I love free speech. In fact, my insistance on saying things like they are with no regards to political correctness or sanctities has gotten me a fair share of hate mail if not outright death threats at times. That’s why, some of you might be surprised that I’m actually not a fan of Joe Maalouf, but think he is a wretched, opportunistic hypocrite who probably pulled some strings to get a show on MTV.
Now, when MTV went a little overboard, I was among the few that stood beside it, seeing how the accusations were mostly from idealistic leftists who thrive on “activism” and Cafe Younes food. But, with “Enta Horr”, MTV is allowing and purposefully endorsing violence, harm and danger to some of society’s most vulnerable.
Again, let me reiterate my absolute belief in freedom of speech and no censorship. Perhaps the one quote I truly admire is one by Voltaire “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” But, in this case, what Joe Maalouf is saying is killing other people and that’s where I draw the line.
I will not go into the details of whether or not homosexuality is a valid preference. As a biologist, and a libertarian, I believe that being gay is both natural and that legal adults have the right to decide what they like and want to do, so long as no one is actually getting hurt as a result. What I will always do though, is advocate their rights as human beings, something Joe Maalouf has endangered time and again and not only with homosexuals.
I was pleased to read on BlogBaladi that founder of Helem, George Azzi believes Joe Maalouf is gay and that that is widely accepted in the LGBT community in Lebanon. I don’t mean to stereotype, but his accent and mannerisms do tend to make that obvious. If only he wasn’t on a crusade to get homosexuals killed…
Joe, do shows about homosexuals. Let them be biased. Let them be incriminating, demonizing and all the other things closeted gay people try to portray their out-of-the-closet counterparts with. However, blur out their faces. Your cheap shot at ratings and controversy make Malek Maktabi look like a respectable journalist. You showing these people’s faces endangered their lives. What if one was the son of an extremist cleric? Do you think he’d last long on this Earth? And even if the harm wasn’t physical, imagine your face on national TV being accused of “atrocities”, would you be able to walk down the street again? Would your family love you the same way? Of course, homosexuality should never entail those consequences, but in a country where sheikhs think it’s cool to rape and beat women, we’re very far from gender equality let alone gay rights.
However, Maalouf’s recklessness has landed dozens of people in jail, and those are the ones we know of. In a jail where it is legal to insert a chicken egg into a man’s anus to test whether he is gay or not. Yes, I’m serious, that law does exist in Lebanon. Torture at it’s finest, I mean come on, who wouldn’t admit to being gay if it meant avoiding an egg being shoved up you ass?
Now, if you’re one of those people who still thinks homosexuality is the devil’s work, let me appeal to what’s left of your humanity after being warped by your faith. The child molester in Saint Joseph Antoura rocked the nation. The suspect accused of this created a lot of controversy and public anger, and rightly so. His name deserves to be publicized and he should suffer the consequences of his despicable actions. But, what do the innocent girls have to do with it? Why do their grief-stricken, in-shock families have to suffer the consequences of the actions of a man like that? They don’t.
BUT, of course, Joe Maalouf publicized the names of those girls and their families. Bravo Joe! You made people have something to gossip about in the salons. You also got awesome ratings and everyone thinks you’re a hero. But, they don’t actually. Making the victims’ names public exponentially makes the ordeal worse. Imagine suffering sexual abuse and molestation, and being reminded of it for the rest of your days with people always thinking about that and tip-toeing around you for fear you’re too fragile or broken. Thanks Joe! You’re a real trooper.
In conclusion, I’d like to take the chance to applaud MTV for always saying things without fear of backlash. However, I’d also like to rebuke them for their hypocrisy and some bigoted staff members. Having an opinion is cool and voicing it is a must and then it’s up to the people to make their decisions. But endangering people’s happiness, safety, liberty and lives will never be acceptable. It will always be bullying and one I find disturbing from a station with a youthful staff and up-and-coming philosophy.