‘Cultural Terrorism’: Protests erupt over US gay rights event

Published: July 5, 2011
Islamic students of Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT), the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Pakistan's largest Islamic party, denounce a gay rights event hosted last month by the United States embassy as police keep watch during a protest in Lahore on July 4, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

Islamic students of Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT), the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Pakistan's largest Islamic party, denounce a gay rights event hosted last month by the United States embassy as police keep watch during a protest in Lahore on July 4, 2011. PHOTO: AFP


Rallies were organised on Monday to denounce a gay rights event hosted last month by the United States embassy, calling for a “holy war” against ally Washington.

Around 100 demonstrators in Karachi protested, calling the meeting “an assault on Pakistan’s Islamic culture”, while there were similar demonstrations in the capital Islamabad and in Lahore.

“We condemn the American conspiracy to encourage bisexualism in our country,” said Mohammad Hussain Mehnati, city chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), while leading a rally.

“They have destroyed us physically, imposed the so-called war on terrorism on us and now they have unleashed cultural terrorism on us,” he said above the din of slogans of “Death to America” by his party cadres.

A statement posted on the US Embassy website said its Islamabad office hosted its first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pride Celebration on June 26.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (50)

  • M Ali Khan
    Jul 4, 2011 - 9:26PM

    Funny how a bunch of bearded child molesters and paedophiles are showing their own latent homosexual tendencies by being homophobic!Recommend

  • Ali
    Jul 4, 2011 - 9:28PM

    dont they have anything else to do?Recommend

  • Osama
    Jul 4, 2011 - 9:28PM

    Express Tribune, even if you’re publishing a report originally published by the AFP in your paper, then make sure you write the correct things or its equivalents.

    Jihad is not HOLY WAR, get it in your head once and for all and then start reporting, don’t deliberately misinterpret the terms and provide a different and a wrong mindset to the readers.Recommend

  • Moderate
    Jul 4, 2011 - 9:31PM

    There is no place for Gays and Lesbians in Islam. There is mention of Nation of Loot in Quran that comprised of Gays and Lesbian and what happened to them because of it. America should keep that thing to themselves. We have our morals and standards and no one should have problem with that.Recommend

  • sharjeel
    Jul 4, 2011 - 9:31PM

    im not a gay but i find it funny when the rate of homosexuality and child abuse is far more higher in madarsaas than anywhere else in the countryRecommend

  • Ovais Khan
    Jul 4, 2011 - 9:35PM

    Maa da laadla bigar gayaa :DRecommend

  • Jul 4, 2011 - 9:39PM

    Idiotic of the Americans to hold such an event in Pakistan.Recommend

  • AN
    Jul 4, 2011 - 9:43PM

    IJT is curse on our society eradicate it or get ready to be eradicated Recommend

  • B
    Jul 4, 2011 - 9:53PM

    I am confused. The vast majority of men hold hands here in public, put arms around each other, stroke each other. All this in public!! Majority men here are bisexual for whatever reasons. So what are these guys upset over??? The beardos fundos are the known to keep boys as play things and use Quran lessons to molest little boys. Do they need an explanation of what being gay means or they are bi-polar??Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jul 4, 2011 - 11:13PM

    Do mullahs make good baby sitters? Recommend

  • Burhan
    Jul 4, 2011 - 11:47PM

    Why IJT don’t protest against vulgar websites creating dirty minds?? However this act of Americans should be condemned..now they can’t fight against nature..!!Recommend

  • Ali
    Jul 4, 2011 - 11:56PM

    @M Ali Khan:
    That is a shameful shameful generalization!Recommend

  • Kash
    Jul 4, 2011 - 11:58PM

    Shame on the US for inciting more controversy and negativity in an already bleeding people.Recommend

  • Sameer
    Jul 5, 2011 - 12:02AM

    As other commenters have already mentioned, the rate of suppressed homosexuality among Clerics is known to be very high. Recommend

  • Sarah K.
    Jul 5, 2011 - 12:16AM

    This new move by the US is sickening. “Cultural terrorism” indeed!Recommend

  • Rahat Wali
    Jul 5, 2011 - 12:21AM

    we expect a civilized nation like USA to act more maturely on this subject if they really want terrorism to stop and help Pakistan and request Pakistani public to act gracefully and convincinglyRecommend

  • CB Guy
    Jul 5, 2011 - 12:47AM

    The protest is their right, though burning of flags is uncalled for. But then again, such an event taking place in Pakistan means that the embassy did not respect the law and culture of the country. I mean really you can’t expect Washington being happy if Pakistani embassy was holding Ku Klux Klan in a pride day event.

