As part of a crackdown on homosexuality, Saudi authorities are taking rainbow-colored toys and clothing from businesses in the capital, according to state television. According to a report aired Tuesday night by the Al-Ekhbariya public news station, the targeted items include rainbow-colored ribbons, skirts, caps and pencil bags, the majority of which appear to be designed for young children.
“We go around articles that contradict the Islamic faith and public morals and promote homosexuality, targeting the younger generation,” said a Commerce Ministry official involved in the campaign.
Pointing to a rainbow flag, a journalist said: “The flag of homosexuality is present in one of the markets in Riyadh.
The colors send a “poisonous message” to children, the report says.
In Saudi Arabia, known for its harsh interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, which forms the foundation of the entire legal system, homosexuality is a potential capital crime.
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The kingdom announced in April that it had asked Disney to remove “LGBTQ hints” from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the latest Marvel film, but Disney refused.
In the end, the film was not screened in Saudi theaters.
According to a source close to Disney, the film Lightyear, which involves a gay kiss, has been banned in Saudi Arabia and more than a dozen other countries, although Riyadh has not commented on the matter.
Images of Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange and supposedly alien children waving rainbow flags were also included in Tuesday’s Al-Ekhbariya broadcast.
The article did not say how many businesses were targeted or what was confiscated in the Commerce Ministry raid, and Saudi officials did not respond to an AFP request for comment on Wednesday.
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