The education ministry assigned on Tuesday the General Education Sector’s committee to initiate an urgent investigation regarding the validity of pictures which “support homosexuality in the educational curricula”, after the claims were made on social media.
Pictures emerged of an English-language textbook, allegedly from an international school in Egypt, with cartoons showing illustrating potential formations of a family.
The first cartoon shows a grandfather, a grandmother, a father, and a mother, while the second shows a mother and a father.
The third and fourth cartoons, however, caused a stir on social media as the cartoon illustration suggests the role of parenting could be performed by two mothers or two fathers.
Critics claimed the cartoons were promoting homosexuality and establishing a culture of gay marriage among a new generation of children.
The spokesperson for the education ministry, Ahmed Khairy, said on Tuesday that “the ministry formed a committee to ensure the validity of [the] photos, and to know if they belong to an international school’s book, or if they are foreign books, before taking strict measures.”
Egyptian law does not currently criminalize homosexuality and often uses charges such as debauchery or insulting Islam to imprison members of the LGBT community and their allies.
In 2001, a high-profile raid on the Queen Boat, a gay-friendly club on the Nile, saw 52 men arrested.
More recently, in October, dozens were arrested after a rainbow flag was raised at a Mashrou’ Leila concert – a Lebanese rock band whose main singer is openly-gay, and the band was banned from performing in Egypt.
Over the past two months, an Egyptian law maker has proposed a bill which contains five articles designed to ban homosxuality in Egypt.
Under the law, anybody engaging in homosexual acts faces up to three years in prison with a one-year minimum term.
Meanwhile, those found to break the law upon release would face up to five years behind bars.
The proposed law also states that anyone who calls for the acceptance of homosexuality, even if he or she is not a “practitioner of homosexuality,” should be jailed for between one and three years.
The draft also states that any media representative who “promotes” pro-LGBT events would be jailed for three years.
Moreover, the article also noted that organizers or participants in such events would be jailed for the same period.
“It is prohibited to show any sign or symbol of homosexuality or to promote it, all violators will be jailed for no less than one year and no more than three years,” the proposed bill reads.
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This article has been adapted from its original source.
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