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Children FirstNahida Izzat Salem-News.com
This article is not a condonation or justification of any form of discrimination or persecution against people with various sexual orientations or disorders...
(LONDON) - A reflection on the implication of politicisation of sexual behaviour/ orientation and its infringement on children’s rights, all this in relation to the Palestinian cause
This article is not a condonation or justification of any form of discrimination or persecution against people with various sexual orientations or disorders, it is a mere expression of an opinion and sharing of concerns associated with promoting explicit sexual education amongst children and pressurising other societies to change their codes of ethics, thus destroying the cradle of child-protection, the family unit being the foundation of these societies.
For whatever reason, I often find myself engaged in writing about taboo topics which very few are willing to touch, and expressing “politically incorrect” views, which no one is willing to even ponder about, this article is just one of those.
One of the main reasons that pushed me to speed up and write this article, besides its core subject, the welfare of children, is my observation of some huge efforts which have been exerted to make the issue of “sexual orientation” an integral part of the Palestinian struggle for Liberation!
As a mother and a grandmother with great love and devotion for children, as a human being with intense concern for children’s welfare, and as Palestinian, with a deep rooted culture, in which FAMILY -not the individual, is the nucleus of society, I feel the need to drop my two cents on the issue of adult sexual behaviour and the need of child protection.
Palestinian culture, being predominantly Muslim, is essentially a culture of faith where believing in a Creator, accepting that actions have consequences and taking responsibility for people’s own deeds are core concepts in its philosophy.
Most socio-dynamics in Islamic societies stems from that belief; starting with God-man relationship, ending with man-nature relationship, including all which is in-between. i.e. the boundaries of personal freedoms, and extents of responsibilities in the human-human relationship.
Such traditional culture views society NOT as the sum of its individuals, behaving as disconnected atoms floating in a vacuum, but rather the very expanded social collective of families and extended families, which results is a neatly woven, well bonded social fabric, in which the welfare of the whole is understood to precede that of the individual. Acting exactly as an organic body, of which all cells are connected and important.
At the heart of such societies the concept of “All mankind are born free but OUR FREEDOM ENDS WHEN THE FREEDOM OF OTHERS BEGINS”.
Such culture puts very strong emphasis on the role of traditional family in the upbringing, welfare, health and protection of its children (the nucleus family ; consisting of mother and father, and the extended family consisting of relatives as well as neighbours and friends)
Is it not only reasonable then to assume that any ideology or practices which prioritises the INDIVIDUAL and puts their selfish desires up and above the welfare of the whole, might not fulfil the needs of a deeply religious, family oriented and tightly woven society?
If Muslims choose freely to have some restriction upon themselves (like modest dress code, abstinence from consuming alcohol or self-discipline in sexual behaviour) in order to create a more attentive and more protective, more family oriented atmosphere for the sake of its most vulnerable members, namely children, what harm is there in that?
If the support for human rights in Palestine or elsewhere in the world is conditional and dependent on people denouncing their religion, cultural heritage, and social traditions and adopting new sets of social behaviour alien to them, which only mirrors that of the West; does not that mean denying them a most basic human right, the right to think, and live within a specific ethical code and legal system of their own choice?
The East has different history and different experiences, different perspective on existential issue and different views of the world. It has different social structures, different ways of dealings with it’s social wells and of healing its ills, thus it is nonsensical and rather presumptuous to assume that East and West share exactly the same problems, thus need the same solutions!
TRANSFERRING the PROBLEMS of the West onto the East, then JUXTAPOSING the SAME SOLUTIONS on the East is rather shortsighted and very condescending, IMHO.
Trying to standardise and sum up humanity in the form of Western civilisation is a grave mistake. We can’t simply assume that what is good and right for the western culture is the norm, nor we can accept that it is superior to that of other cultures, and for me this is a BASIC HUMAN RIGHT. The Muslim world has suffered enormously from colonial imperialism, military and economic occupation, we are longing for FREEDOM, but the freedom that we long most for is the FREEDOM of THOUGHT.
We have to come to common grounds of accepting that each culture and civilization has its own structure that depends very much on a huge heritage and millennia of accumulated experiences, understanding this and respecting it is vital for the future peaceful existence of human race
Now, coming to the topic of LGBT and homosexuality:
I don’t think it is my business, or anyone’s business for that matter to know what people do in their bedrooms, or to be exposed to such private matters, let alone be asked to support, take pride in, demonstrate for, or celebrate what people do in the privacy of their own homes.
However, like every issue in the world, people are entitled to express an opinion or to have personal views on it, such views should not be considered as “persecution”, “infringement”, or ”violation of the human rights” of LGBT or homosexuals.
For me personally, what makes me cringe about this issue :
All the above should raise red flags in any decent person’s head, it should ring alarm bells and concern with those who care about children’s welfare and wellbeing.
I see so much contradiction in dealing with these issues in Western societies:
Exposing children to all sorts of information images and materials, encouraging them to be sexually aware, sexually educated and active as young as possible, yet pretending to want to protect them from sexual abuse.
