Monday, September 3, 2018

One year after a rainbow flag waved in a concert, Egypt's LGBT community contemplates 'Dark Future'

A year ago, over 100 people were arrested in Egypt because someone waved a rainbow flag during a Mashrou' Leila concert in Cairo. Twelve months later, the crackdown continues but it's no longer making headlines.

Someone was Ahmed Alaa, who described raising a rainbow flag at a crowded concert in Cairo last September as "the best moment" of his life. He posted the photos on Facebook, and others did too. The next morning, he woke up to death threats.

A few days later, he was arrested in Egypt's biggest crackdown on the LGBT community in years. He said his sexuality is a private matter, but his hands on the rainbow flag became evidence of what the Egyptian government considers dangerously deviant behavior.

The band's September concert was believed to be the first time the rainbow flag was raised in public in Cairo. But for Ahmed, after the euphoria of the concert came the brutal awakening. His university publicly condemned him. His sister was bullied at college and his father, a land realtor, was shunned in his home village. His best friend was detained and then Ahmed was finally arrested.

More than 100 people were arrested after the concert and charged with misdemeanors. Dozens were given sentences ranging from six months to six years in prison.

Homosexuality isn't illegal in Egypt, but in a country where some officials have equated homosexuality with terrorism, there are other laws for prosecution, including those governing "habitual debauchery." Human rights groups say the law has been used extensively since President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi took power five years ago.

How long will Western governments remain silent?

Ahmed spent three months in prison
for raising a rainbow flag in Cairo


  1. Western governments will remain silent on the status of LGBTQ citizens in nations such as Egypt as long as progressive forces in Western Nations -- academics, media, human rights activists, and others -- continue to ignore their status and treat them as as inconvenient footnote. Let me give you one example. Jeremy Corbyn, the charismatic leader of the UK Labour Party -- who stands an excellent chance of being the next Prime Minister of the UK has been receiving money from Press TV, an arm of the Iranian Government for interviews from 2009 - 2012 and was a frequent speaker at pro Iranian rallies in the UK -- and at other events where speakers who called for death to gays were featured many times. Iran, to say the least, is no friend of gay people. When pressed on the issue, Mr. Corbyn said that "he believed he could use his access to the Islamic broadcaster to raise LGBT humans rights issues". What a crock of bull! To give you another example of the hypocrisy of Western Leftists, outrage was expressed when the USA left the UN Human Rights Council earlier this year. However, some of the greatest violators of LGBTQ rights, including Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, are members. How can any organization call itself a Human Rights Council when several of its members kill people for loving people in private with humans of their choice? Western governments will continue to not to give a damn as long as progressives continue to ignore us.

  2. Thanks Eddi for your comment, their silence make them complicit in what happens in all those countries