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The freedom to exist

Since yesterday I praised the British, I feel compelled to criticize them on a news item I just discovered.

Madhi Kazemi is an Iranian studying in Britain with a horrible tale to tell and a dangerous and uncertain future. Kazemi is gay. The Iranian government knows this because they found, tortured, and killed his boyfriend, and have now issued a warrant for Kazemi's arrest. If he is deported back to Iran, he faces almost certain execution. Iran doesn't have any gay people; their president said so. They kill them all.

He has asked for asylum in the UK, and was denied. After bouncing around to Germany and then the Netherlands, he is headed back to the UK, who have now held up his deportation because of the outcry from the rest of the world.

(We haven't heard anything about it in our media because some governor fucked a prostitute and some celebrity probably did something interesting, so a trifling little life-and-death civil rights matter doesn't make the news. But that's a rant for another day.)

This is not some isolated group of rednecks beating a teenager to death. This is Iranian government policy. This is what happens when a set of religious values is allowed to become the supreme law of the land. (Keep this in mind in November.)

We're supposed to be better than this. Enlightened. Able to look past all the red tape and bureaucracy and help a kid out of a jam that he in no way caused. All he is asking for is the right to exist. He's not a criminal anywhere except the backward theocratic wasteland in which he had the misfortune to be born. It is right for governments to cooperate in deporting criminals to face justice in their own countries, but that is not the case here. The "crime" for which Madhi Kazemi is sought is not a crime in the enlightened world, and we have an opportunity to censure the Iranian government for what we see as an unacceptable policy, simply by letting the kid stay away from that hellhole.

Please go to the above link and sign the petition to allow Madhi Kazemi to stay in England.

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