In Response to AUB Outlook’s Homophobic Article

AUB Outlook has degraded itself by allowing a homophobic article to be published in this month’s issue. Not only is it extremely poor in content but it is filled with hatred, pseudo-facts and just plain stupidity.

The article, written by Mohamad Sibai, starts by telling us that he was bothered at the sight of an apparently homosexual couple holding hands along Hamra Street. “The sight was disturbing”, he says “Call me sexist, call me whatever you like, I couldn’t get that image out of my head for the whole day”, not knowing perhaps the definition of sexism. Mohamad, when you read this, please know that sexism is gender discrimination, not sexual orientation discrimination. The word you’re looking for is “homophobic” – See Wikipedia’s article on homophobia for further information – but, in your defense, both require the same level of intellectual integrity.

The piece continues by claiming that “homosexuality has always been a controversial subject in the world”. This should lead us to think that being part of a controversy means both sides have something valid to say. Not true. The theory of evolution is said to be in a controversy versus the medieval superstitious belief of creationism. This is an irrelevant point to make if one is to debate the theory of evolution. One must bring forth evidence and make a case. Something creationists have no idea how to do. Similarly, one can say that women’s rights is a “controversy” in Saudi Arabia but, I hope, that would not be an acceptable argument against it.

He then quotes the Bible and Qur’an and mentions that all three Abrahamic religions are against homosexuality. True. They are also against shellfish eating and working on the sabath, which is also punishable by stoning to death (Exodus 31:14). The Bible and Qur’an are irrelevant when making moral claims. Why? Because it presupposes that one believes their infallibility and seeks to impose one worldview on others. I reject that premise. If you wish to believe that the Bible or the Qur’an is the infallible word of a certain deity, you are free to do so. But you have no rights whatsoever to tell me how to behave unless you bring forth evidence that what I am doing is hurting others.

As for homosexuality, the evidence is clear and available to any educated man or woman who gives enough of a damn to look it up. It is not a psychological disorder. It is not unnatural (my dog is gay). It is not harmful. Similarly, heterosexuality is not a psychological disorder. It is not unnatural (my other 3 dogs are straight). It is not harmful. There is not a single shred of evidence that would suggest anything else.

Many couples around the world are homosexual couples. That’s quite an obvious thing to say, I know. But somehow homophobic pseudo-intellectuals seem to forget that not only do they exist but many of them are actually parents. I challenge anyone on the homophobic side to bring forth a single shred of evidence pointing towards a relationship between homosexual parents and psychological disorders in children. Yes, I will repeat “a single shred of evidence” again later on. I have met 4 homosexual parents who have children (either one of the partners had a child from a previous marriage before discovering his or her homosexuality or they simply adopted – some countries have reached that level of civilization) and they’re better parents than bigots will ever be.

Homosexuality is not a thing, nor is it as choice. It is not a phenomenon, nor an event. It just is. In the same way as heterosexuality is both a form of love and of sex, so is homosexuality and so is bisexuality. The only reason why it seems like people are debating about something is that these people are not used to having their worldviews challenged. They are made of the same cloth as those who refused to believe that the sun does not revolve around the earth, that human beings share common ancestry with other living things, that people of color are actually human beings (I swear it’s true!) and that women are not below the level of men (perhaps Mohamad disagrees with that as well).

There has never been a time in history when evidence suggesting blacks were inferior to whites existed. Never. There has always been pseudo-science and nothing else. The difference? Science deals with hard cold facts. Pseudo-science deals with unprovable claims and mumbo jumbo. Similarly, there never was a time when men were justified in treating women as sub-humans and mere sex objects. And also similarly, there never was anything that suggested that being gay is akin to mental disability. All there ever was was insufficient evidence. We don’t have that problem anymore. We’re living in the year 2012 where information is relatively easy to be accessed. We now know as pure fact what I have just written.

The highest level of stupidity is reached when Mohamad says “I mean, let’s stop for a minute and say that it was okay to be gay all over the world and have a chain around a man’s neck and have him dragged around. The pair (if not more) would never have offspring, the rate of STDs would skyrocket, and any morality that society still had would disappear amongst a myriad other plights.” This is beyond any level of absurdity possible. It portrays homosexuality as somehow being spreadable like HIV. A straight man cannot become gay anymore that a gay man can become straight.
Furthermore, STD is spread by HIV which is spread by unprotected sex. Unprotected sex, whether it be homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, a threesome or a full-scale orgy. STDs are already skyrocketting. And we know exactly why. Again, anyone who gives a damn can look it up. As for the never having offspring. I’m not too sure I want any either and I’m pretty sure I’m straight. That’s not an argument.
As for morality, Mr. Mohamad is ill-placed to even mention the word. A society that discriminates based on gender, color or sexual orientation is an immoral society, and not the other way around.

