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Saudi officials initiate crackdown against homosexuality

"The homosexuality flag is present in one of the Riyadh markets,” says one Saudi journalist. Adding that the colors send a “poisoned message” to children.

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Saudi officials are seizing rainbow-colored toys and clothing from the shops in Riyadh as part of the crackdown on homosexuality.

Items like bows, skirts, hats, and pencil cases, most of them manufactured for children, are being seized in the raid. Despite opening to tourism in 2019 and relaxing its strict moral codes, the Kingdom has a strict policy against homosexuality.

“We are giving a tour of the items that contradict the Islamic faith and public morals and promote homosexual colors targeting the younger generation,” an official from the commerce ministry, which is involved in the campaign, says in the report.

“The homosexuality flag is present in one of the Riyadh markets,” says one Saudi journalist. Adding that the colors send a “poisoned message” to children.

The Saudi Commerce Ministry posted a video on its Twitter account this week that showed its officials going through stores and inspecting toys, backpacks, and other items for rainbow hues.

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“Our supervisory teams make the rounds of sales outlet and seize and confiscate products that contain symbols and signs that call for aberration and contradict correct nature, and impose penalties on facilities in violation,” the post said.

The report did not mention how many shops were targeted in the raid. Raids come after Saudi authorities banned films that depict sexual minorities. In April, Saudi authorities had asked Disney to cut homosexual references from the movie Marvel film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness but Disney refused.

Saudi Arabia has banned another Disney movie animated movie Light Year. The film features a same-sex kiss. The movie has been banned in Saudi Arabia and several other countries.

Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on cinemas in late 2017 as part of the social reforms spearheaded by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.