Saudi Influencer Rants Against Homosexuality: How Genuine is Reform in the Kingdom?

Published December 2nd, 2019 - 10:20 GMT

A video of a Saudi influencer complaining about the rise of homosexuality in the conservative Kingdom has brought to light homophobic views.

Translation: “A video of the Saudi influencer Abdulaziz Al Aqla has gone viral, in which he talked about a sensitive subject targeting parents and giving them advice on how to protect their children.”

In the video, Abdulaziz Al Aqla rants about how Western media is influencing young men in Saudi Arabia to engage in homosexuality, encouraging parents to enforce strict rules on their children to prevent them from “sin”.

Translation: "Famous influencer Abdulaziz Al Aqla talked about homosexuality and how it's harming our society, blaming the West for influencing young Saudi men, and gives advice to parents on how to monitor their children's behavior.”

Reactions to the video were mostly from Saudis who echoed Abdulaziz’s opinions, stressing the need to tackle the issue further, and complaining about the rise of homosexuality in the Kingdom.

Translation: "I don’t follow this man but what he’s saying is 100% correct and I totally agree with him.”

Translation: “These are the topics we should be talking about. Thank you so much for bringing up this issue.”

Even though Saudi Arabia has been attempting to implement social reform, many online voices in the country shared Aqla's view of homosexuality as a sin and a detriment to society. 

Translation: “He said my thoughts exactly. May God protect us and save those who have sinned.”

Translation: “I swear he’s a hero, a hero, a hero. What he’s saying is utterly true and unfortunately getting popular in our society, even on social media.”

On the other hand, others attacked the influencer for his speech, claiming that there are other issues in society that deserved to be discussed, such as rape and pedophilia. 

A number of commentators did speak up against Aqla's view on homosexuality.  

Translation: “Gay people are the kindest, they don't assault women, they don't rape anybody or cause any trouble.”

Translation: “Somebody please take this man’s phone away from him.”

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