The push to promote and generalise homosexuality across the world has increased in recent years through the influence of Western laws and the Western media led by the media in the US. The latter now inserts homosexual scenes into children’s cartoons through schemes aimed at spreading homosexuality and making it appear as a natural form of behaviour.
Karey Burke, president of Disney’s General Entertainment Content, revealed in a company-wide Zoom call that she supports featuring “many, many” characters who are LGBTQIA, which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning), intersex, and asexual, in Disney movies. She also indicated that she is the mother of two queer children, one transgender child, and one pansexual child.
The Disney website has promised that 50 per cent of regular and recurring characters across Disney content will come from “underrepresented groups”. This promotion of homosexuality by major US media groups has taken homosexuality out of the framework of personal choice and into the framework of an attempted Western conquest of the world, promoting a cultural dictatorship that does not respect other cultures and does not even care about human nature.
Burke’s Zoom call has angered many, especially in the Middle East, because of its intention to influence children who do not have the intellectual and psychological capacity to resist the promotion of such practices due to their young age.
Fourteen countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Lebanon, Oman, Jordan, Malaysia, Palestine, Syria, and Iraq have banned the Disney movie Lightyear because it contains a scene showing a kiss between two homosexual characters.
In Egypt, Mai Osama Roshdi, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower house of Egypt’s parliament, has submitted a proposal to the speaker based on Article 234 of the House’s internal regulations in which she asks for greater local production of television content for children after the spread of films promoting homosexuality from abroad.
Representative Inas Abdel-Halim has also submitted a request for a briefing, demanding that the Disney website be blocked in Egypt owing to its promotion of homosexuality in violation of the Egyptian constitution, customs, religious values, and the provisions of the Egyptian judiciary.
Hazem Al-Manoufi, head of the Food, Grocery, and Herbal Medicine Division at the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, said that international carbonated water companies have even announced their support for homosexuals by launching a new product bearing the homosexual flag and logo, launching it in European markets and threatening to launch it in Egyptian markets as well.
He said it was possible to boycott companies spreading propaganda in relation to homosexuality.
Under Egyptian law, the incitement to practise homosexuality is a crime under the general provision of “incitement to debauchery” and carries a penalty of up to three years in prison. Seven homosexuals were arrested in Egypt in 2017 after they raised homosexual flags at a concert.
The application of Egyptian law is an internal matter, however, and it cannot be used against international incitement that can reach people through the Internet and foreign satellite TV channels.
In a move to counter the Western encouragement of homosexuality, head of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation Karam Gabr met with head of the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood Tarek Tawfik recently to discuss the Egyptian media’s contribution to creating a safe social and cultural message for children, instilling national principles and creating role models that fit the nature of Egyptian society.
Gabr announced the preparation of a code of ethics for media targeting children and indicated in media statements that the goal of the initiative is to provide targeted content that suits early life stages. He called on people to stop subscribing to international children’s channels that promote homosexuality, describing them as a means of passing on abnormal ideas, harming future generations, and threatening the national security of the country.
Eman Nasri, an assistant professor at the Department of Sociology and Demography at the Faculty of Arts at Helwan University, confirmed that exposing children to films that contain homosexual scenes could plant ideas in their minds that run contrary to human nature.
Children may be too young to distinguish properly between true and false ideas, she said, especially with no guides next to them. Many parents leave their children in front of media content of all kinds without checking up carefully on its content, she said.
The problem has been exacerbated by the spread of atheism, violence, and false values about the relationship between men and women, she said, attributing much of this to media influence and some of the video games used by children without parental supervision.
Greater awareness should take place through family dialogue. In addition to the decline of public education in recent years, and its reliance on memorisation in order to obtain high marks in exams held at the end of the year, there has been a marked absence of locally produced media content for children, including songs and films.
Nasri believes that it would be good to launch a national project in cooperation with the state media and cultural institutions to produce more cultural material for children. Script writers and young graduates of the theatre and cinema institutions looking for job opportunities could be recruited to do so, she said.
This project is no less important than the “Mawada” project launched by the Ministry of Social Solidarity to help reduce divorce rates among young people in Egypt.
HOMOSEXUALITY IN WESTERN COUNTRIES: Homosexuality in many Western countries was considered to be a mental disorder before 1975.
But in 1975, the American Psychological Association removed homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and urged mental health professionals to work toward removing what it called the stigma of homosexuality.
Over time, a popular discourse formed, adopted by various sectors in the West, that said that homosexuality is not socially constructed but rather is determined by biology.
The idea that homosexuality was somehow biologically “natural” thus spread, and it was adopted by Western liberals who began to trade on it politically in the context of supporting such freedoms worldwide.
The result has been a cultural and behavioural “dictatorship” imposed on the rest of the world by the West through its media and entertainment industries. Those who do not follow such trends are accused by Western critics of ignorance or extremism.
Yet, many mental health practitioners today still treat homosexuality as a disorder. Their ideas are based on scientific research and are not just superstitions or personal positions, whether religious or moral in origin.
For example, a scientific study entitled “Homosexuality: Disease or Way of Life?” published in the international scientific journal Pastoral Psychology in 1956 concluded that homosexuals require medical help. They suffer from psychological masochism that makes them subservient when confronted with a stronger person. They are also unscrupulous about trampling on others, the article said.