“The point is, religion has done well in keeping society working well and efficiently in a respectable manner. God has set the rules for us to abide by, not to make life hard on us, but to make it better and easier.”

Perhaps it is time for the religious people of the world to realize that they are living with other human beings. I am an Atheist. I do not recognize your morality nor do I recognize any deity that you wish to impose upon me. Religion is like a penis, keep it to yourself and don’t shove it down other people’s throats.

Mohamad ends by mentioning Russia as if that were relevant in any way. I have demonstrated how his arguments are in fact pseudo-arguments and I need not go any further.

Cheers.

Update 04/05/2012:

Dear Ibrahim (Diab),

Thank you for your very lucid arguments in your email. I do fully share your sentiments and I will take up this matter with the editor-in-chief of Outlook. Bigotry should have no place at AUB and certainly must not be allowed to shelter under free speech.

Sincerely,

Talal Nizameddin, PhD
Dean of Student Affairs

Update 04/05/2012:

The LGBT Media Monitor received a personal response from Lojine Kamel, the current Editor-in-Chief of Outlook about the controversy:

“I would like to personally apologize to the LGBTQ community and readers about the offensive nature of this article. I personally did not edit this article, and realize that it was a poor decision to publish it in it’s crude form. Outlook will be issuing its own formal statement in our next issue and will be publishing a spread of responses directed toward this article. Thank you all for your cooperation and consideration.”

We thank Lojy Kamel for the very respectful response

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58 Comments

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  1. don’t forget to mention that if ”the sight of two men holding hands” bothered him to a point where he had to write an article about it, he might be a one of those angry closeted ones.

  2. He’s free to be bothered and to have his own views. but I want him to be more bothered by people looking for food in garbage and writes about it than by two men holding hands in the street!

  3. What a brilliant argument! Thank god AUB accepted Joey as a student, I would have thought having Mohammad Sibai was injury enough without adding insult to its dignity & age old tribute of producing intellectuals!

  4. Oh and another thing- STDs are not spread by HIV- HIV and STDs are two separate things entirely. HIV is spread through blood and bodily fluids, most often transmitted through unprotected sex and needle sharing.

    STDs can also be spread through unprotected sex, but infections like genital warts, HPV and Herpes can be spread through skin contact- rubbing the infected area against someone else. Herpes simplex, which are cold sores on the face, can be transmitted through kissing someone with an active virus.

    As a result, many more people than you think have STDs- herpes simplex is thought to be present in 80% of people, according to sexual health experts in Britain. Most people never show symptoms of having a STD however, so only a minority will ever know they have an infection. Most sexual health centres do not even offer routine testing for herpes because it is so common.

    Furthermore, most STD tests do not pick up positive results for herpes unless the test is taken when the virus is live. Therefore, not only does Mohamad not know his ABCs of sexual health, if he’s ever been sexually active, it’s entirely possible he’s got a STD himself. STDs and HIV don’t discriminate between homo and heterosexuals.

  5. Hi Joey,

    I got linked to your article via Twitter and I had to read it. Of course after doing so, I picked up a copy of Outlook, turned to page 14, and read the article you’re referring to.

    What struck me first though is that, on the same page, there is another viewpoint article entitled “LGBTQ at AUB” which offers a liberal perspective on the topic and ends with something along the lines of tolerance among individuals and so on. That is not to say that, as a result, Sibai’s article should be tolerated (or stand) since it offers the “other” point of view. Not at all. It is to shed light on a trend where a gay-friendly article is almost always accompanied with the other discriminatory opinion, as if this is the idea of a balanced view.

    Sibai’s article is obviously homophobic. It also contains so many inaccuracies (that present underlying messages) it was hard to keep count. First, his blatant attack on secularism and Lebanon as a secular state. He saw the two men holding hands and it repulsed him so much that he rejected secularism on the spot. Well done, good job. Now how did you make that link? Somebody needs to remind him that what he saw was happening in today’s Lebanon, a country which only adopts (more than a dozen) religious personal status laws, a country which divides its parliament based purely on sects, and most importantly a country which still treats women as second class citizens because of the religious zealots in charge? What does secularism have to do with any of it? I’m sorry to have to break it to you Mohamad Sibai, but homosexuals will exist in any state. They constitute a fixed percentage of any population.

