Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Arab MK Says Gays Don't Exist in Arab Society

A fellow blogger Samawel of Falsaf sent this article from Ynetnews to me. Ynetnews has had scores of articles about World Pride in Jerusalem, but if I were to mention all of them, this would turn from a blog about gay people in the Middle East to one about the struggle of World Pride. This article, however, pointed out such a ludicrous statement by an Arab politician, that I couldn't resist. A quote:
A ripple of laughter went through the meeting when MK Ibrahim Sarsur (United Arab List-Ta’al) said, “I have never had to participate in such a discussion, because in Muslim society we don’t have this problem.”

Sarsur told participants, including members of the gay community, “I respect all those present here, despite significant disagreements. As Muslims, we are obligated to religious law and it (homosexuality) is an unacceptable and condemned phenomenon, which should not be given any opportunities. Every person has the right to do as he wishes as long as he does it in his own home.”

There are two aspects of anti-gay rhetoric here: gay people don't exist, and being open about being gay equals rampant perversity in the streets.

At least people were smart enough to laugh when he said there were no gay people in Muslim societies. I mean, there are more gay members of Arab royalty than there are Maktabi stores in Beirut. (And there are a thousand...who buys so many carpets?)

As for the second, this is the oldest trick in the book. Feign acceptance by saying it should just be kept quiet. Well, I agree, to some extent. No one should have sex in the street. If I want to have sex with men, it should be in my bedroom, not in Senayah Park. But that does not mean that I should have to hide the fact that I'm gay in public. Straight people don't hide the fact that they're straight. Haifa doesn't hide the fact that she's a ho. I will have sex in my own home, but I want my rights in public. Sarsur wants to pain the picture that everything about being gay is about sex...there's no love, there's no discrimination, and there's no depth. It's all sex, as if gay people live in some immense underground bathhouse and only come up for air and groceries.

I like what a parade representative said:
“Jerusalem is not yours. I will do anything I want in my house. We didn’t come to have sex in the streets or run around the streets of Jerusalem in pink underwear. We are having the march so people know we have equal rights,” a representative of the parade said.

Read the article; it makes good points about why gay people need to march. And if anyone cares, I wrote about Sarsur previously, when he launched a veiled threat at gay people.

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