Members of the LGBTQIA community in Ampatuan, Maguindanao in Mindanao, south of the Philippines, were shaved in public; with the occurrence then posted in Facebook via Bandera News TV-Cotabato/Radyo Bandera Cotabato.
As reported, the reasoning given behind the barbaric act was Islam’s supposedly anti-LGBTQIA stance. According to the Human Rights Campaign, “Cultural norms and traditional readings of sacred texts often uphold a heteronormative binary of gender identification and sexual orientation that don’t allow for the range of identities present in today’s society.”
The people involved – i.e. the abused, as well as the abusers – have yet to be identified, ditto the total number of people involved. And though some of the photos that captured the occurrence show uniformed personnel smiling/laughing and/or doing the actual recording, Bandera News TV-Cotabato/Radyo Bandera Cotabato reported that the initiative has been criticized by netizens.
A certain Nhoor Aym Mhaa posted on Facebook the excuse re the abuse. Claiming that there was no intent to shame the LGBTQIA people, the shaving was actually a “lesson”. As narrated, the parents of a local woman complained with local authorities that their daughter cohabitates with a lesbian woman. When the lesbian woman was confronted, she was then told to name other lesbian women in their locality. All of them, along with their parents, were threatened with fines, though to avoid paying, they supposedly agreed to be publicly shaved.
Mhaa stressed in the vernacular that there are no LGBTQIA people in Islam, so what happened should serve as a lesson to others following Islam.
Also on a Facebook post, KuyaKing T. Mangudadatu, Board Member at the Provincial Government of Maguindanao, lamented “we’re in the Philippines and human rights should be upheld.”
Though Mangundadatu also believes in the teaching of Islam against LGBTQIA people, he nonetheless stated that the abuse may just worsen the situation by making these abused people not follow Islam even more.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) was supposedly already informed about this.
This is a developing story, with updates to be added as more information is gathered.