Sanitizing terror: Has the press distorted Islamic radical’s crusade against gay men?

posted at 2:41 pm on August 22, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Ali Muhammad Brown was already a suspect in the murder of three Seattle men when he shot 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin eight times at a West Orange traffic light in his home state of New Jersey in June.

Brown is described as a devout Muslim man who killed as part of what prosecutors allege was a “bloody crusade” against the United States. He sought revenge against America for what he said was the wanton killing of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tevlin was allegedly Brown’s fourth victim.

Brown’s victims, with the exception of Tevlin, had a similar background: they were young, gay men.

Brown met two of his victims at a gay-themed Seattle nightclub. Court documents indicate that Brown used a mobile application to set up meetings with his two victims before committing a double homicide. Brown is also implicated in the murder of a third man whose body was found on a highway outside Seattle in April, KIRO-TV Seattle reported.

Brown’s homicides made news in June, but his story fell off the radar until Wednesday when King County prosecutors charged him with murder. Brown’s prosecutors made it clear that the accused killer’s motives were to terrorize, though he did appear to operate according to a perverse code of conduct:

“In a subsequent July 25 recorded interview in New Jersey, [King County sheriff’s Detective John] Pavlovich wrote, Brown described his idea of a ‘just kill,’ in which the target was an adult male unaccompanied by women, children or elderly people,” CBS News reported.

The LA Times has more:

“My mission is my mission between me and my lord. That’s it,” Brown said during a jailhouse interview in New Jersey, according to the court filings. “My mission is vengeance, for the lives, millions of lives are lost every day.”

Brown may eventually face federal and/or state-level terrorism charges, but few press accounts of his attacks – most of them in local outlets — state clearly that Islamic jihadist ideology inspired him. “All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life,” court documents allege Brown said of United States actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some outlets are not mincing words about the nature of Brown’s crimes. A July report via a Seattle-based Fox affiliate described Brown as a “radical jihadist” who targeted homosexual men, but few have followed suit.

This is a story tailor-made for the national press but, rather than highlighting it, the opposite has occurred. It seems that the press has sanitized the actions and motives of Brown and his two accomplices. He was not simply a murderer and a criminal, though he was most certainly both of those things. Brown was also a terrorist who targeted a specific group of victims based on their sexual identity. It is quite uncharacteristic of the press to understate those two facts.

Brown’s killing spree seems like it should be considered hate crimes at the very least, if not overt acts of terrorism. Why, then, has it not been presented in that fashion in the press?

This post has been updated since its original publication.


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When Protected Classes Collide

The way I see it, the progressive protected class priority order goes something like this:

gays>trannies>muzzies>hispanics>blacks>women>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Jews>Christians

ConstantineXI on August 22, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Thread is made
For liblikeaslave.

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2014 at 2:48 PM

The Ministry of Truth will decide what is news and what isn’t.

MTF on August 22, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Brown’s killing spree seems like it should be considered hate crimes at the very least, if not overt acts of terrorism. Why, then, has it not been presented in that fashion in the press?

Simple. Because it doesn’t fit into the Islam is a Religion of Peace meme.

Johnnyreb on August 22, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Young gay man gets rebuffed, goes nuts in the name of Islam.

John the Libertarian on August 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Sure, when you section people into groups to obtain your power- sometimes those groups have contradictory goals. So in order to quell the unrest, you don’t let them know there is any.

When the Shah was overthrown in Iran, it was an unholy alliance of religious radicals, and leftist liberals— Guess who won the battle for the country after the dreaded Shah was gone?

When you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. Can’t say I have any sympathy-given the gay groups who are pro-palestinian, pro-hamas.

melle1228 on August 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Thread is made
For liblikeaslave.

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2014 at 2:48 PM

This thread makes liblikeaslave’s pee-pee hurt…

oscarwilde on August 22, 2014 at 2:50 PM

American hegemony isn’t going to come back. Ever. That level of power and influence is done with. And so, every now and then someone’s going to try and show us that. And just in the way you ignore most murders and other deaths, you’ll just have to learn to ignore those. A life is a life either way, and most of you spend most of your days with little regard for the people dying around you all the time.

libfreeordie on August 22, 2014 at 1:10 PM

The slave of HA excused obama-golfer about Foley.

