Lebanon’s LGBTQ Community in Fear After Christian Extremists Attack Bar in Beirut

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09/10/2023

Amnesty International says hate speech and incitement have been rising in Lebanon, once a haven for LGBTQ people, and now that the line has been crossed into violence, the government must step in to protect rights. A group of men reportedly affiliated with an extremist Christian group recently attacked an LGBTQ-friendly bar in Beirut during a drag show. “This is Satan’s place, it’s promoting homosexuality on the land of the Lord,” the assailants shouted at patrons in the Om Bar, in the nightlife neighborhood of Mar Mikhael. Video footage shows men yelling, “We have warned you 100 times, this is forbidden. This is only the beginning.” The attackers reportedly smashed up furniture and there were some minor injuries to patrons. The attackers were said to be affiliated with the far-right Christian group Jnoud al-Rab, or “Soldiers of God.” Although most patrons were physically unharmed, the attack ratcheted up fear in Beirut’s LGBTQ community.

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