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This Jordanian MP says gays are not welcome in Jordan Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

This Jordanian MP says gays are not welcome in Jordan

Dima Tahboub is an Islamic Action Front (IAF) MP [Facebook]

Date of publication: 26 July, 2017

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Supporters of Dima Tahboub claim that “the majority of Jordanians do not welcome homosexuality, as it is an unnatural and abnormal act”.
A Jordanian MP has sparked controversy after a video of her expressing support for systematic homophobia within the Jordanian political system went viral.

“What message did you want to get out? That homosexuals aren't welcome in Jordan?” British journalist Tim Sebastian asked Dima Tahboub, who is an Islamic Action Front (IAF) MP.

Her reply was short and simple: “Yes.”

She gave this blunt answer when asked about the campaign she took part in banning Mashrou Leila, a band with a gay frontman, from playing in Jordan for the second time in a row.

The Lebanese rock group, known for endorsing gender equality and sexual freedom, were banned under the semblance of the sexual nature of their songs, deemed “immoral” as well as the fact that the frontman Hamed Sinno is gay.

The video got mixed reactions from Jordanians. Some were in support of her conservative views, claiming “the majority of Jordanians do not welcome homosexuality, as it is an unnatural and abnormal act”, but the debate was clearly rifled.

Many other Jordanians asserted that Tahboub’s words do not represent them, whilst being on the defence of homosexuality both in Jordan and abroad.

“The most talented and fun homosexuals I met in my life are Jordanians,” said one Jordanian.

She was asked to “look around” and understand that homosexuality is everywhere, with one person tweeting: “Maybe her son or grandson is gay... open u r heart eyes and get rid of all this bullshit [sic]”.

The fact that pro LGBTQ+ Jordanians are not only defending homosexuals by principle, but are including gay Jordanians, or openly discussing the possibility, or the occurrence of having gay family members brings a more refreshing light into the discussion.

Too often, people are willing to accept homosexuality as an alien occurrence, but not bring it closer to home. The fact that people are reacting empathetically to homosexuals rather than on a sympathetic basis hints that there could potentially be new dimensions for the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Jordan and across the Arab world.

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