Iraq‘s Queer Community Torn Between Militias, Moralities and Masculinities

Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Giti Chandra
Homosexuality, Iraq, Kurdistan Region, Religion, Morality


In Iraq including Kurdistan Region (KRI) the invisibilized queer (LGBTQI) community live in a state of fear, marginalization and discrimination. Homosexuality is contemplated as nonexistent and against the religious, traditional values of Iraqis. Otherwise, homosexuals are not tolerated and campaigned against to be eradicated. This deeply embedded and systematized attitude towards the queer community originates from religious and cultural moralities that favor stereotypical homogenic masculinity. In this paper I bring some examples of the violence the queer community has been subjected to with focus on a timeframe after the 2003 US-led war in Iraq. I draw an image of the role of the state by discussing certain criminal codes that have been misused, despite the lack of mention of homosexuality in the Iraqi Penal Code, to persecute queer individuals and activists who advocate for knowledge and equal rights. I discuss the intersection of Islamic morality and masculinity in creating life threatening realities for queer individuals in Iraq and KRI. This paper is an attempt to shed light upon this “war” among others in Iraq that has led to violence, stigmatizations and invisibilization.