After a hashtag called for the arrest of Saudi’s “incomplete” gay men, a new viral trend is calling for “coexistence with homosexuals”.
Hashtag “arrest the quasi-men” drew considerable media attention last week for the homophobic tweets it solicited.
And kill them #اقبضو_علي_اشباه_الرجال— A.K (@ahmedkhomais) August 8, 2017
#اقبضو_علي_اشباه_الرجال— مشعل العنزي (@Msh3lu) August 8, 2017
الشذوذ الجنسي انحطاط اخلاقي, والمجتمع الي يقبل الانحطاط الاخلاقي مصيرة الدمار, هذا الشي ضد الفطره الطبيعيه
Sexual perversion [homosexuality] is moral degeneration, and the society which accepts the moral decay is on the road to destruction. This goes against human nature.
انا مستغربة من انتشارالظاهرة ومستغرب أكثر من سكوت الحكومة عنهم واتمني ان يوضع لهم عقاب رادع وتشهير امام الملاء للعظة #اقبضو_علي_اشباه_الرجال— مسافات (@jaw_111) August 8, 2017
I am surprised by the spread of the phenomenon and even more surprised by the silence of the government about it. I hope that they will be punished [as a] deterrent.
اقبضوا عليهم واجلدوهم جلد وعلموهم علوم المرجله #اقبضو_على_اشباه_الرجال— الريم. (@sadeieim4) August 7, 2017
Arrest them, punish them with lashes and teach them how to become real men.
Still, not all the responses supported the hashtag’s call for the detention of LGBT Saudis.
#اقبضو_علي_اشباه_الرجال— Azai (@Azai_Kyousuke_) August 8, 2017
(A)— Liberal Muslim (@liberalmuslim11) August 8, 2017
Homophobes calling for the imprisonment of LGBT people on #اقبضو_علي_اشباه_الرجال
Its a horrific act! We shan't be silent!
In fact, come the weekend, a new trend had been launched to say “together towards coexistence with homosexuals”. BBC trending reported that the tag had gained more than 40,000 responses in just 24 hours, the majority of which were from Saudi Arabia, although responses also came from Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt.
Many spoke out in support of the Arab LGBT community.
#معا_نحو_التعايش_مع_المثليين— Saudi Gay Rebel (@Ali_Omelette) August 11, 2017
Really happy that a hashtag is trending in Saudi Arabia that says "let's live peacefully with the LGBT"
It's okay to be gay #معا_نحو_التعايش_مع_المثليين— layal (@ililcs) August 11, 2017
Whoever believes that this love and beauty is wrong should check themselves.
صحيح اني مو مثليه،بس اتقبل المثليين وافتخر بهالشيء لأن هذا شيء طبيعي ميول الشخص من الولاده!شيسوون يعني يموتون؟ #معا_نحو_التعايش_مع_المثليين— خطنطر (@ihateyouallk) August 10, 2017
It's true that I'm not homosexual, but I accept gay people and I'm proud of it because it's a natural thing, a person has the tendency from birth. What are they supposed to do, drop dead?
The percentage of Muslim acceptance of LGBT people in America increased to 52% across ten years.
It is not clear, however, whether these responses to the hashtag (which spread internationally) were from within Saudi Arabia itself. Many other tweets opposed any tolerance towards the LGBT community in Saudi Arabia
#معا_نحو_التعايش_مع_المثليين— Moodister (@Moodister1) August 11, 2017
Turning something morally & religiously wrong to a civil right opposes human nature and the nature itself.
#معا_نحو_التعايش_مع_المثليين— محمد. (@MAlhasawi86) August 12, 2017
هذه ليست حرية بل تعدي على حريتنا ، مثل هذا الشذوذ لا يرضا به الله ولا رسوله أسأل الله أن يهديهم.
This is not freedom but a violation of our freedom, such an abnormality does not satisfy God nor his Prophet. Ask God to guide them.
- ‘I’m straight and I love gays’ Saudi Arabia’s most surprising Twitter trend
- Kuwait Deports Dozens of Homosexuals in 'Morality' Crackdown
Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and can be punished severely, including by stoning to death in the case of “sodomy” carried out by a married man. The ultraconservative kingdom enforces a harsh interpretation of Islamic law. Conservative social and religious values are dominant among most sections of Saudi society, and are reflected in attitudes towards homosexuality and women's rights.
That having been said, this is not the first time Saudi Twitter has played host to a conversation around homosexuality. In February this year, the hashtag "I'm straight and I love gays" went viral in the powerful Gulf state.
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