Rabat – Samira Sitail, the director of Moroccan television channel 2M, is joining the list of public figures who denounced the homophobic statements of Mustapha Ramid, the Minister in charge of Human Rights, after he called homosexuals “trash” in an interview last month.
“A minister of human rights who advocates hatred,” is how Sitail described Ramid in a Facebook post. “Dividing society, turning people against each other, stirring tensions and lashing out against people to detourn attention from the real issues that infect the Moroccan society.”
In short, Sitail is “nauseated” by Ramid’s homophobic statements, and she is far from being the only one.
— Samira sitail (@Samirasitail1) October 15, 2017
Walking out of an official meeting at Rabat’s library on September 28, Ramid was stopped by a journalist who asked him about the condition of homosexuals in Morocco. The minister’s reaction was immediate: “Why are you asking me about [homosexuality] too?” he asked.
Trying to dismiss the journalist, Ramid kept repeating, “This is too much. Too much. It’s a shame that homosexuality has a value now. Why is everyone asking me about it?”
Upon the insistence of the journalist, Ramid will finally gave in. “Listen, we are in Morocco, if we keep talking about [homosexuality] we will give them value. [They’re] trash.”
The minister used the insulting Arabic term “Awsakh.” It can be translated to “trash,” “scum,” or “vermin.”
The use of such degrading adjective is far from being a slip of the tongue; the minister is only expressing a long-standing conviction.
In an interview on Chada FM in 2015, he suggested that homosexuals should change their sex in order not to be disturbed by the law. “He who has a deep masculine voice but feels like a woman inside has only to change his sex,” said Ramid.
His statements brought on the anger of numerous NGOs, which signed a petition addressed to the Head of the Government Saad Eddine El Othmani on October 11 to open an investigation on Ramid’s “discriminatory and unconstitutional statements towards sexual minorities.”
“We consider the description of Moroccan citizens as ‘trash’ a blatant violation of the Moroccan constitution, which stresses the commitment of Morocco to human rights as they are internationally recognized,” the petition reads.
For this NGOs, “the minister in state, with these statements, advocates for homophobia.”
Mustapha Ramid, ministre d’Etat Marocain chargé des droits de l’Homme (???), qualifie les homosexuels “d’ordures”. https://t.co/Qtn8XBbCFc
— AmicaleJeunesRefuge (@AmicaleRefuge) October 13, 2017
Maroc : Le ministre marocain PAS ” des droits de l’homme”: Mustapha Ramid. TORDANT. C’est plutôt la version ORDURE “TRASH’ de l’INTOLERANCE.
— ANTOINE LABEL NGONGO (@LabelNgongo) October 14, 2017
For many years, associations and non-governmental organizations have been calling for the abolition of Article 489 of the Criminal Code criminalizing same-sex relationships.