Oman's weekly tabloid newspaper The Week has been suspended after it published a sympathetic article on homosexuality in the Gulf state last week .
The article in The Week suggested that Oman was more tolerant about people's sexuality than other Gulf states, even though homosexuality is illegal there, according to the BBC.
Hundreds of journalists and outraged citizens from Oman took to social networking sites to protest the article. Even Oman's journalists' association slammed the article.
The topic was trending on microblogging website Twitter last weekend with the Shura Council Chairman, Shaikh Khalid Bin Hilal Bin Naseer Al Maa’wali, assuring his followers on Twitter that the Media Committee at the Council will handle the issue, Gulf News reported.
Revealing the depths of the homophobia in the Gulf, Tawfiq Al Lawati, Shura member from Muttrah constituency, summed up feelings when he told Gulf News: “The tone of the article seemed that there was an attempt to promote the unnatural act as natural .”
As in all Gulf states, there is an underground gay scene in Oman despite the practice being illegal,  but it is widely seen across the region as more tolerant than its neighbours - if activities are conducted discretely.
The Week has the largest circulation of any paper in Oman, and due to the contraversy over the article on homosexuality, the entire front page of its latest edition was given over to an apology for it.
The apology read in part: "There was never any intention to knowingly or unknowingly cause harm, offend or hurt the sentiments of the people with our article last week," BBC reported.
The extravagance of the apology shows just how controversial it is to broach the issue of homosexuality with any sympathy in Oman, BBC said.