Saudi Arabia cracks down on homosexuality, bans 'immoral' rainbow toys

Homosexuality is a potential capital offense in Saudi Arabia, known for its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law which forms the basis of its entire judicial system

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, June 16, 2022, 10:45 AM IST
article-image
Items targeted in the recent raids included rainbow-coloured bows, skirts, hats, pencil cases and bags | Saudi Ministry of Commerce

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have seized any rainbow-coloured toys and clothing for promoting homosexuality, according to Saudi state TV.

Items targeted in the Riyadh raids include bows, skirts, hats and pencil cases, most of them manufactured for children, according to a report broadcast on Tuesday evening by the state-run Al Ekhbariya news channel.

“We are giving a tour of the items that contradict the Islamic faith and public morals and promote homosexual colours targeting the younger generation,” an official from the commerce ministry, which is involved in the campaign, says in the report.

Gesturing towards a rainbow flag, a journalist said: “The homosexuality flag is present in one of the Riyadh markets.”

The colors send a “poisoned message” to children, the report said.

The amount of establishments targeted or items seized in the Commerce Ministry operation is unclear, and Saudi officials did not respond to an AFP request for comment.

In April, the kingdom said it had asked Disney to cut “LGBTQ references” from “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” the latest Marvel movie, but that Disney had refused. The film ultimately did not screen in Saudi cinemas.

Disney’s latest animation, “Lightyear,” which features a same-sex kiss, has also been banned in Saudi Arabia and more than a dozen other countries, a source close to Disney told AFP on Tuesday, though Riyadh has not commented on that film.

Tuesday’s Al-Ekhbariya report also showed stills of Benedict Cumberbatch in “Doctor Strange” and of apparently foreign children waving rainbow flags.

LGBTQ persecution in Saudi Arabia

Homosexuality is a potential capital offense in Saudi Arabia, known for its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law which forms the basis of its entire judicial system.

LGBT rights are not recognized by the government of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has no criminal code and the primary source of law in the country is the Islamic Sharia, derived from the seventh-century Quran and the traditions of Muhammad contained in the Sunnah.

Homosexuality and being transgender are widely seen as immoral and indecent activities, and the law punishes acts of homosexuality or cross-dressing with capital punishment, fines, public whipping, beatings, vigilante attacks, torture,chemical castrations, imprisonment up to life and deportation.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Watch video: Shiv Sena workers vandalise office of Gondia's Independent MLA Vinod Agrawal

Watch video: Shiv Sena workers vandalise office of Gondia's Independent MLA Vinod Agrawal

Char Dham horror as 203 pilgrims killed during Yatra in less than two months

Char Dham horror as 203 pilgrims killed during Yatra in less than two months

Record-breaking Chamari Athapaththu denies India clean sweep as Sri Lanka win final T20I

Record-breaking Chamari Athapaththu 
denies India clean sweep as Sri Lanka win final T20I

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis Death Anniversary: All you need to know about the Indian statistician

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis Death Anniversary: All you need to know about the Indian statistician

NCB seizes 286 kg of high-grade ganja on Solapur-Mumbai highway; two arrested

NCB seizes 286 kg of high-grade ganja on Solapur-Mumbai highway; two arrested