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Gay hanging in Iran: Atrocities and impersonations


A must read on lies and how the media/activists will push them. (h/t: J)

A Paper Bird


Everybody on earth knows that last week a deal on Iran’s nuclear program was announced.  Everybody also knows that this apparent step toward peace launched a new stage in an old war: of propaganda. Proponents praise the possibility of a historic opening. Opponents — who include Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Republican Party — warn of disaster.  Both sides want to expand their constituencies. In Western countries, gay communities — small but politically influential — are more and more the target for just this courtship and recruitment.

The right-wing pundit Amir Taheri greeted the nuclear deal with a storm of tweets and screeds condemning it. One 140-character charge drew special attention.Taheri tweetAnyone’s first reaction would be some version of “My God.” It sounded horrible.  I wrote to Taheri asking for more information — and so, judging from Twitter, did at least three other people.

But the story quickly began to show cracks. Taheri didn’t reply to me, or anybody. I sat down that night with a Farsi-speaking friend and began searching for the story in the Iranian press: under the youth’s name, under various other key words. It didn’t turn up anywhere. I wrote to the Toronto-based Iranian Queer Organization (IRQO), a diaspora-based group of LGBT Iranian activists with which I’ve worked closely over the years. They searched the media as well and found no sign of it. They also reached out to contacts in Isfahan. On Friday morning, they told me no one there had heard of the story, either.


Amir Taheri lies a lot. Eight years ago, Jonathan Schwartz called him “one of the strangest ingredients in America’s media soup,” adding, “There may not be anyone else who simply makes things up as regularly as he does, with so few consequences.” An arch-conservative protege of the Pahlavis, an editor of the Tehran daily Kayhan under the Shah, he repeatedly fabricates stories about Iran to please right-wingers in his adoptive West. Most famously, in 2006 he claimed in Canada’s National Post that a new dress-code law in Iran would impose special clothes on religious minorities, including yellow badges for Jews. Many conservatives swallowed the story; even the Canadian Prime Minister repeated it. But it was a complete falsehood, and after a huge furor the National Post retracted it and apologized: “It is now clear the story is not true. … We apologize for the mistake and for the consternation it has caused.” (The Post also noted that Taheri went “unreachable” after his fiction was exposed, rather as he did on Twitter.) Undeterred, in 2008 Taheri concocted a quote from Ayatollah Khomeini, complete with a fake citation of an invented source; American neoconservative luminaries duly repeated it. In 2002, Taheri claimed that “Osama bin Laden is dead …. the fugitive died in December and was buried in the mountains of southeast Afghanistan.” The list of his duplicities goes on and on. In 1989, an academic reviewing one of Taheri’s books

detailed case after case in which Taheri cited nonexistent sources, concocted nonexistent substance in cases where the sources existed and distorted the substance beyond recognition when it was present. … [The reviewer] concluded that Nest of Spies was “the sort of book that gives contemporary history a bad name.”

Larry Cohler-Esses condemns Taheri as a “journalistic felon,” part of a “media machine intent on priming the public for war with Iran.”

There are ample grounds for skepticism about stories Taheri spreads.

But skepticism doesn’t make headlines. Propaganda’s best friend is the ambition of the press. On Thursday, a reporter for the UK-based Gay Star News also tweeted to Taheri.

Morgan to Taheri tweet

Taheri didn’t answer him, either. I know this because the reporter didn’t wait for a source. About 25 minutes later, his story — “GAY TEEN, 14, ‘HANGED FROM TREE’” — topped the website of  Gay Star News, and it said Taheri hadn’t told them anything. In other words, their entire account was based on one single tweet with no evidence behind it. This tweet was special, though. The topic of gay killings in Iran has shown its passionate drawing power over a decade, its ability to keep queers clicking. GSN wanted the clicks for itself.

Continue reading…

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  • Mehdi

    Saw that today 🙁

  • Just_Stopping_By

    “Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly on using religious beliefs to justify bigotry.”

    True, and proven today:

  • AJ

    Why are you frolicking around with Saudi gays? 😐

  • jkings

    I would never tell anyone that they could not make a cake for a gay wedding. I just wouldn’t support a government and people in forcing a person to make a cake for a gay wedding. With the threat of destroying their business and their reputation. Also instead of telling people that they don’t support an unnatural relationship that is bad for children to be exposed to, (let alone adults), they tell everyone on the planet that if they don’t support this they don’t support “love” and are haters. Is that fair and just? Also I dare say there are more destructive forces in the world than the followers of Jesus. A nation that is far removed from Jesus and does abortions all day long with tax payer money is not a Christian nation. The old kings of England didn’t pick up their cross and bear them daily. They worshiped themselves. They used the church just as surely as Satan uses Islam. Their God was their money and power. Jesus came here as a servant and lived the life of a servant even though he was and is a King. Jesus said you shall know if someone by their fruits. If someone is mass murdering everyone they are not a follower of Jesus. I am curious about your understanding of what Christians are. Are you an American Liberal? Just curious.

