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Thursday, August 17, 2006


Gay Saudi Arabia

posted by Dignan at Thursday, August 17, 2006 permalink View blog reactions
I found this very interesting new item about a suspected gay wedding in Saudi Arabia. While there are some who think that the United States is obsessed with sex and is stridently homophobic, nothing can compare with Muslim attitudes towards homosexuals.

Publicly claiming to be homosexual in a Muslim country usually equals death. So why is it that rarely does one hear the homosexual community here in America speaking out against Muslim countries? Am I missing something here?


in order of importance (IMO)

1) because homophobia abroad is less of an immediate threat homophobia domestically

2) because non-white homophobes are oppressed by the White Male Hegemony, so their homophobia is a secondary reaction for the powerless to assert power

3) different cultures have different moralities, and one must respect the moralities of non-western cultures


and more importantly, because absence of evidence is not evidence of absense.

Razib's reply is rather cynical. Mine would simply be, the domestic gay movement is a domestic one, and thus they focus on goals they can achieve (not being killed just for being gay, domestic partnership, etc). The state of gays in Saudi Arabia is part of the broader umbrella of human rights abuse abroad. It would be kind of ridiculous and even an abdication of responsibility for domestic gay groups to try and focus on that when there's a battle to fight at home.


Well, there are plenty of militant feminist (and probably de facto lesbian) organizations out there that support Islamists abroad... "We are all Hezbollah now," they say. Explain that one, plz.


arcane, you seem obsessed with the anecdotal.


It would be kind of ridiculous and even an abdication of responsibility for domestic gay groups to try and focus on that when there's a battle to fight at home.

there's a regular tension within the gay rights movement as to whether t should or shouldn't be a narrow focus movement as opposed to part of a broader class based Left movement.


gay life in saudi usually meant a saudi meeting up with a ex-pat and time spent together "somewhere"...being straight i can comment no further. but i will say this walking alone at night during my time in riyadh was usually interupted by by a car stopping beside on the road and myself being invited in for what ever. sometimes money was offered sometimes it wasn't. more then anything i felt sorry for the saudi forced to live like this. knowing that the penalty for being caught in the act with a same sex individual was a serious crime.until young saudis are able to date then nothing will change. lets hope things change soon.


arcane, you seem obsessed with the anecdotal.

If you're going to say that to me, then you must say it to Dignan, as well, since he's the one that has raised the subject and my question/statement was entirely related to it. If you're not going to say the same to Dignan, then quite frankly you're just a hypocrite.


give me a break. feminist = de facto lesbian? feminists supporting hizbollah? do you even have a link for teh aleged statement "we are all hezabollah know" ? and even some nutjob lefty actually said that, and was a lesbian to boot (hey why not), what possible bearing or implication could it posibly have on the broader progressive movement?

you're just trying to peddle the same old "left = 5th column" nonsense here. Dignan is actually interested in finding commonality for discussion, and so his original post, though certainly dominated by his perspective, was asked in good faith and showed restraint. You on the other hand are as subtle as a brick wall.


if you guys want to get a glimpse of how we are living in suadi arabia as a gay community ... well a simple thing, is that its like any other arab country with the exception of lebanon, we live in underground communities that are opened up to expats ... its soemthing we got use to..

checkout my blog... it gives you like situations that happens and stuff like that in saudi


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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.