May 10, 2004


If Abu Ghriab were a dead horse, I would be beating it, but I wanted to point out something reader Oda Mae brought to my attention. Omar from Iraq the Model interviewed someone who used to work at Abu Ghraib.

Posted by Sarah at May 10, 2004 04:59 PM

Oda Mae sure found a real bombshell (the non-fatal kind, fortunately). Chance of that being reprinted in the mainstream mud-ia: 0.000.

The doctor's comments about gay prisoners makes me curious. Is he just homophobic and assuming that they're gay because they're evil? Do Iraqi gays turn to violence to prove they are "men"?

The post above that one talking about the new Iraqi army is worth a look as well. Of course, it's just more "proof" of the "AmeriKKKan colonization" of Iraq.

Posted by: Amritas at May 10, 2004 05:52 PM

I saw it also. All the Iraqis seem to wonder what the big deal is.

Posted by: Mike at May 10, 2004 08:02 PM

I can't speak to the truth of it, but I have a couple of friends - as well as my husband - who have said the same thing. The speculation is that since women are not really part of some Arab societies, homosexuality is more prevalent, even though it is against Islam.

Gay rape is more often reported in Muslim countries as well. Remember the young gay man who was crucified in the West? Some articles reported he was raped by several men while travelling in Egypt.

Who knows if it's really true, but I lean towards believing people who've visited these countries. You also have to factor in that if these people are in fact thugs who might have been incarcerated before, they could turn to sex with other inmates in the same way we hear about rapes in our prisons in the States.

Posted by: Oda Mae at May 10, 2004 09:09 PM

Oda Mae,

Thanks again for telling Sarah about the article. I mentioned prison-based homosexuality in my initial draft of the comment but it got deleted when I reedited it. Oops. That does bring up one complication, though: assuming gay behavior is real among these prisoners, how much of it is "any port in a storm" gayness and how much of it we'd-be-gay-anyway gayness? I have read the claim that much Arab homosexual behavior - not just in prison - is of the former rather than the latter type. The argument goes that since Arab men are segregated from women, they turn to each other. (Oddly, I have never seen any such claim for Arab lesbians. Either it's rare or no one cares enough to notice.)

"I lean towards believing people who've visited these countries."

I would lean more towards them myself, but I am always wary of foreigners' assessments of cultures based on brief visits or even long-term stays in isolated communities. It's quite possible to live in the expat community in, say, Japan for years without learning much of the local language and hence remaining ignorant about what things are really like.

Posted by: Amritas at May 11, 2004 08:45 AM

Did anyone else notice that Iraq the Model consistently called A(R)GH prison "Abu Gharib" rather than "Ghraib"? Are they alternate pronunciations of the Arabic spelling غريب gh-r-y-b? More speculations on my blog later ...

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