    He then goes on to make a direct link between homosexual rights and same-sex marriage by referring to the United States (where some states outlawed the latter). Let’s talk about the United States: sexual acts between persons of the same sex are legal nationwide. This is actually a very important point to make. Homosexual rights doesn’t necessarily mean same-sex marriage. Furthermore, one can argue that same-sex marriage has become something that the gay community, as a whole, is not really striving for. You can further extend it to the fact that politicians in the west are now utilizing this issue to one-up each other on who’s liberal. (Here’s a recent article I read on the matter that I recommend: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/12273/)

    He also becomes a spokesperson for “almost all religions” without really doing his homework, he equates homesexual rights with the legalization of cannabis (which is completely irrelevant), and he ends it all with his generalized defensive “religion has done well in keeping society working well” phrase which you’ve done well to highlight and respond to, but I need to ask Sibai: how are you measuring? And where is this unified religion everyone abides by?

    I’ve probably written a comment as long as the original post, so I’ll leave it at that. Thanks for your post Joey and I’ll be sure to keep an eye on this blog from now on.

    Issam Kayssi

  6. Ok sorry to post so many comments but I’ve just found the email for Outlook. I suggest we all send emails complaining and demanding an apology be published. We should also cc the Dean of the school, reminding them that discrimination is not part of their education project.
    Complain here: outlook@aub.edu.lb

  7. It’s easy to argue for homosexuality when one is a homosexual. I agree with most of your article, not all of it. Homosexuality is not a disease no, and it should not be punished or discriminated against – agreed. Mohamad is an idiot, agreed.
    Your dog’s sexual orientation is in no way proof that homosexuality is “natural” – I know a dog that enjoys eating steel, and that’s not natural.
    You say “As for homosexuality, the evidence is clear and available to any educated man or woman who gives enough of a damn to look it up. It is not a psychological disorder. It is not unnatural (my dog is gay). It is not harmful”. You’re just talking about the studies that you agree with, there are many other studies, available to whoever gives enough of a damn to look up, that would say otherwise.
    While religion should be kept at home and not dictate societies’ ways, it is a little hard to argue against penis + vagina vs. penis + penis / anus… One way pleases and reproduces, the other just pleases.
    You talk about homosexuals’ relationships as if they were the same as heterosexuals’ relationships when I am sure you know they are not the same at all. Don’t lie to yourself, be true to your readers.

    To conclude, I strongly disagree with Mohamad, but by defending the homosexuals in your article, you’re showing a lot of anger and spontaneity, which shows your extremist point of vue regarding the subject: un juste milieu is what it’s about.

    • Dear RB,
      Unfortunately, I think your reply is flawed in its content and incoherent in its premiss. In fact, I would like to know on what basis you disagree with Mohamad Sibai, for you only seem to hold a milder, more subtle opinion that does not fundamentally contradict his.
      The fact is, no one is trying to argue for homosexual intercourse against heterosexual intercourse. It’s not like gays were trying to converse the world to homosexuality and to establish an “homosexual empire” (in which regard they are far less dangerous than religious fundamentalist. Nevertheless, homosexual are feared and bigots respected). No, all that the homosexual rights movement demands is the FREEDOM to behave as one pleases in the intimacy of the bedroom, and that no moral or civic law should dictate the means two (or more) consenting adults chose to please each other.
      Defending homosexuals is not encouraging people to be homosexual, but saying that people have the right to be gay if they chose so. No one can be “extremist” in defending homosexuals
      This, my friend, is an issue of individual freedom rather than sexual preference.

      You seem to establish a discrimination between homosexual and heterosexual intercourses based on the fact that one leads to reproduction, whereas the other don’t. This can only be an honest mistake, for you most certainly are aware of the fact that most heterosexual intercourses do not aim reproduction. You most certainly know the use of such things as condoms and contraceptive pills. If the human mind has elaborated such means of controlling birth, it is because human sexuality has nothing “NATURAL” about it. In fact, practically nothing humans do is dictated by a so-called “nature”, and even what we see as “natural” is a cultural construct (proof is, the concept of “natural” was radically different in the mind of the ancient Greeks, so what we see as “natural” highly depends on how we chose to see and build society). So yes, the evolved specie of human gives sex, as a sign of cultural and social evolution, other social and cultural functions than mere reproduction.
      If you want to view homosexuality as a “lower” form of sexual intercourse because it does not lead to reproduction, so you should discredit protected penis+vagina sex as well, and advocate sex in the sole purpose of reproduction.
      Some have, denying human societies one of its most complex and ambivalent functions, giving sex a purely animal and biological role.
      Now tell me what group of individuals has sex only as a mean of reproduction?
      Cattle is the first answer that comes to mind.

