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Qatari government advisor claims queer Snapchat content is a ‘deviation from Allah’. Scarily, the solution is censorship

Patrick Kelleher August 13, 2020
Qatar LGBT+ gay

Qatar's Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty)

A Qatar foreign ministry advisor has slammed the “warm attitude” to homosexuality shown on social media and in video games.

Qatari journalist Na’ima ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Mutawa’a, who serves as media advisor to the staunchly anti-LGBT+ country’s foreign ministry, made the claims in an article for Al Sharq, a pro-regime newspaper.

The article, which was written in June, was translated into English earlier this month by the Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI).

In the article, al-Mutawa’a wrote: “A grave issue that can already be described as a phenomenon, and which we can no longer keep silent about, is the warm attitude evident on many social networks – especially on Snapchat – towards homosexuality, [which] deviates from the nature Allah bestowed upon males and females, and towards [the phenomenon] we see in our society of young men looking like women and young women looking like men.”

The article in a Qatar newspaper said the LGBT+ community plays into ‘deviant trends’.

The article – titled Keep Deviant Ideas Away from Your Children – continued: “This phenomenon characterises the young generation, which has access to all the electronic media that, unfortunately, spread these deviant trends, encourage them and even publish content that supports them.”

The journalist went on to claim that there is not a “single children’s computer game that does not include deviant and perverse images”.

“[Remember that] God punished the members [of this group] and destroyed their city in the blink of an eye,” she added.

In the lengthy article, the media advisor suggested that people must work to protect their children from “perversions” that “take them away from the correct and normal path”.

“For how terrible it is to see your son deviating from the natural [path] towards grave sin, or your daughter deviating from her path and following those who spread and encourage these perverted sights,” she added.

She also called for a gender neutral doll to be banned and suggested that the country’s communication’s regulatory authority should monitor Snapchat and prevent them from publishing information about “this deviant group of young people”.

Anti-LGBT+ content is common in the harshly homophobic country.

Sharing the translation, the Middle Eastern Research Institute (MEMRI) said anti-LGBT+ articles are published “periodically” in the Qatari press.

These are usually “harshly critical of homosexuality and the gay community,” the group said.

“This piece is one of several homophobic articles published in Al-Sharq over the past year,” the group continued.

Other examples include an article published in January that called homosexuality a “sick phenomenon”.

In July of last year, it published an article that asked readers to fight the “perversion” of homosexuality.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, with gay men facing up to three years in prison and a fine, but Muslims can face the death penalty under Sharia law.

 

More: censorship, Homophobia, Na'ima 'Abd al-Wahhab al-Mutawa'a, Qatar, sharia law, Snapchat

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