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Muslim Countries Ban Barbie Movie For Targeting Children With Immortality

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Muslim Countries Move to Ban Barbie Movie For Targeting Children With Immortality

The Barbie movie has been a box office success in the Western world, but there is controversy building for the picture in Muslim majority countries, which are seeking to prohibit it owing to LGBTQ+ messaging directed at youngsters.

The Punjab Censor Board in Pakistan has temporarily banned it owing to what they deem unsuitable content for youngsters.

Other Muslim countries that have banned the film include Lebanon, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

Most Muslim majority countries do not welcome pro-LGBTQ+ content with open arms, especially when it comes to minors; such restrictions on Hollywood films and serials containing pro-LGBTQ+ content are not unusual.

While the other countries have only placed a temporary ban on it, Iran and Lebanon have made it a permanent prohibition. Aside from Islamic countries, countries such as Russia, Vietnam, and the Philippines have also banned the film because it targets minors.

Muslim Countries Move to Ban Barbie Movie For Targeting Children With Immortality

Russia temporarily banned the film for “promoting a consumerist attitude among children,” while Vietnam and the Philippines banned it for depicting the Nine Dash Line, which these countries claim violates their sovereignty because depicting this line strengthens China’s claims in the South China Sea, which these countries have outright rejected.

On Wednesday, Lebanon’s culture minister tried to remove the picture “Barbie” from theatres, claiming that it “promotes homosexuality” to children and opposes religious beliefs.

Minister Mohammad Mortada is backed by the powerful Shi’ite armed group Hezbollah, whose leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has increased his rhetoric against the LGBT population, citing Islamic texts that demand for the death penalty in a recent speech.

According to Mortada’s ruling, the video “promotes homosexuality and sexual transformation” and “contradicts values of faith and morality” by downplaying the importance of the family unit.

Based on Mortada’s action, Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi asked General Security’s censorship committee, which reports to the interior ministry and is normally in charge of censorship decisions, to study the video and make a recommendation.

Later in the day, Kuwait followed Lebanon’s lead, stating it had banned “Barbie” and the supernatural horror film “Talk to Me” to defend “public ethics and social traditions,” according to the state news agency.

Lebanon was the first Arab country to organise a gay pride week in 2017, and it is often regarded as a safe haven for the LGBT population in the otherwise conservative Middle East.

However, the topic has recently gained prominence, causing tensions to rise. Mawlawi made the decision last year to prohibit activities “promoting sexual perversion” in Lebanon, which is often assumed to refer to LGBT-friendly groups.

Nasrallah urged on Lebanese authorities last month to take action against publications he perceived to be promoting homosexuality, including “banning” them.

He stated that homosexuality was a “imminent danger” to Lebanon and that it should be “confronted.” Nasrallah stated in late July that homosexual acts are punishable by death “from the first time, even if he is unmarried.”

Following a meeting with the country’s senior Christian priest, Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai, Lebanon’s cabinet urged residents to “cling” to family values on Tuesday, though it did not expressly reference the LGBT community.

According to Ayman Mhanna, executive director of the non-profit civic Samir Kassir Foundation, Mortada’s decision occurred amid a “wave of bigotry.”

“This is part of a broader campaign that is bringing together Hezbollah, the Christian far right, and other top religious leaders in a focused campaign against LGBT people,” Mhanna explained.

The film, which stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, takes Mattel Inc’s (MAT.O) doll on an adventure in the real world.

Since its July 21 launch, the film has surpassed $1 billion in worldwide box office ticket sales.

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