AUB Student Newspaper “Outlook” Publishes Article About Homosexuality

Throughout my years at AUB, I watched as the level of the student publication Outlook decreased from something readable to, well, something unreadable – for lack of better words. I eventually stopped picking it up. Lack of interest, perhaps? I’d like to call it lack of content.

But Outlook is back with brand new controversial content that will make your head roll. Fact checking? What’s the point of that? Let’s publish anything that can get people talking. The latest? An AUB student named Mohamad Sibai wrote an article about homosexuality that he entitled: Viewpoint: Please Me At Any Price. You can read his piece here.

I felt it is my duty as a holder of a biology degree with an interest in psychology, two domains that Mr. Sibai is apparently very fond of citing, to say a few things, respectfully of course.

1 – ‘Why would God create people like that if he didn’t want us to do it?’ People are not born homosexual, usually one changes as he is growing from the infant stage up until puberty, some even later than that. This is, according to psychologists, due to certain factors during infancy and homosexuality can be treated in various ways.

Mr. Sibai, twin studies have shown that their is a genetic correlation for homosexuality. It’s not a linear correlation but there is an effect of genes on a person’s sexual orientation, whether you like to admit or not. There are other factors that science is currently actively researching. You also cite psychologists. Let me tell you Mr. Sibai that any psychologist who would be referring to homosexuality in the way that you are would be going against everything that he is taught, including the holy book of his domain: the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder). Homosexuality has been removed as a mental disorder from that book in its 2nd edition, back in 1971. The 5th edition will be published in 2013. Look at how far they’ve come, right?

2 – How would [allowing homosexuality] serve mankind any good? It obviously wouldn’t. The pair (if not more) would never have offspring, the rate of STDs would skyrocket, and any morality that society still had would disappear amongst a myriad other plights. 

Mr. Sibai, the rate of STDs is not correlated with homosexuality in any way whatsoever. It is correlated with sex. The millions of HIV+ people in sub-saharan Africa would disagree with you as well. Why have homosexuals been affected more in certain communities? Because the stigma associated with their behavior makes them more promiscuous. Your argument for morality is also highly invalid. What is the basis of morality? How can someone’s sexual preference determine whether that person is moral or not? For all matters and purposes Mr. Sibai, Hitler was heterosexual, and so was Stalin, so is Bashar Assad and so was Saddam Hussein.

Mr. Sibai, the evolution argument you are using regarding homosexuality not “serving mankind any good,” makes it unnatural is invalid. What do you say about infertility then? The way I see it, Mr. Sibai, overpopulating the planet is not in the “natural” course of things. And if homosexuality was unGod-like and unnatural, evolution would have had it extinct by now.

Also Mr. Sibai, an obviously religious person like you using evolution as an argument is sort of hypocritical, no?

3 – The point is, religion has done well in keeping society working well and efficiently in a respectable manner. God has set the rules for us to abide by, not to make life hard on us, but to make it better and easier.

Let’s see, you have World War I, World War II, the Cold War, a few thousand conflicts around the world, poverty all around, just to name a few things. How exactly is religion running things well Mr. Sibai? I understand you are a religious person. So am I, to an extent at least. However, to say that all religions have been working like clockwork in running things is false and delusional. Mr. Sibai, God has also set different rules apparently for different religions. You can marry 4 times, I can marry only once, just to illustrate my example. Now which so-called rules should we follow to not make life hard on us?

4 – Homosexuality in Russia is a crime and the punishment is seven years in prison, locked up with other men.

Starting May 27th, 1993, homosexuality was made legal in Russia. Your subsequent argument, Mr. Sibai, is invalid. A simple wikipedia search would have told you that.

I won’t go through the remainder of his article. However I have to ask: how did this make its way into Outlook? Don’t they have an editor-in-chief who knows what he/she is doing? Freedom of speech is obviously allowed to Mr. Sibai. But if everyone who wants to say something is given the platform to say it, then what does say about those platforms? Selectivity when it comes to newspapers, even student ones, is needed to keep a respectable level of discourse.

Mr. Sibai’s point of view is shared among many, I’m sure. It also adds a rather interesting field to the array of students in AUB. Unlike contrary belief, the university is not filled with liberals only. But Mr. Sibai, if you want to take your “viewpoint” to a newspaper, you need to formulate arguments that don’t appeal to your emotional side. Odds are if you had done some serious researching before decided to write something like this, you could have actually given a piece for people to think about and not criticize left and right.

What religion teaches, above everything else, is the importance of love and compassion. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.” Let’s ponder on that, shall we?