Let’s see his take on all these dead.

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Sanitizing terror: Has the press distorted Islamic radical’s crusade against gay men?

Only two words are needed to answer this question:

Fort Hood

BobMbx on August 22, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Here’s another tidbit the press won’t report: pederasty is kind of an epidemic in the greater Middle East, and not just with young girls. In fact, a lot of the countries where homosexuality is punishable by death has a whole lot of gay sex going on. Male on male rape of captives is common in places like Afghanistan. I once worked in the private security industry and my company was active in Afghanistan. Our local employees routinely buggered each other when they were supposed to be standing guard. There are all sorts of strange sex issues in the Muslim world. Maybe if they ate some bacon and let women live a little, they wouldn’t be so angry at everyone and repressed sexually.

hamiltmc on August 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

“Wonton killing” LMAO

RedRedRice on August 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Why, then, has it not been presented in that fashion in the press?

No guts. “The Religion of Peace” fanatics will cut their heads off.

GarandFan on August 22, 2014 at 2:52 PM

http://www.theconservativevoices.com/media/cat/miscellaneous/why-are-we-not-rioting-over-this-murder-also

So a career criminal was let loose to do this. I say fry him but I bet the left will make into a cause celebre (sic) very soon

dmacleo on August 22, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Maybe if they ate some bacon and let women live a little, they wouldn’t be so angry at everyone and repressed sexually.

hamiltmc on August 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Bacon, the cure for all the world’s ills..

melle1228 on August 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM

“The Religion of Peace” fanatics will cut their heads off.

GarandFan on August 22, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Sounds like a win-win to me…

oscarwilde on August 22, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Is ‘sanitize’ the new concept for: hide, cover-up, show nothing about it, not talk about it, never mention it?

Because that is what the MFM is doing.

You cannot ‘sanitize’ what is never mentioned or even referred to.

ajacksonian on August 22, 2014 at 2:54 PM

I think you mean “wanton killing”

“wonton killing” was from the Tong Wars.

exhelodrvr on August 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life,” court documents allege Brown said of United States actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The guy sounds like libdie.

A life is a life either way

libfreeordie on August 22, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Anal Jihad..

fortcoins on August 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

He’s real crime is he didn’t make a wedding cake for those gay men.

rbj on August 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Only two words are needed to answer this question:

Fort Anal Hood Jihad

BobMbx on August 22, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Sorry. I couldn’t resist…

JohnGalt23 on August 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

“All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life,” court documents allege Brown said of United States actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sorry, this s/b in quotes, from Noah.

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM

“Two accomplices”?
Don’t you mean two victims?

charlesbird on August 22, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Thank goodness the government has all those gay-hatin’-ready-to-kill Tea-Bagger types under the microscope, huh?

Only us white-racist homophobic types would ever dream of shooting a gay man, right? Since us crackers are so much into the racism/gay-bashin’ theme, the LSM is probably going to say Brown is a card-carrying member of the KKK…

… oh wait….

Turtle317 on August 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Why, then, has it not been presented in that fashion in the press?

1. They’re too busy in Ferguson, doing themselves and each other.

2. PC

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Oh dam – What’s an unbiased media to do?
Another angel snowflake black guy named Brown, who just be down with the struggle, and also happens to be Muslim – kills gays.
How on earth can a totally unbiased media with no agenda whatsoever (naturally), possibly create the politically correct storyline for this?
This is just one gonzo whopper of a moral dilemma……

Was that over the top? I can never tell….
Is a sarc tag really necessary?

dentarthurdent on August 22, 2014 at 3:01 PM

As long as Muslims keep up the Jihad against Christians, we’ll tolerate genocide against homosexual.

listens2glenn on August 22, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Where was Officer Wilson when these gays were killed?

Is / necessary?

dentarthurdent on August 22, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Anyone know if the guy was born in America?? Did I miss it??

blockchords on August 22, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Oh my. He is black, Muslim, and homophobic???

The media are so conflicted on this they don’t know how to report it.

Make it go away!

