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[WATCH] Leading Islamic Scholars Justify Executing, Stoning, and Shooting Gays

Reprinted with permission from MEMRI.

ISIS Campaign Of Executing Homosexuals – By Stoning, Shooting, Throwing Off Roofs, Public Torture: In Accordance With Shari'a Law As Explained By Influential Mainstream Islamic Preachers, Scholars On Leading Arab Media Outlets, Including Al-Jazeera, Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV – WARNING – GRAPHIC IMAGES

In recent months, the Islamic State (ISIS) has publicly executed men they have convicted of homosexuality in Iraq and Syria, including by burning them alive and by stoning them to death. The most common method of execution, however, has been throwing them off tall buildings; if they survive, they are usually shot or stoned, sometimes by the crowd of observers. This punishment for homosexuals was detailed, featured, and praised in the latest issue (published February 2015) of ISIS's English-language magazine Dabiq, in an article titled "Clamping Down on Sexual Deviance."

According to majority interpretations of Islamic shari'a law, homosexuality is indeed punishable by death; this has been clearly stated by well-known and highly influential Sunni Muslim authorities, sheikhs, professors, and Muslim Brotherhood leaders. These have included leading Sunni authority and head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi; highly influential Kuwaiti Islamic preacher and Muslim Brotherhood leader Tareq Al-Suweidan; Saudi cleric and Islamic University professor 'Abd Al-Qader Shiba Al-Hamad; and many others. Such punishments are also based on the Biblical story of Lot, which is often cited by both mainstream sheikhs and ISIS to justify the killing of homosexuals. These statements and teachings regarding the death penalty for homosexuality appear in Muslim school curricula, on mainstream television, and in mosque sermons across the Arab and Muslim world, and are also expressed by Muslim authorities in the Wes. They have also been expressed by jihadi leaders, including Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who was reportedly directly involved in the prosecution and death of a youth accused of homosexuality in the 1990s. Recent examples of executions of homosexuals by Al-Qaeda and ISIS using these methods – stoning to death, throwing off high buildings, and shooting – are documented in this report; it should also be noted that ISIS has continued to use U.S. social media, particularly Twitter, to disseminate to its supporters online images of its executions of homosexuals.

To date, there has been very little discussion in the Arab media about these executions, and there has been no significant Arab or Muslim religious or political leader who has denounced them.

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Muslims In The West: Homosexuality Is Punishable By Death

Norwegian Islamic Leader Fahed Qureshi: All Muslims Believe In Death Penalty For Homosexuals

In a May 19, 2013 address in Norway, Fahad Qureshi, founder of the Norwegian Islam Net Organization, which has chapters in Oslo and four other cities, stated that it was not just radical Islamists who support the death penalty for homosexuals, and that this belief is commonly held by average Muslims as well.

Qureshi asked the packed hall: "How many of you agree that the punishments described in the Koran and the Sunna – whether it is death… whatever it is... If it is from Allah and His Messenger, that is the best punishment ever possible for humankind, and that is what we should apply in the world. Who agrees with that?" Most of the people in the audience raised their hands.

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Vanderbilt University Professor And Muslim Chaplain Awadh Binhazim: Homosexuality Is Punishable By Death

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In February 2010, controversy erupted over comments by Dr. Awadh Binhazim, who was at the time an adjunct associate professor in pathology and Muslim chaplain at Vanderbilt University.[1] Asked during a Q&A session with students whether he accepted the Islamic teaching that homosexuality was punishable by death, Binhazim grudgingly admitted, "I don’t have a choice as a Muslim to accept or reject teachings. I go with what Islam teaches." Asked point blank by a student whether under Islamic law homosexuality is punishable by death, he replied, "Yes."[2]

View this clip here.

