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There Is Now an LGBTQ Militant Group Fighting Against the Deadly Homophobia of ISIS

This post is also available in: French

For years, the Middle Eastern terrorist group known as Daesh/ISIS has terrorized queer men by sharing videos of its members throwing gay and bisexual men off of buildings and stoning them to death in the streets. Now, a recently formed group of armed anarchist fighters called the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF) has announced an LGBTQ sub-group called The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army (TQILA, pronounced “Tequila”), and their message for Daesh/ISIS is simply, “These faggots kill fascists.”

In a statement posted to Twitter on Monday, TQILA said that it was “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.”

It added:

“TQILA’s 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 was something we could not idly watch.”

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Their statement said that there is a “revolution in Rojava,” a semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Syria where the Kurds have reportedly formed a military force that treats women as equals (something not seen in many world militaries). This force is intent on liberating the east Syrian city of Raqqa where a Kurdish-Arab coalition of fighters (known as the Syrian Democratic Forces) has already wrestled control of about 25% of the city from Daesh/ISIS forces.

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Newsweek added: “It is unclear how deeply entrenched the LGBT unit is in the battle for Raqqa. But if the new battalion can help deal one of the final blows to the caliphate, it would be the sweetest of victories for members of the LGBT community who have suffered at the hands of ISIS.”

What are the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces?

The IRPGF announced their existence in at the end of March 2017 and released the above video explaining their philosophy and demonstrating some of their weaponry. Two months later, they joined the struggle to liberate Raqqa.

The IRPGF said of themselves, “We are committed anti-fascists, anti-capitalists, anti-imperialists and against all forms of patriarchy and kyriarchy” in “open struggle with all imperialist, fascist and counterrevolutionary forces.”

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Kyriarchy is a term that coined by a radical feminist liberation theologist named Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza which refers to a patriarchy which encompasses and connects other structures of oppression and privilege like racism, ableism and capitalism.