Latest blog posts

  • By: Brian Whitaker
    Khalid al-Hail, a 29-year-old Qatari living in exile in London, is a man with grand ideas. People address him as "Sheikh Khalid", though on Facebook he prefers to call himself "His Excellency". Variously described as a businessman, philanthropist and reformist, al-Hail is best known as the...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    When the sight of a few people waving rainbow flags at a pop concert becomes an act of "moral terrorism", when it plunges a country into hysteria and the government responds by arresting dozens of people on suspicion of being gay and orders the media to show them no sympathy, it's time to ask why...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    When Mashrou' Leila, a Lebanese band whose lead singer is openly gay, performed in Cairo on September 22 several members of the audience waved rainbow flags. Religious leaders, politicians and sections of the Egyptian media were horrified and demanded swift government action. The authorities...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    In an uncharacteristically magnanimous decision, a Saudi court has cleared 13 people of blame for the disaster that struck Mecca two years ago when a crane toppled on to the Grand Mosque, killing more than 100 people. The crane had been operated by the Saudi Binladin company (founded by...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    The moral panic over homosexuality in Egypt, which began when several fans at a music concert waved rainbow flags, took a new turn at the weekend when the authorities ordered local media not to show any sympathy for LGBT rights. On Saturday the Supreme Council for Media Regulation – whose...

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