Bigotry unites monotheistic faiths

Kinda heartwarming, eh? From The Telegraph, Nov. 8:

Jews and Muslims unite against homosexuals
Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem have found common ground in their fierce opposition to a gay rights rally due to be held in the city this week. Leaders from both faiths have united to denounce the parade, which has prompted nights of street protest by ultra-orthodox Jews, who regard homosexuality as an “abomination”, and death threats against those taking part.

After Israeli police found and defused a bomb bearing the message “sodomites out”, orders were given for 12,000 officers to deploy across Jerusalem during the march, which is planned for Friday. Last night, lawyers from both sides were wrangling at the High Court over whether the parade should be allowed to take place and, if so, where. With the court expected to convene another hearing today, it appeared that the parade would take place but at a new location near the parliament, a safe distance from orthodox neighbourhoods.

The issue of the parade is generating more media coverage than the Israeli military incursion into Gaza, which has left more than 50 Palestinians dead.

The city’s Islamic leadership is opposed to the parade, with Tayseer Tamimi, the head of the Palestinian supreme council of Sharia litigation, leading Muslim opposition. “This march tries to destroy the moral and spiritual values for youths,” he said. “All religions discredit gays because it is against the decent human nature created by God.”

Ultra-orthodox Jews have protested for three nights, setting up burning barricades and throwing rocks at police. Thirty protesters were arrested and six policemen hurt as water cannon was deployed to put out fires and disperse crowds.

“This isn’t the gay pride parade but the disgrace parade,” said Yaakov Cohen, an MP from the United Torah Judaism party. Ben Yizri, an MP for the ultra-orthodox Shas party, part of Israel’s ruling coalition, said: “We believe God will be very upset.”

Homosexuality was legalised in Israel 18 years ago, but gay rights campaigners said many homosexuals were intimidated by Jerusalem’s strongly homophobic atmosphere. Noa Satath, of Open House, the group planning the parade, said it marked an important step in bringing homosexuality “out of the closet” in Jerusalem.

See last posts on Israel/Palestine and the unifying effects of anti-gay bigotry.