Amy Goodman of Democracy Now with Ahmadinejad
Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman Interviews Ahmadinejad
September 26, 2008
AMY GOODMAN: (Re: Homosexuality) On Wednesday, I asked the Iranian President to clarify his statement.
AHMADINEJAD: I didn’t say they don’t exist, not the way they are here. In Iran it’s considered as a very unlikable and abhorrent act. People simply don’t like it. Our religious decrees tell us that it’s against, all divine laws actually believe in the same. Who has given them permission to engage in homosexual acts? It’s considered as an abhorrent act. It shakes the foundations of society, the family foundation, it robs humanity, it brings about diseases. It should be of no pride to American society to say that they defend or support homosexuality. It’s not a good act in and of itself to then hold others accountable for banning it. And it’s not called freedom either. Sure if somebody engages in an act in their own house without it being known to others we don’t pay attention to that. People are free to do what they like in their private realms. But nobody can engage in what breaks the law in public. Why is it that in the West all moral boundaries have been shaken? Just because some people want to get votes they are ready to overlook every morality? This goes against the values of society? it is the divine rule of the Prophets. And then of course in Iran it’s not an issue as big a concern as it is in the United States, there might be a few people who are unknown. In general our country would not accept it. And there is a law about it too. Which one must follow.
AG: July 19th is a day that is honored around the world, where two gay teenagers, Iranian teens were hung. This is a picture of them hanging. They were two young men named Mahmoud Askari and Ayaz Marhoni (?). Do you think gay men and lesbians should die in Iran?
AH: There is now law for their execution in Iran. Either they were drug traffickers or they had killed someone else. Those who kill someone else or engage in acts of rape could be punished by execution. Otherwise homosexuals are not even known who they are to be hung. So we don’t have execution for homosexuals. Of course we consider it an abhorrent act but it is not punished by capital punishment. Basically it is an immoral act, there are a lot of acts that can be immoral but there is on capital punishment for them. I don’t know where you obtained these pictures from. Either they are a network of drug traffickers or people who generally might have killed someone else. You know that we take our social securities seriously. What would you do if someone picked up a gun and killed a bunch of people? If there is a person to complain than there is capital punishment awaiting. For drug traffickers if they carry above a certain volume of drugs with them they can be executed in Iran.
AG: There is the death penalty in the US but many in the progressive community feel that it is wrong and are trying to have it abolished.
AH: There are different opinions about it. It’s lawmakers, legal professionals and sociologists that must examine it and see what best suits every society. Because the rights of society sit above the rights of individual. I don’t wish to say anything about it. These are experts who must do it.