Skip to main content

Is homophobia at all-time high in Tunisia?

Homophobia has reached an unprecedented level in Tunisia, as National Guard members are posting violent threats against the gay community on social media and signs banning gays from entering are displayed in public places.

TUNIS, Tunisia — The wave of homophobia began April 14 when a Tunisian actor went on live television and blatantly made homophobic remarks. Ahmed Landolsi appeared on the popular talk show "El Hiwar Ettounsi" ("The Tunisian Conversation") and was asked about his views on homosexuality. He expressed his belief that “homosexuality is a sickness” and that “Tunisia’s constitution states that the country’s religion is Islam,” so homosexuality is “against the constitution.”

Landolsi’s motivation for these comments remains unclear. He is a key public supporter of the Esperance Football Club in Tunis and his supporters would likely not respond favorably to comments friendly to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. He may have been pandering to these soccer fans or even expressing his true beliefs. Either way, he doubled down on his comments, expressing the same thoughts on Mosaique FM.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.