Jordan’s queer community has come under a “brutal attack,” in what leading activists are saying is an “unprecedented” crackdown, spearheaded largely by the country’s conservative parliamentarians.
The wave of attacks — including calls to criminalize homosexuality — have largely ensued following plans to show the queer Egyptian film, “Shall I Compare You to a Summer’s Day,” at a socio-cultural space in the country’s capital, Amman. The showing, which had been planned for late June during Pride month, was later canceled due to demands from parliamentarians.
Hate speech and threats against members of the LGBTQ community and its supporters have spread widely on social media sites over the past month. Leading Jordanian human rights activist Hala Ahed and Musa al-Shadeedi, Arabic editor of the queer-feminist magazine MyKali, have both received a chain of attacks, including death and deportation threats, mainly from Islamist parliamentarians and influencers.
And as the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric has exploded on social media, homophobic cartoons and articles have also begun appearing in Jordan’s leading media platforms. Early this month, Jordan’s Al-Taj News site published an “investigative report” that exposed users of the dating app Grindr, and called to penalize its users and ban the application in the country.