Leading Arab Israeli voices have condemned comments by the deputy leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel party after he attacked same-sex marriage supporters, saying he wished AIDS upon them.
Sheikh Kamal Khatib made the comments in an op-ed entitled ‘You make me sick’ that was published online in which he attacked the 15 May marriage of Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel to husband Gauthier Destenay and Western tolerance of LGBTI people.
‘Western societies have reached the lowest of lows,’ Sheikh Khatib wrote.
‘Try as they may to call this marriage, or a natural phenomenon, or respect of personal choices, these societies have been succumbing not to hostile armies but to moral degradation and the renouncement of human nature.
‘It is noteworthy that suspicious local organizations, tabloids and biased writers have been advocating this perversion. To all those, I say not “may you be well and have boys” but rather “may you be miserable and suffer plagues and AIDS, you perverts!”’
Israeli communist party Hadash member Raja Zaatry took the sheikh to task online, writing, ‘Dear Mr Khatib, sick is to view women as nothing but a pile of flesh.’
‘Sick is to call the participation of men and women in the same demonstration “terrible mixing” … sick is to call for the downfall of Syria not because its regime is undemocratic, but because its president is Alawite. What is sick, and nothing but sick, is that you don’t respect people and impose your opinions on them.’
Israeli Arab nationalist party Balad issued a statement Tuesday condemning Sheihk Khatib’s comments and warned the Israeli Government not to seize on them to paint itself as tolerant towards minorities.
‘In its core, our wish for freedom by striving to liberate ourselves from the oppression of colonialism is part of our yearning for human liberation guaranteeing the rights of individuals in their personal lives,’ the Balad statement read.
Balad, the Islamic Movement and Hadash are part of the Arab Joint List coalition that took part in national elections in 2015 that won 13 seats in the Knesset – making them the third largest grouping in the Israeli parliament.
Arab activist and educator Hanin Majadi took to social media to call Sheikh Khatib and those like him ‘intellectual Islamic Staters.’
‘Dear Kamal Khatib, how can any self-respecting person write an article titled “You make me sick?”’ Majadi wrote.
‘The plague of cursing and degrading anyone who doesn’t agree with you and Kamal Khatib, using the worst phrases has proven many things, including … that my society is overflowing with intellectual Islamic Staters.’