“Allah Loves Equality”: Facebook Bans Gay Editor for an Emoji, Reassures Pakistan
On September 22, Politicalite published an article exposing the hypocrisy and cowardice of Facebook’s “Community Standards”. Politicalite is a major independent and right-wing populist UK media outlet, and the latest victim of the Facebook Witch Hunt.
Earlier that day Politicalite editor Jordan James posted a photo of a Muslim woman in a rainbow hijab holding a rainbow sign that read “Allah Loves Equality”, which displeased the social media network. What was his Jordan’s caption? “Ok hun.” followed by a sarcastic eye-rolling emoji.
Hours after Jordan’s Politicalite post, Politicalite was told to unpublish its page and review the “offensive” content that Facebook categorized as “Hate Speech.” The editor was suspended for 30 days and threatened with expulsion for… an eye roll emoji.
“How can this be?” the news agency resented this absurd state of affairs. “Our Editor is a gay man who has had first-hand experience of Muslim Homophobia and knows countless Muslim men who are forced to lead double lives due to their sexuality. Radical Islamists also use Allah’s name, and threaten gay men. Islamic countries also have some of the worst records in the world for Gay Rights.”
FB has given me a 30 day ban and threatened to unpublish a news outlets page over this image. So I, a gay man can’t sarcastically mock the abysmal gay rights in the Islamic religion and in Islamic countries? @Facebook. Putting Blasphemy laws ABOVE freedom of speech. ???? @getongab pic.twitter.com/FJWGojSY7c— Jordan James (@politicalite) September 22, 2018
In 2016, when after years of decades of battle the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, Americans celebrated by adding a rainbow tint to their Facebook profile. The White House followed suit, bathing itself in rainbow light. In Saudi Arabia, however, this was cause for alarm rather than celebration.
The first casualty was the privately run Talaee Al-Noor School in Riyadh, which happened to have a rooftop parapet painted with rainbow stripes. The school was fined 100,000 riyals ($26,650) for displaying “the emblem of the homosexuals” on its building. One of its administrators was jailed and the offending parapet was swiftly repainted blue to match a rainbow-free sky.
“Incredibly, Facebook sent one of its chief officers to the terror state of Pakistan to assure the Pakistani government that Facebook would adhere to the sharia. The commitment was given by Vice President of Facebook Joel Kaplan, who called on Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. “Facebook has reiterated its commitment to keep the platform safe and promote values that are in congruence with its community standards.” Which community? Certainly not a free society,” Pamela Geller, the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, commented on the situation.
“Facebook’s mission was sharing. Facebook’s success was a result of that idea — sharing photos, lives, stories, opinions with family, friends and others. Facebook turning its back on its very founding and punishing people for their conscience, their ideas will eventually destroy Facebook — of this I am sure.”
After Geller brought up the subject, one of the readers of her website also shared their experience of being suspended by Facebook for the same reasons.
“If we are not able to criticize religion and call out the Islamic communities failure to tackle homophobia, isn’t Facebook just as guilty as the censors in Saudi Arabia?” Politicalite put a reasonable question.