In my humble estimation, true faith is supposed to infuse the mind with spirituality and expand it’s horizon beyond the material world. Unfortunately, to some of our fellow Syrian bloggers, those who have been recently all tied up in knots about homosexuality, religion is more like a mental straightjacket. It makes them unable to reason, to see anything beyond the confines of their self-imposed straightjacket. They are consequently irrational, intolerant, and impossibly arrogant as they pass judgment on whole groups of people whom they know nothing about beyond their distorted stereotypes. The arguments that they use are naïve to the point of being juvenile. Moreover, some of their attempts at arguing on the basis of scientific evidence only further exposed their ignorance. They have all the right to believe that homosexuality is un-natural and a sin, but they have no right to demonize people to the point of justifying violence against them. I know that the retort will be that none of the bloggers directly suggested harming homosexuals but their failure to censure comments left on their post that explicitly speak of violence says volumes about their mindset.
And why this sudden interest in censuring homosexuals? Is homosexuality really threatening the very fabric of Syrian society? How about rampant corruption, lack of free speech, the absence of some basic human right, political prisoners, honor killings, to mention just a few ills? Of course addressing these topics takes some courage; it doesn’t take much courage to write a post opposing homosexuality.
The deep-seated hatefulness displayed by some of these bloggers suggests that there is more to it than just hitting an easy target. These guys really feel threatened by homosexuality; they speak of homosexuals as they were strange alien creatures out to decimate the world as they know it. Well, I got news for them; if they think they have not been tainted by interactions with homosexuals, they are wrong. This may send their paranoid minds over the edge, but surely there is an uncle, an aunt, a cousin, a niece or a nephew that they cherish who is a closeted homosexual. Will they want to “throw them off the roof of the tallest building” if they found out that they are gay? The fact is homosexuals existed since the dawn of humanity; they are what they are most likely because of a combination of nature and nurture. They are not the result of a distorted upbringing or a permissive society; they are just more visible in a permissive society and more closeted in more conservative societies. The other fallacy perpetrated by some of the bloggers is that homosexuality defines all aspects of their life, and therefore according to them, there are no redeeming qualities to their life. Homosexuals’ sexual preference, right or wrong, is only one aspect of them as human beings; it does not preclude them from being successful and productive members of society. That I have to make such a seemingly obvious statement is a testament to how distorted the perceptions are and the reason why an intelligent and reasoned conversation about this topic cannot occur in the Syrian blogosphere at this point in time.
On a positive note, I would say that the call for a week of blogging against homosexuality was largely a flop. Those who took up the call were few and far between and there were almost as many posts criticizing the whole premise.