Muslim LGBT activist receives death threats for kissing a man while holding the flag of Morocco

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A Muslim gay activist received dozens of abusive messages, including death threats, after posting a picture of himself and a fellow campaigner appearing to kiss while holding a Moroccan flag at the annual Pride Parade in Milan, Italy. Wajahat Abbas Kazmi, the 32-year-old activist and filmmaker, has been living in Italy for the past 17 years and is the co-founder of the LGBT+ rights organisation Il Grande Colibrì. He started the “Allah Loves Equality” campaign in 2015 to attract people’s attention to that fact that Muslim countries are very homophobic, but there are still LGBT Muslims who demand support and acceptance. The campaign was developing quite well and faced no radical opposition. Until now. The activist believes that the thing was in the falg: “The majority of people who wrote insults and threats were of Moroccan origins or from the Arab world, [and took issues] especially with the flag rather than the “Allah Loves Equality” campaign.” Kazmi said he received around 40 abusive messages in several languages, including French, Arabic and English, over a several days on social media platforms where he had shared the photo. Most of the messages were anonymous or from fake accounts, so that he could not apply to the police for finding and punishing these people. Kazmi believes that Islamophobic and homophobic prejudices can be challenged through dialogue and by being mindful of the different situations of LGBT+ rights reflected across the Muslim world—”Not all countries are as bad as Iran or Saudi Arabia,” he said, highlighting his positive experience in Pakistan.

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