It’s difficult in many societies to be lenient about sexual conduct or orientation. Sex remains associated with honour. The sexual conduct of an individual affects his/her surrounding, especially the family. In some Middle Eastern countries there is the killing for honour when a girl or a woman is suspected of having sexual relation outside marriage is killed by her nearest relative, be it a brother or a father. In such countries the maximum sentence for such killing is one year imprisonment. So it will be hard that in such countries that homosexuality will be tolerated. One of the worst names to call someone by is “gay”. This doesn’t mean homosexuality doesn’t exist in these countries, but it is considered as a taboo practised in hiding. In
For Muslim countries, religion is a key factor in judging people’s conduct. Homosexuality is considered as one of the biggest sins. There is only death and hell for those who practice it although in Muslim Arabic culture there are works depicting homosexuality as in the poems of Abu Nuwas. So in a sense it is tolerated to discuss this issue from a past era than to deal with it as it is at present.
In Moroccan society, gays are just subject to jokes and contempt. There is no established culture to defend them. There is a Gay association called KifKif for Moroccan gays living abroad. Such associations are banned. But gays caught in the act are relatively leniently punished as they have to spend six months in prison compared to
In fact it can be easy to persuade people to change their concept of any other form of prejudice, racial or about gender. But sex remains a contentious issue. Transgender and same sex intimacy through free relation or marriage will remain a taboo in many conservative societies as long as sex remains an important aspect of socially accepted identity governed by religious influence. In a sense, sex remains an area surrounded by different boundaries. One can’t have sex in all possible ways as there are taboos like incest, homosexuality, and paedophilia that will surely continue to raise endless debates about where boundaries should begin and end.
Homosexuality can be accepted in societies that have made giant steps in establishing human rights. Societies still struggling to establish basic human rights like freedom of speech and free election consider gay rights as of trivial importance. Gays considered as a minority are seen of minor importance when it comes to their rights but a great danger to social ethics if they become publicly vocal. When talked about publicly they’re seen as a pathological case that needs help. Homosexuality isn’t openly considered as a natural orientation. It’s very difficult for gays in morally conservative societies to find open acceptance. They will continue to be seen as sinners worthy of punishment rather than consideration.
So far it has never been heard of lesbians punished in a Muslim society. Homosexuality seems to mean sexual intercourse between males. There is no religious punishment for women indulging in the same sex as religiously homosexuality means sodomy. This should raise further debates about the particular meaning of homosexuality in Muslim societies.
Prejudice is inherent in many societies because of the rejection of the specificities of different groups because of their culture or orientation. Shock can just aggravate prejudices as it provides opponents with ammunition to charge against each other. If dialogue is impossible, it’s better to let things stand where they are. In societies where homosexuality is practised discretely without causing outrage, it’s better for gays to be contented with their secret practices rather than come out to ask for the recognition they can never get.