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Leading Islamic Scholars Explain Islamic Law On Executing Homosexuals By Stoning, Burning, Shooting, Throwing Off Tall Buildings

Saudi Cleric 'Abd Al-Qader Shiba Al-Hamad Cites Koranic Verses And The Prophet Muhammad's Companions, States: Homosexuals Should Be Flogged, Stoned, Beheaded, Or Rolled Down A Mountain

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Saudi cleric 'Abd Al-Qader Shiba Al-Hamad, professor at Islamic University in Saudi Arabia, appeared on Saudi TV explaining in detail what the Koran teaches about Islamic law and homosexuality, and discussed how homosexuals are to be executed, in a January 27, 2005 program: "[Homosexuality] is a great corruption. A great corruption. Our Lord was not satisfied – when He tortured the tribe of Lot – with merely killing or burning them. Since what they do goes against human nature, [the Koran says], 'We turned the city upside down and rained upon them brimstones hard as clay.'

"Therefore, the jurisprudents among the Prophet's companions disagreed upon what should be done to anyone who commits sodomy. Some hadiths, in Bulough Al-Maram and other places, say... 'Anyone caught committing sodomy – kill both sodomizer and sodomized.' However, when the Prophet's companions received word that some in Greater Syria were committing this heinous crime, they disagreed about what to do. They couldn't even imagine that one of their own could commit such an act – one of the first believers.

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"When word came from Syria, the Prophet's companions convened and wondered what to do. One group said that they must be punished according to the punishment for fornication: A fornicator who was a virgin is flogged, and a non-virgin fornicator is stoned. A second group said, no. Let's put them... Let's behead them by sword – both his neck and hers... The man's neck... I mean the necks of both men are cut with a sword. Then they are placed on a coffin, and the coffin is burned. Their coffin is burned after they were killed. A third group said: Neither this way nor that. Let's climb to the top of the highest mountain and roll them down the mountain until they are killed, just like when Allah turned [Sodom and Gomorrah] upside down."

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View this clip on MEMRI TV here.

International Union Of Muslim Scholars Director And Leading Sunni Authority Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi: Homosexuals Should Be Punished Like Fornicators

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Leading Sunni authority Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi heads the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), which he founded in 2004 in Dublin, Ireland.[3] IUMS members have met with U.S. officials.[4] Al-Qaradhawi has been called "the single most influential living Sunni Islamic figure" by Foreign Policy magazine.[5]

On June 5, 2006, Al-Qaradhawi, who is also strongly affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood,[6] explained on his regular show on the Qatari Al-Jazeera TV channel how a homosexual or a lesbian be punished: "The same punishment as any sexual pervert – the same as the fornicator... The schools of thought disagree about the punishment. Some say they should be punished like fornicators, and then we distinguish between married and unmarried men, and between married and unmarried women. Some say both should be punished the same way. Some say we should throw them from a high place, like God did with the people of Sodom. Some say we should burn them, and so on. There is disagreement... The important thing is to treat this act as a crime."

Hugely Popular U.S.-Educated Kuwaiti Television Preacher And Muslim Brotherhood Leader Tareq Al-Suwaidan: Homosexuals Should Be Stoned To Death Or Thrown Off A Mountain

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Tareq Al-Suwaidan, a popular Islamic television preacher and motivational speaker, was formerly general manager of Al-Resala TV, an Islamic channel broadcasting from Kuwait that is owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. He was fired from his position by the prince in August 2013 after he declared that he was a Muslim Brotherhood leader.[7] According to Forbes magazine (Arabic edition: Forbes Arabia), Al-Suwaidan ranks second in annual net income among Islamic motivational speakers in the Muslim world and has, as of this writing, 4.16 million followers on Twitter.[8]

On April 22, 2005, Al-Suwaidan spoke on Qatar TV about Islamic law and how to punish homosexuals: "Anyone committing sodomy, kill both the sodomizer and the sodomized. The clerics have decided how a homosexual should be killed. They said he should be stoned to death. Some clerics said he should be thrown off a mountain... Governments and countries must enforce the law strictly against anyone committing such an abomination... this could cause the deviation of society as a whole..."[9]

View this clip on MEMRI TV here.