Campaigning for human rights of one group yet being ever so quiet about other groups of similar tendencies.
Trying to shelter children from abuse yet see nothing wrong in putting them in a situation where they might be emotionally, mentally and psychologically abused.
Allow me here to storm your brains by throwing out some questions:
Homosexuality is what it is, a sexual orientation, like any other, so why make it into a defining identity?
Why should people be defined and take so much “pride” by such a narrow aspect of their behaviour, done in the privacy of their own bedrooms?
Why should the rest of mankind -including the young ones, engage in promoting, celebrating and taking pride in the sexual act of some of its adult members?
Why should humanity be split into two categories : hetro, homo, thus identified by such limiting and insignificant parameters?
Can we really tell how civilized a county is by the size of its pride parades?
Is civility and respect of human rights measured by its celebration of how fast growing its homosexual population?
Is it not total regression, to define ourselves merely by our sexuality -rather than by our morality and intellect?
Can we define humanity by two groups: those who love to sleep on their backs and those who prefer sleeping on their sides or tommies?
Can we start having “Pride Parades” for left-handed people, or for people who prefer using coloured tissue-paper in the bathroom, rather than the common white, for they too are minorities?
Do the words “WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT WHAT OTHERS DO BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, IN THE PRIVACY OF THEIR BEDROOMS, SO PLEASE DON’T BOTHER US WITH IT” mean anything to anybody?
If this zealous support of homosexuality is all about human rights, why do people in the west favour to defend the human rights of homosexuals yet they are not so keen on the human right of:
Paraphilias: Exhibitionism, Fetishism, incest, Frotteurism, Zoophilia, Mysophilia Necrophilia, Troilism, Coprophilia, Masochism, Sadism, Transvestitism, and Voyeurism?
For the sake of fairness, equal opportunity and refusal of double standards, should we not broaden the scope of tolerance and change the name of LGBT to this LGBTEFIZMNTCSVP?
All the above display “less-common” sexual behaviours. Just like homosexuals, they too can not control the impulses and desires they feel, and they are only sexually fulfilled in their own different way, so should they be invited to schools to “educate” children about their sexual peculiarities?
Should humanity celebrate a week “pride parade” for each and every sexual orientation or deviation there is?
Why are they –unlike homosexuals- given medical advice and psychological treatment instead of being accepted as they are?
Why are they forced by society to suppress their feelings and “live miserably” instead of promoting and celebrating their sexual habits in public?
Who can define sexual disorder, or “normal” and “abnormal”, who is allowed to vote?
Who has the right to draw the lines?
Why is it that those who view homosexuality and transgender as disorders are condemned and accused of being homophobes?
Do exhibitionists have the right to fulfil their desires and take pride in their sexuality by imposing their nudity and public sexual behaviour on society?
Whose rights come first exhibitionists or society and its children?
Do we become cruel, anti-human-rights bigots and exhibiphobes if we objected to the public sexual gratification of exhibitionists?
What about Zoophilia (people who are attracted to animals) or Necrophilia (gratification by having sexual contact with dead bodies)?
Is a man entitled to marry a dog, a goat, a corpse, or a woman’s underwear in church?
Why are such individuals not allowed to promote their sexuality, teach children about it and celebrate it publicly?
Is it appropriate and healthy to have children reading stories titled “My daddy John and my mummy black & red underwear”?
or “My daddy Harry and my mummy mountain goat”?
What are the mental, psychological and social health ramifications of such structure replacing traditional family units?
Will there be human right groups calling for the right of those people to get married and adopt children? After all this person is only expressing his love and is harming no one in the process?
Are we sure that teaching very small children all this intimate adult materials would have no negative effect on their emotional, psychological and mental state?
It is clear that with paedophilia children’s rights are violated, because they are unable to give their consent as they are immature, vulnerable and unable to make good judgement. But why are we seeing individuals and groups trying to legalise and normalise such criminal activities?
Who can define an acceptable age of consent?
Is a 16 year-old a child? Is 12, 13, 14, 15 year-old a child?
Why then girls and boys as young as 12 are – by law- given contraceptive on demand?
Is it ok for children to have sexual relations with mates of similar age or a few years older?
How many years difference is deemed acceptable?
What age difference makes the relationship unlawful and wrong (Paedophiliac)?
Who can regulate and have the say on this?
What about the rights of adopted children, what effect will have on their psychological health, having two mums or two dads, and not knowing their biological parents?
Nowadays, where exactly is the persecution of homosexuals in the west, where is the abuse of their human rights?
Where is it all heading?
Is there an end to how far humanity would go in its abuse of children in order to gravitate its most primitive behaviour?
Have we not learnt yet the harm which would be caused to children by such abuse because of certain tribal customs amongst some communities?
Is expressing an opinion considered “infringement on rights”?
Moreover, why impose on the rest of the world, Western definitions, Western values, Western problems, and inflict Western solutions upon them?
Isn’t that yet another form of imperialism, i.e thought imperialism?
