By Timothy Filla
By Timothy Filla
Washington – Following the emergence of video footage showing a mob in Fez beating a man dressed in woman’s clothing, many Moroccans have taken to social media to express their outrage at the attack. The overwhelming majority of commenters on Facebook and YouTube condemned the violence and called for the perpetrators to be punished.
On June 30, Moroccan news station Goud TV posted a cell phone video of the assault to their YouTube channel. Since then, hundreds have expressed their opinions on the video and the associated news coverage. One YouTube commenter said, “How can people be so savage? You’re worse than beasts, you’re absolutely NOBODY to judge someone by his choices, only GOD JUDGES, NOT YOU.”
Commenting on the Morocco World News article reporting the attack, many Facebook users drew parallels between this attack and similar acts of intolerance in Morocco in recent weeks. “This is very sad. Not liking someone or believing that he is gay does not give anyone the right to attack him. This goes hand in hand with what happened to the 2 young women in Inezgane. When did Morocco become so intolerant and angry?” wrote one Facebook user.
Concerned about the effects of extreme intolerance on the future of Morocco, one user wrote, “Way to attract ISIS to Morocco. They see you being intolerant like this they will see there is room for them. Isis will be making problems in Morocco by the end of the year. People who say he should be killed are probably the same people who agree with ISIS.”
Other commenters said that although they disagree with homosexuality, they find the violence abhorrent. One Facebook user wrote, “I personally do not consider homosexuality morally acceptable, but I also consider attacking gays physically and terrorizing them utterly inhumane and uncivil.”
Another commented, “Personally, I do not support or accept homosexuality. As Muslims though, we need to be tolerant and there isn’t any sign of tolerance in this clip. If he was openly doing something illegal or provoking them, then he should be dealt with by law, not by an angry mob. We shouldn’t need to settle for physically attacking, this is deffinetely [sic] not the way to deal with the situation. This is completely outside the teachings of Islam.”
Users outside Morocco also expressed their shock at the attack. One American Facebook user commented, “I do not foresee going back to Morocco ever again at this rate. And that makes me sad.”
However, a few commenters placed blame on the victim. Although in a small minority, one observer wrote, “Relax all of you human rights activists, no one is killing gays because they’re gays. Just keep your gayness in private and don’t provoke people specially in Ramadan, he should have known better.” Another commented, “If you want to provoke than [sic] expect the consequences, it is as simple as that.”
Going further, a small number of users expressed their support for the attackers. One wrote “They deserve thanks for the gang.” Another said, “To all ATHEISTS and GAYS be careful that’s our culture and our religion you mess with it you’ll find the real Moroccans defending their beliefs. Stay away, go to Europe or go to Mars.”
Later on June 30, the Public Prosecutor of the Fez Court of First Instance announced that an investigation will be opened into the attack, a move welcomed by most online observers.
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