Saturday, 9 June 2012

Gay as an Asylum Seeker

dah lama aku tak tulis sesuatu yang lebih serius.. baru-baru ni asyik nak gay test je kan.. haha... kadang-kadang aku pun ketandusan idea nak tulis apa.. kalau selalu sentuh hal yang lebih serius rasa blog tak ceria sangat..

pernah tak korang mendengar perkataan 'gay asylum seekers'? senang cakap ia adalah orang gay (semua dalam kategori LGBT) cuba melarikan diri sebagai pelarian ke negara lain kerana 'persecution' terhadap diri mereka kerana faktor seksualiti yang berbeza. kebiasaannya hal ini terjadi di negara Timur Tengah yang melayan golongan seperti ini dengan layanan yang lebih keras.. jika korang baca cerita kat bawah, then kadang-kadang kita boleh fikir yang kat Malaysia layanan mereka terhadap golongan LGBT tak lah teruk sangat.. sebab itu lah banyak je orang PLU kat Malaysia semakin menjadi-jadi.. tapi, adakah ia bagus dengan cara kekerasan untuk melawan 'penyakit sosial' ini??

aku rasa tidak patut.. tidak dapat dinafikan yang menjadi gay dan seorang Islam pada satu masa adalah agak sukar.. kadang-kadang orang selalu menghukum sesuatu di atas nama agama.. kerana faktor ini, ada golongan PLU yang telah hilang imannya dengan memeluk agama lain kerana melihat Islam mengunankan kekerasan terhadap diri mereka.. ia adalah hal yang serius.. bagi aku, 'kekerasan' layanan itu lebih kepada 'pengadilan manusia' yang terhadap golongan yang didiskriminasi, bukanlah disebabkan faktor 'agama'... cara yang lebih 'lembut' adalah bersesuaian untuk membimbing golongan ini dan itu lah yang aku percaya Allah mahu mereka lakukan..

ada perbezaan antara pendekatan yang tegas dengan keras.. aku still percaya pendekatan yang tegas adalah bagus tapi perlu lah dengan cara yang bersesuaian..

btw, cerita di bawah adalah daripada buku yang aku miliki.. memang rajin giler aku nak taip cerita ini kat blog ni.. semuanya semata-mata just nak share pada korang semua... daripada buku Unspeakable Love (yang aku curi tajuknya for my novel series)... kompilasi kisah memilukan kehidupan PLU di Timur Tengah...

Unspeakable Love: Gay & Lesbian Life in the Middle East.
by: Brian Whitaker

A Question of Honour

By the time he reached his teens, Haider Jaber knew he was different. Maybe it was the way he walked or talked, but other kids noticed it too. Some of them used to hit him or throw stones. ‘They would gather round and call me “gay boy”, “woman” or ask me to suck their penis,’ he said. ‘Sometimes, I would have to wait in school until everyone else had gone for my parents to collect me, or I would take very long routes home to avoid them.’

In many countries Haider would had people to help and support him, but growing up gay in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq there was little chance of that. ‘In my society it was something that I had to hide,’ he said. After finishing at school, Haider went on to study medicine at a university in Baghdad, where he hoped the students would be a little more understanding. As a precaution, he tried to hide his gayness and ‘hung around with girls a lot’ but it didn’t do much good. ‘People still suspected that I was gay and some of the older students abused me,’ he recalled.

In the meantime, he was secretly having an affair with Alaa, who he had met in a video shop. ‘Alaa was interested in western music and movies just like me, and we shared a lot of things in common,’ Haider said. They were friends for a year without discussing anything about their sexuality – though eventually the became lovers.

Haider was in the midst of his final exams when Alaa urged him to have a break by going for a drive. 'He thought it would be nice to take me out from the environment of studying and revising. We went to a bridge where it was romantic... I used to like that place and he knew that.'

Just as they were kissing, the Iraqi police spotted them.

"We were pulled out of the car and the policemen were very aggressive. One of them slapped me on my cheeks very hard and I started crying. They dragged me into the police car and they told Alaa to follow. I was begging them and telling them I had done nothing wrong. They said: 'Son of a bitch, we will fuck your mother and sister in front of you', 'We'll put the pistol in your ass if you keep moaning', and a lot of other things."

"They drove towards the police station but did not actually get into the building. We were driven a bit away from police station and then taken out of the cars. They basically wanted money. They said we should pay them so that they would leave us alone. They asked for about $1,000 in the beginning. I was only a student and we said we could not afford it. They agreed at last on $400."

