As the war against ISIS continues, a more diverse coalition is fighting against the terrorists. In this instance, diversity is being used in the traditional sense. ISIS, and other Islamic extremists, have no tolerance for homosexuality. Now they’re facing a unified group of LGBT soldiers fighting in northern Syria.
The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army, or TQILA, was formed to “smash the gender binary… and advance the sexual revolution.”
Their manifesto clearly states the reason why the group exists. “The images of gay men being thrown off roofs and stoned to death by Deash [ISIS] was something we could not idly watch.”
The group is part of the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF). The Daily Mail calls this group “an anarchist movement made up of foreign fighters battling ISIS alongside a Kurdish militia known as the YPG.”
The IRPGF has championed the new group. The group posted images showing the LGBT fighters posing in ISIS’s self-declared capital in Raqqa, Syria. They proudly displayed a rainbow flag and banner that riffed on the old Woody Guthrie slogan “this machine kills fascists: “these faggots kill fascists.”
The TQILA has its own logo, an AK47 on a pink field. The group is determined to fight back against “extremist forces around the world [who are] attacking the ‘Queer community’.”
Heval Rojhilat , acting as TQILA spokesperson, didn’t provide details on the size of the unit, or how many of the members identified as LGBT. “Many of our comrades are within the LGBTQI community,” Rojhilat told Newsweek. “We are already fighting in Raqqa.”
He also said that when Raqqa falls, his unit would “fly TQILA’s flag, the IRPGF’s flag and the rainbow flag” above the city.
There’s no estimate on just how many homosexuals have been killed in ISIS’s ongoing purge. The group treats homosexuality as a crime punishable by death. They’ve released videos showing them throwing alleged homosexuals off of high buildings, and have been known to comb through contacts in a search for others.
This new group is standing up to this in the most direct method available to them, knowing full well the risk in their actions.