      • I disagree that homosexuality is “normal”, it exists and should not be frowned upon, homosexuals should be treated as any other person would be treated, but going as far as saying is normal is too naive. A lot of cases and conditions are different, they are not the norms, but they are respected and accepted, homosexuality falls under that realm no matter how much you try to convince yourself/
        I did not mean that heterosexuals only have sex to reproduce, what i meant was that men and women were made for each other because they CAN reproduce whereas men and men CANNOT reproduce and only screw… I am not religious at all and have had my share of sex for pleasure’s sake btw, but, through common sense and biology (not religion) I understand that men and women are made to be with each other.
        I never said gays were trying to converse the world, either, this is just you writing for the sake of replying… unfortunate really.
        As for “the FREEDOM to behave as one pleases”, this is exactly where I disagree with Mohamad. Of course homosexuals should be free to do as they please, in the bedroom and on the streets!
        Take a step back and realize that your reply was even more extremists than the original post. You say I have the same opinion as Mohamad whereas I have the same opinion as Joey, but for different reasons. Just because I did not curse Mohamad and praise Joey, your limited mind read my post as supporting Mohamad, just like most extremists.

        • RB. You will forgive me if I am not ecstatic that you are a ‘homophobe lite’.

          The recognition of homosexuality as a normal state of affairs is not something we have concocted, and I find it remarkably condescending of you to accuse us of following some narrative. Nobody cherrypicked studies to suit their views, there is a research consensus on this and I invite you to study the data.

          Simply put, the biological evidence on homosexuality is there. You can argue that men and women were ‘made to be with one another’ but I would graciously point out that sexual pleasure is simply a feedback to motivate reproduction. We have long since used it for different things, not just homosexuals.

          Frankly RB, we say you have the same opinion as Mohammad because you fall in his spectrum. Certainly to a much lower extent, but you’re there nonetheless.

          Please excuse any misunderstandings of your meaning, by the way, we’re all pretty limited mentally compared to you.

            • My answer was not meant to be aggressive, but I have to point out that you are being incoherent. In an issue as important as this one, and in a situation as urgent as ours in the middle east, there is no middle ground.
              You put forward the same arguments Mohammad Sibai and the likes of him use to condemn homosexuality: This is not “normal”, men and men were not “meant to” be together. Even if you consider yourself to be non-religious, the fact is your arguments are religious. Saying that human beings were “made to” do or not do something is considering that a Creator intended for them to behave a certain way. Biology alone gives men no indication as to how to live their lives, biology is a primary situation that men transform and reinvent.
              Now tell me, how saying that men and men were not “meant” to be together is different from saying men were not “meant” to tame the North Pole, to walk on the moon…?
              Truth is biology DOESNT TELL US what is normal. Society defines what is normal.
              Once again you contradict yourself by saying men and women were “meant to be” together because that is the way they can reproduce, this is what gives legitimacy to heterosexual intercourse. Yet you accept that protected sex, sex for pleasure is “normal”, that it is “meant to be”. According to your definition of what is “meant to be”, no it’s not.

              • And excuse me to be picky, but you said the author was being “extremist”. It seems to me that an “extremist” is a person who advocates radical change in society and want to converse others to his specific belief. So technically a “pro-homosexual rights extremist” would want to converse everyone to homosexuality (like a religious extremist). How can anyone be “extremist” in defending individual freedom? It’s like saying that anti-slavery movements are “extremist” because they do not only advocate the end of slavery, but state that black people and white people are equal -> some 100 years earlier, you would have said that such a statement is “extremist” and surely provided some biological evidence …

    • i just want to say that ALL relationships require love, care, devotion, sacrifice, time, effort, lust, sex, maturity, stability, fun, laughter…(the list is very long..) want me to go on? well, as you may have noticed; all of the above are for human beings of any sexual orientation. heterosexual AND homosexual relationships are the same…and just so you know; homosexual relationships are actually harder provided the article,written by mohamad (i did not want to capitalize his name even..), and the mentality of people like mohamad !
      seriously, the last thing people are dying from is homosexuality! it is the year 2012 and i am sure humanity has gone way beyond and has no time to tackle stupdity!

