Oman Newspaper Shut Down After Publishing A Sympathetic Article On Homosexuals In Country

TheWeekOmanAnother one of our close Arab allies are back in the news to remind us that basic freedoms are not part of our common alliance. Oman has shut down The Week newspaper after it published an article viewed as too sympathetic to homosexuality in the Gulf state. The country has a gay population but it insists that these citizens live like criminals under Islamic prohibitions of homosexuality. The Week is the largest circulation English-langauge weekly in the country.

In response to the government crackdown, the newspaper was forced to publish a full, front page apology for the story. In one repressive act, Oman was able to deny free speech, freedom of the speech, religious freedom, freedom of association, and privacy.

The action came after a member of the Shura Council, Tawfiq al-Lawati, tweeted a complaint that the article was advocating homosexuality and could be read to suggest that the country is a safe haven for gays. al-Lawati wanted to be sure that gays got the opposite message: that they are neither safe nor welcomed in Oman.

Under the laws of the Islamic government, you can be put in jail for three years for simply being gay. That is considered progressive by the standards of some of our other allies.

79 thoughts on “Oman Newspaper Shut Down After Publishing A Sympathetic Article On Homosexuals In Country”

  1. DavidM:

    I agree that if a stranger is in imminent peril then you should do as much as you can [short of injuring or getting killed in the process] to help him/her until the danger is past. I said as much above.

    All bets are off during war, natural disaster, etc. During those times we must do all we can until the danger is past even if it means personal injury or death.

    The real question to ask is do you love yourself so that you can love your neighbor. I would trust a person who loves their life with my life, a Jack Kavorkian, eh not so much.

  2. Weak Analogy
    False Analogy
    Faulty Analogy
    Questionable Analogy

    They are all essentially the same, with different names. Take your pick.
    Just sayin’.

  3. “Gene H thinks I am financially responsible for my neighbor”

    No. I think you’re responsible for your part in the mutual maintenance of what is required to keep an society healthy and robust enough to both care for its citizens and grow, Bron. Government at its best works for all the people and protects the weakest members of society. Those who take the most from society are ethically obligated to give the most in support of society. If that includes keeping your neighbor from starving or having to choose between bankruptcy and healthcare, so be it.

  4. DavidM:

    A person has a right to lead a hollow, empty life if they so desire.

    Religion and philosophy are about leading a good life as defined by the religion or philosophy within bounds which protect both them and their neighbor. But if a person wishes to engage in self-destructive behavior why is it my responsibility to protect them from themselves if they arent close friends or relatives? My responsibility would begin if their actions hurt me or someone close to me.

    I am not talking unusual events like public shootings, I think we all need to take responsibility in those cases. It ends when the danger has passed.

    Why do you think I am in charge of how my neighbor acts?

    Gene H thinks I am financially responsible for my neighbor and you think I am in charge of making sure he turns out how a particular religion or philosophy says he should. In my opinion, you both come from the same school of thought. Why cant men just be free to live their lives as they think is best for them based on their philosophy?

    1. Bron wrote: “But if a person wishes to engage in self-destructive behavior why is it my responsibility to protect them from themselves if they arent close friends or relatives? … Why do you think I am in charge of how my neighbor acts?”

      I would not say that you are in charge of your neighbor, as in, responsible for them in the same way as you are your children. However, when we love our neighbor, we will speak and do those things that are in their best interest.

      I remember once in college I lived in this apartment complex and this guy that I did not know was on the roof of the apartment complex that was 2 stories tall. He was horsing around and was getting into a sprint position in order to jump into the swimming pool from the roof, which was at least 15 feet away. The pool was only 3 feet deep. Several people around the pool were encouraging him to jump. I was pretty sure he was going to hit the edge of the pool if he jumped. I raised my voice and told him don’t do it, that it wasn’t worth it. We will never know if I saved his life because he decided not to jump. I spoke up because I didn’t want to see him get hurt.

      You seem to acknowledge the need to speak up when someone is your close friend or relative. That indicates that you instinctively know within you that this is the right action in regards to someone you care about. So the real question for you is whether or not you should love strangers. If you love your neighbor, then you will care enough to speak that which will benefit them. I agree with allowing them to make their own decisions, but I would not agree with refraining from the persuasive sharing of information if the result will benefit them.

