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Saudi Arabian Textbooks Justify Violence Against Homosexuals By Claiming They Cause Natural Disasters

Saudi Arabia is one of a small number of theocracies left in the world. It is by far one of the most influential, rivaled only by Iran. Saudi Arabia’s law is based on a puritanical interpretation of Sunni Islam. As is the case with puritanical strains in any religion, this means that women and other marginalized people suffer disproportionate levels of discrimination.

Not only is homosexuality punishable by death in the kingdom, but negative views of queer people are reinforced at a young age. A report from the Anti-Defamation League has revealed that Saudi textbooks for the new year are encouraging violence against LGBT people, Jews, Christians, Shia Muslims, and women.

One particularly problematic passage intimates that gay sex causes natural disasters.

“If sodomy appears in society then God descends swiftly upon its people with punishment, disasters and ailments afflict it, and epidemics and diseases spread, and injustice prevails, and corruption reigns in the land.”

It goes on to encourage violence against queer people.

“The masses of jurists go [so far as to say] that the punishment for sodomy is like the punishment for fornication. [namely death].”

People have harsh words for Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the kingdom has been embroiled in controversy over the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

And while President Trump refuses to acknowledge the kingdom’s involvement, other countries are taking action.

When Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, many hoped that this would mean major reform from the 33-year-old ruler. However, it seems that progress in the kingdom still far away.

H/T: Pink News, Anti-Defamation League, Twitter

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Written by Dana Levinson

Dana Aliya Levinson is an actress, writer, and trans activist. She graduated with honors from the New School where she wrote extensively about political and ethnic identity in the middle-east. She was a 2014-2015 Dramatists Guild Fellow, and has written about politics and trans issues for The Huffington Post, Women's Health, Nylon, and The Notice Blog.