    @ B. Holding hands does not really fall under the category of the above stated. Its a part of the culture. Pakistani’s hug, Europeans mostly shake hands, Arabs kiss on the cheeks, that makes no one a homo. Recommend

  • Hang on a second...
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:06AM

    Now that the US has started to work for LGBT rights in Pakistan, can one assume LGBT folks in all states across America have the same rights as the rest of their population??Recommend

  • Komal
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:06AM

    A mere thirty students! This made me laugh, to be honest. It’s clear where the tide of time is headed.Recommend

  • Jameel
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:18AM


    We have our morals and standards

    LOL…OK, if you say so.Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2011 - 2:12AM

    I love pride. Its the most fun event all summer. And definitely a cause worth celebrating. Sorry, religious fanatics, we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2011 - 5:24AM

    Gays thrive in Pakistan because of a general cultural denial. You don’t see what you don’t want to, and in their state of denial they consider Gays to be a western world problem.

    In many ways it’s like the pre-stonewall US. Everyone knows, but no one admits it.

    Although the laws are rarely applied, Homosexual acts can get you 2 years to life, so it’s going to take some brave people to be the first “out” gays and lesbians.

    To those who do, Canada will also support you.Recommend

    Jul 5, 2011 - 6:27AM





  • sharjeel
    Jul 5, 2011 - 8:20AM

    i agree with u on that accoutn holy war is something differentRecommend

  • Jul 5, 2011 - 8:29AM

    @MAD MAN:
    The party was held at the embasy which is US soil and subject to US law. It was no different legally than having the party in Washington, so expelling embassy staff would be inapropriate.

    There will always be opposing views, but if we are to get along we need to talk, not fight.Recommend

  • IBS
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:12AM

    Seriously, what are the Americans thinking? Do they not have any kind of respect for cultural and religious norms and beliefs?!
    Thoroughly disappointed.Recommend

  • Moderate
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:30AM

    Yeah, and if you want more insight into these morals and standards, please open Quran and Hadith books!Recommend

  • Ruhina Hashmi
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:32AM

    Its not about what people do in their own personal life. Its about what a country stands for. This is clearly an act of belligerance. How can you impose upon another country like this? What a sorry state of affairs. This will only lead to more unrest in the society. We’ve developed a habit of laughing at every such attempt. But fact is, if normal Pakistanis dont protest against this attack on our cultural sanctity, we’ll soon be even more rail-roaded, as a nation, than we already are.Recommend

  • Zoya Rehman
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:58PM

    How is this a terrorist act? Please make sense @MAD MAN.Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2011 - 2:06PM

    PLEASE NOTE: There’s just men protesting in the image provided. #jussayinRecommend

  • Random blogger
    Jul 5, 2011 - 2:19PM

    They simply dont want the truth to come out of their closets! Recommend

  • Random blogger
    Jul 5, 2011 - 2:21PM

    They simply dont what the TRUTH to come out of THEIR closets….Recommend

  • XubaiR
    Jul 5, 2011 - 4:49PM

    Hey Expression of words and Protesting is right way rather commenting curse on it!!! We Love You Islami Jamiat TalbaRecommend

  • Discostu
    Jul 5, 2011 - 6:09PM

    Seriously. Homosexuality is what is destroying our country? Where are our priorities? Deal with the devil, terrorism and corruption. For the sake of morality, leave peoples religious and sexual preferences alone.