  5. Darren:

    Amen to that, who cares. dont have sex in public and you wont be treated like a dog.

  6. Personally, I’d say there are other things more important in my life than having to keep track and judge everybody’s bedroom preferences.

  7. Bron,

    Zactly. However, since it isn’t a choice but a naturally occurring modality, recognizing sexual orientation as a protected class makes sense both as a scientific and an ethical/legal/Constitutional proposition.

  8. Gene H:

    Even if it is a choice, so what? Still none of our business. Not all homosexuals are hedonists in any event.

  9. None of that is relevant to hedonism being a personal choice. So long as that choice does not interfere with the rights of others, it is no one’s business but the hedonist. Or the stoic. Or the Objectivist. Your rights end where others begin. Your philosophy, like your religion, is a matter of choice.

    Homosexuality isn’t a choice.

    That’s the lie/delusion David is invested in.

  10. to moralize about hedonism but you can sure judge not to have much to do with the individual.

  11. Gene H:

    yes it is wrong. But would you take advice from a 60’s rock star about relationships or money? Excepting Mick Jagger for financial advice.

  12. “I am not talking about Hedonism, that is wrong.”

    Which I happen to agree with Bron, but still, that is a moral judgement – subjective and to the individual. There are many who embrace hedonism. See 60’s rock stars. Who are you to tell them they can’t? That is no more mine or yours business than it is David’s.

  13. DavidM:

    Are you a stoic, an Epicurian?

    There is nothing wrong with having a glass of wine, there is no self control in not having one if you can take it or leave it.

    Honor is good and so is telling the truth but not always. Are you going to fight an armed gunmen for your wallet so you dont live on your knees? Or tell the truth to gunmen about someone they are looking for?

    As rational creatures we are able to use sex to our benefit and not be stallions and brood mares for the farmer.

    I am not talking about Hedonism, that is wrong.

    1. Bron wrote: “I am not talking about Hedonism, that is wrong.”

      We are pretty much on the same track then.

      I appreciate pleasure and the arts like anyone else, but to make pleasure the goal of happiness is to invite misery.

      To think that we should not discuss the rights and wrongs of philosophical and religious thought is wrong as well. Thoughts lead to actions and end up defining us and who we are. The way a person thinks in his heart leads to the kind of person he will become. How foolish it is for some people to think that such is nobody else’s business.

  14. DavidM:

    I dont think public schools should be engaged in any type of sex ed. I think gay people should find their own name for getting hitched. Although words do change meaning over time, so that is kind of an empty argument.

    Sex is for fun, come on. Do you deny human pleasure? Granted a person can have too much of something and that is usually called an adiction and there is typically an underlying cause.

    People are human and as such have certain ideas about things. We always like it when some study confirms our belief. Is the Family Research Council going to post all of the studies or just the ones which confirm their beliefs?

    I have seen authoritarian Christians with my own eyes, I went to church with them for 3 or 4 years, I did not like their views on the relationship of man to the church. They were all about using God for control of people. These people excommunicated [they arent Catholic] a young woman for getting a divorce from a man she didnt love, the pastor was the one who did marriage counseling. He was real effective wasnt he? Yet the young woman was expected to live her entire life married to a man she didnt love?

    Now that is evil and immoral.

    1. Bron, you won’t get much of an argument from me about your view of churches, synagogues and mosques. I don’t like them either. However, I will criticize your unwillingness to consider research from Christians. In the area of sexuality, they are the only ones seriously engaged in sharing the science of it. Everyone else argues from emotion because the science always fails to support their preconceived ideas.

      The point is to always go to the source material. Is that too hard?

      Bron wrote: “Sex is for fun, come on. Do you deny human pleasure?”

      As rational creatures, we should understand the purpose of the sex drive and recognize that from a biological and scientific viewpoint, it is about reproduction. I think the philosophy of hedonism leads to selfishness and all manner of atrocities where humans hurt their neighbors. The embracing of homosexuality perverts this basic concept of self control and rational thought in regards to sexuality. Those who embrace hedonism agree with them because it justifies their own lifestyle of living for pleasure. I do not.

      I consider self discipline to be a virtue. I favor sacrifice over pleasure and lust. I believe in honor and telling the truth. I believe in objectivism even when it is contrary to personal pleasure.

  15. No, what I’m basing my opinions on in unbiased science. Not some cherry picked data presenting by an organization with a known discriminatory theocratic agenda and lapped up by people who have already demonstrated a willingness to use old data instead of current data.

