An LGBT military group that claims to be fighting back against the horror killings of gay men by Isis has been launched in Syria.
The formation of The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army (TQILA) was announced on Twitter on Monday by the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF), a volunteer group that is battling Isis.
IRPGF posted an extraordinary picture of masked individuals in the Isis controlled city of Raqqa holding guns, a rainbow flag, and a large banner which reads: “These Faggots Kill Fascists!” The caption alongside the image proclaims: “We shoot back!”
In a statement, TQILA claimed that it is “comprised of LGBT*QI+ comrades as well as others who seek to smash the gender binary and advance the women’s revolution as well as the broader gender and sexual revolution”.
The group said its members have “watched in horror as fascist and extremist forces around the world have attacked the Queer community and murdered countless of our community members citing that they are ‘ill’, ‘sick’ and ‘unnatural’. The images of gay men being thrown off roofs and stoned to death by Daesh (Isis) was not something we could idly watch.”
It noted, however, that the “hatred for Queer, Trans* and other non-binary peoples” is not confined to Isis, and that “Christian conservatives in the global northwest have also attacked LGBT*QI+ peoples in an attempt to silence and erase their existence”.
TQILA further stated that “queerphobia, homophobia and trans*phobia are not inherent to Islam or any other religion. In fact we know many Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists etc who are welcoming of uniqueness and non-conforming people and some who are even Queer themselves. We stand in solidarity with them against fascism, tyranny and oppression.”
While it is not clear how large TQILA’s force is, spokesperson Heval Rojhilat told Newsweek that, “We are already fighting in Raqqa”. He added that if the city is taken from Isis, “We will fly TQILA’s flag, the IRPGF’s flag and the rainbow flag!”
Since 2014, Isis has carried out dozens of public murders of gay men and those accused of being gay. Most victims of Isis gay executions have been beheaded, thrown off the top of buildings or stoned to death. Photos of the heinous killings are often distributed on social media.