Saturday, July 01, 2006

Okay, Al-Arabiya, We Get It

Al-Arabiya's favorite topic these days seems to be gay people. In an article published on June 20, al-Arabiya discussed how people in Tetouan, Morocco, feel "apprehensive" (متخوفون) about a gay gathering in their city in August.

Even though the gathering is called The Special Conference of Gay Moroccans (المؤتمر الخاص بالمثليين الجنسيين المغاربة), al-Arabiya still uses "sexual deviants" (الشواذ جنسيا) to refer to gay people elsewhere in the article. It's clear what al-Arabiya thinks of gay people, but it's not clear what happened to al-Arabiya's long-lost objectivity.

The conference is supposed to bring gay people from all over Morocco, including the cities of Agadir, Marrakech, Rabat, Casablanca and Tangier. Al-Arabiya says that residents of Tetouan are concerned about why Tetouan was chosen for this conference, and the legal legitimacy of such an assembly. A quote from the article, translated by me:

The citizens display great fear that homosexuals will "arrive in large numbers" in their city, especially since the timing of the conference coincides with the summer holiday season and the revival of tourism in the city through both Moroccan and foreign families on summer vacation, during what a newspaper (Al-Sharia al-Tetouani) called the Moroccan "renewal" .

When they hear news of this conference, which was announced by the organization in connection with external sources, the citizens remember a "similar" conference in July 2004, where homosexuals gathered in a local hall (an inference of sexual activity). Local authorities intervened after many complaints, arresting 43 people, including 33 men and 10 women. Authorities later released them under pressure from national and international organizations.
The article then goes on to discuss Moroccan punishment for homoseual acts and the prevalence of the internet as a tool for gay people to connect (which I cannot dispute).

I don't trust al-Arabiya (they've lied before), so I don't know whether the fear of the people of Tetouan is real or fabricated. I find al-Arabiya's fascination with gay people. I also severely question the insistence of Western influence on gay gatherings in the Middle East. They always pull the West card to discredit the Eastern-ness of gay people in the East. I'm not in Morocco, and I can't find the Tetouan newspaper online, so I can't attest to the article's validity.


Blogger Samawel said...

The objectivity was all a sham, I don't remember them being objective at all.

Anyways, we should start writing up comments to articles like those expressing our disagreement and correcting their subjectivity.

July 01, 2006 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Tetouan Property said...

I'm surprised to hear such news about Tetouan. When I was in Tetouan I didn't notice such things. I just noticed how beautiful this city is. Tetouan is a picturesque city with one of the oldest old towns in Morocco where local traders sell traditional crafts in the intertwined streets with its marble fountains, royal palace and orange groves.

October 23, 2007 6:51 PM  

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