Islamic State group targets gays with brutal public killings

 

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I: n this picture posted on a social media account affiliated with the Islamic State group, IS militants stone a man accused of violating the extremists’ ban on homosexuality after they threw him from a roof in the city of Homs, Syria. (AP)

 

REYHANLI, Turkey — Before a crowd of men on a street in the Syrian city of Palmyra, the masked Islamic State group judge read out the sentence against the two men convicted of homosexuality: They would be thrown to their deaths from the roof of the nearby Wael Hotel.

He asked one of the men if he was satisfied with the sentence. Death, the judge told him, would help cleanse him of his sin.

“I’d prefer it if you shoot me in the head,” 32-year-old Hawas Mallah replied helplessly. The second man, 21-year-old Mohammed Salameh, pleaded for a chance to repent, promising never to have sex with a man again, according to a witness among the onlookers that sunny July morning who gave The Associated Press a rare first-hand account.

“Take them and throw them off,” the judge ordered. Other masked extremists tied the men’s hands behind their backs and blindfolded them. They led them to the roof of the four-story hotel, according to the witness, who spoke in the Turkish city of Reyhanli on condition he be identified only by his first name, Omar, for fear of reprisals.

Notorious for their gruesome methods of killing, the Islamic State group reserves one of its most brutal for suspected homosexuals. Videos it has released show masked militants dangling men over the precipices of buildings by their legs to drop them head-first or tossing them over the edge. At least 36 men in Syria and Iraq have been killed by IS militants on charges of sodomy, according to the New York-based OutRight Action International, though its Middle East and North Africa coordinator, Hossein Alizadeh, said it was not possible to confirm the sexual orientation of the victims.

The fear of a horrific death among gay men under Islamic State rule is further compounded by their isolation in a deeply conservative society that largely shuns them.

Many Muslims consider homosexuality to be sinful. Gay men are haunted constantly by the possibility that someone, perhaps even a relative, will betray them to the militants — whether to curry favor with IS or simply out of hatred for their sexual orientation. Islamic State group fighters sometimes torture suspected homosexuals to reveal their friends’ names and search their laptops and mobile phones. Even among IS opponents, gays find little sympathy. Some in the public who might be shocked by other IS atrocities say killings of gays is justified. Syrian rebel factions have killed or abused gays as well.

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Photo:AP

A 26-year-old Syrian gay man told the AP that even two years after fleeing to Turkey, he wakes up shaken by nightmares that he is about to be hurled from a building. The man spoke on condition that he be identified as Daniel Halaby, the name he now uses in his activism tracking IS atrocities, and that the city in Turkey where he lives not be named for his own safety.

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Associated Press
By BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press

Teen Arrested for Homemade Clock Seeks $15M in Damages

irbving Texas Ahmed Mohamed School

 

irbving Texas Ahmed Mohamed School

Attorneys for the family of Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving High School student who made international headlines after being arrested earlier this year for bringing a homemade clock to school, have sent letters to both the city of Irving and the Irving School District demanding apologies and $15 million in damages.

Both letters claim that Mohamed’s civil rights were violated, and he and his family have suffered physical and mental anguish because of the ordeal.

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The letters claim Ahmed was singled out “because of his race, national origin, and religion.”

“Ahmed never threatened anyone, never caused harm to anyone, and never intended to,” read the letter to the city. “The only one who was hurt that day was Ahmed, and the damages he suffered were not because of oversight or incompetence. The school and city officials involved knew what they needed to do to protect Ahmed’s rights. They just decided not to do it.

The letters demand $10 million be paid to the family by the City of Irving, and $5 million from the school district.

The family also wants written apologies from Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne, “acknowledging that she has never been presented with any evidence that Ahmed was a ‘pawn’ in any ‘civilization jihad’ or that the events here were planned by Ahmed’s family or friends as part of an ‘influence operation.'”

They also want apologies from the school district, as well as Police Chief Larry Boyd, saying Mohamed “never intended to threaten anyone, and that his detention, interrogation, and arrest were wrongful and were made at a point in time when there was no reasonable suspicion to believe that Ahmed had committed a crime or was about to commit any crime.”

The family’s attorney ends the letters by saying civil action will be filed if the demands are not met within 60 days. Read the letters below.

Source: USA TODAY NETWORK::Jordan Armstrong, WFAA

Houston Carnival Marked with Violence

Picture-3 The annual Houston Caribbean Carnival has grown into one of the nations most attended multicultural festivals during the summer.  The event traditionally takes place during the fourth of July weekend. This year’s festivities was marked with tragedy as revelers attending the annual Jouvert (Paint,Mud,and Water) fete, was abruptly interrupted by gunfire, which left party goers scrambling for cover. Four men are injured, two women were trampled in the meele trying to leave the scene, the shooter is still at large. Many Caribbean festivals are safe, especially in the Southern states, such as Atlanta and Miami. However, this year’s surrounding events did not have  adequate security, which created the opportunity for this tragic turn of events. There’s no real idea of what went wrong last night, how someone was allowed to bring a gun inside of a venue that held 5,000 people trying to party on the Fourth of July. There are reports of their being outside security and off-duty police officers but none of the 30 or so that were hired were inside the venue when the shooting took place.

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Post by Dwyane White

Miami Broward Carnival Open Letter

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Dear Board of Directors of the Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee

I can only begin by saying the following by the late Nelson Mandela;

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2014 will mark the 30th consecutive year, Miami and Broward counties have played host to one of the largest Caribbean American Festivals in the nation.  The rash decision to change the date of the festival, not to Monday October 13, 2014, but an entire week later, clearly was not given much consideration.

