“Middle Eastern and North African countries have denounced the Orlando shooting when at the same time they criminalize homosexuality with sentences ranging from years in prison to the death penalty,” said Ahmed Benchemsi, communications and advocacy director for the
Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch. “Those governments should repeal laws and abolish practices that persecute people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The gunman who attacked a gay nightclub in Orlando is said to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a 911 call, and a day after the massacre, the extremist group described the shooter as “one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America.”
While Israel is relatively tolerant of the LGBT community, last year a radical ultra-Orthodox Jew stabbed a teenage girl to death at a parade in Jerusalem.