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View Diary: Gambia: President plans to kill all homosexuals (395 comments)

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  •  I lived in Senegal for a year (9+ / 0-)

    The Gambia is a small country covering about 10 miles on either side of the Gambia River and going from the W. African coast straight inland about 100 miles.  It is surrounded by Senegal and the Atlantic ocean.

    While Senegal was a French colony and the Gambia English, the same ethnic groups live in both countries and the cultures are similar in many ways.  Most people believed that there were no homosexuals in Senegal, that it's merely a lifestyle choice, and that that behavior is highly disturbing, even criminal.  These are muslim countries.  (btw, on Democracynow.org yesterday there was a piece on a new documentary about gay muslims called Love Jihad I think)

    So I don't see the people rising up to stop this.  This is a place where you may see men walking together holding hands in nonsexual friendship.

    I assume that this reaction is partly due to the sexual tourism coming from Europe.

    I don't know what the solution is.  I can't see how an external authority will be able to change the values/beliefs of cultures by force.  I'm guessing that the best way to handle the situation is as Obama seems to be inclined, which is providing monetary assistance and use that as leverage.  This is a very poor country with almost no opportunities for gainful employment and where you have to pay for school with money that you probably don't have.  And yes, you think WE have health care problems?

    I should also say that Senegal is probably the most peaceful of the 30 or so countries I've been to.  I moved there a month after 9/11 (I'd planned on going before the attack).  I never felt threatened as a white (=rich infidel) even walking through some of the poorest parts of Dakar late at night with people that I'd just met.  

    America (and many other parts of the world) could learn so much from experiencing that culture. Doing so might help us to address human rights issues in a more productive way.

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