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Iraq Condemns EU Mission for Displaying LGBTQ Flag

Iraq Condemns EU Mission for Displaying LGBTQ Flag

Monday, 18 May, 2020 - 08:00
The Victory Arch, in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone home of foreign embassies. (AFP)
Baghdad - Asharq Al-Awsat

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemned foreign embassies for offending the country’s “norms and values” by hoisting the LGBTQ flag.


The ministry issued a statement denouncing the move of the EU and other foreign missions operating in Iraq, saying it contradicts the moral principles and values as well as social norms of the country.


“We remind all the missions operating in Iraq to adhere by the laws of the country and follow diplomatic norms,” it said.


The EU, Canada, and UK diplomatic missions in Baghdad raised the rainbow flag to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which triggered backlash.


The Iraqi parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee denounced the act for offending the country’s values and called upon the foreign ministry to play its role in ensuring such violations do not occur in the future.


A number of Iraqi lawmakers demanded the closure of foreign embassies in Baghdad that raised the gay pride flag.


Sadiqun bloc MP Hassan Salem demanded the closure of these embassies, stating that the “immoral action” reflects a disgraceful behavior towards Muslims and respected customs and traditions.


Salem added that the EU mission and these embassies did not respect the religion, morals, and customs of Iraqi society, calling for a firm government stance to say such actions are not welcomed.


MP Salam al-Shammari, of the Sairoon block that is backed by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, also categorically rejected the move, saying Iraq is a country built on religion and ethics, and it is not possible to allow any behavior that deviates from these principles.


The development marks a precedent for Iraq as no other government has had to deal with it.


Observers believe that the timing of incident is “inappropriate, and embarrasses Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government” that was sworn less than two weeks ago.


Leader of the Sairoon bloc, Sabah al-Saadi, asked Kadhimi, in his capacity as acting foreign minister, to take harsh measures against the EU mission and foreign embassies for raising a “flag symbolizing homosexuality” and disregarding all of the Iraqi people’s the religious beliefs, customs and traditions.


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