Arrests at a Gay Wedding in KSA
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.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.
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.
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.