    This is not the Pakistan the quaid envisioned, and not the Pakistan we want if we want to be a responsible and prosperous nation.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani
    Jul 6, 2011 - 12:49AM

    Well, at least they are civil and they have the right to protest. However, one cannot call the other black as there are pockets closeted homosexuals among themselves.Recommend

    Jul 6, 2011 - 1:32AM

    Homo Sexuality,both Gayism and Lesbianism are legally protected and constitutionally supported in the United States of America.Just a few years ago it had also been allowed in the American Armed Forces.So this is nothing abnormal or unnatural for them.This is just another example of the American concept of “Pursuit of happiness” an ideal of the American People alongwith their own concepts of Freedom,Liberty and Equality.Therefore,there is no need to be frownd, in my view,over such a mischievious acts,aimed at creating a provocation,agitatation and a useless debate over a baseless issue,in basically a Muslim Country like Pakistan.This is certainly a global issue,and countries like Pakistan are also not devoid of this evil.This certainly is a social evil,resulting from the unnatural and irrational human tendencies,and is usually taken to be an extra Abnormality of Human Behaviour.It is also dealt as a Psychological Complexity,even by the Moderate Western Practitioners of Psychology.Being a “suppressed sexuality” in strictly religious people could also not be denied not only in Pakistan, but also in the Christian Clergymen of Europe and America, where its rate is particularly very high.So under the normal Diplomatic protocol,the Government of Pakistan must raise this issue with the American Administration,and condemn it duly according to the Islamic Standards of Human dignity and decency.Certainly under the Islamic Sharia, it is strictly forbidden (HARRAM)and punishable according to the Islamic Penal Code, like all sorts of adultry and fornications.If Pakistani Government and its relevant departments cannot interact with the American Diplomats, then who else would be able to do the job.In the end,I would also suggest that the concerned Pakistani NGOs should also continue to play their part against this evil,and try to interact with their counterparts in the American Society,who are struggling against this curse,as inhuman and immoral act of indecency.But intolerant and emotional debate must strictly be avoided,under all circustances.Pakistan’s idealogical Media must carry on its effective role to curb this menace.Anti-Mullah and Anti-Islam emotions must be kept under certain limitations,to eradicate the initial objectives of this campaign, to create and idealogical divide in the already torn apart Pakistani Society.If it is legally allowed in India, it cannot be a convincing excuse for Pakistanis to give legal way to this ihhuman and immoral practice of high criminality.If Pakistani society stands on its idealogical base with a true spirit of repentance and reformation ,certainly it can control this problem inside and outside the country.Rest assure,I myself is fully well aware of the intensity of this evil in my own country.But anyhow,the ways and means would have to be adopted ,and a proper methodology and strategy would have to be devised to curb it.Only we must realize: WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY. Thank Your Very Much. Yours:SNR.May God Almighty save us and protect us forever from this curse.Amen. Recommend

  • Jul 6, 2011 - 5:56AM

    Silly me – that pic above made me think it was a gay pride event outside the US Embassy! Recommend

  • Imran
    Jul 6, 2011 - 11:21AM

    Yes, get ready to be eradicated is good option …. Recommend

  • Khalil
    Jul 6, 2011 - 11:24AM

    Lol, if you think ‘gay-ism’ can flourish and will not cause severely mutilated bodies of gays by the blood vampires …Recommend

  • sajjad
    Jul 6, 2011 - 12:22PM

    there was once a child who had a fight with his mother on some issue, he left the home and took shelter in the mosque for one night, that night the respectable Maulana sahib raped him and fled the area…one should come out against develish acts like theseRecommend

  • Yasser
    Jul 6, 2011 - 12:55PM

    Homosexual and bisexual people have always been around in Pakistan. I know in Karachi there are a lot of meeting places for gays, where the silently gather without making a lot of hoopla. Plus there haven’t been any acts of violence against these people as far as I can remember. No bombs and shootings in Gay bars like US here. We have a very effective, what the Americans call DADT (dont ask dont tell) kind of thing going here which I believe is the best possible scenario one can hope for in a country like Pakistan. I think people who consider themselves to be the leaders of Gay rights in Pakistan are doing their country and community a great harm by this kind of in your face festivals. The US embassy as usual displays the signature arrogant, self righteous and plain idiotic style of American diplomacy by roiling up another controversy in Pakistan which already has a fair share of problems to deal with. Now these worthless Mullahs of JI, JUI, SSP etc will use this event to exacerbate their conspiracy theory politics and rallies and what not.