Nomennovum on August 22, 2014 at 3:06 PM

As long as Muslims keep up the Jihad against Christians, we’ll tolerate genocide against homosexual.

listens2glenn on August 22, 2014 at 3:02 PM

And in their next breath, the left would be throwing parties and worshiping in their name.

nobar on August 22, 2014 at 3:06 PM

IIRC Matthew Shepherd’s murder received wall to wall coverage for months. Crickets here. The only difference is that Brown’s crimes were clearly VERY premeditated, while Shepherd’s fatal beating was at most a crime of opportunity. That ought to merit more coverage, not less. Sic transit gloria media.

Zumkopf on August 22, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Why, then, has it not been presented in that fashion in the press?

They’re still not finished exploring the implications of the Matthew Shephard tragedy. Who was killed by, you know, white guys who were probably Christian.

Cicero43 on August 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

American hegemony isn’t going to come back. Ever.

libfreeordie on August 22, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Whenever a liberal makes any prediction, you can damn well take it to the bank that just about the opposite will occur. So, it makes this pessimist’s heart swell with new found hope that all is not lost in this land ruled by the worst of the worst and laid low by fools and traitors like Barry Obama.

Nomennovum on August 22, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Look, just like Germany and the National Socialists, when the time came the gays went under the knife… literally.

Ask Ernest Röhm about the tolerance of evil for homosexuals. Up until the night of long knives, gays were powerful and respected members of the National Socialist party.

And frankly, Muslims have more potential to do damage to Christians than do gays, so the left worships Islam more. It’s that simple. Gays lose–their lives, probably. No leftist will care, not even fellow gays.

Vanceone on August 22, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Brown’s killing spree seems like it should be considered hate crimes at the very least, if not overt acts of terrorism. Why, then, has it not been presented in that fashion in the press?

Stupid question. Read that last sentence you wrote and look at the last word in that sentence. There’s your answer. Or did you think there was some other answer?

Moderator. Close this thread, Noah got his answer.

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I miss Erika.

DarkCurrent on August 22, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Want a lib free off other peoples money.

Post facts.
Post real solutions.
Use names of former liberal Democrats and tie them to the failures with facts.
Do not allow bs change the subject nor accept lies used as facts.

It will then be lib free threads.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 3:20 PM

This man’s story can in no way advance any part of the progressive political agenda. Therefore, it has no place in the public eye.

ROCnPhilly on August 22, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Hey did you hear the one about the Ayatollah in Iran
promoting temporary marriages because so many
people admitted having sex outside of marriage .
Evidently gays also . Must have been a blind study .

Lucano on August 22, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Some key points our LSM seem to miss:

Gay marriage fails because blacks vote it down.

Blacks commit 50% of all homicides, yet are 16% of the US population.

The percentage of black Americans who are Islamic worshippers vs. non-black Islamic worshippers is 30%.

Now, tell me why the LSM has difficulty trying to fathom the reality? Are facts in the way of the rhetoric again?

Turtle317 on August 22, 2014 at 3:23 PM

I miss Erika.

DarkCurrent on August 22, 2014 at 3:19 PM

.
I don’t dislike any of the staff here, though I do disagree from time to time.
The one I really miss is Michelle.

The whole transition happened just as I got registered . . . . . bummer.

listens2glenn on August 22, 2014 at 3:24 PM

And frankly, Muslims have more potential to do damage to Christians than do gays, so the left worships Islam more. It’s that simple. Gays lose–their lives, probably. No leftist will care, not even fellow gays.

Vanceone on August 22, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Christians are more than 70% of the population, vs 1.6% that is gay.

Clearly, the left will trade a gay genocide if it means a Christian genocide is carried out.

What they don’t understand is that ANY genocide carried out by islamists will likely end in their own deaths.

ConstantineXI on August 22, 2014 at 3:25 PM

He’s real crime is he didn’t make a wedding cake for those gay men.

rbj on August 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

yeah it’s funny how liberals get so incredibly outraged at people who don’t want to be forced by government to participate in other people’s weddings, but here is an example of actual homophobia and liberals don’t care. interesting.

Sachiko on August 22, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Anal Jihad.. fortcoins on August 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

He was confused when they asked for more anal jihad.

Akzed on August 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Example: Jimmy Carter, total fail.

Example: Bill Clinton, sex, ugly wifes, ugly sex, now its $1,000 cigars and still used the same.

