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25 Jul, 2017 16:37

Refugees & homosexuality: To what extent should migrants accept European values?

Refugees & homosexuality: To what extent should migrants accept European values?

Award-winning erotic filmmaker Erika Lust has completed an adult movie about gay refugees. She says the aim is to change attitudes and “humanize” the newcomers to Europe. RT discussed the idea with social commentator Mo Ansar and conservative writer Mike Cernovich.

RT:  Mo, do you think films like this help to 'humanize refugees'?

Mo Ansar: There are many stories about refugees; there are many stories about Muslims, as there are many stories about all of the different kinds of plurality that exist in a tolerant free and open society. If it can do some good to show people that Muslims come in different kinds of shapes and forms that is a great thing. There are naturally going to be people who are upset at maybe some of the graphic scenes and sexual scenes – it is an adult movie, it is not for everybody. There are people of all kinds of walks of life that will be comfortable and uncomfortable with different scenes in it. But the key theme is that there are different stories, and some people want to tell their stories. If you don’t want to watch it – look away. And if you don’t like what it says, you don’t have to - as I think we have seen alt-right and far-right do – try and use it as an excuse to say: “You know what? This is a blatant opportunity, and a blatant attempt to try and humanize all Muslims by using people at the fringe of their societies." But guess what? Those people exist. I have got friends who are gay and Muslim. I have got people who are LGBTQIA... Muslims come in all shapes and sizes.

RT:  Mike, how do you think refugees will greet an initiative like that?

Mike Cernovich: It’s been proven that you have to segregate gay people in the refugee camps because they do face violence and attacks. Germany had a problem with that with gay refugees. We’re largely seeing a crisis of values, where people from countries that are not friendly to gay people – whether that is because of Islam, or whether it is because of cultural norms, other people have to decide about that. But there is rampant discrimination against gay people. Gay people are executed in several Muslim majority nations. Gays don’t have rights in Saudi Arabia and other countries like Qatar. There is definitely some tension between the idea that Europe needs to open its doors and welcome in millions of people from all over the world when those millions of people often have homophobic values.

RT:  So what is the solution?

MC: There have been people talking about giving them poll results: how do you feel about female genital mutilations? What’s your view on gay rights? What's your views on women’s rights?… The issue is this – even Angela Merkel has admitted this: they have let in too many people too soon. So I don’t think the answer is to shut out the world. But you’re going to have a major culture clash if you welcome in a million new people, who have a strong cultural identity and are willing to impose that cultural identity and their social norms onto the people who live in the host nation.

RT:  Mo, to what extent should refugees accept European values? Can they accept them?

MA: … The facts are that LGBTQIA asylum seekers in Western asylum detention centers are being scandalously attacked, raped, harmed and we had some reports recently in the UK and France about asylum seekers who were gay and who were being so badly abused by guards, officers, and by other people... This idea that the West is on the brink of a clash of civilizations is just appalling. What it does – it ferments hatred and division between communities.

Guess what – there are some people in the American Tea Party, that are Trump followers, that would have us pass certain laws about transgender kids being forced to use certain bathrooms; forced pregnancy tests, and all kinds of things that are being done in America at the minute, which are limiting female rights, reproductive rights, rights to express their own sexual identity. I think before Mike does what a lot of people in the West do, say: “Look at all these weird brown people, who have got IQs of less than 115.” … All of these things are absolutely ludicrous, and generally sensible normal people don’t accept these things… Homosexuality was made lawful in terms that there was no crime or punishment to be meted out to people who were gay in the Muslim world centuries before it was in the West – it was decriminalized. The idea that the West somehow enlightened and war-torn countries which they were bombing for 150 years are somehow backward is ridiculous…

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.