CFN – For Canadian Filmmaker John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani these are trying times. Both are on hunger strikes in an Egyptian prison after being held for over 30 days without charges. There’s even a website for them tarekandjohn.com
Greyson at least is openly gay which in most Muslim countries is about as scary as hanging out in Russia.
The Minister in charge here in Canada is John Baird who is sorta out himself.
During TIFF the two men’s incarceration has become the cause of the week with celebs making statements to help put pressure to free the Egyptian government which is right now under military control after Muslim Brotherhood poobah Morsi was removed.
In other words this is a total mess. Were these two Canadian gentlemen on vacation simply looking to purchase a hookah? Greyson is a strongly Anti-Israel activist and the good Dr. has done some activism himself. That’s not a crime nor cause for incarceration.
But where does their own responsibility lie? After all they knowingly put themselves in harms way. If they were not Canadian would they be safely held in Egyptian jail all things considered?
In gay terms, would an effete mincer jump into a Biker bar in Texas get much sympathy if they were not treated with kindness and respect? Would Alec Baldwin go running to their defense?
We live in a world where people scream about anti-bullying without really understanding what bullying is. We live in a dark scary world where some people are really not nice. They’re nasty. They aren’t interested in debate or discussion. It’s why people in LA live with bars on their doors and windows and why some people don’t wander around certain neighborhoods late at night.
Some media are calling for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to intervene and on the one hand maybe he should; but on the other hand should he?
And would there be as much public support to free the two if at least one of them wasn’t gay? As some gay activists are pointing out why isn’t their community calling for a boycott of Egypt after a month of captivity like they are for Russia over the Olympics?
When things are taboo or prohibited they can develop an allure or mysticism. That has happened in many ways over the centuries to being gay and in the last 30 or so years has led up to a crescendo where there are political machines and marketing machines and being gay has almost become a brand.
Pink Dollars and clout are now chased and coveted; but equality simply means being treated just as badly as all of the rest of the world. There is no special status. And frankly if two average Canadians were caught participating in political events in a foreign country that weren’t gay would any of us even be talking about it?
The Hunger strike reeks of political stunt in a place that isn’t known for tolerating political stunts. Does it make sense to try and play hardball politics with a Military government that tossed out the politicians in charge?
Hopefully both are freed safe and sound; but surely this should be a warning to adventurous Westerners that want to play politics in other countries backyards.
What do you think CFN viewers? You can post your comments below.
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)
Please click the banner below and subscribe to CFN. We need 100 subscribers by September 2013 to bring back Seaway Radio!