In comparison with today, those were the good times for gay Iraqis. In the aftermath of Saddam Hussein's overthrow, Iraq was engulf in a new kind of tyranny as militias and vigilante groups roamed the streets, enforcing their own rules and imposing mob justice on those behaviour they disapproved of. When the war began in 2003, Haider was working as a doctor in a Baghdad hospital and had struck up another relationship - this time with Ali, who he had met in a clothes shop.

"I used to be seen going to my house with Ali. People then started to approach both of us asking us why we were going home together. They were men from the neighbouring houses and men who used to own shops there."

"At the end of 2003, I was coming back from the hospital and I was stopped by about four or five men, one of whom I knew as he was a neighbour. I tried to walk away but I was grabbed by the collar of my shirt. They asked me about Ali and why I was bringing him to the neighbourhood. I said he was just a friend of mine. They said they knew I was having sex with him. I denied it. They said if they saw this man [Ali] again in that area, they would cut his leg off."

"They told me that I had to married ... That I had to be heterosexual. I had to marry a woman. I was told to grow a moustache and beard. I was told not to wear jeans or tight clothes and that I must not grow my hair long and that I should not wear bright colours or shirts with English writings or western style. I must attend the mosque frequently for prayers and lecturers to be a good man. They said they had decided not to execute me but to change me."

"I said this was unfair. One of the men punched me in the face. One of them then pushed me on to my side and I hurt my back and they started kicking me. I was just about to pass out when one of them said that they should 'just leave the animal there'. There was no one who could help me ... they would also have been beaten. A lot of people were watching from distance (women, children, old men, boys and other young men), some seemed to enjoy the scene and others were encouranging and cheering them."

A few weeks later, Haider received a threatening latter issued in the name of the Badr militia. It accused him of not changing his ways and said he had been 'sentenced' to exile in order to 'cleanse' the country - adding that if he failed to leave he would be killed.

A month passed, then four men with red scarves around their heads and faces burst into the house where he had been living and searched it, looking for him. Haider, fortunately was working in the hospital at that time. His uncle told the men he had gone abroad but they said they didn't believe him. Another month passed, then  two men turned up inside the hospital, apparently with connivance from the hospital's security guards. One of the doctors tipped off Haider that they were looking for him, and he fled by an emergency exit to female doctor's residence.

"I had to hide in the female doctor's residence for, I think, a complete three days. I was stuck, as I knew the security people had seen me come into the hospital. The female doctors were worried and said I would have to leave the hospital. A doctor friend came up with an idea that at nighttime the security would be less. He said he would take me down to a car and they would take me out of the hospital in the boot of the car. I managed to escape to my aunt's house and contacted Ali over the phone. I told him that I had to leave Iraq and that he had to leave too. I had heard that three gay men had been killed in public at that time."

A few days later four men forced their way into the house where Ali was living and took him away - never to be seen again. "His family have been told by men who were close to the Badr militias that Ali was tortured and killed," Haider said. "They held a funeral for him but without the body. I was absolutely terrified and I knew that my life in Iraq had reached an end."

He set out in a shared taxi on the dengerous overland route to neghbouring Jordan. "It was terribly scary," he said. "We were expecting to get stopped at any time by a gang of terrorists. They used to stop people along they way to see if there were any foreigners, or to ask for money or even the car itself sometimes. But we were lucky that day as the car which left Baghdad before us was stopped and the passengers were asked to give all their money."

Eventually, Haider reached Britain and applied for asylum - which is rarely a simple matter, even in a case as harrowing as his. At first he was refused but then, after an appeal, received the good news that he would be allowed to stay. At 28, he could finally settle into a new life, working at the hospital in Scotland. But, he still grieved for his murdered lovers, Ali. "I really miss him, " he said. "He did not deserve what happened. I just want his body to have it burried. They think that we [gay people] do not even deserve a proper grave."


  1. boleh tahan novel nie... tpi tetap selitkan keganasan tentera dalam memburukkan nama negara islam..... but its real... :)

    1. ni bukan novel tp buku non-fiction.. byk cerita yg menyedihkn x semestinya melibatkan keganasan tentera, malah drpd ahli keluarga sndiri..

    2. owh.. sory about that...
      yup....ahli keluarga yang aq paling tkut jika rahsia aq terbongkar... aq pun x tau apa akan terjadi sekiranya mereka tau aq nie macamnie.... :(

  2. bila baca entry ni...ntahla, mcm nak kata gay tu perkara biasa pulak..
    tp bg aku jd gay ni tetap salah, sebab kita kan percaya Allah

    1. bukan nk suruh kata gay itu perkara biasa .. aku bersyukur sangat2 yg aku lahir di Malaysia lepas baca citer td .. mcm di Malaysia kebanyakan gay hanya sakit melalui mental mereka tapi di middle east mrk di torture mental dan fizikal ... ALLAH LEBIH TAHU ..