      Thank You

  8. Typo: “They are made of the same cloth as those who refused to believe that the sun does not revolve around the sun”

    I presume you mean “revolve around the earth”

  9. Oliver Wendell Holmes**, Sr. described bigots with the following quote: “The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract”
    Nothing more to add………. Thanks Joey for this worthy article

    **Regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century

  10. Brilliant Rebuttal, Couldn’t have been written any better.

    by the way, you made good use of the “creationism” analogy.

  11. I actually know the author of that article personally. Needless to say, he isn’t exactly the brightest tool in the shed. Also, Joey, it would;ve added comedic value to your response if you mentioned his (COMPLETELY) unrelated argument that if homosexuality were legalized, marijuana should too. All in all, excellent response

  12. Brilliant reply! Mohamad’s article is an insult to every AUBite. It somehow implies that AUB students are illogical and prejudiced, and lack rudimentary writing, research and thinking skills. Neither he nor his copy-editor should have been allowed to make it to Outlook in the first place.

  13. Lojic Kamel needs to resign immediately for her shameless failure of the duties enshrined in the position of Editor-in-Chief. This is a symptom of the tragic state of journalism training at AUB but that is no excuse for this toxic opining by a illiberal lunatic. The Dean of Student Affairs had better issue this student Sibai a warning based on the Code of Conduct regarding non-academic misconduct and the University’s Mission Statement.

    • Ms Kamel told me that she was in class the day the article was passed. I see no reason why we should go into a war against Outlook. I’ve said what I had to say and destroyed all arguments but forward by Mohamad. Over 2,000 people have viewed my response which is, I daresay, greater than the number of Outlook readers. I appreciate the positive responses which shows that Lebanon is indeed evolving but that doesn’t mean that asking Ms Kamel to resign is going to achieve anything. She apologized to the LGBTQ community and has shown her support for the cause. I think a better move would be to ask Mr Mohamad to apologize. Not with threats but by making him realize that he was dead wrong.

      • In fact, she should be held accountable. She completely changed positions after receiving complaints:

        Quoted from Al-Akhbar’s article dated May 4th:

        Lojine Kamel, Outlook’s editor-in-chief, regretted the piece’s publication, but defended Sibai’s right to express his opinion.

        “personally as an AUB student, I apologize if it was offensive. I was personally offended reading it, but I do defend freedom of speech,” she said, adding: “I defend his right for free speech, but I do believe it was poorly edited.”

        (http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/aub-papers-homophobic-rant-sparks-fury)

        When an editor-in-chief can’t tell the difference between free speech and hate speech, it is pure incompetence. In class or not, the article could not have been published without editing. And there is your editor in chief defending Sibai’s “freedom of speech” when he’s encouraging discrimination against a whole group of people. I wonder, would they have published an article attacking devout-Sibai’s religion if “Ms. Kamel” was in class?

  14. I agree with Joey’s criticism of the article itself, and I think that the guy’s article was extremely ignorant and stupid, but I don’t think it was wrong to publish it. Now before everyone flames me, I’ll give a few arguments for it.
    1- The obvious one is freedom of speech. he has the right to express his views just like you have the right to respond to it. And that holds for everything, even if a party finds it offensive. That’s why Outlook shouldn’t be blamed at all. It allows all sides to express themselves. And that’s a good thing (later in point 4). Unless there are rules from AUB that prohibit it from writing such content, then it has the right to publish it. That’s an important point because one of the main problems you guys have is the fact that it’s OUTLOOK that published it.
    2- What he did is perfectly legal (according to Lebanese laws). So why shouldn’t it be published? because it was offensive? If you think that way, you can ban everything: movies mocking fat people, books saying god doesn’t exist, etc. It would be absurd. I’d actually like to hear a lawyer’s opinion on the legality of the article.
    3- We live in a country where homosexuality is a crime and where 2 men get beaten up for holding hands and people are outraged by someone writing homophobic statements and want to hold the newspaper accountable for it? There are far worse expressions of homophobia happening everyday in our country, at least use the ones that are civil (like this one) and that you can respond to properly to make progress, which gets me to point 4 and that’s the most important.
    4- I actually think it’s good that stupid people like the author express themselves. Think of all the attention it garnered. His article caused an outrage and started a debate. If it had been censored, we wouldn’t have advanced a step in the fight to give LGBTs their rights. Sexual minorities aren’t protected by the law here, and it’s the debates that articles like these generate that will allow things to change. Especially when they are as badly written and absurd as this one. That’s why I’m glad the article was written and published. Now for people who say “ok it’s useful but it offended people”: well accepting and confronting derisive statements is the minimum and obligatory price to pay in the fight for rights.

