By Djamel Belayachi
Launched on April 1, Mithly (gay, in Arabic) is the first openly gay Moroccan magazine. The publication, edited in Arabic, seeks to give a voice to "lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals, to express themselves." And this does not necessarily go down well with everyone.
"A first in the Arab world!" Exclaims the pan-Arab daily Alarab online. Launched on April 1 by the president of Kif Kif, a Moroccan LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights) organization.
It is the first gay magazine in Morocco. A publication that aims to give a voice to "lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals, to express themselves despite the fact that the authorities pretend that they do not exist," says the magazine’s blurb. The magazine is also available on the Internet.
Arab Homosexuals come from me of the "most politically and socially unstable areas in the world," says the magazine’s editorial, adding that the homophobia of which they fall victim tois as a result of "ignorance and misunderstanding."
Mithly’s editorial team is based in Madrid, Spain, given that homosexuality in Morocco is considered as an offense and punishable by up to three years imprisonment and a heavy fine. But despite this risk, officials of the magazine could not resist the temptation to distribute the first edition in Morocco.
Nearly 200 copies were printed and distributed under the counter in Rabat. For the time being, no legal action nor fatwa have been brought against them the moment, albeit a condemnation from the Islamist Justice and Development party’s newspaper, Attajdid.
"Homosexuality is against the future of humanity", Mustapha Khalfi, editor of the publication told Le Soir Belgique. According to him, the Moroccan authorities "should ban this publication that hurts the Islamic values of the Moroccan society." Cohabitation may be difficult.