to the Berliner Morgenpost.

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