Syrian Scholar Muhammad Rateb Al-Nabulsi On Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV: Homosexuality Carries The Death Penalty

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On April 28, 2011, Syrian scholar Muhammad Rateb Al-Nabulsi advocated the death penalty for homosexuals on Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV, saying: "Homosexuality involves a filthy place, and does not generate offspring. Homosexuality leads to the destruction of the homosexual. That is why, brothers, homosexuality carries the death penalty. There are thousands of notions around the world, according to which a homosexual is a normal person, with homosexual genes."

Kuwaiti Islamist Sa'd Al-'Inzi: Homosexuals Should Be Tortured In Public Squares; Death Is Too Good For Them

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On December 10, 2007, Kuwaiti Islamist Sa'd Al-'Inzi said on Kuwait's Al-Rai TV, which bills itself as a family oriented channel: "When a person commits an abominable act, like homosexuality, for example, or lesbianism, in the case of women's parlors – this constitutes 'spreading corruption in the land,' and should be punished by death."

Asked what else should be done to homosexuals besides execution or life imprisonment, Al-'Inzi replied: "According to Islamic law, a homosexual should be thrown from a tall building... To be honest, death is too good for them. They should be gathered in a public place, to be flogged and tortured, so the truth about these people is made clear and they serve as a lesson to others, because they are an epidemic plaguing society."

View this clip on MEMRI TV here.

ISIS Killing Homosexuals In Syria And Iraq 2014-2015

Background

On December 15, 2014, a document detailing the Islamic State's penal code was posted on the Jihadi Media Platform forum. The document, titled "Clarification [regarding] the Hudud [Koranic punishments]," included a list of crimes and their respective punishments according to shari'a law, and ISIS's reaffirmation of its commitment to vigilantly enforce it. Punishment for adultery was set out as stoning to death if the adulterer was married, and 100 lashes and exile if he or she were unmarried; punishment for sodomy (homosexuality) was set out as death for both parties involved.[10]

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ISIS English-Language Magazine Dabiq Decries Homosexuality, Includes Photos Of Execution Of Homosexual In Al-Raqqah Province, Syria

An article in the February 2015 issue of ISIS's English-language Dabiq magazine expressed the view that "sexual deviants," including homosexuals, should be visited by "plague and disease." It stated: "Allah's Messenger... said, 'Never does sexual perversion become widespread amongst a people to the point that it's openly practiced, except that they will be overtaken by plague and disease that had never afflicted their ancestors who came before them.'"

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The article criticized the West for "us[ing] their shirk-based parliaments to legalize sodomite marriage," and the pope for refusing to judge homosexuals. It described homosexuality as "filth" and as "an offense to the fitrah (natural human disposition)." Referring to the recent execution of a homosexual in Al-Raqqah province in Syria by throwing him off a roof, and including photos, it stated that this practice was in the "tradition of the noble companion Abu Bakr as-Siddiq... with those who committed this filthy deed."[11] (For the full article from Dabiq magazine, see Appendix).

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Ninawa, Iraq, March 10, 2015: Islamic State (ISIS) Beheads Two Homosexuals

On March 10, 2015, the Islamic State (ISIS) released a collection of images showing cases of enforcement of Koranic punishment (hudud) in Ninawa, Iraq. The images show the beheading of three men, two of whom it had convicted of homosexuality; the third man was convicted of blasphemy.