Al Gore: Private Jet, big honking electric bill, life out of balance via his lies and he thinks CO2 is worse than the islamic ones of terror.

John Kerry: Even he knows now that he is a no good cut and run lying coward.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Maybe if they ate some bacon and let women live a little, they wouldn’t be so angry at everyone and repressed sexually.

hamiltmc on August 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Girls just wanna have fun:

A 22-year-old woman from Lewisham, south-east London, wants to become the first female jihadist to behead a British or US citizen.

http://metro.co.uk/2014/08/21/london-jihadist-tweets-that-she-wants-to-be-the-first-uk-woman-to-kill-a-uk-or-us-terrorist-4840638/

davidk on August 22, 2014 at 3:31 PM

yeah it’s funny how liberals get so incredibly outraged at people who don’t want to be forced by government to participate in other people’s weddings, but here is an example of actual homophobia and liberals don’t care. interesting.

Sachiko on August 22, 2014 at 3:25 PM

You’d think after a while the various victim groups created by the left would get a clue … a clue that they’re being used solely to push the left’s agenda and once it’s accomplished they’re toast.

darwin on August 22, 2014 at 3:33 PM

When Protected Classes Collide

The way I see it, the progressive protected class priority order goes something like this:

gays>trannies>muzzies>hispanics>blacks>women>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Jews>Christians

ConstantineXI on August 22, 2014 at 2:47 PM

I think your protected class hierarchy is off…. IMO…..
Muslims….illegals ( non white ), ….gays….transsexuals….blacks….pro abortion women…………
Jews Christians white males and pro life women are actually on the attack and destroy list

Caseoftheblues on August 22, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Islam seems to be a great way for those who always wanted to kill people to fulfill their fantasies.

darwin on August 22, 2014 at 3:35 PM

This would have been a bigger story had the killer been Christian.

Huge double standard.

bluegill on August 22, 2014 at 3:36 PM

“Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.” Qur’an 7:80-81

What the progressives, via the MSM, will do when the time is right in their minds; is tie Islam and Christianity together and say both religions are in agreement with their views on homosexuality.

Before the bashing start, I am not agreeing with the tactic, but it will come. Why have they been holding back? Not a crisis yet for progressives. They are crafty little devils.

HonestLib on August 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM

This would have been a bigger story had the killer been Christian.

Huge double standard.

bluegill on August 22, 2014 at 3:36 PM

No doubt. In fact I’m a little surprised the media didn’t try to pass him off as a white black Christian or Jew.

darwin on August 22, 2014 at 3:40 PM

He’s black and he’s Muslim. Gays can go take a hike: The press have hierarchies of importance when it comes to diversity and crime.

chrisbolts on August 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM

This is silly. All that muzzie said was, ‘don’t touch my junk.’ It’s not his fault four guys didn’t listen.

platypus on August 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

When I was young I was gay.
But then they changed the meaning of that word.
Now I can’t be gay anymore.
And that makes me sad.

Galtian on August 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Why, then, has it not been presented in that fashion in the press?

Okay, so you are a journalist, making your living, mostly liberal, living the good liberal life…

You write a story about Muslim’s killing gays, a “spree”…you write the story and you are killed.

Or, you bury some facts, write your good liberal slant, and live.

Pretty easy choice for most.

That is why the media stays away from slamming Muslim’s…they will be targeted and killed. They found that out when they were going to publish some harmless cartoons.

Shut up and live…

right2bright on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

…What the progressives, via the MSM, will do when the time is right in their minds; is tie Islam and Christianity together and say both religions are in agreement with their views on homosexuality.

Before the bashing start, I am not agreeing with the tactic, but it will come. Why have they been holding back? Not a crisis yet for progressives. They are crafty little devils.

HonestLib on August 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM

I agree, but the muslims aren’t going to roll over for them like republicans do, or be polite like conservatives are. For the jihadis, the lefties will be the first ones with their back against the wall.

Fenris on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

the wonton killing

So somebody was killing Chinese dumplings?

bgoldman on August 22, 2014 at 3:55 PM

That is why the media stays away from slamming Muslim’s…they will be targeted and killed. They found that out when they were going to publish some harmless cartoons.
Shut up and live…
right2bright on August 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

No, it’s more about wanting to be politically correct.

bluegill on August 22, 2014 at 3:58 PM

And that makes me sad.

