Islamic nations call on UN to condemn gays for ‘abnormal sexual behaviour’
A bloc of Islamic nations including Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan and Malaysia, has written to the UN to decry extending human rights protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity, while declaring its opposition to a UN Human Rights Council panel forum this week to discuss discrimination and violence against LGBT people.
In a letter by Pakistani Ambassador to the UN, Zamir Akram, on behalf of all 57 countries aligned with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the group claims that the UN would be promoting “abnormal sexual behaviour” at the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 7 in Geneva.
“The OIC States are deeply concerned by the introduction in the Human Rights Council of controversial notions like ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’.
“We are even more disturbed at the attempt to focus on certain persons on the grounds of their abnormal sexual behaviour, while not focusing on the glaring instances of intolerance and discrimination in various parts of the world, be it on the basis of colour, race, gender or religion, to mention only a few,” the letter states.
“The Member States of the OIC would like to place on record their opposition to the holding of this panel and will not accept its considerations and recommendations.”
Long-time human rights and gay activist, Peter Tatchell, said Akram’s letter to the UN was clearly an “intolerant, ignorant statement” which needed to be challenged.
“Pakistan is a member of the Commonwealth, whose Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma, has declared that homophobic discrimination and violence is incompatible with Commonwealth values,” Tatchell said.
“Shamefully, Pakistan opposes this UN panel discussing discrimination and violence against LGBT people.
“The bigoted stance of the Pakistani Ambassador to the UN is ill-informed about human sexuality and human rights law. He is living in the Dark Ages, ignoring scientific understanding and humanitarian ethics.”
Despite the opposition by Islamic nations and others, it is expected that the UN Human Rights Council panel on Wednesday will reaffirm an earlier commitment to combat discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.