Home > LGBT - Media > Appalled by Sibai’s article in Outlook

Appalled by Sibai’s article in Outlook


To Whom It May Concern:

I was appalled to read the recent hateful article written by Mohammad Sibai in Outlook. As a gay American living in the Middle East, I am well aware of the myths and personal fallacies that many choose to believe in order to protect themselves from what they perceive to be a threat. As you know, LGBT Americans are fighting a great struggle to secure their rights to happiness. Fortunately, they have the support of many allies, not to mention the majority of the intellectual community, to aid them in this winning battle.
LGBT individuals do not have this same support in many parts of the world, including the Middle East. In a recent visit to Beirut, I was encouraged to meet a metropolitan city that had learned through years of violent conflict the value of accepting one another’s differences. Sibai does not embody this admirable Lebanese characteristic. Instead of examining differences in a constructive and reasonable way, he uses completely fabricated evidence to support his prejudice. This goes much further than simply hurting those who consider themselves LGBT. Sadly, it encourages readers to allow their hate-driven prejudice to take precedence over civilized discussion.
While I have great respect for all the world’s religions, it is discouraging to see them used as a platform to spread hateful rhetoric. Publishing the opinions of your writers is of course permissible. But a line must be drawn when fact and reason are abandoned in favor of academically unsupported personal prejudice.
I have absolutely no respect for Sibai’s cowardly attack on an already systemically marginalized community. It is unsurprising that many other cowards have come forward to voice their easily earned support. Communities fueled by hate tend to speak loudest when they are in the fortunate and comfortable majority. It it only after the moral battle is won and they are driven into the minority that they must properly defend their twisted views. Many civil rights movements throughout the world have proven this.
On quite the other hand, I have enormous respect for the many individuals who have appeared in equal number to condemn Sibai’s hateful and misguided rhetoric. The fact that Outlook‘s inbox is split between letters supporting Sibai’s words and letters condemning them should not be viewed as evidence of the moral ambiguity of this matter. The fact that so many voices have risen to defend this virtually helpless minority should be viewed as a landmark accomplishment in the face of a once-majority that is swiftly losing numbers.
It is my hope that Outlook will recognize the changing moral tide and eschew future articles that so forcefully inhibit peaceful understanding.
Sincerely,
Kevin Steen
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