The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, criticized the LGBTQ+ community during his visit to Uganda on Wednesday, declaring homosexuality will end the “generation of human beings.”
Raisi's visit, part of his whirlwind tour of African countries such as Kenya and Zimbabwe, comes on the heels of Uganda passing a radical anti-LGBTQ+ law in May that imposes severe criminal penalties on gays, including capital punishment.
The Iranian president said “The West today is trying to promote the idea of homosexuality and by promoting homosexuality they are trying to end the generation of human beings. “ He added, “The Western countries try to identify homosexuality as an index of civilization, while this is one of the dirtiest issues.”
The theocratic Iranian regime has executed 4,000-6000 gays and lesbians since its Islamic revolution in 1979, according to a 2008 British WikiLeaks cable.
Iran's president says homosexuality is part of the pre-Islamic Era of Ignorance
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) first located a television statement from Raisi that appeared on IRINN TV (Iran) on September 1, 2022, in which he said the modern Jahiliyyah, the "very ugly and despicable" practice of homosexuality, is used to depict nations as civilized.
MEMRI wrote that Jahiliyyah is an Islamic term used to refer to the “Era of Ignorance” that preceded Islam.
Raisi said on the TV program "Today's modern Jahiliyah [pre-Islamic 'Era of Ignorance'] is the same old Jahiliyah, but it comes with various forms of ‘ism.’ The difference is that the modern Jahiliyah has science and technology as well as the power of the media. It has employed power, money, and multiple capabilities in order to spread its message of Jahiliyah across the world and in order to present the ugliest practices as the criterion for civilization. If it wants to present a certain country as civilized, it does this with a very ugly and despicable practice: Homosexuality.”
The Jerusalem Post was the first news organization to break the story outside of the Islamic Republic that Iran’s judiciary executed a man based on same-sex relations in 2019. Iran’s regime frequently alleges men rape boys and men, in order to impose the death penalty on gay Iranian men who are innocent.
In response to the Post’s report, America’s then-ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality. Grenell secured a number of breakthroughs and outright successes in his campaign to stop repressive regimes and governments from executing members of the LGBTQ+ community.