A militant allegedly associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) spoke out against the gay community in a video message, likening gays to pedophiles and calling them "animals."
In the eight-minute clip, originally uploaded to the extremist website FiSyria.com, a masked man holding a rifle calls upon recruits to leave their countries and join ISIS in a rogue Islamic state where they've enacted sharia law, which can mean the death penalty for acts of homosexuality.
"If you come to this place, here, we have houses, we have security, we have a beautiful rivers ... we have a lot of brothers and sisters already here that came and are giving all of their good ideas to implement good, strong Islamic community," says the man, whose identity has not been confirmed.
"You see that Allah will protect you and bless you and bless your family," he continues. "Now, if you have family in these kafir (infidel) countries, what is gonna happen most probably [is] you don't have control of your children. Maybe in some of the countries it's a must for you to put your children in the kafir schools. And whose gonna teach your children? It's gonna be maybe a gay, maybe a drug dealer, maybe a pedophile. You know? So it's very important for you to protect your children from these animals, from these dirty people. Allah says that they are the worst of creatures. You prefer to live among the worst of creatures than live among the mujahideen ... make your decision."
Although the video was posted in the spring, it sparked renewed interest Tuesday in an article published by the Washington Blade focusing on the anti-gay rhetoric.
The UK's Mirror first reported on the ISIS video in question back in April. The man is identified by the video's title card as "reportedly" a Portuguese former professional soccer player for Arsenal of the English Premiere League, but a team spokesman told the paper the organization doesn't recognize the man and has no record of ever having signed a player with the name given.
A spokesman with the Middle East Media Research Institute, which works on counter-terrorism efforts with the U.S., told the Mirror that FiSyria.com is a legitimate website.
“It has been active for a couple of years now, bringing reports about the activities of jihadi groups in Syria to Russian speakers," a spokesman said. "At least some of the people behind the site are in Syria themselves. The site regularly brings videos from the field showing video messages and talks of jihad fighters, news reports, scenes and footage of combat, and general jihadi material. The site clearly supports the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).”
Earlier this month, Gay Star News reported that those in the LGBT community in Lebanon, which borders Syria, are scared of an ISIS attack. Bertho Makso, whose organization Proud Lebanon supports Syrian and Iraqi LGBT refugees, told the outlet that he plans to flee if ISIS reaches the area near Beirut.