    So yeah to conclude, instead of saying Outlook shouldn’t publish articles that actually show the fucked up mentality in our country, I say allow complete freedom of expression on all sides and let the majoritarian assholes express themselves, allow for debates to start and use their ridiculous statements (especially when so readily available like in this one) to actually advance in our fight for rights. Thank you.

    • A few things you should probably look up then review your comment.
      Don’t go too far, Wikipedia should do:

      – Freedom of speech
      – Limitations of Freedom of Speech
      – Hate speech
      – the Harm Principle
      – Affirmative Action

      That’s not to mention misinformation, incorrect facts, and poor writing; which, regardless of the topic/opinion in question, should have been enough to prevent the article from being published in the first place had Outlook been a little more professional.

      • Thanks, I know what these mean, but I don’t think any of the limitations of freedom of speech apply in that case. First, he didn’t incite hate, but merely expressed his own, but that’s debatable I guess so let’s focus on the second point. The fact that it’s illegal to be homosexual in Lebanon probably invalidates claims like libel, and even “hate speech”: since the minority we’re talking about doesn’t have rights, then it’s not protected by the law. Do you see what I mean? That’s why I think the article fails to be categorized as hate speech. That’s why I said it would be interesting to know the opinion of a lawyer: in a country where it is a crime to be gay, does defamation of homosexuals exist (as a legal offense, not a moral one which you seem to focus on)? Does defamation of atheists exist in Lebanon? Remember, we’re not in France – and I don’t mean that as a “where do you think you live?” but as a “take into consideration the reality of our society and what the law says”.

        The Harm Principle is completely subjective, since harm itself is subjective and can be used anywhere really, plus it doesn’t translate into an applicable law in Lebanon in our case (just like libel) so forgive me if I choose to disregard it. And I don’t see what Affirmative action has to do with our case, so sorry if I don’t counter-argue (but hey your post doesn’t even count as an argument since you just dropped terms and asked me to look them up, maybe I should have just linked you to wiki’s LGBT rights by country). Well, at least I agree with you that the article was poorly edited, I agree with refraining from publishing unfounded facts and obvious misinformation. What I don’t agree with is the call to censor the guy’s opinions, as that seems to be the biggest problem here. That’s why I’m quite happy with Outlook’s response, how they apologized for the poor editing but not the guy’s opinions, because he’s free to have them and express them. Lastly, I hope others will focus on the other points I made besides the issue of free speech, especially the usefulness of the article which I think is most important and striking.

        Let me just add one little thing I think is important. The only thing the guy can be accused of is presenting wrong facts about a category of people – libel – assuming it is illegal in Lebanon (which I don’t think it is). Now say we remove the guy’s stupid “facts” and leave his opinion, something like “I saw 2 men kissing and I think it’s horribly disgusting and against nature”, it’s an opinion so it can’t be considered libel. Or say he says something like “a study made by Reverend Pedobear has shown that there’s a (cor)relation between killing babies and being homosexual”, then it’s not libel since it’s true (assuming there’s a stupid study that says that – very possible, especially coming from Rvd Pedobear). Then would you condone it? I think most people who argued against the article’s publication would hold the same stance since it’s merely his opinion they were offended by, don’t you think?

        Anyway, I understand you’re concerned with the issue of “offending” people and “discrimination”, while I really really really hate all forms of censorships (yes, even the most immoral and horrible and offensive things you can think of). We disagree on that, that’s why I like concentrating on the outcome of the whole thing, which I think in this case, and I hope you’lI agree, is a positive one.

  15. wile the guy is a homophobe bigot and misinformed idiot, I don’t see why his article shouldn’t be published, as long as it is an opinion piece. Its just the opinion of one guy. he doesn’t represent the views of the newspaper.

  16. Not a bad article here Joey (whoever you are). I understand your view point quite well, but for others who might consider themselves “religious” or a theist I would propose the idea that it is possible to experience same sex attractions and be in a right relationship with The Creator. Your rebuttle gives good insight to what people might be thinking on both sides of the fence.

    • Dear David,
      It is of course possible since being gay is not a choice and being a believer is. They have no relation to one another. Homosexuality only becomes a matter of religion when religious fundamentalists want to impose their interpretation of scripture on the rest of the believers and even non-believers such as myself. I respect all people’s right to believe whatever they want to believer as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. That’s just an extension of the golden rule.