The sentence for the homosexual men, a photo of which was included, noted first the purpose of enforcing the hudud, and then quoted a hadith pertaining to the prescribed punishment for homosexuals: "Whoever you find doing the act of the people of Lot, execute the doer and the one to whom it is done." It then noted that the men were being executed as a lesson to others.[12]

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Al-Raqqa, Syria, March 3, 2015: ISIS Executes Homosexual By Throwing Him Off A Rooftop

On March 3, 2015, the Al-Raqqa province of the Islamic State (ISIS) published images of the execution of a man convicted of homosexuality in the western sector of the province. The blindfolded man is seen positioned on the edge of the roof of a high building, with several masked ISIS men by his side. One man is seen holding a camera documenting the act. Other images show the large crowd attending the execution, including children, and also show men stoning the executed man after he hits the ground.[13]

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Al-Raqqa, Syria, February 27, 2015: ISIS Executes Homosexual By Throwing Him Off A Rooftop

On February 27, 2015, the Al-Raqqa province of the Islamic State (ISIS) published images showing a man it had convicted for homosexuality, hands and feet bound, being thrown off the roof of a tall building. A large number of men gathered to watch the execution stoned the man after he hit the ground.[14]

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Aleppo Province, Syria, February 10, 2015: ISIS Stones Homosexual To Death

On February 10, 2015, the Aleppo province of the Islamic State (ISIS) published images showing the stoning of a man convicted of homosexuality in the town of Manbij northeast of Aleppo. The images did not show the convicted man or his actual stoning, only a large gathering of men at an undisclosed location. An ISIS religious police vehicle is visible at the scene. Dozens of spectators, including children, stand on a nearby hill awaiting the execution. The stoning is carried out by over a dozen masked ISIS men; a pile of more rocks is seen next to them.[15]

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Al-Raqqa Province, Syria, January 31, 2015: Homosexual Who Survives Being Thrown From Tall Building By ISIS Stoned By Crowd

On January 31, 2015, ISIS in Al-Raqqa province released photos of a man convicted of homosexuality being thrown off a tall building and of his being stoned by a crowd after hitting the ground.[16] This incident is also reported in the February 2015 issue of Dabiq.

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Ninawa Province, Iraq, January 15, 2015: ISIS Executes Two Homosexuals By Throwing Them Off A Roof

On January 15, 2015, ISIS released a series of photos showing the enforcement of the Hudud (Koranic punishment) in Ninawa province, Iraq, including of two men convicted of homosexuality being executed by being thrown from a tall building.[17]

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Al-Furat Province, Syria/Iraq, December 10, 2014: ISIS Throws Homosexual From Roof

On December 10, 2014, the Al-Furat province of the Islamic State (ISIS) (straddling parts of eastern Syria and western Iraq), announced that it had executed a man convicted of homosexuality. The announcement read: "Following the example of Muslim Caliph Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (ruled 632-634), the Islamic court in Al-Furat province sentenced a man who performed acts of the people of Lot [i.e. homosexual acts] to be cast off the highest place in the town and then stoned to death. Allah's command [is valid] in both the past and the future."[18]

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Aleppo, Syria, January 8, 2015: Homosexual Thrown From Roof Of Hospital, Shot To Death

On January 8, 2015, it was reported that the Shari'a Court in Aleppo ordered a young homosexual man thrown off the roof of Al-Bayan hospital in Aleppo; he survived the fall and was subsequently shot to death by militants.[19]

Deir Ezzor, Syria, November 24, 2014: ISIS Stones To Death Two Men It Claimed Were Homosexual To Death

On November 24, 2014, in Deir Ezzor, Syria, ISIS members stoned to death two men it claimed were homosexual. One, 20, was stoned to death in Al-Mayadeen, Deir Ezzor; the execution was attended by crowds of civilians, including children.[20] The other, 18, was also stoned to death in Deir Al-Zor.[21] Activists on social media said that the dead men were opponents of ISIS and that the group had used the allegation as a pretext to kill them.[22] The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights states that the November stoning incidents were ISIS's first public executions of homosexuals.[23]

ISIS Recruitment Video: Homosexuals Are "Worst Of All Creatures"

Previously, on September 16, 2014, it was reported that an ISIS recruitment video posted online in late March featured a masked fighter comparing homosexuals to pedophiles and drug dealers, calling them "the worst of all creatures," and warning that they are a danger to the public.[24]