    So my advise to the organizers of this meeting would be to rethink their strategy. You can never get the kind of rights LGBT people have in Europe. Those who belong to the elites will not suffer much but their actions will result in a witch hunt against their fellow community. You can poke your middle finger at the Mullahs in the name of being liberals and getting rave reviews in western press, but that certainly wont help your cause. Recommend

  • vasan
    Jul 6, 2011 - 2:33PM

    Sex like religion is a totally private matter and between two consenting partners. There is no reason to discriminate nor celebrate such private matters. US govt is unnecessarily provoking Pakistanis on this subject. Even though the US consulate is part of the country of USA, they still have to abide by Local laws, conventions, environment etc. Recommend

  • i hate usa
    Jul 6, 2011 - 8:33PM

    once again usa’s real face is unveiled….it is now clear that america is against our islamic teachings,our culture,our norms and values.but america and people living in pakistan wanting american superiority here has forgot that as far as organizations like ISLAMI JAMIAT TALBA are active they can not dare to fulfill their dream…Recommend

  • i love usa
    Jul 6, 2011 - 9:09PM

    Once again the stupidity of the religious extremists is unveiled. It is now clear that these mullahs are against our modern teachings, our loving culture, our norms of equality for all and the values of harmony. But these mullahs and their extremist, ignorant, illiterate, and utterly useless followers living in Pakistan wanting inhuman and unjust societies have forgotten that as long as their are organizations like the American Embassy promoting the rights of gay people, they cannot dare to fulfill their dream.

    /roflcopter awayRecommend

  • Jul 6, 2011 - 9:21PM

    We’re no strangers to love
    You know the rules and so do I
    A full commitment’s what I’m thinking of
    You wouldn’t get this from any other guy
    I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling
    Gotta make you understandRecommend

  • Hate Gayism
    Jul 6, 2011 - 10:06PM

    I so private as long as you are doing with yourself … As soon as more than 1 one person are involved in any activity, it becomes a social act and when something that corrupts people’s way of life, that should be only dictated by God, must must ans must be exterminated with all merciless meanings … and that must be done.Recommend

  • Donald
    Jul 6, 2011 - 10:13PM

    So, homosexuality is wrong, but pedophilia (Aisha) is permissible? Hmm.Recommend

  • Imran
    Jul 7, 2011 - 11:47AM

    @Zoya Rehman:
    Why ‘Terrorism’ should be called a ‘Terrorist Act’ … Any reason ?
    Terrorism is the most absurd and fanatic slang mainly overused by ‘Satanic Extremist/Secular Fundamentalist’. So if you belong to the same clan then learn to get assaulted by the same word by those who you call ‘Islamic Extremist/Religious Fundamentalist’Recommend

  • Bushra Minhas
    Jul 8, 2011 - 10:14AM

    The hysteria by some of our troubled Pakistanis are beyond belief. Some of the mentally challenged are depicting this as a “terrorist act” by the US Embassy?
    Give me a break, we need a reality check here, we insist on Pakistan being an Islamic state.
    Is it because of Islam that Karachi has become a field of murder? Is it these same Islamic men that gaze in lust women on the street? Is this the same group who demand Islamic principles then abuse their wives and molest children? Is these the same people who follow the daily prayers but are deep in corruption and cookery.?
    If Islam is the founding rock of our society why is Pakistan the most deposed, terror and violent nation in Asia.Recommend

  • Sofia Bano
    Jul 10, 2011 - 3:20PM

    @SAJID NAWAZ RAJA _ what rock are you living in? Gay rights for your information was first evolved in Europe, in fact America arrived to the party rather later. Are you making a comic comment Islamic Penal Code, like all sorts of adulatory and fornication – do we have enough prisons to incarcerate all the “evil doers” you sound like the President of Iran who denies homosexuality exists in Iran and all queers will be stoned to death…? Is that the Iran’s Islamic Penal Code? I think you are a paisa short and a rupee late all your mumbo-jumbo of of trying to join forces with to interact with counterparts in the American Religious Society,who are struggling against this gay thing. For your information the American Religious Society despise Muslims so good luck with them!


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