AFP: Protests in Pakistan over US gay rights event
Islamists held rallies in major Pakistani cities Monday to denounce a gay rights event hosted last month by the United States embassy, calling for a “holy war” against ally Washington.
Around 100 demonstrators in the southern port city of Karachi protested, calling the meeting “an assault on Pakistan’s Islamic culture”, while there were similar demonstrations in the capital Islamabad and in Lahore.
“We condemn the American conspiracy to encourage bisexualism in our country,” said Mohammad Hussain Mehnati, city chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Pakistan’s largest Islamic party, while leading a rally.
“They have destroyed us physically, imposed the so-called war on terrorism on us and now they have unleashed cultural terrorism on us,” he said above the din of slogans of “Death to America” by his party cadres.
“This meeting shows cruel America has unleashed a storm of immoral values on our great Islamic values, which we’ll resist at all costs,” Mehnati said.
A statement posted on the US Embassy website said its Islamabad office hosted its first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride Celebration on June 26.
“This gathering demonstrated continued US Embassy support for human rights, including LGBT rights, in Pakistan at a time when those rights are increasingly under attack from extremist elements throughout Pakistani society,” it said.