If Western countries along with with LGBT and gay-rights “activists” are so keen to help other “undeveloped” societies into “progress”, wouldn’t their help be much more appreciated when it gives the other the freedom they desire in devising their own social structure and the respect they deserve in choosing ethical codes of their own?
Wouldn’t be more modest to learn about other cultures, how they function, how their people interact, and how they solve problems, resolve conflicts and deal with disagreements, before thinking of exporting ideas, educating others’ children and imposing their solutions to imaginary problems?
Do we have sufficient knowledge as to the effect of early exposure to certain explicit sexual materials or behaviour might have on young children, how harmful?
Who have the right to decide what is appropriate, descent, acceptable exposure for children?
How do you feel if in other societies, majority of its citizens view homosexuality as a disorder?
In societies where the welfare of the whole is much important than the individual, who are encouraged to practice self restraint, sacrifice, and altruism, rather than pursuing selfish fulfilment and egoism, if they willingly give up some desires in order to keep a healthy society and less traumatized children; why the obsession with imposing change?
If some societies cherish family unit as foundations of a healthy society, and views protection, care and commitment as the finest expression of love, thus producing a socially cohesive and healthy society, where the weak is looked after and the needy is provided for, why attempting to replace it with failed experiments as documented in many Western societies, where family units are disintegrating and individualism is eating the fabric of society away?
Now, is the issue of promoting and celebrating homosexuality (again, I reiterate, a private act which should not be anyone’s business) related to the Palestinian struggle for Liberation?
Are we obliged to start teaching our young Palestinian boys and girls about homosexual and LGBT “persecution” and “abuse of human rights” in order to be “accepted” as “progressive” society worthy of support?
Just like attempting to tie our Palestinian struggle for liberation with causes which only distracts us from focusing on our goals and deplete our energies, like fighting “antisemitism”, “holocaust denial”, or “conspiracy theories”, pretending that this is the way for Palestine liberation, we refuse the imposition and the premises that the issue of “homosexuality is central to our cause”.
We refuse to consider sexual orientation issues as primal or urgent issues to be dealt with immediately, or that it the most burning issue in our quest for justice and freedom, when we have not yet achieved the most basic and fundamental human right ever, the right of SURVIVAL...
We do not accept to see our Palestinian struggle for freedom hijacked and used by some campaign groups who try to piggy-back on the Palestine cause in order to promote their own agenda and campaigns for “sexual freedom”, which would only distract, complicate and skew the essense of Palestine issues.
Moreover, this issue should be left to the Palestinians and other societies to examine, discuss and deal with, in its own time and in accordance with its own ethics and what is best for those societies.
We refuse to be distracted and our aims obscured by side issues while we struggle for survival facing threats of genocidal magnitude.
My fear is that all this promotion and disproportionate importance given to homosexuality, would be used as the first crack in the foundational rock of human ethics which took mankind millennia of evolution and slow progress in order to fine-tune complex and refined moral systems founded on justice and compassion, thus followed by all sorts of sexual ill-behaviours; child molesting, beastality, and incest would cause total regression and collapse of nucleus family units bringing us back to stone age.
It is more wise, humanly decent and respectable to let various societies -especially the ones under threat of eradication, like the Palestinian society, exercise their rights of freedom of thought, by following ethical code of their own choice and without manufacturing artificial consent imposed upon them by donor countries or any other pressure group.
It is more wise, humanly decent and respectable to let children be children, do not rob them of their purity and childhood.
Children are not meant to be exposed to concepts, images, words or acts which they are not ready for.
Allow them time to enjoy being young and innocent and carefree, without having to be burdened with adult stuff.
Allow them to grow up and mature in their own time.
Allow them to play without concern, to run light-heartedly and to laugh loudly when they slide or use a swing.
Allow them to BE.
This article is not a condonation or justification of any form of discrimination or persecution against people with various sexual orientations or disorders, it is a mere expression of an opinion and sharing of concerns associated with promoting explicit sexual education amongst children and pressurising other societies to change their codes of ethics, thus destroying the cradle of child-protection, the family unit and the foundation of these societies.
Special thanks to Uprooted Palestinians
Nahida Izzat is a Jerusalem-born Palestinian refugee who has lived in exile for over forty two years, after being forced to leave her homeland at the tender age of seven in 1967, during the six-day war. She has a degree in mathematics, but art is one of her favorite pastimes. She loves hand-made things and so makes dolls, cards, and most of her own clothes. She also writes poetry, participates in written dialogues and believes in building bridges, not walls.
She started writing when her friends insisted she should write about her memories, experiences and feelings as a Palestinian.When she did it all came out sounding—she was told—like poetry! So she self-published two books: I Believe in Miracles, and Palestine the True Story.
Her dream is to return back home to a free and liberated Palestine.
If you like poetry and are intrigued by the notion of learning more about Palestine, you can visit Nahida's blog Poetry for Palestine for more of her writings; prose, poems, letters and dialogues.
You can write to Nahida : nahidaexiledpalestinian@gmail.
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