Global LGBT Briefs: Moscow Melee, Malaysia Book-Banning

Police arrest activists, Manji's Asia tour ends with a ban, and UAE suspect says blame the gay neighbor


Orthodox Christians Rough Up Moscow Pride

Following an ongoing trend in Russia, dozens of gay-rights protesters were arrested May 27 for attempting to hold two Moscow Pride rallies in the nation’s capital.

According to Reuters, the country’s most prominent LGBT-rights activist, Nikolai Alexeyev, was among those arrested.

Alexeyev tweeted that day, ”I am arrested at Moscow Pride City hall protest for just opening my mouth to talk to a crowd of journalists. I have no words.” That tweet was later followed the same day with, ”I am released from police! Charged with unsanctioned event.”

While police arrested the gay-rights activists, it was actually Russian Orthodox Church activists who first struck at the Moscow Pride activists, Reuters reports.

”Russian Orthodox Church activists broke up two gay rights protests, throwing water and shouting prayers at demonstrators,” according to Reuters. ”Some Orthodox activists threw punches at the protesters, grabbed their rainbow flags … and trampled on them in front of television cameras.”

Malaysia Bans Manji Book – Again 

Following Irshad Manji’s tour through Asia to promote her new book, Allah, Liberty and Love, the Malaysian government has banned the book, the country’s New Straits Times reports.

On the same tour, Manji, a Muslim, Canadian lesbian who heads New York University’s Moral Courage Project, was blocked from speaking in Jakarta, Indonesia.

According to the Times, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Abu Seman Yusop issued a May 24 statement citing a report on the book by the country’s Islamic Religious Development Department.

”Based on the report, it says that the book promotes mixed marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims,” Yusop said. ”This could lead to pluralism.

”It also contains insulting elements towards the prophet, which were described in such a way that could pollute the sanctity of Islam.”

Malaysia banned Manji’s previous book, The Trouble with Islam Today, in 2009.

Suspect in Beating Death Says Closeted Neighbor To Blame

An Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, resident accused of killing her maid by hitting her over the head with a frying pan, is claiming her neighbor is the actual killer. The unnamed defendant says her neighbor killed the Indonesian worker because he’s gay and the maid threatened to divulge his sexual orientation the police, according to UAE’s The National newspaper.

According to the report, which lists no full names, the accused has requested her neighbor ”be examined by a doctor to prove his sexuality.”

Another witness, an Ethiopian woman who worked briefly for the accused, told the court the victim was ”beaten almost daily by her employer.”

According to Pink News, ”Europe’s largest gay news service,” which reported on possible arrests of 30 gay men at a party in Dubai, UAE, in March, ”The [UAE] has strict federal laws regarding homosexuality and each emirate has their own specific laws,” though these laws may be loosely enforced in areas of the country with large populations of Westerners.

Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.

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