    Not to mention that promiscuity? In homosexuals and heterosexuals? Is still none of your business, David, and an attempt to force your morality upon others who may not share it.

    You’re a moralizing busybody, David.

    Society and laws aren’t run by morals which are subjective and individual, David.

    They are run by ethics which are objective and external.

    The external measures here are the 14th and 1st Amendments.

    Ethically and legally, your position to discriminate against homosexuals based on promiscuity hasn’t got a leg to stand on unless you are willing to make heterosexual sluttery a crime or a basis of legal discrimination too.

    Good luck with that.

  16. DavidM:

    thanks for the links.

    I hate to say it but I agree with Gene in regard to the Family Research Council. They arent my kind of Christians, they are very authoritarian. And those types of Christians are smarmy to boot, I always say grab your wallet when they are about.

    I say live and let live, if a person wants to be gay it isnt my business. I would council my children [and have] against being gay. But I know some decent gay people who have been in long term relationships and I know heterosexual males who hump everything in a skirt.

    They are just people like all of us, we each have our failings and promiscuity is a common human failing. I would guess that promiscuous straight people, both male and female, have the same health problems and the same mental health problems. It is a human reaction to being promiscuous, not to being gay.

    Find me a group of heterosexuals who have 100 plus partners a year and I will show you the same statistics.

    1. Bron wrote: “I hate to say it but I agree with Gene in regard to the Family Research Council. They arent my kind of Christians, they are very authoritarian.”

      I have no idea what kind of Christians they are. It doesn’t really matter. I don’t care about their religion. You should always go to the source material. The reason I gave you the links was because they summarize a lot of information and give references to the sources of data.

      Take for example just the first statistic from the first link that I offered you from Dr. Frank Joseph:
      “One study reports 70% of homosexuals admitting to having sex only one time with over 50% of their partners (3).”

      The source identified in footnote 3 is: “Bell, A. and Weinberg, M. Homosexualities: a Study of Diversity Among Men and Women. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1978.”

      I have this book in my library. It is a very good study involving face to face interviews with over 1500 people. It is not religious, but an official publication of the Institute for Sex Research. Findings from this organization have been used as a basis for judicial decisions and for new position papers by the American Psychological Association.

      What you and Gene are doing here is basing your belief system on authorities that you have decided to trust. It is very difficult to have engaging intellectual discussions when you do this because your belief system is more like a religion rather than being logically based upon your own understanding of facts. To say, “oh, I don’t believe that because the person who said it is a bad Christian” is just plain avoidance of using the brain. Instead, look at it and say, “I don’t believe that because the study only sampled 6 people, or the study made a mistake when they assumed…”

      Bron wrote: “I would guess that promiscuous straight people, both male and female, have the same health problems and the same mental health problems. It is a human reaction to being promiscuous, not to being gay.”

      I agree that sexual promiscuity is the primary problem, which is why the gay agenda is dangerous because it is making a deceptive argument that circumvents the more general sexual immorality issue. One thing you might be overlooking, however, is that most of homosexuality is based not upon some inborn orientation problem of their psychology (although that does play a role in some individuals), but rather upon the fact that it is about sexuality for pleasure. This is supported by the observation that 28% of homosexual men have had over 1,000 sexual partners, 70% of them one night stands with strangers (see Bell & Weinberg). Homosexual men are much less likely to use condoms or to engage in safe sex than heterosexuals. They lead rather reckless lives in regards to sexual safety.
      http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/homosexuality/ho0075.html

      I think the principle of privacy is important and is a reason why I do not advocate for laws to make homosexuality illegal. However, I do object to redefining marriage to incorporate those who want to use it solely for their sexual hedonism. I also object to making homosexuality a protected class of people, giving them a basis for filing lawsuits against those who might warn others of the dangers of the homosexual lifestyle. Furthermore, our public education system should not be used to encourage young people to engage in the homosexual lifestyle to explore how fun it is.

  17. The Family Research Council isn’t a source for any kind of valid unbiased objective information but they sure make some fine propaganda, David. As is the radical Catholic traditionnaction.org.

    No wonder your arguments are so weak if those are the kinds of organizations you consider good sources.

  18. DavidM:

    can you show me some studies which show those statistics you were talking about?

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