Arabic Huff Post attacks gays, atheists
The Huffington Post, established to champion liberal values, stands accused of allowing its Arabic edition to besmirch its brand after the its new Middle Eastern site ran site articles that attacked homosexuals, atheists … and ‘selfies’.
According to this report, within days after going live, Huffington Post Arabi published a series of vitriolic outbursts including a piece by an Egyptian contributor last Saturday complaining that atheists were being allowed on Egyptian television and that the Government permitted “a press conference for gays in the heart of Cairo”.
In another article for the site, an Algerian columnist condemned the “selfie” as symptom of:
The diseases and the viruses of the Western world.
His blog, the author claimed, was designed as:
A call to stop adopting such sick behaviours that come to destroy our traditions and the basics of human cultural identity.
In an interview last month, the website’s founder, Arianna Huffington, 65, had promised that Huffington Post Arabi would endorse the values of other editions of the news and blog site, which include Huff Post Gay Voices.
She suggested that the new Arabi service would be a platform for those speaking out in support of greater social and political freedom and that it would be based in London and Istanbul to avoid any kind of censorship and control.
After the reactionary contents of the new site were made public, Nicholas Sabloff, Executive International Editor of the Huffington Post, said that the items that sparked anger:
Do not reflect HuffPost’s global editorial viewpoint.
The anti-gay blog was removed and replaced with the message.
This blog should not have been published as it contradicts the Huffington Post’s editorial positions and guidelines which are based on encouraging positive dialogue and mutual respect. It has therefore been taken down.
One reader of the new site complained that “with this homophobic vitriolic post”, the Huffington Post had:
Let its Arabic site disgrace its brand.
News of the anti-gay article attracted damaging coverage on the gay site Pink News while the right-wing political blog Guido Fawkes mocked:
Judging by its initial output, it seems Arianna is struggling to control the Middle Eastern message.
The Greek-born media entrepreneur has an eclectic political past of her own. Once known as a conservative commentator, she switched to the left and has become a figurehead of liberal media in the United States. She founded Huffington Post in 2005 and Arabi is its 14th international edition.
Hat tip: Trevor Blake