Al-Qaeda Statements On Executing Homosexuals; Implementation Of Executions

American-Yemeni AQAP Cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki Condemns Homosexuality

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In a video of a speech titled "A Message to the Members of the Media," released February 14, 2011, Yemeni-American AQAP cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki denounced the U.S. law permitting homosexuals to serve in the armed forces: "The U.S. is an empire of vain desires, one which under the guise of liberty permits and spreads every crime, sin, and deviation from proper human nature. The U.S. and the West permit freedom of expression about all forms of apostasy and corruption; they permit everything, except telling a truth that brings shame upon them. The U.S.'s open corruption takes place at the highest level – that is, [at the level of] the president of the U.S. himself, who has approved a law permitting homosexuals to join the military, a matter that demonstrates the level of degeneration to which this people has sunk..."

View this clip on MEMRI TV here.

AQAP English-Language Magazine Inspire Attacks Homosexuality In The U.S.

Issue 10 of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's English-Language magazine Inspire, released February 28, 2013, included a page titled "The Nation Standing On No Values," which attacked president Obama's pro-gay marriage stance and included a photo from the wedding ceremony of "Barney Franks [sic], gay Congressman, symbol of the American dream."[25]

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Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Killing Homosexuals In Yemen 2011-2013

According to Yemeni officials, suspected Al-Qaeda members have targeted and killed a total of 34 people in drive-by shootings since 2011, on suspicion of homosexuality.[26]

A few arrests of such killers have been reported. For example, on April 3, 2014, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported that "the Yemeni Interior Ministry announced... that it had arrested three suspected members of Ansar Al-Sharia, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, in the southern city of Aden, for the murder of homosexuals."[27]

Following are examples of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) killings of homosexuals or suspected homosexuals in Yemen between 2011 and 2013:

Man Killed In Drive-By Shooting

On September 28, 2013, a man was shot and killed outside his home in Huta, Yemen, by two men on a motorcycle. Police said that he was killed because the attackers, suspected militants, had suspected him of being homosexual.[28]

Man Killed Outside Home

On July 20, 2013, 25-year-old Mohammed Saeed was shot and killed outside his home in Huta by Al-Qaeda militants on a motorbike. Police said Saeed was killed on suspicion of homosexuality.[29]

Discussions Of Homosexuality Criminalized

Even discussing homosexuality in public can be seen as criminal. On May 15, 2004, Al-Jazeera Online reported that three journalists had been punished by a Yemeni court for writing an article about homosexuality that included interviews with men jailed for homosexuality. The court ruled that the journalists had "violated Yemeni morals and customs."

Additional reports of AQAP killings of homosexuals in Yemen appeared in the Western media.

Appendix: "Clamping Down On Sexual Deviance," February 2015 Issue Of Dabiq Magazine

"'And do not follow the steps of Shaytan [Satan]. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. He only orders you to evil and immorality [Al-Baqarah: 168-169].'

"With the advent of the 'sexual revolution' five decades ago, the West was plunged into a downward spiral of sexual deviance and immorality. With it came a whole slew of sexually transmitted diseases – including the as yet incurable AIDS – as men and women let their lusts overwhelm their judgment and lead them to engage in fornication and 'experiment' with a myriad of [satanic] methods of fulfilling their desires.

"Allah's Messenger... said, 'Never does sexual perversion become widespread amongst a people to the point that it's openly practiced, except that they will be overtaken by plague and disease that had never afflicted their ancestors who came before them' ...

"Disease became rampant, the rate of children born outside of marriage skyrocketed, and the nuclear family was on its way to becoming a relic of the past. Rather than taking heed upon witnessing the destruction of their social fabric, and changing their 'way of life,' the [infidels] defiantly persisted on their mission to eradicate their morals. They used their entertainment industry to mock and belittle those against the sexually deviant fringe, used their shirk-based parliaments to legalize sodomite marriage, used their education system to corrupt their children right from the kindergarten level by introducing books into the curriculum to combat 'homophobia,' and used their churches and clergy to bless these sins via 'revisionism.' Examples of this last tactic included the anointment of sodomite priests, the Catholic Pope's refusal to 'sit in judgment' of sodomite priests saying, 'Who am I to judge?' and the publishing of articles that argue against their own traditional understanding of the distorted scriptures, such as claiming that the people of Sodom were destroyed for their cruelty and arrogance, and not for their sodomy.

