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Riyadh, February 24 - Muslim countries in the Middle East and beyond that persecute and kill gays voiced relief this week that unlike Israel, they do not face accusations that they treat homosexuals well merely to distract from problematic policies toward the Palestinians.
Officials in the Saudi capital shared a rare moment of agreement with their counterparts in Tehran, where high-ranking deputies of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said they were gratified at avoiding the charges of 'pinkwashing' constantly directed at the Zionist Entity. The leaders of those countries as well as Iraq, Syria, Malaysia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and several Persian Gulf states relayed similar sentiments expressing satisfaction that by denying LGBTQ people human and civil rights, they eliminate the public relations problem that Israel faces in that arena.
"I sure am glad we dodged that diplomatic and political bullet," admitted Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. "Can you imagine how awkward it would be if instead of hanging homosexuals publicly from cranes, we respected their humanity, individuality, dignity, and privacy, and how much explaining we''d have to do as a result? That would be a fine mess. It's a good thing we don't have to square how well we treat anyone with the moral cesspool the rest of our policies reflect."
A representative of the parts of Iraq and Syria currently under control of the Islamic State had a congruent view. "It's clear from the way the world reacts that it's better to throw gays off rooftops, as we do, than to treat them as humans worthy of respect and life," said Ayamnatta Gayman, head of a forum of regional tribal officials. "If we stop killing people for their sexual orientation, that would mean creating expectations of enlightened behavior in other realms, as well, and our refusal to do so would only create inconsistencies and problems. This is a headache I'm glad the Zionists have and we don't."
Human rights groups praised those states for their efforts to maintain consistency on the rights of their citizens. "It's jarring and incoherent when we, as a human rights monitoring organization, encounter what we see as dissonant kinds of treatment," said Ken Roth, the chief of Human Rights Watch. "It is much easier for us to accept these societies and policies when they practice the same kind of murderous bigotry across the board than when we identify positive elements and negative elements in one place. When that happens, it just pisses us off, and we can't help but hate such a country as never before."
"Not that I'm naming names," he added.
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