  • Jekyll

    LOL saudi gays the most funnest people I have seen in the states. Aside from being pathetic they have the money to to live the gay lifestyle yet still pretend to show solidarity with Iranian gays, who otherwise they don’t like as Iranians!!

  • jkings

    What they are requesting isn’t just baking a cake. They are requesting very specific things to be placed on some cakes that can be upsetting to partake in for some people. For instance if they want 2 small statues of men in tux side by side. This can be accounted as strange for some people and make them feel uncomfortable while they are doing their work. It can also make a person feel that they are taking part in a gay wedding in some fashion. It also is upsetting to be fined 100,000 dollars if you refuse. I understand you are on your rant about how evil Christians are but can you understand that part? I wont engage much about your rant because I can tell you have your mission but, don’t hold your breath about the human force coming close to matching the kind of destruction you speak of. It may be unfolding before your eyes and even lead to nuclear war. If ISIS has it their way, they will out do America in their badness. Being as they want to bring about the end of the world and they are more than happy to all die trying. If they get their way it will be hard to deny that their scale of mass destruction is hard to beat. Lets hope Obama’s bad ideas and possible betrayal of his alleged own country doesn’t speed this along. By the way the man is not Christian.

  • jkings

    That’s because they killed most of them.

  • jkings

    Also if they say ANY thing against GAY lifestyles.

  • AJ

    Saudi Arabia has its own share of homosexuals just like atheists – they are just underground.

  • moraka

    Yes its called western imperialism. An odd religion that is followed by people, who claim that they are the followers of Christ. A message that is about mercy and compassion and forgiving your enemies.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    “because I REFUSE to surrender to terrorists by giving them my heart and mind.”

    Now, why would anyone reading your comments think that your heart and mind are filled with hate?

  • Nur

    You can repeat all day. The SINGLE most destructive entity that has ever been on this earth, and continues to be Christianity.

    2000 years of written history attests to Christianity’s barbaric, savage history of pure murder, rape, pillage, genocide, and total disregard for the physical environment cant be overlooked.

    I am not defending Islam by any means. I am more afraid of crossing the street than I am of the religious nutters of any stripe…because I REFUSE to surrender to terrorists by giving them my heart and mind.

    What Spencer, Geller, and Brietbert have to say doesn’t concern me. I don’t care. I am certainly not going to click hateful bigots and racist webpages because I already know what these idiots have to say.

    I am just making a point that Christianity is currently, and has been in it’s past the most destructive entity on the planet…and you aren’t disputing it.

    Excuse me…I have a GAY FRIENDS wedding to make a cake for. I dare any religious nutter to come in my kitchen and tell me I cant.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    I repeat: you should credit Jihad Watch, Atlas Shrugs, and similar sites for these types of statements. Google “Islamic supremacy” for example. There’s even a site that keeps a “counter” of Islamic terrorism (I’m not saying it is accurate, but rather that their claim is pretty much the same as yours).

  • Heinz Catsup

    Even if he said that it doesn’t make such a statement true. Nonetheless, falsehoods of any kind are problematic.

  • Yausari

    Fox news and facts don’t mix

  • Yausari

    Try reading the comments. This is funny. I don’t think Scott Long catch the sarcasm

  • Yausari

    Quite a lot of them knew it too. Had arguments with them. They say something like that they don’t care as long as it; “hurts Islam because Islam is evil”

  • Just_Stopping_By

    “according to the most brutal religion that has ever existed on earth.”

    You probably should credit Jihad Watch, Atlas Shruggs, or The Blaze if you mimic/borrow phrases like that.

  • sasboy

    Iran’s human rights situation is problematic at many levels but the factuality of these reports need to be assessed before we can pass comment. I say it is better to withhold judgement until all the facts are known.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    A sad truth about hardliners in most disputes: never (or rarely) challenging sources favorable to them and always assuming that sources unfavorable to them are untrustworthy and thus not even worth considering.

    Here, if someone can’t find that any majority-Muslim country sometimes does things right and sometimes does things wrong, they’re almost certainly not looking carefully enough. And as an American, I’d say that the US sometimes does things right and sometimes does things wrong too.

  • Tanveer Wan Khanobi

    The stupidity and utter lack of shame of these people makes me cringe.

  • cmyfe .

    The current mindset of general audience is that if ANYONE says ANYTHING against ANY Islam-related entity – it MUST be true regardless of the lack of credibility in evidence and the source.

  • Solid Snake

    I recommend people read the full article. It’s a very interesting read.

  • downwithpants

    There are no gay people in Iran former president said so.

  • mindy1

    This has been given as a reason for us not to do business with Iran. Even though this story may be false, what IS the situation for gay people there? I can’t imagine it’s great, although that does NOT excuse false propaganda.

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