  17. Indeed David, Joey made a beautiful response, but for me for instance, a beleiver in God and gay-friendly (the two are not related), he shocked me with his extremists and none respectful ideas about creation. It is to bad to attack an extremist moron buy acting disrespectful and extremist yourself.

    • Dear Laura,
      My point was clear: individual religious beliefs are irrelevant when it comes to human rights. All men and all women should be born equal. I hold that to be a non-debatable principle, making me a radical in today’s terms.
      I have personally no respect whatsoever to the concept of creation. I find it extremely weak and without any case to make. I see no extremism whatsoever in my position. I don’t however preach that those with a faith should be persecuted in any way. There isn’t a single word I’ve ever said that would suggest otherwise. The concept of creation is irrelevant as well when talking about gay rights because, as you probably know, we have openly gay bishops who, I suspect, know more about the bible than most Christians these days.
      I don’t care if Mohamad respects gay men and women. It is irrelevant. He’s not that important as to be able to influence how an individual deals with issues of self-respect.
      I responded to his factual claims and pointed out their flaws.

      • We are definitely not switching the debate to evolution vs creationism 🙂 But I insist that it’s too bad that while you were defending a good cause you fell for attacking other’s beliefs. (medieval superstitious belief of creationism). I don’t really believe in creation myself, but I would never allow myself to use such harsh terms knowing it would hurt one billion people around the world. (no billion is going to read that, but you get my point).
        Isn’t all the issue here about tolerance? Respect of others believes, sexual orientation, color, etc…
        You could have pointed out the flaws without being so harsh that’s all.

        • Laura, again, all I’m saying is that anyone is free to believe whatever he or she wishes to believe. An individual person’s right to believe stops when he or she wishes to impose that belief on someone else. There isn’t anything in my article that would suggest otherwise. Please read my article “why I don’t tolerate creationism” to see what I mean by my position on creationism. I somehow suspect that you’re confusing “creationism” with “religion”. The first is a claim made about facts, the second is too vague to even define. I reckon I could be called a religious man under certain definitions. We shouldn’t get lost in words here.
          Yes of course it is about tolerance. Although I would rather use the word “acceptance” since a person didn’t do anything to you by being black or gay or a woman and there isn’t therefore anything to “tolerate”. But I get your point and of course I’m preaching tolerance. People shouldn’t mistake me disagreeing with me condemning.

          • If I answer now regarding creationism, we will be dragged into this may-I-call-it debate… But the initial subject was homophobia. Look were we are now. See.. This was ALL my point.
            Anyways, discussing opinions with you was a pleasure. Keep the good work.

  18. What is funny here is that a faculty member can say religion is like a penis and still get positive feedback from the dean!! Homophobia might be a problem, but accepting insulting and hating on religion where the majority of citizens and students have religious beliefs is just as bad, if not worse.

    • No no there’s nothing funny about it since it’s not true. I’m a student and the dean didn’t respond to me. You should read the article. There was nothing insulting in what I wrote. The comparison was very accurate and to the point. It refers to one’s privacy and how one shouldn’t abuse of his right to freedom of speech and belief. One’s personal beliefs have nothing to do with this article and there’s nothing that I wrote that would suggest otherwise. Take care.

  19. I cant believe how 99% of the comments are pro gay. It’s scary. Incest is the next sin to proliferate by you all I presume. We are at a point of no return. You call morality bigotry. wow. The brave kid tried to bring sense, who cares about his poorly written details….he said one important thing….that for the rest of the day he was disturbed, as we all should be. Poorly written yes, but the message was noble.

    • Joey: Very courageous to use a fake name to write pathetic nonsense. You’ve just disqualified yourself from uttering the word “morality” without sounding like a caveman my friend. I daresay that something below Mohamad’s intellectual integrity has just been achieved. No we’re not advocating incest anymore than me being a vegetarian makes me fluent in Italian. You really need to sort out how to connect one dot to another and reason would solve quite a lot of your twisted views. We’re not advocating homosexuality because homosexuality has no arguments. I never advocate heterosexuality or bisexuality or homosexuality. I just show homophobes how pathetically inaccurate and dead wrong every single thing they say is. This article being noble is akin to our species as a whole being the moral equivalent of a bunch of brainless baboons and I choose not to belong to that intellectual level. Cheers

  20. I have always thought that in Arabic countries it is common for heterosexual male friends to walk while holding their hands. And an Arabic friend of mine also said that this is the case. However, that homophobic article seems to to imply that holding hands is a sign of homosexuality.

