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Homophobia Brought To Your Screen by MBC in Ramadan

Ahmad al-Shugairi, a Saudi TV creator and presenter of an Islamic TV show on MBC, the biggest and most watched network in Arab countries, has recorded a part of his show’s latest episode in San Francisco about homosexuality.

The program is called “Khawater”, i.e. “Thoughts and Reflections”, and it is supposed to promote, “preach”, for “moderate Islam”, at least according to this NYT article.

The episode is part 1 of unannounced number of episodes about a concept in Islam that is called “mojahara bil-maa’siyah”, which means (committing sins in public and “bragging” about them). The episode discussed sex before marriage, homosexuality, and other things. It is an annoying one.

Al-Shugairi walked around San Francisco calling it “the capital of shawaz” (a homophobic word for gay in Arabic), said all the homophobic things that came to his mind, and made fun of homosexual men in the streets. He turned the concept of his episode(s) into talking about “the sexual revolution” that allowed homosexuality to “become an inescapably acceptable” matter “in the west”. He discussed “women’s freedom” through “sex before marriage” and showed statistics about sex outside marriage in the UK. The statistics showed that the number of people who have sex outside marriage has increased from 4% in 1945 to 90% on 2013.  Al-Shugairi went to UK’s Fashion Museum and theorised that “the decay in morals” comes gradually and used fashion progression as evidence to that. He simply suggests that women were more “prudent” in the 1700’s and now “they wear nothing”. He emphasised that “what some call freedom is a way to moral decay”, which implies that he is in line with his country’s “women’s rights” policy, i.e. complete and utter lack of women’s rights in country whose women are not allowed to drive nor cycle. Throughout the episode, al-Shugairi was expressing his contempt to the west and what the west calls personal rights. He even went to Pompeii and said that the city was buried because of its sinful people as a punishment and quoted the Torah’s verses about homosexual acts between men.

What is so annoying about the episode is not the homophobia, the anti-feminism, nor the extremist “not moderate for sure” Islam he preaches – it is not the fact that as much money is being spent on preaching hatred towards any non-Saudi lifestyle – it is not that people like al-Shugairi are granted visas easily while many open-minded and progressive Muslims and Arabs are denied students’ visas and denied access to an education they aspire to receive. All that is not as annoying as knowing that many LGBT Syrians, who are in danger of being killed or tortured because of their sexualities and gender identities because of groups that al-Shugairi’s country finance, are not considered in need of protection and resettlement in the west. That is very annoying and frustrating at the same time.

MBC website introduces al-Shugairi as someone did not pray until he was 21. The website said “his first prayer changed his life”.

To me this is a nice subject for an interview, how can a 21-year-old be brainwashed. I do not think that al-Shugairi would agree to be interviewed by an openly gay person who started an LGBTQI magazine and who is calling for rights for everyone. Like others, al-Shugairi might as well accuse me of being pro-Assad, just because his beloved oppressive country is anti-Assad. He should know better than that as the episode proved that the show is well-researched. One of my questions to al-Shugairi will be, “How can you expressively say that you are against women’s rights as I and the west see them, and allow a female makeup artist to do your makeup and, during the process, touch your prudent skin?”

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Homophobia Brought To Your Screen by MBC in Ramadan

  1. I haven’t read something funny like this article for a long time, you bro as a gay person have clear view for this case, i already know what you gonna wrote about the episode but the thing i didn’t know is your non-sence way when you connected the “homophobia” to the Saudi lifestyle and the Saudi government political views and not to the islam as a religion that forbidden homos acts, stop getting mad about it, i know that homos will be devastated after watching the show Lol, beside he didn’t lie or fake something like some people do all the things in that episode express all things about homos, finally you can call everyone a “homophobics” coz no one sympathized with u during the episode.

    Posted by Nasser | 12/07/2014, 20:46
    • Nasser,

      The Saudi lifestyle is related to women’s rights. I think you should read more carefully. As for the Saudi lifestyle, I grew up there buddy & I know the country too well.
      I am sorry I couldn’t undetstand where do you want to get with the rest of your comment.
      Re: Isalm and homophobia, true! But the KSA is using Islam to maintain a lifestyle they force upon people. I didn’t mean to “label” Saudis with anything. I know better than that. However, the ruling family and the governing system is nothing but anti-humanity to me. I mean every mean bad word I say about them.
      Finally, my views and the subjects I write about are my choice. I won’t be directed towards writing any anti-Islam thing. I know the religion and I am fine with its existence. It’s the Wahhabism, Salafism, and extremism that I am aginst.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Posted by Sami | 14/07/2014, 22:41
  2. It is acceptable for Ahmad al-Shugairi to go to America and stand on the streets of San Francisco and criticize the freedoms and liberties that the people their enjoy. It is acceptable for him to mock their dress, speech, attitudes, and behaviors. It is acceptable for him to interview people and ask them “Do you see anything wrong with this?” referring to individuals who walk down the Castro wearing clothes that are sexually expressive. He can do all this an expect to be allowed to walk around freely and board a plane and return to the Middle East.

    However, what would be unacceptable would be for an American to go to the streets of Riyadh, Jeddah, or Mecca, and criticize the people there. It would be unacceptable for an American to mock the style of dress of women in Saudi Arabia and interview the people and question their sense of freedom and liberty. It would not at all be acceptable for for an American to openly condemn sexual repression in Saudi Arabia, and it would not be reasonable to expect that American to board his return flight home.

    Why is one acceptable and the other unacceptable?

    Ahmad removed the videos from his YouTube channel because he realized that it is inappropriate to go to another culture and openly criticize the daily lives of the people within that community.

    Posted by Ahmad Haddad | 05/09/2015, 14:18

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