Galtian on August 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

What about the color yellow?

dentarthurdent on August 22, 2014 at 4:04 PM

the wonton killing

So somebody was killing Chinese dumplings?
bgoldman on August 22, 2014 at 3:55 PM

LOL. That stuff is common in Noah’s posts. What I think is worse is that Noah always saves the takeaway line/his main point for the last paragraph. The first halves of his articles are always slow, just give background, and you never know where he’s going. He takes too long to make an argument. No other writers on this blog have this problem.

bluegill on August 22, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Well, the really interesting thing is to see how the various liberal victim groups rank in the priority list.

Liberals love to bang the gong for gay rights, but clearly, jihadist muslims and maintaining the “islam is a religion of peace” while all of america is islamaphobic rank higher than gays in the liberal activist mind.

You’d think gays would see through this kind of crap.

deadrody on August 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM

When Protected Classes Collide
The way I see it, the progressive protected class priority order goes something like this:
gays>trannies>muzzies>hispanics>blacks>women…
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Jews>Christians

ConstantineXI on August 22, 2014 at 2:47 PM

I was going to ask which way your hierarchy is going, but I found the key. You have it all wrong:

Blacks>Womyn>Gays>Hispanish>Muzzies>Trannies>atheists. Nothing below atheists.

Jaibones on August 22, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Brown’s killing spree seems like it should be considered hate crimes at the very least…

Hate crime legislation is unconstitutional. It makes a certain class of murdered people more significant than other murdered classes. That is wrong.

earlgrey on August 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM

I once told Charlie Bass (former New Hampshire Republican US Representative) that hate crime laws should be repealed because the create a new class of victim. He told me NH was one of the first states to enact hate crime laws and he was proud of that. I voted against him in every subsequent election until he lost. I am proud of my votes against him.

earlgrey on August 22, 2014 at 4:19 PM

takes too long to make an argument. No other commenter on this blog has this problem.

bluegill on August 22, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Huh? Did you just write that?

Oh come on,it is kinda funny? Not picking on ya, just funning as it is Friday.

HonestLib on August 22, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Isn’t it funny how, according to what makes the front page, this is treated as a lesser evil to how Christians and other social conservatives get politically involved in the civil definition of marriage?

The core principles of modern Liberalism are beyond me; I can’t see how they can dismiss the one thing while becoming apoplectic about the other. Do they actually care about same-sex marriage more than they care about the people involved?

LancerDL on August 22, 2014 at 4:25 PM

yeah, i’ll join the dogpile –

wonton killing

way to validate the MSM’s opinion of bloggers! put down the Cheetos and pick up the dictionary/thesaurus!

chasdal on August 22, 2014 at 4:26 PM

“All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life,” court documents allege Brown said of United States actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The guy sounds like libdie.

A life is a life either way

libfreeordie on August 22, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Yes, but what if Ali Muhammad Brown IS libfree?

Seriously, have the two of them ever been seen in the same place together?

SubmarineDoc on August 22, 2014 at 4:31 PM

way to validate the MSM’s opinion of bloggers! put down the Cheetos and pick up the dictionary/thesaurus!

chasdal on August 22, 2014 at 4:26 PM

I can’t get too worked up about it. I find myself making homophone style typos all the time, but the spell checker says it’s ok. I blame our computer overlords.

Fenris on August 22, 2014 at 4:32 PM

How can they distort something they’ve never reported?

Del Dolemonte on August 22, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Only two words are needed to answer this question:

Fort Hood

BobMbx on August 22, 2014 at 2:50 PM

It was workplace violence! Nothing more. He wasn’t yelling allahu akhbar he was yelling “alla you took my crowbar” You racist homophobic no load slug, you! You, and people like you, conservative veterans, are the most serious threat to the country today cause you don’t vote the right way and kiss The Won’s butt…..and shut up.

Oh crap, I was channeling liblikeaslave. Gotta go bleach my brain.

Oldnuke on August 22, 2014 at 4:33 PM

How can they distort something they’ve never reported?

Del Dolemonte on August 22, 2014 at 4:33 PM

My question would be “Can they report anything they haven’t distorted?”

