Jordanian Member of Parliament Dima Tahboub has gone under fire for some homophobic statements, in which she suggested that "homosexuals are not welcome in Jordan".
In a video shared by DW-Conflict Zone last week, Tahboub is seen discussing the recent cancellation of Lebanese indie band Mashrou' Leila's Amman concert after lawmakers objected to the lead singer's sexuality.
In the interview with British journalist Tim Sebastian, Tahboub replied affirmatively when the former asked whether the message behind the ban was that homosexuals are not welcome in the country.
Tahboub then reasserted her views by posting a tweet mocking a gay couple.
In June, Jordanian authorities decided to ban Mashrou' Leila from performing in Jordan for the second year in a row. A concert had been scheduled in Amman and the band had obtained all necessary permits.
In the interview with Tahboub on July 19, Sebastian suggested that the latter had called for the concert's cancellation because of the sexuality of the band's lead singer and lyricist, Hamed Sinno, who openly identifies as queer.
"What message did you want to get out? That homosexuals aren't welcome in Jordan," Sebastian asked, to which Tahboub replied, "Yes."
She went on to say, "This is not my message, I have people to represent. They informed me and asked me to [call for the ban]," adding that the decision to ban the concert was "kind of a unanimous decision between the members of parliament".
Tahboub, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Manchester in England, is a member of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood and the media spokesperson of the Jordanian Islamic Action Front in English.
Tahboub has previously told CNN that Sinno's sexuality was "exactly" the reason why lawmakers had petitioned for the ban. She justified the move by saying that the band's opinions and lyrics about sexuality contradict "the religion and norms of the country."
After the interview with Sebastian, Tahboub took to Twitter to reaffirm her stance against the LGBTQ+ community, posting a photo of a same-sex couple getting married with a caption that ridiculed the latter, "This is what Tim Sebastian taunted me about in his program!!! What [do] you know?!?! Shall I say congratulations?!?"
She then replied to a valid argument with more mockery
People were quick to call out Tahboub's homophobia, referring to her statements as "hate speech" and noting that she does not truly represent the Jordanian community:
"This MP and her views in no way represent me"
It's high time that our politicians get their priorities straight
"I would rather see this kind of union (same-sex) in the country than see a 15-year-old child marry a man 10 years her senior, with the law protecting their marriage."
"Prejudice will never win"
Jordan does not criminalize homosexuality as other Arab countries do. However, as Khalid Abdel-Hadi, the founder of the Jordan-based non-profit LGBTQ inclusive webzine My Kali Magazine, previously told StepFeed, the tribal nature of the society makes it difficult for LGBTQ individuals.
"The comfort of being LGBT in Jordan is for sure elitist," he said. "One could face being socially stigmatized for being LGBT or expressing sexuality, different orientations, even different beliefs and ideologies."