"In the midst of this widespread affront to the fitrah (natural human disposition), the Islamic State continues its efforts against these deeds of misguidance – which Western 'Civilization' regards as a part of their 'values' – by implementing the rulings of Allah on those who practice any form of sexual deviancy or transgression.

"This was demonstrated recently in [Al-Raqqah Province], where the Islamic State carried out the hadd [Islamic punishment] on a man found guilty of engaging in sodomy. He was taken to the top of a building and thrown off, as was one of the traditions of the noble companion Abu Bakr as-Siddiq... with those who committed this filthy deed. Also in [Al-Raqqah Province], a woman was stoned after being found guilty of zina [unlawful sexual relations]. In [Al-Kheir Province], meanwhile, a man was recently flogged as a ta'zir (disciplinary punishment) after he was found to be in possession of pornographic material.

"The Messenger... said, 'The implementation of one hadd in the land is better for the people of the Earth than for it to rain forty mornings' ... It is the implementation of Allah's rulings and the adherence to His guidance... that will protect the Muslims from treading the same rotten course that the West has chosen to pursue."

Endnotes:

[1] https://it.vanderbilt.edu/scheduled-outages/sitemason.php (page no longer active).

[2] Vanderbilt.edu/dialogue/events/common-ground-being-muslim-in-the-military, accessed February 23, 2015. According to the Vanderbilt website, Dr. Binhazim, originally from Kenya, was educated in Saudi Arabia, Kenya, and The University of Georgia; he is currently professor of pathology at Meharry Medical College, Nashville.[2] From 1999-2006, Professor Binhazim was elected to the Board of Directors of the Islamic Center of Nashville, TN and served in various roles including Secretary, Director of Public Relations, and Outreach and as Vice President. His extensive work on Islam and Muslims paved the way to the formation of Olive Tree Education, an Islamic outreach and education awareness group that he founded and currently serves as its president. During 2002-2008, he was appointed by Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell to serve as Commissioner in the Metro Action Commission of Nashville.

[3] Islamopediaonline.org/websites-institutions/international-union-muslim-scholars-dublin-ireland, accessed February 23, 2015.

[4] On June 13, 2013, Al-Qaradhawi's deputy Abdullah Bin Bayyah met with Obama administration officials in Washington, on the same day that President Obama announced plans to arm Syrian rebel factions. About the visit, Bin Bayyah noted on his website that he had visited the White House and met with Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director at the National Security Council Gayle Smith, as well as with "a number of experts, including the director of public relations in the White House, the national security adviser [Tom Donilon], and representatives from seven government agencies." Dailymail.co.uk, June 25, 2013.

[5] Foreign Policy (US), July 9, 2009.

[6] For more on Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi, click here.

[11] Dabiq, February 2015.

[12] See MEMRI JTTM report Islamic State (ISIS) Beheads Two Homosexuals In Iraq, March 10, 2015.

[15] See MEMRI JTTM report Islamic State Stones Homosexual Man Near Aleppo, February 10, 2015.

[19] syriahr.com, January 8, 2015.

[20] Syriahr.com, December 11, 2014.

[21] Daily Mail (UK), December 10, 2014.

[22] AFP, November 25, 2014.

[23] Daily Mail (UK), November 26, 2014.

[26] Gulfnews.com, January 8, 2014.

[27] Al-Akhbar (Lebanon), April 3, 2012.

[28] Gulfnews.com, September 28, 2013.

[29] Middle-east-online.com, July 20, 2013.