The Austrian-American physician and psychoanalyst Edmund Bergier, the author of the study, said he had treated homosexuals for 30 years before writing his scientific study and achieved many successes. Many of these he emphasised in a book of the same title that confirmed that homosexuality is subject to change and is not a feature of human nature as many homosexuals claim.
In another study entitled “Homosexuality and Mental Illness” published in 1999 in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal of the American Medical Association, it was found that homosexual people are at substantially higher risk of some forms of emotional problems, including suicidal ideation, major depression, and anxiety disorders.
One possibility behind this is that homosexuality represents a deviation from normal development and is associated with other deviations that may lead to mental illness. This possibility suggests that this sexual orientation is unnatural and that its negative effects threaten the lives of those who suffer from it.
Ereen Sadik, an Egyptian teacher who emigrated to Canada in 2010, says that the situation in Canada began to deteriorate with the forced generalisation of homosexuality after the arrival of liberals in power and changes in school curricula after 2015.
Sadik said that same-sex relations in Canada were criminalised in the 1960s, but with the arrival of Pierre Trudeau as prime minister the situation began to change until Canadian homosexuals had entire residential communities of their own.
Regarding the position of Egyptians in Canada towards school curricula that incite children to practise homosexuality, Sadik said that many Egyptians in Canada had protested against such measures, signing petitions against them. However, Western democracy is not what it might appear to some people, Sadik said, since it does not allow opposition to decisions of this sort, with support given to homosexuals and Islamophobic laws that limit the freedom to oppose such measures.
She said that what had been revealed by the president of Disney’s General Entertainment Content was very dangerous in the context of spreading a homosexual culture worldwide, especially given the difficulty of controlling modern media equipment such as mobiles, iPads, and tablets, which have become freely available to children at a young age.
This means more and more children are likely to be exposed to ideas inciting the practice of homosexuality.
REFUSAL TO LEGALISE: Contrary to what many people may believe, the refusal to legitimise homosexuality is not limited to the peoples of the Middle East or the Arab countries, but also extends to the peoples of many Western countries.
Many people in the West today refuse to consider homosexuality as a normal practice recognised by law.
In the US, at the forefront of the legalisation and promotion of homosexuality worldwide, there are many people who reject homosexuality as a normal practice and equal to male-female marriage. This rejection can be clearly seen by looking at the US political situation, which is witnessing a competition between the Democratic Party, which tends to disbelieve in tradition, and the Republican Party, which tends to preserve traditional values.
In a December 2019 Pew Research Centre poll, 49 per cent of Republicans aged 30 to 49 said legalising same-sex marriage had been a bad thing. Republicans aged 50 and older were also less likely to have a positive view of same-sex marriage. Just 31 per cent said legalising same-sex marriage was a good thing for society.
US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (for Georgia), a member of the Republican Party, has described transgender people as the “most dangerous terrorists” in the US today. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed the state’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill barring public school teachers from holding classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity for students in kindergarten through third grade.
Elsewhere in the West, Polish President Andrzej Duda during his June 2020 election campaign made strong statements against homosexuality, calling the promotion of LGBT rights an “ideology” that was more destructive than communism.
Hungary’s prime minister said in July last year that his country would not let LGBTQ activists and organisations into kindergartens and schools. The comments came in response to criticism of Hungary’s law prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality and transsexualism among minors under the age of 18.
Hungary also decided in the same year to ban any content that promotes homosexuality or transgender people under the age of 18 from display in schools.
According to one study, nearly nine million LGBT adults are registered and eligible to vote in US elections, or about 4.3 per cent of the total number of registered voters of more than 209 million Americans. This percentage confirms that the vast majority of Americans do not practice homosexuality.
So, why do some Western political regimes push the legitimising of homosexuality worldwide, whether through laws, media, or the entertainment industry, often making films that incite children, characterised by inexperience and sometimes fragile psychologically, to practice homosexuality?
Large sectors of Western society reject this unjustified and unexplained promotion, in addition to the existence of scientific studies linking homosexuality to mental and psychological illness.
Ibrahim Menshawi, a professor of international law at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University, said that the first motive for spreading such practices is the attempt to demolish conservative societies elsewhere in the world from within and to stereotype the world according to the Western model of rights and freedoms.
This was without taking into account the cultural differences of different societies, which have different perspectives on rights and freedoms than those in the West, among them the Asian and Islamic countries.
Regarding the political origins of promoting homosexuality at the present time, Menshawi explained that these cannot be limited to the competition between the US Democratic and Republican parties, as homosexuality is also linked to the strength of liberal currents in the Western countries.
Calls in support of homosexuality escalated with the assumption of US president Joe Biden to power and the use of the so-called “gay card” in elections to mobilise supporters.
Regarding the possibility of imposing homosexuality on all the countries of the world through the use of international law, Menshawi said that while human rights are universal rights, international law still recognises the cultural specificities of different countries.
This is evident from its granting states the right to express reservations about provisions or articles that are not commensurate with their cultural specificity or their different values and traditions in international human rights treaties. Many countries, especially Islamic, Asian, and sometimes Western countries, have reservations about rulings that are not commensurate with their traditions and values.
Saudi Arabia has expressed reservations about all provisions that contradict Islamic Sharia Law in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, for example.
Such mechanisms would allow countries to reject the promotion of homosexuality and exclude any provision or article in an international treaty that legalises or imposes homosexuality on them.
The writer is a researcher in political science and managing editor of the Middle Eastern Visions Platform of the European Centre for Middle East Studies based in Germany.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 28 July, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.