The appointment of Pete Buttigieg, who is openly gay, as U.S. secretary of transportation, sparked some negative reactions in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world. A different attitude was expressed by Yemeni columnist Faisal Al-Sufi on the Yemeni website Newsyemen.net.
After noting that many members of the LGBT+ community have been elected to the legislature in the U.S., he rejected the opinion, prevalent in the Arab world, that homosexuality and transgenderism originate in the secular Western culture. He called to recognize that these phenomena have existed among the Arabs and Muslims since ancient times, both before and after the advent of Islam.
Faisal Al-Sufi (Source: Newsyemen.net)
The following are excerpts from his article:
"According to the worldview of some Yemenis, the U.S. administration has come to be [dominated] by homosexuals and by people who have changed their gender, called transgender, or, to use the nickname [for the entire group], by the LGBT [community]. This is because the outcome of the U.S. elections brought a fair number of gays, lesbians and transgender people to the House of Representatives and to the Senate...
"For the first time, a lesbian [sic. actually trans woman] has been elected [state] senator, a vibrant young woman named Sarah McBride, of the Democratic party. The House of Representatives [and various state legislatures] also have some [gay], trans and lesbian members... [such as] Richie Torres, Mondaire Jones, Taylor Small and Stephanie Byers. They join those who have won a second term in office...
"The new Democratic president, Joe Biden, has appointed members of the LGBT [community] to the government ministries and the White House and allowed them to join the military...
"[My fellow columnist on Yemen News] Amin Al-Waeli was disgusted when Pete Buttigieg, whom Biden has appointed as secretary of transportation, said to the Senate [in his confirmation hearing]: 'I'd like to thank Biden for his faith [in me], and I'd like to take a moment to introduce my husband... I'm really proud to have him by my side.' His partner stood behind him, nodding in pleasure and congratulations, and he is of the same sex as Buttigieg himself.
"Let's be honest. We Arabs and Muslims condemn the Americans and Europeans for this. We constantly curse their culture and blame their great civilization for every flaw, for we do not want to blame ourselves. We tell our people: Look at this [social] disintegration and this sexual perversion. They originate in the secular Western society, which is bereft of faith in Allah, His Messenger, His Scriptures, His Angels and the Day of Judgement... Yet at the same time, we secretly engage in the same behaviors...
"We condemn the Americans and Europeans and forget that the phenomenon of homosexuality first appeared in the Arabian Peninsula. Thousands of years before [modern] transsexuals, this phenomenon spread from the Arabian Peninsula [to other parts of the world. According to the Quran], the Tribe of Lot was a nomadic Bedouin tribe that lived in the desert. The members of this tribe were not effeminate city dwellers or Westerners, but they were corrupt perverts who did as they pleased and did it openly. They even tried to break into the home of their prophet [Lot] when they heard there were good-looking guests staying there, although their prophet drove them back, begging them, 'Do not shame me in front of my guests'! These good-looking guests were angels sent to Lot by Allah.
"The same is true for men who behave like women, which is now resolved by changing one's sex or gender from male to female or vice versa. The authors of Islamic law books devoted special chapters to this matter, and books of Arabic poetry also feature many anecdotes about men behaving like women...
"Those now called lesbians are called sihaqiyyat in Arabic, and have been known among the Arabs since ancient times, both before and after the advent of Islam. [Pre-Islamic] Arabic sources state that the first lesbian was [Ruqash] bint Al-Hassan, who fell in love with the wife of Nu'man bin Al-Mundhir when she [Ruqash] visited her, won her heart and kept praising lesbian sex in her ears and the pleasure it could give. She said, 'Our meeting protects us from disgrace and realizes our desires, and then they met, i.e., engaged in lesbian intercourse...
"This behavior continued after the advent of Islam and is still common today. [Ninth century philologist and grammarian] 'Abd Al-Malik ibn Qurayb Al-Asma'i once reported: 'I was at the palace of [the Caliph] Harun Al-Rashid and he asked absentmindedly: 'Where is Al-Asma'i? I presented myself to him, and he said: 'Who is it who says, Do you not use a paddle? And what does it mean?' I said to him, 'It's a poem by some lesbians from Basra.'
"I know that some extremists will condemn me for using these words, but the fact that they appeared in Arabic poetry before and after the advent of Islam is [justification] enough for me. Some are [also] mentioned in the Quran, in Arabic dictionaries and in traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. The Arabs did not agree on these terms for no reason, but in order to use them to reach understandings in everyday [life]..."
 For example, Muhammad Hassan Al-Banna, the former editor of the Egyptian government daily Akhbar Al-Yawm, wrote that the U.S. administration is free to do as it likes, but has no right "to impose this nonsense on our Islamic society." Akhbar Al-Yawm (Egypt), January 24, 2021. Gamal Bayoumi , a former Egyptian assistant foreign minister, wrote on his Facebook page in the context of Buttigieg's appointment: "When we demand to place human rights at the top of our agenda, we do it for the sake of the Egyptians, not in order to please Europe or the U.S. For them human rights include banning executions, banning polygamy and replacing it with forbidden sexual relations and illegitimate children, and permitting same-sex marriage. We could soon be visited by an American minister and his [same-sex] partner..." Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006176409202, January 23, 2021. See also MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8350 - Article On Muslim Brotherhood Website: Election Of A Gay U.S. President Will Lead To Pressure On Arab Countries To Permit Homosexuality; The Prophet Muhammad Ordered The Killing Of Homosexuals – November 5, 2019.
 Newsyemen.net, January 27, 2021.
 Apparently a reference to Biden's overturning of his predecessor's ban on transgender people serving in the military.