Oldnuke on August 22, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Oh please like any of you Christian Taliban really care if gay men get murdered save your faux outrage

The Velvet Mafia on August 22, 2014 at 4:39 PM

The black, lesbian, muslim, handicapped woman can do no wrong…

albill on August 22, 2014 at 4:40 PM

They’re still not finished exploring the implications of the Matthew Shephard tragedy. Who was killed by, you know, white guys who were probably Christian.

Cicero43 on August 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Actually, the Matthew Shephard thing began to die down, once the fact came out that he was a Meth dealer, who was killed by two of his “customers” (one of whom was a former lover of his).

SubmarineDoc on August 22, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Oh please like any of you Christian Taliban really care if gay men get murdered save your faux outrage

The Velvet Mafia on August 22, 2014 at 4:39 PM

WTF???

right2bright on August 22, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Gay – or Left?

On July 19, 2005, authorities in the Iranian city of Mashhad publicly lynched two teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, for the alleged crime of raping a 13-year-old boy. Horrific pictures of the execution, including images of the boys crying while being loaded into the back of a police van and swinging from cranes in a public square, went viral. The case became an international cause célèbre, and not only because the executed were so young. Given the nature of the Iranian justice system, which makes no distinction between consensual or forcible sodomy (effectively rendering homosexuality a crime punishable by death), many suspected that the Iranian government had trumped up charges of rape against two gay teens.

The story of Asgari and Marhoni soon became a signifier for the plight of homosexuals in Iran. Popular accounts cast the boys as a gay Islamic version of Romeo and Juliet, their love doomed from the outset. “Not since they confronted snapshots of a slightly built young man named Matthew Shepard and the fence where he was left for dead in 1998 by two drug-addled no-hopers in Laramie, Wyo., have gay people been so agitated by a set of photographic images,” the Washington Post reported in an article about vigils commemorating the first anniversary of the hanging.

Among the more prominent gay activists to draw attention to the case was Peter Tatchell. For more than four decades, Tatchell has been one of the most outspoken and controversial figures in British public life. Leading an almost monastic existence, he has frequently put himself in harm’s way to promote his campaigns. He was beaten by Robert Mugabe’s bodyguards after attempting to make a “citizen’s arrest” on the Zimbabwean dictator, and had his nose broken by Russian neo-Nazis while marching in an ill-fated Moscow gay-pride parade. And though he is firmly a man of the left (having run for parliament on the Green Party ticket), he displays a moral consistency that regularly puts him at odds with his putative political allies. For instance, attending a 2004 Palestine Solidarity Rally in London, Tatchell and members of his group Outrage! turned up with placards reading both “Israel: Stop Persecuting Palestine!” and “Palestine: Stop Persecuting Queers!”

Tatchell, citing an underground Iranian opposition group, issued a press release entitled “IRAN EXECUTES GAY TEENAGERS.” Like others, Tatchell was quick to label the sexual orientation of the murdered boys, but he was working under the known fact that they had been victims of a regime with murderously homophobic laws on its books and a capricious judicial system in which to mete them out. The following month, Outrage! amended its original claims of the boys’ presumed homosexuality: “We cannot be 100% certain,” of the boys’ sexual orientation, Tatchell said, “but alternative explanations concerning the charges against Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni are, in our opinion, more credible than the official Iranian court and media accounts.” It was, Tatchell conceded, entirely within the realm of possibility that the boys had been the victims of entrapment, and that their punishment was the government’s way of sending a message to the Iranian people. It is not uncommon for the Iranian government to pin false charges against anyone it deems an enemy. And regardless of what Asgari and Marhoni had or had not done, their execution was “just the latest barbarity by the Islamo-fascists in Iran,” Tatchell, a strident opponent of the death penalty under all circumstances, wrote.

The ongoing persecution of homosexuals in Iran became a subject of public discussion in 2007 when another young man, Makwan Moloudzadeh, was executed by the regime for having allegedly raped three boys seven years prior, when he was only 13 years old. Once again, Tatchell went straight to work publicizing the case in British media. Moloudzadeh, Tatchell claimed, was “the latest victim of Tehran’s ongoing homophobic campaign,” a delicate phrasing that did not assert the individual’s sexuality one way or the other but rather indicted the regime for its anti-gay laws and arbitrary justice system.

