The anti-homosexuality campaign launched by few Syrian bloggers is in full-swing. The most prominent of the contenders, Mohammad (of Mohammad online), has done what I expected him to do eventually; deny us, the opponents of his motion, the chance to fully express our opinions on his blog. At least that was the case with me. I usually refrain from addressing highly contentious issues on my blog, but since I was denied the opportunity to highlight the opposing point of view, I am left with no option but to use my den. Which is a pleasure, bring it on.
Ok, that was the official press release, now the real deal is that the aforesaid person didn't allow my last comment on his blog to appear because he was getting owned pretty badly. I am usually not that smug when stating my intellectual 'prowess' unless the exchange is with a hate inciter. As Rime puts it, the only thing that can't be tolerated is intolerance itself.
You can follow the exchange in Arabic on the aforesaid person's blog. To give you a little bit of a background, the aforesaid person started off his campaign with a highly presumptuous statement, he 'defined' homosexuality (while asserting that, indeed, it doesn't need a definition) as any deviation in sexual activities of mankind from what is innate or natural in us. He even threw in all kind of fetishes as sexual deviations too. (one should wonder what's the recommended sexual position according to the innately endowed human beings like himself?) .
I, of course, found this definition to be highly problematic. Since 'innateness' (or natural order) itself isn't an invariable thing. There is absolutely no one die human beings are cast to. I asked him to come up with a clear definition of this 'innateness' and he kept dodging around the subject. He's probably clueless, doesn't know what he's talking about, just plain stubborn, or all of the above.
He opined that innateness is an incontrovertible fact that doesn't need to be defined. It has to be taken on its own merits. He asked me to define what he thinks of as similar terms like 'soul', 'love', 'fear of God' ....etc....
I countered that he's coming up with terms and asking me to define them. Anyway, I passed on 'soul' and 'fear of God' and tried to define 'love' for him. I told him there's the chemical, neurotic implication of the matter, and there's the psychological understanding of this compound emotion. And then there's the personal, subjective, relative conception of Love. I might have my own definition of love that might differ from his, but I wouldn't place an entire campaign of hate on a loosely put and tossed around terms.
To try to explain to him the ever-evolving nature of human biology and DNA, I brought up the subject of genetic mutation. And that all things equal, we can't discount the possibility that homosexual predispositions could be the result of genetic mutations. He wasn't convinced. He said that if this is the case then percentage of gays amongst a given population would surpass 50% (!!). I urged him to read this link to educate himself about the subject. I further explained to him that by the virtue of it being a dead-end for breeding and reproducing, homosexuality will not pass from one parent to his progeny (since there's no progeny to begin with). And thus ending the line of variation there and then. The trend de-evolves where it begins. He wasn't convinced. In fact, I suspect that he never read the link, since he keeps repeating the same questions over and over again.
Then, I tackled his claim that most of the societies of the world are actually against gays. Most people of the heterosexual world hate gays but they won't admit it. I asked him to prove this and he said that he has stories from his stay in the UK that he'd share with me later.
I told him that I don't care how many homophobes he was delighted to meet in the UK, there are laws that protect gays against discrimination. And since there are laws then the legislatures have penned them at one point. And legislatures don't usually pull regulations out of their asses. They respond to public demands and to civil rights organizations and Establishments.
He picked up on a point I made during the exchange, I told him that he doesn't have to like homosexuals. That I, personally, don't feel at ease around them. (but heck, I'd probably met many closet gays in my life that I thought were straight, who knows? and more importantly, who cares?). But that's totally different from inciting hate or calling for discrimination. I may feel uneasy about extremely fat people or people with stinking breath smell. But I wouldn't discriminate against them. And I wouldn't call my uneasiness racist or discriminatory in and of itself.
I particularly loved it when conspiracy theories kicked in in his mind. He said that western societies' tolerance toward homosexuals (and the exclusion of homosexuality from APA list of mental illnesses), is the result of the massive sway the civil rights movements and organizations hold over legislatures and judicial system. He also added that any scientist who'd discover something in the line of that homosexuality is an acquired disorder, he or she wouldn't dare to share it with the public.
It's easy to understand why civil rights organizations are powerful, isn't it? I mean, they did emanate from the people and the mainstream societies themselves. Whatever clout they have it's derived from their representation of what the people want. Isn't that why they're called Civil Rights' Movements?
As for the scientific endeavor into the subject, I told him that scientists have nothing to worry about, they publish whatever they want in reviews and periodicals. And there are always counter claims, science is a never ending process. And civil rights and human rights movement wouldn't meddle there. They would, however, interfere if the proverbial scientist added to his study his own personal opinion that gays should be discriminated against or considered dangerous to the society.
There was an interesting tweak in the exchange when he claimed that there is no freedom of speech in the west, and that historians who deny the holocaust gets imprisoned and persecuted. And then, to my delight, he literally said: ففي امريكا انت تتمتع بكامل حقوقك البشرية إلا في مخالفتك" للتوجه السائد. " (In America, you enjoy all your civil rights until you go against the mainstream beliefs).
I simply replied that if he then acknowledge that tolerance toward homosexuality is a dominant disposition in the US, then I totally agree with him. He proved my point for me :)
I also reminded him that there are many homophobes in the west and the east alike. But they are minority. Take a look at this website for instance.
And to wrap up this chapter once and for all, I told him to go on any popular UK or US facebook groups or online forums and post his homophobic opinions there and ask the questions he likes. I'd be interested to see what sorts of responses he'd get. I don't know whether he will do that or not, since he didn't even publish my comment in which I kindly requested him to do so.
And eventually, I explained to him that his hateful speech is very counterproductive and that all his claims about raising awareness and such are nothing but sober hallucinations. I told him that when we promote tolerance toward special groups and minorities in the east, we're also defending Muslims' rights against discrimination in the west. Human rights don't know color, creed, race, age, gender or genital activeness. There are many racist and Islamophobic threats toward Muslims in the west, amongst which is the call that was popular amongst certain type of radio talking heads few years ago, that concentration camps should be built in the United States to round up Muslims in case another 9/11 [God forbids] struck again. Who does protect Muslims against such outrageous bigotry? isn't it civil right movements?
I can't say I overly enjoyed this debate. But I certainly don't regret it, especially since it ended up with a massive pwnage :)
Have a nice day. I'll now leave you in the safe hands of Boy George. ;)