Fox News Flash top headlines for August 10
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The Iraqi government is rolling out a ban on terms related to LGBTQ groups and gender ideology.
The Iraqi Communications and Media Commission (CMC) issued directives to national news outlets and social media companies banning LGBTQ-related terms such as “homosexuality” and “gender,” according to reports citing a CMC document.
Under the new guidelines, platforms would be expected to replace the word “homosexuality” with “sexual deviancy.”
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Supporters of the Popular Mobilization Forces burn a rainbow flag during a protest in Tahrir Square in Baghdad to denounce the burning of Islam’s holy book the Quran and the Iraqi flag in Stockholm. (Ameer Al-Mohammedawi/picture alliance via Getty Images)
The CMC “directs media organizations […] not to use the term ‘homosexuality’ and to use the correct term ‘sexual deviance’,” the Arabic-language guidance said, according to reports.
A government spokesperson commented that the decision still has not received final approval, according to Reuters.
Additionally, the spokesperson said that a specific penalty for violating the guidelines had not been decided but could entail a fine.
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Amnesty International Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Aya Majzoub released a statement demanding the rollback of the announced ban.
“The directive from Iraq’s official media regulator is the latest in a series of attacks on freedom of expression under the guise of respect for ‘public morals.’ The CMC’s ban of the word ‘homosexuality’ and insistence that media use ‘sexual deviance’ instead is a dangerous move that can fuel discrimination and violent attacks against members of the LGBTI community.”
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“Furthermore, its ban and demonization of the word “gender” demonstrates a callous disregard for combatting gender-based violence at a time when civil society has been reporting an increase in crimes against women and girls, amid widespread impunity,” Majzoub added.
Supporters of the Popular Mobilization Forces protest in Tahrir Square in Baghdad to denounce the burning of Islam’s holy book the Quran and the Iraqi flag in Stockholm. (Ameer Al-Mohammedawi/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Homosexuality is not explicitly illegal under Iraqi law, but morality codes do provide generous room for interpretation regarding crimes such as “public indecency.”
Anti-LGBTQ rallies have become increasingly common in Iraq in retaliation against a widely-publicized Quran-burning that took place in Sweden in June.
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Thousands of followers of a firebrand Iraqi Shiite cleric rallied in major cities in Iraq on Friday, condemning the burning of a Quran during a protest in Sweden earlier this week. Some of the demonstrators called for the expulsion of the Swedish ambassador from Iraq.
At the rallies in the capital of Baghdad and the southern city of Basra, followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, a cleric with a large grassroots following and political leader, burned Swedish flags and rainbow LGBTQ+ pride flags and chanted “”Yes, yes to Islam” and “No, no to the devil.”
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at [email protected]