Saudi Arabia Says No to Homosexuality
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has launched a crackdown on all rainbow-coloured toys and clothing in an effort to get rid of anything remotely resembling homosexuality culture in the country.
On Tuesday, government officials went from shop to shop in the country’s capital, Riyadh, and confiscated all items that they deemed promoted homosexuality, according to Saudi state-run TV channel al-Ekhbariya
“We are having to look out for slogans that violate the rules of Islam and public morals like promoting homosexuality colors, targeting the young generation,” said an official from the Ministry of Commerce, who was unnamed in the report and is involved in the campaign, according to al-Ekhbariya.
Some of the items seized bore a colour scheme very similar to the LGBTQ+ flag and ranged from children’s hair accessories, pencil cases, and backpacks to rainbow stripes featured in crayon packets, all designed for children, the al-Ekhbariya report details.
Homosexuality is illegal in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which adheres to a strict interpretation of Sharia law. Same-sex sexual activity is prohibited under Sharia law, under which all sex outside of marriage, include same-sex sexual activity, is criminalised. The maximum penalty under the law is the death penalty.
In the past, Saudi Arabia has sentenced people convicted of homosexuality and “sodomy” to a range of penalties including corporal punishment and even the death penalty.
Saudi Arabia, however, isn’t the only country in Middle East spoiling for a fight with Gays and Lesbians. In 2021, Qatar, which is set to host the 2022 World Cup, confiscated a line of children’s toys from stores deeming their rainbow colours “contrary to Islamic values”.
The cradle of mankind too isn’t too cosy about Homosexuality. Homosexuality is a still a taboo across much of Africa where most countries still observe colonial era laws prohibiting “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”.