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Monday, 1 February 2010

Sudan's First LGBT Rights Organization?

* (en) Sudan Location * (he) מיקום סודןImage via Wikipedia
Source: Global Voices - Jan 24

By SudaneseDrima

Throughout 2009, the Sudanese blogosphere has been in slumber mode. However, many previously inactive bloggers are blogging again along with new ones that have arrived on the scene recently.
But that's not all. Sudanese blogger, Kizzie wrote about the website launched by Freedom Sudan, The Sudanese LGBT Association.
Freedom Sudan is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organization in Sudan. Our organization has been formed in December 2006. Our status is illegal. Homosexual behavior is illegal in Sudan and homosexuals facing the death penalty. That's why our organization was formed in secret and all our activities are carried out secretly, hoping that one day we will get accepted in our communities and even in our families, and hope that we can be FREE to be the way we are. Freedom Sudan is an organization run by volunteers only.
Our main goals are:
  • Recognition of homosexuality in Sudan.
  • Social acceptance of homosexuality and acceptance of the rights of homosexuals in Sudan.
  • Abrogation of the death penalty for homosexuals (Articles 148,151, 316 and 318).
  • Work together with other LGBT organizations in the world for a better LGBT rights.
The organization also has its own Twitter account here.

There haven't been any reactions to this news yet within the Sudanese blogosphere. Also, before Kizzie broke it out, she wrote about a Sudanese Facebook group encouraging participation in Sudan's upcoming elections this April, the first one in two decades.

The group is called Girifna, Arabic for “We're Disgusted” or “We're Fed Up” and it has more than 4,200 members. You can learn more about it at an article posted on its website called Q&A with girifna.

The here's what Kizzie wrote about the Girifna Facebook group.
Apparently, Sudanese people my age actually care about the elections! I wasn't very optimistic about my generation in my Menassat article published a few weeks ago. I even came up with a name for our generation…Generation Passive….the passive youth of Sudan.
Girifna is a beacon of light to be honest! It literally means “I am disgusted” (I can totally relate to their frustrations!)
Waad Ali, meanwhile, blogged a brilliant original post about the signs of genocide and analyzed the situation in Darfur. The signs of genocide according to Waad Ali are:
… The first sign is classification. Now of course all human beings classify; there’s always us and there’s them, there’s our group and there’s the others. This is not necessarily of course a genocidal step, but its absolutely necessary for genocide

… The second sign is symbolization, where we have words or symbols that express those classifications.

… The third sign is dehumanization. It’s where we equate the group that is targeted as being a cancer or microbes in the system. In other words, It’s where we begin to treat one group as somehow less than human.

… The fourth sign of genocide is organization. If a hate group is formed that is organizing to carry out hate crimes

… The fifth sign of Genocide is Polarization, in which the hate groups try to drive the society apart. Basically they try to drive out all the moderates who could stop the process.

… The sixth sign is what I call preparation. It is the stage were people are armed and militias are trained to carry out genocide.

… The seventh sign is what I call Genocide, “legally”.

… The eighth sign is denial. All the way through this whole process, the people who are committing Genocide Deny that they are doing it.
Moving from the topic of genocide, let's now take a look at a topic that many Sudanese bloggers covered recently in the wake of the Lubna trousers affair: what women wear.

Nersrine Melik, blogging at The Guardian, writes:
“I am averse to any legislation which dictates what women are allowed to wear as much as I am averse to the niqab. Although there is little consensus over its religious obligatory nature, this is a red herring that detracts from the more important question of personal liberty. However, there are situations where a full face cover poses security and identity questions. Freedom is not absolute when it encroaches upon the rights of others. Covering one's face whether that person is a man or a woman has simple practical ramifications.”
When the Lubna trousers affair erupted, virtually every single Sudanese blogger criticized Lubna's arrest by the authorities. Adil Abdalla has a different opinion though, and is actually critical of Lubna in light of her recent visit to France where she traveled to promote her new book “40 Lashes for a Pair of Trousers” written in French.
She was a shock to our distinctive culture.. in Sudan, conservatism is potted with open-mindness, where sky is the limit for your imagination, yet respect the fundamentals of our grassroots and common perceptions..

She was not that moral-driven one, nor dressed as modest as shown in press.. Police had caught her at midnight in a suspicious club.. A witness claimed her dress was totally different, almost naked; yet some activists helped her to change all to embrace the government in highly charged time of politics and power game..

Regretfully, she ashamed her country, and aided who want to shame Muslims.. She is too small to be any player, yet a tool for big players.. Now, she is immunized in Europe, and will be forgotten shortly.. but the hurt she caused will be deeper and wider to heal..!!
In another sign that the Sudanese blogosphere has grown from its tiny community of a dozen or so blogs, Drima at The Sudanese Thinker compiled a list of Sudanese bloggers he's managed to find so far.
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