In these and other matters, Tatchell’s most virulent and prolific antagonist has not been a member of the Christian right, but rather a fellow gay activist: Scott Long, who was for many years the executive director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program of Human Rights Watch. In 2009, Long published an essay in the academic journal Contemporary Politics entitled, “Unbearable witness: how Western activists (mis)recognize sexuality in Iran.” The article was essentially a summation of attacks that Long had been making against Tatchell, mostly in private email list-servs, for years. Long essentially wrote in defense of the Iranian regime against its critics.

By stating that Mouloudzadeh was a “victim” of a “homophobic campaign,” Long wrote, Tatchell was “mortally incriminating not only Makwan under Iranian law, but his accusers—now transformed into his ‘lovers.’ All, he implied, were guilty of homosexual sex.” In other words, by merely reporting the plausibility that Mouloudzadeh had been sentenced to death for homosexuality and not the rape of underage boys—as the Iranian government alleged—Tatchell was offering the regime yet another reason to incriminate the young Iranian.It was as if Tatchell’s opposition to Tehran’s homophobic legal code, and not the Iranian regime itself, was responsible for the young man’s death.

Writing about the case of the teenagers executed in 2005, Long did not just take the regime’s claims of violent sexual assault of a 13-year-old at face value, but went so far as to allege that Outrage! had “accused him of wanting the rape.” He then mocked people around the world, gay and straight, who exhibited an “almost Ashura-esque extraction of emotion from viewing the pictures” of the executed teenagers. Long then quoted an “acolyte of the ‘gay pogrom’ theory” who imagined that the two boys might have “went for walks together, or watched the sun rise over the mountains,” before sneering, “Or perhaps they raped a 13-year-old boy.”

While Tatchell and others hoped to use these cases to rouse international awareness about the cruelty of Iran’s revolutionary government, Long was more concerned by the prospect that the executions might be used “for promoting fear or engendering division or intimidating immigrants or selling the idea of war.” The first hangings, after all, had taken place just weeks after the London Tube bombings in July 2005. “Memories of old conflicts merged with new tension over Iran’s nuclear programme,” Long wrote. “When the executions happened, war talk had already intensified.”

On November 27, 2012, following three years of complaints, Routledge, the academic publisher of Contemporary Politics, issued a formal apology to Tatchell “for misrepresentations and distortions” in Long’s essay and announced that the article had been removed from the journal’s website. That withdrawal occurred two years after Human Rights Watch had issued a similar apology to Tatchell “for a number of inappropriate and disparaging comments made about him in recent years by Scott Long.” Soon thereafter, Long left HRW for a fellowship at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program.

The spat between Tatchell and Long exemplifies a substantive and growing intellectual divide when it comes to issues of human rights and sexuality. Traditional gay-rights activists such as Tatchell consider discrimination against anyone for their sexuality or gender expression to be wrong no matter the culture or religious environment. Long represents a growing cadre of academic leftists who see stirrings of “Islamophobia” and “imperialism” whenever Westerners complain about the homophobic aspects of non-Western cultures.

Keep reading…

Resist We Much on August 22, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Oh please like any of you Christian Taliban really care if gay men get murdered save your faux outrage

The Velvet Mafia on August 22, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Obviously you don’t care if your only comment is to call Christians the Taliban.

darwin on August 22, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Oh please like any of you Christian Taliban really care if gay men get murdered save your faux outrage

The Velvet Mafia on August 22, 2014 at 4:39 PM

We were just making light of the fact that if a homosexual is killed by a member of one of the “hated classes” (i.e. white, Christian) then it is a horrible crime, while if a homosexual is killed by a member of a “protected class” (Moslem, Black) it is just one more death.

I am hardly a big supporter of the “gay agenda”, but I think that homosexuals should not be murdered in cold blood – any more than anyone else (regardless of what identity classification the left assigns you into). We just don’t play identity politics the way that your side does.

SubmarineDoc on August 22, 2014 at 4:57 PM

bluegill on August 22, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Better sloppy than semiliterate, with sentences the length of paragraphs, like his predecessor.

bgoldman on August 22, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Maybe if they ate some bacon and let women live a little, they wouldn’t be so angry at everyone and repressed sexually.

hamiltmc on August 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

This explains what’s going on in the minds of these animals.

