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Developing a civil society will take time." Nasradeen Ahme, a member of the Free Syrian Army, said "If I was in charge I would enforce tougher laws against homosexuals.

If someone said homosexuals should be stoned to death as in Iran and Saudi Arabia, I would not object." Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender.

Beyond tolerating the work of some NGOs, the government has established voluntary clinics that can test for AIDS-HIV and distribute some educational pamphlets, but comprehensive public education, especially for LGBT people, does not exist.

Mahmoud Hassino, gay Syrian opposition activist, journalist and started the online magazine Mawaleh, notes that regardless of the outcome of the civil war, work needs to be done in the civil right area on behalf of all Syrians, not just the LGBT community.

Credit: AP The fact is, the maxim, “necessity makes the prohibited permissible,” is responsible for any number of seeming contradictions: Muslim women must chastely be covered head-to-toe—yet, in the service of jihad, they are allowed to prostitute their bodies.

Homosexuality is forbidden—but permissible if rationalized as a way to kill infidels.

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Syrian rebels attend a training session in Maaret Ikhwan near Idlib, Syria.

For Syria’s banned Muslim Brotherhood, the uprising against President Bashar Assad that erupted amid Arab Spring revolts in 2011 provided a long-sought opportunity to stage a comeback after decades spent in exile.

These challenges are international in scope and are priorities for the Central Intelligence Agency.