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Al Jazeera’s coverage of gay rights ‘raises eyebrows’ as Qatar cracks down on LGBT groups

Al Jazeera’s coverage of gay rights ‘raises eyebrows’ as Qatar cracks down on LGBT groups
Qatar-backed Al Jazeera pays heed to LGBT rights worldwide while ignoring the Gulf states’ repressive stance on homosexuality, but this could just be a business decision, an expert has told RT.

In Qatar, same sex relations are illegal but the country’s flagship media outlet seems to take a much more liberal stance on the matter. On June 1, AJ+, a part of the Al Jazeera Media Network, marked the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month with a video discussing homosexual issues in Christian societies.

The footage showed protests for gay rights in the US and featured several interviews. One of the speakers complained that in Christian communities sexual minorities are told that “they are different, that they are bad, that they are broken.”

The video sparked criticism on social media as many people wondered why the outlet’s Arabic version is silent on domestic repressive policies against gays and lesbians.

Al Jazeera’s recent report is indeed “raising eyebrows,” John Loudon, former Republican member of the Missouri Senate told RT, adding that people find it suspicious when “you would look critical on behaviors of people in some countries but not critical on the same behavior in yours.”

The expert however noted that editorial choices may be guided by pragmatic, not ideological considerations. “While they [Al Jazeera] are state-owned they do care about making a profit and try to discuss news that appeals to their particular audience,” he said.

Still, some reports in that case “might be perceived as disrupting or corrupting the marketplace” and “people then would have the right to be concerned about that,” Loudon concluded.

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