Saturday, August 19, 2006

Arrests at a Gay Wedding in KSA

I know posts have been scarce recently; I've been traveling around Connecticut and New York with my sister. I've been trying to decide what to do. I don't think I'm going to return to Lebanon right now, I'll see what's in store for me here first. I think I'm going to go to Chicago; I have friends there. Then I'll go back to my old twice-per-day posting routine. I hve a lot to say, anyway.

In the past few days, there have been reports in the Western media about arrests of gay men in Saudi Arabia, starting with South Africa's Independent Online. It says it's from al-Watan, but I don't know if it's al-Watan from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, or even al-Watan al-Arabi, and I don't feel like searching for it to compare the English with the Arabic. A quote:

Saudi authorities arrested 20 young men after raiding a suspected gay wedding in the southern town of Jizan, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The detainees, who were among some 400 men attending "the wedding party of two men" on Tuesday, had been "emulating women," the Al-Watan paper said.

In all, some 250 people were detained in the police raid on the party but the rest were later released.

Police had "arrested the wanted people and released those who have nothing to do with the matter," the paper quoted a police commander as saying.

Some guests were also seen chewing qat, an illegal narcotic widely used in neighbouring Yemen, on a hill above the square where the party was being held, Al-Watan said.
This really isn't surprising. Gay people being arrested, and homosexuality being linked to socially unacceptable (at least on the surface) vices such as drug use and femininity. I mean, the guests were probably using qat as al-Watan states. But who doesn't? That's like reporting young men in Morocco for smoking kif or Egypt for shisha.

It's all demonization. People who themsleves have used qat will act outraged at the use of others, when really they're attacking something else - a commonly-used tactic. There's an extremely few people who will stand up for the rights of gay people in the Middle East to live unbothered, especially when they are portrayed as effeminate drug users.

I hope the media will cover what happens to these young men. If the fact that the story's barely been touched b Western media is any indicator, however, I don't expect to see too much more of this story, unless they're publicly hanged - doubtful after the Iran scandal.

One question - why isn't the gay media pouncing on this? Why did they pounce on Iran and not KSA? Saudi Arabia has an equally horrible gay rights record. I don't evern want to think about the discrepancy; my mind gets carried away with conspiracy, bias, and unscrupulous foreign policy.


Blogger cfw said...


hope you will reconsider not coming back...!

August 20, 2006 5:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Interesting blog. Good luck.

August 21, 2006 5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the article reported in Al-Arabiya from Al-Watan:

August 21, 2006 5:41 PM  
Blogger Red Tulips said...

A public hanging is worse than an arrest, but yeah, the story should get more coverage than it does.

August 31, 2006 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gay Muslims are scary... I'm not a homophob butta, me as a straight Muslim, juz wana ask you, if you are given a proper education, religious and circular education. Gay non-muslims is a norm but Muslims?

September 09, 2006 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gay Muslims are scary... I'm not a homophob butta, me as a straight Muslim, juz wana ask you, if you are given a proper education, religious and circular education. Gay non-muslims is a norm but Muslims?

September 09, 2006 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it won't be covered by the media because any negative coverage of islam is deemed as racist and islamaphobic.

That is why reporters always travel the the deep south of America to get their anti-gay stories.

Bit unfair but true...

June 28, 2007 8:07 PM  
Blogger Jos76 said...

Anti-gay is okay in the US (just listen to the Republicans), but anti-muslum is a no go. I have a problem with this.

February 20, 2008 3:24 AM  
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