WASHINGTON, November 12, 2012 – The American Islamic Congress is pleased to announce the launch of a new outreach and education initiative in Iraq, Protecting Marginalized Indivduals (PMI). This initiative will work to aid and empower individuals who practice alternative lifestyles. Specifically, those who face violence due to their real or perceived sexual orientation, those who engage in “alternative” behaviors or lifestyles and those who face honor crimes.
In 2009, a campaign of violence against homosexuals swept across Iraq, resulting in the death of nearly 120 men. In 2012, a disturbing new trend emerged targeting Iraqi youth who identify as “Emos” (from English: “emotional”). In Iraq, self-professed Emo individuals often possess an affinity for Western music, piercings, longer, styled hair and depictions of skulls on clothing.
The PMI initiative seeks to protect such marginalized lifestyle individuals by fostering a culture of tolerance among Iraqis through community outreach and public education. PMI also will create and manage a network of Iraqi and international NGOs to centralize and improve direct outreach to threatened individuals.
The Protecting Marginalized Individuals initiative will begin work on the ground in Baghdad, Iraq in 2013.
The American Islamic Congress is a civil-rights organization promoting tolerance and the exchange of ideas among Muslims and between other peoples. The 501(c)3 organization leads initiatives around the world and has offices in Washington, Boston, Egypt, Tunisia and Iraq.
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