    Could somebody explain what is the truth? Are some regional variations in this custom?

      • Holding hands means different things for different people across the world;
        This is what Wikipedia writes on the subject: ( added couple of comments myself)

        Whether friends hold hands depends on culture and gender: in Western culture this is mainly done by women and small children (sometimes for authoritative control, not affection), spouses and romantic couples. In Arab countries, Africa and some parts of Asia (Mainly China [outside mega-poles like Beijing] and in India [Kerala and other regions]*** it is done also by men and/or boys for friendship and/or a sign of respect. It is also fairly common in the West to see teenage girls holding hands as a sign of friendship, though the same does not often apply for teenage boys.

        *** If we add the populations of China, India, Arab countries, some parts of Africa, we will have billions of people to whom men holding hands is culturally acceptable -:)

        The custom of men holding hands can cause discomfort in societies unused to it, as it did with Americans, when, in 2005, then Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia held hands in public with then American president George W Bush. ( it was actually Bush who gave the hand to the Crown Prince as he got out of the car)

        People hold each others hands, or one person takes the hand of another person for the following reasons or purposes:

        -handshake
        -n certain religious services, to pray
        -in various religious rituals
        -to express friendship or love
        -to enjoy physical intimacy (not necessarily of erotic character)
        -for emotional support
        -to guide (a child, a blind person, in darkness, etc.)
        -to urge to follow
        -to keep together (in a crowd or in darkness)
        -to help the other walk, stand or climb up
        -to dance
        -to maintain one’s balance
        -to arm wrestle
        -or safety when crossing the street
        -while sky diving
        -to rescue in a dangerous situation by pulling someone to safety

        ….. ETC

  21. بعد مرور خمسة سنوات تبين ان ليس لديها نية بالزواج، زهرا حاطوم ممرضة في دائرة التوليد وامراض النسائية علاقة عاطفية تكللت بالفشل والتعب والكذب، مرة اكتر من اربع سنوات وانا احاول التوظيف في مستشفى الجامعة الامريكية، وعندما توظفت قالت لي “انت توهمت فيك تدعي علي كل عمرك وقامت بتقديم شكوى ضدي لدى ردينا و وفاء منصور وقالت لهم”كنت رفيقة اختو وعم يلحقني” واخذت الاخيرة بتهديدي “ازا بتضرب كف بتكول كفين وما بدنا نجددلو” قلت لزهرة “عطيني كل شي عطيتك يه” قالت “الاربعاء” وعندما اتى الاربعاء لم تحرك ساكنا فحصل نوع من المشاجرة بين وبينها فقالت لي “بدي خلي ابن عمي يدقك قتلي” اخذ شاب اسمه تيسير ابراهيم يهددني وتبين انه ليس ابن عمها ويقول لي” بدي اعمل وسوي بعرضك يا اخو الكذا والكذا ويستدعيني للمجئ الى اكسبرس المقداد وقام صاحبه بالتكلم معي وقال لي ” انا ابن المقداد بدي قوصك” وبعد هذه الاحداث قالت لاخويها محمد وحسين حاطوم في “شب عم يعترضني بالشارع وكنت رفيقة اختو” فقاموا بالمجيئ الى بيتي وقام محمد بتهديدي وقال لي” بدي قوصك” اما حسين فتدخل لكي يصلح بيني وبين شقيقته وقال لي “انا بجمعك معا وبصلح الموضوع” فقام بجمعي معها واخذت ورقة المعاش ورقم مكتي العقارات وقدمتم لها. بعد مرور عدة ايام قام حسين بالاتصال بي في وقت متأخر من الليل حوالي الساعة الثانية نصف الليل وقال لي ” نزال معاوزك” وعندما نزلت تبين انه قد احضر معه شباب مسلحين وقامو بهحاجمتي في حرم شقتي وهم ابراهيم شمس الدين علي شمس الدين و محمد ملك وبعد خمس دقائق اتصلت به قائلاً ” ليش عملت هيك” قال لي ” لحتا تتعلم كيف تكبر راس قال لي خي خدلو شباب وعملت متل ما قال لي خي” هذا الموضوع اثر سلبا على عملي ونتج عنه رفض لنقلي من الدائرة وصولا لانهاء وظيفي وطرد تعسفي.

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