As world celebrates Pride Month, Saudi crackdown on rainbow-coloured toys:Report
The rainbow colour or the flag - also known as the gay pride flag or LGBTQ pride flag - is a symbol of the queer pride and LGBTQ social movements.
In Saudi Arabia, officials have seized rainbow-coloured toys and articles of clothing from shops in the country in an apparent act of a crackdown on homosexuality as the world celebrates the Pride Month. Rainbow-coloured bows, skirts, hats, and pencil cases - most of them meant for young children - were reportedly seized during raids, reported news agency AFP citing the state-run Al-Ekhbariya news channel.
According to an official from the commerce ministry, cited in reports, all the items that “contradict the Islamic faith and public morals” and also those that “promote homosexual colours targeting the younger generation” are being seized. The colours send a “poisoned message” to children, the report says. However, it does not specify the total number of items that were seized.
The rainbow colour or the flag - also known as the gay pride flag or LGBTQ pride flag - is a symbol of the queer pride and LGBTQ social movements as the colours reflect the diversity of the community and the spectrum of human sexuality and gender.
The raids come as Saudi Arabia recently banned films that depict, or even refer to homosexuality. The conservative kingdom in April had asked Disney to cut LGBTQ references from the latest Marvel movie - ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ - objecting to a scene that amounted to barely 12 seconds in which a character refers to another as “two moms”. Disney had, however, refused Saudi's demands.
It has also has banned Disney's latest animation movie ‘Lightyear’ as it features a “same-sex kiss”.
Earlier in December, authorities in neighbouring Qatar had announced seizing rainbow-colored pop-its and other toys from shops for “bearing slogans that go against Islamic values”. Saudi Arabia has been under the radar for its human rights record - including that of outlawing homosexuality and considering it as an offence.
Meanwhile June is being celebrated as the Pride Month with an aim to end discrimination against those from the homosexual community.
(With inputs from AFP)