Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Joe Maalouf, Yet Again!

You will have a hard time keeping up with all the controversies Joe Maalouf gets himself into. It's within his nature, he lives for controversy and sensationalism and makes bucket loads of money along the way. I don't blame him for that, we the viewers encourage him to push for more fadayi7 w sarsara.

A few months ago Joe M. began his crusade to purge the country from the vice of low-end movie theaters. He started in Tripoli and back then I commented strongly on the issue warning that he is a big threat that should be taken seriously.

Now he's back and this time he caused some serious harm. Apparently some 30 men or so were detained after he talked about yet another shady movie theater. It's not really clear how big  his role is in these arrests, and some have cautioned to wait for hard evidence that the police acted upon information he divulged.

So is he really responsible for outing these men? I cannot imagine the shame and humiliation they are enduring now. What about their families? They must be really shocked that their loved ones got caught  in such a mess. These men were outed in a horrible way over which they had no control whatsoever.

Siding with the weaker link, some gay activists outed Joe M. so he can taste some of his own poison. My gaydar whispered in my ears a long time ago: he's gay, gay I tell you. I firmly believe that many many people, gay and straight, were almost certain he was gay long before his outing.

Being gay doesn't change much for me. He's a horrible person with backward views and an arsenal of weapons at his disposal. He's well connected and he will use the media for more vehement attacks on the gay community especially gay activists. He will deny what activists asserted regarding his sexual orientation and accuse them of defamation.

If anything, this whole incident proves how precarious the situation the Lebanese gay community lives in. Many of us have been fooled by the skin deep enhancements we have experienced over the past years. The few pubs and night clubs we enjoy don't change much. It all boils down to the fact that it is still illegal to be gay in Lebanon.

Joe Maalouf and many others will continue to prey on the gay community. Maybe outing Joe M. will weaken him and will put him in check, or maybe it won't. But other media personalities will come and fill his shoes, and many will be just as homophobic, if not more.

We need to look at the big picture, which is how to block self-righteous wannabes, à la Joe Maalouf, from bullying the marginalized gay community of Lebanon. This cannot happen if laws don't protect sexual minorities and if society continues its slow march towards more rigorous interpretation of religion.

Joe Maalouf is a homophobe, a self-hating gay, but it's not the issue. As long as our society is fine with homophobes, and by large our society still is, we will continue to witness events like this.

This is a reminder and a call for action for all those who believe in human rights and equality to increase their efforts to achieve a just and egalitarian society.


  1. That's never gonna happen. Even more so in the next few years when Lebanon semi-officially becomes an Islamic state. It's hopeless.

    1. Lebanon can't become an Islamic state with all those tawa2ef & religions.

    2. We should never lose hope. Things are never easy, but we need to focus on what's important and work towards achieving our goals of equal rights and decent living. I am rather happy major media outlets like LBCI, Al-Akhbar, As-Safir among others were very critical of the scandal and sided with the LGBT community. So nchalla kher ya jad.

    3. Yeah that's why I said semi-officially, as in when Hezbollah takes over (and they will), because of the multi-sectarian situation we have. We'll be more like Iran, which is also a multi-sectarian country despite most people thinking it's 100% Shia. That's why it's not as bad in Iran as it is in Sadr city in Baghdad for example, where the Mahdi Army rules in a predominantly Taliban-like manner over there. You can at least still listen to music in Iran, you can't impose all that crap on Persians, they'll start a counter revolution.

      And Elie yeah it was the first time in decades I felt a bit warm inside while watching LBC, thanks to that YouTube clip.
      I hope for the best too, at least for the sake of my friends, I've already given up and left the motherland..

    4. I think the Lebanese society is quite diverse even within the same religious denomination. If you have visited Da7iye for example you would notice that even Hizballah with all its might couldn't impose its strict views on everyone there.
      Anyway,shia, sunni, or christian radicals are not what Lebanon needs right now. We have had enough of them.
      Many have given up, but many still believe change is possible, and I bet you can help, and I'm almost certain you want to help, although you have left the motherland.

    5. That is true, but the only sustainable solution is a Swiss-like federation, or something of the sort, starting with decentralization.

    6. Who knows? We endured a 15 years civil war, and not much changed. So is a Swiss-like federation the solution? Maybe, it's beyond my reach to give an honest and well informed answer to this question. If the general consensus leans towards this solution and it proves its worth, why not? But this very hypothetical.
      The problem is the lack of engagement of the general Lebanese population in the decision making process, and the sheep like mentality of most supporters of this or that political party.

    7. I totally agree, no one's willing to let go of their feudal and neo-feudal overlords.