Target: President Mohamed Morsi
Goal: Condemn increasingly hostile rhetoric toward homosexuals and demand President Morsi protect gay rights.
The gay community in Egypt is fearful that they will soon face a government crackdown. Many young men and women took part in the revolution and participated in demonstrations at Tahrir Square. There was hope that there would be a new era of openness and sexual liberation for them. Instead, it appears the conservative Islamist government is preparing to crack down on gay rights. Sign the petition to demand President Morsi protect gay rights in Egypt.
The Egyptian gay community has always been fairly secretive out of fear of persecution. Cafes and bars that are friendly to the homosexual community do not advertise through flags or signs. The only way to learn if a place is safe is through word of mouth and online forums. Egypt currently has no laws against homosexuality but it is a significant social taboo. Police will often charge gays with “debauchery” or breach of public morals. In 2001 during the Mubarak regime the famous “Cairo 52” were arrested by police in a notorious raid on gay men. With the election of the Islamist government there is fear now that new anti-gay legislation will be introduced.
The Egyptian Institute for Personal Rights had described the increasingly abusive rhetoric: “After the fall of Mubarak, the criticism of those groups has always contained a sexual element. Whether it’s the women who are participating are called prostitutes or ‘loose’ women, or men are called homosexuals.” Among the Muslim Brotherhood, derogatory words toward homosexuals such as “shewaz,” meaning pervert, have become popular. Sign the petition to condemn the increasingly hostile rhetoric toward gays and demand President Morsi protect the gay community in Egypt.
Dear President Morsi,
I am writing as a human rights activist. There is a widespread fear among Egyptian citizens that belong to the gay community they will soon be facing a crackdown by your government. Many members of the gay community bravely took part in the ouster of Mubarak and organized publicly in Tahrir Square. Their hope was that Egyptian society and the Egyptian government would come to accept them as individuals without unfairly stigmatizing and discriminating against them. So far, these hopes have been dashed.
Members of your party, the Muslim Brotherhood, have begun to engage in hateful rhetoric referring to homosexuals as perverts and disparaging their contributions to the revolution. Police often feel free to harass gays at private cafes, restaurants and bars, charging them with breaches of public morality. The revolution sought to create a better society for all Egyptian citizens, regardless of sexual orientation. It is the duty of your government to protect homosexuals from discrimination and persecution.
I hope you take my thoughts under consideration.
[Your Name Here]