Rebar on August 22, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Sadly, the news is what the news people say the new happens to be.

SC.Charlie on August 22, 2014 at 5:10 PM

bluegill on August 22, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Huh? Did you just write that?
Oh come on,it is kinda funny? Not picking on ya, just funning as it is Friday.
HonestLib on August 22, 2014 at 4:19 PM

No, I didn’t write that. I said writer, not commenter. I was referring to others writers like Ed and Allah and Guy. Unlike with Noah’s articles, you can read the first few paragraphs of their posts and know the point right away. You shouldn’t have to rely on the headline to clue in readers to where you’re headed.

bluegill on August 22, 2014 at 5:16 PM

I am appalled by violence against any peaceful person or group of people, period. If someone is targeting single white females, which happens all too often, I would hope that the MSM would please let me know.

SC.Charlie on August 22, 2014 at 5:19 PM

The Radical Islamic world is hell on Earth. They are evil much in the same way that Hitler’s regime was evil. Our Dear Leader does not understand this fact. This war can not be fought by pinprick drone strikes.

SC.Charlie on August 22, 2014 at 5:30 PM

At least one ton of abuse is merited for the wanton use of wonton.

Libraritarian on August 22, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Sanitizing terror: Has the press distorted Islamic radical’s crusade against gay men? – Noah Rothman

Noah, since when did Muslims conduct crusades? The word should be jihad.

SC.Charlie on August 22, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Sanitizing terror: Has the press distorted Islamic radical’s crusade against gay men? – Noah Rothman
Noah, since when did Muslims conduct crusades? The word should be jihad.
SC.Charlie on August 22, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Really, really good point.

bluegill on August 22, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Velvet Mafia sounds like it could be a gaye name but not sure. He/she thinks we are outraged by the gays being killed by the muzzies. If he is gay he still doesn’t see the threat of islam on his life style and these gays should wake up after all Isis is on US soil. Can you imagine if they make hit on a gay establishment?

garydt on August 22, 2014 at 6:26 PM

The cold, hard fist of reality is about to collide with the Leftist jaw.

And that includes the first Gsy POTUS.

formwiz on August 22, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Because our press is comprised of far too many cowards.

BUT – it he was a murderer in Washington, how come he got to NJ? Maybe I missed something but this is just nuts.

MN J on August 22, 2014 at 7:10 PM

This is a story tailor-made for the national press but, rather than highlighting it, the opposite has occurred. It seems that the press has sanitized the actions and motives of Brown and his two accomplices. He was not simply a murderer and a criminal, though he was most certainly both of those things. Brown was also a terrorist who targeted a specific group of victims based on their sexual identity. It is quite uncharacteristic of the press to understate those two facts.

Not really. The LSM loves gays, and doesn’t want them killed, but it also loves Muslims, and thou shalt not speak ill of thy Muslim neighbor.

If word gets out that Ali Muhammad Brown is in jail, what will the devout, prayerful gentlemen of ISIS do to our people in Iraq? SHHHHHHH! We don’t want them angry at us, do we?

Steve Z on August 22, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Oh dang, get a haircut Mohammed and we’ll talk.

Jedditelol on August 22, 2014 at 7:52 PM

“Wonton killing” LMAO

RedRedRice on August 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

.
I understand that the Food Network is just boiling about this targeted assassination…

ExpressoBold on August 22, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Abnormal behavior gets abnormal responses from abnormal people.

Homosexuals, black muslim converts, murderers? Does anyone else encounter “characters” like these at work? Or in your neighborhood? Or at your local grocery store? Or ….?

Ruckus_Tom on August 22, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Has the press distorted Islamic radical’s crusade against gay men just about everything they’ve gotten their hands on?

Cleombrotus on August 22, 2014 at 9:39 PM

If there is one thing “the gay community” has proved it doesn’t lack, it’s a voice.

They should be calling out the national media for covering up these “hate crimes” in order to appease muslims.

Adjoran on August 22, 2014 at 11:02 PM

What?? I thought this persecution was uniquely Christian!

WryTrvllr on August 22, 2014 at 11:17 PM

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