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I was once told by the Official Atlanta Peach Carnival Executive team, “You must respect the bands, you can not do Carnival without them”.  This word of advice has stayed etched in my mind, since 2005, and to this day, I believe it to be true.  The collaboration of the bands, troupes, artist, and carnival committee, is important to the survival of this cultural event. This historical change should’ve been address to the community, with feed back and input from the bands, troupes, and participants, prior to releasing or imposing a massive change of date.

It only angers the community, who has booked hotels, flights, and made other advance arrangements to attend the festival on Columbus Day weekend. An emergency meeting after the fact, also was not a good decision. It is evident, that based upon the NFL schedule for 2014, that Miami Carnival will not happen on October 12, 2014 at Sun Life Stadium.

Upon receiving this shocking news from the Sun Life Stadium, your organization, should have contacted an attorney, to simply draft a letter stating the reasons of this year’s change of venue. As a  minority, cultural, and historical organization, Sun Life Stadium can’t impose or impede on Miami Broward Carnival Committee civil rights, by federal law. Many are aware of Florida’s recent race and civil rights cases in the past two years; however the economic impact of the festival should have been motivation for your organization to move to a new venue.

“If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything”

Culture Come First, Politics Comes After

The Columbus Day Weekend is not only a major holiday for Italians, however serves as a major significant Jewish Holiday, especially in South Florida. It is my belief that the Jewish community will never change, compromise, or waiver from this date, which serves as a start to the Jewish holiday calendar. Although Miami Carnival is not a religious holiday, the significance of the date, is important.

It seems that your organization was clearly ill advised, in this hasty decision.  The committee role in this festival is not about money, fame, and politics. Miami Broward Carnival Committee, like every other Carnival Committee duty, is to serve the community first, to ensure the cultural integrity of this historical tradition.

I personally don’t celebrate Mas; however I enjoy attending the festival, much like the tens of thousands of attendees that enjoy the colorful costumes, people, food, and cultural experience.

I encourage your team to come together and simply work with the community, to make the 30th celebration and enjoyable one on October 12, 2014. Please stay committed to your own slogan, “North America’s Ultimate Carnival Experience “…  Unless it’s too late…..

NOTICE:

Broward Caribbean Carnival Inc. (BCCI) a Broward County Organization will host Carnival 2014 in Broward County.

The community outcry of the Carnival date change has forced BCCI to take immediate action in ensuring that Carnival continues to be celebrated in South Florida on Columbus Day weekend. as it has been celebrated over the last 29 years. At the request of many patrons, stakeholders, and masqueraders BCCI is securing a venue to host Carnival on October 12th, 2014 and continue a South Florida Tradition of Excellence in Mas.

Yours,

Broward Caribbean Carnival Inc.

UPDATE:

“Please note that the official Miami Broward Carnival will be held on Sunday, October 12. Please keep checking our website: www.miamibrowardcarnival.com for updated information about venue and other pertinent information about the 30th year celebration of Carnival in South Florida. Venue will be confirmed after a meeting on May 8, with bandleaders, promoters and other stakeholders in MBOC. Miami Broward Carnival Board of Directors and Bandleaders”

Respectfully,

Michael Thomas

Caribbean Media Network

Jazz in the Garden Returns with Heavy Hitters

Jazz in the Miami Gardens

Jazz in the Miami Gardens

The excitement is in the air as the 2014 Jazz in the Garden kicks off on March 14, 2014. This event has been recognized as a national tradition, for many grown and mature adults. It is truly not the normal concert activity, it’s just clean positive vibes.

The City of Miami Gardens’ 9th annual Jazz in the Gardens music festival at Sun Life Stadium is proud to announce the final line-up of national artists for the 2014 event.

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“Jazz in the Gardens is one of the fastest growing shows in the U.S. right now. We’re booking the best talent in the business. They have listen to the fans and who they want to see; and there isn’t a performer they don’t consider. This year’s event is hosted by DL Hughley. and features Grammy Award winners LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx and Anthony Hamilton will join bass guitar legend Stanley Clarke, and the beloved Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, to round out the 2014 lineup. These five superstars join R&B artist Trey Songz, original Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland, R&B funk group Mint Condition,  six octave vocal songstress Rachelle Farrell and 2014 Grammy nominee jazz artist Boney James.

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The festival will kick off on Friday, March 14th with the Women’s Impact Conference & Luncheon at Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club. Later that evening, Jazz in the Gardens begins with the inaugural Friday night party at Calder Casino; the headlining performer will be named at a later date. Five more headliners will be announced in the coming weeks to perform on Saturday, March 15th and Sunday, March 16th, 2014.

Tickets are on sale now at www.jazzinthegardens.com, the Sun Life Stadium Box Office,  and www.ticketmaster.com Two day tickets start at $80, single day tickets start at $50 and advance purchase tickets for the Friday night opening party are $45.

Sizza Kalonji Axed from Concert Over Gay Lyrics at Sting Performance

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Sizzla Kalonji continues to receive fallout from his anti-gay laced performance at Sting 2013. Organizers of the Melkweg festival in Amsterdam have removed the reggae/dancehall star from the lineup of this year’s show.

Sizzla was set to performed on the show on March 16 in Amsterdam. However, organizers pulled the plug on the reggae veteran citing video footage from a Jamaican concert where Sizzla performed anti-gay songs.

Promoters say they will be refunding patrons who already purchased tickets…

Read more: http://culture.maddnesslive.com/sizzla-kalongi-axed-from-festival-over-gay-lyrics/

Caribbean Senator Sentenced to 5 years in prison

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) A former senator in the U.S. Virgin Islands has been sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty last year to racketeering.

A judge on Wednesday ordered Alvin Williams Jr. to serve nearly five years in prison.

Williams apologized for his actions during the sentencing in St. Thomas.

READ MORE: Culture.Maddnesslive.com