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Lil Nas X Gets Most-Played Song In Saudi Arabia Where Gay Sex Is Punishable By Death

by : Cameron Frew on : 13 Apr 2021 14:06
Lil Nas X Gets Most-Played Song In Saudi Arabia Where Gay Sex Is Punishable By DeathPA Images

Lil Nas X’s newest song has become the most-played song in Saudi Arabia, a country in which gay sex can be punished by death. 

The rapper recently dropped MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name), which quickly became a hit. It’s being streamed all across the world and dominated the news conversation upon release, often due to right-wing fears about its religious imagery and ‘devil worshipping’.

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It’s a cracking song – so much so, it’s topped the Apple Music chart in Saudi Arabia, one of a number of countries that prohibits homosexuality to the extent of enforcing the death penalty.

Lil Nas X tweeted a screenshot of his song’s position on the chart, writing, ‘WE NUMBER 1 IN SAUDI ARABIA WTF LETS GOOOO.’ It should also be noted that the song is number five on Saudi Arabia’s Spotify chart.

Among the hundreds of responses, with several criticising him for being a ‘satanist’ despite no indication that’s the case and others asking him to stop making music, one user wrote, ‘A gay man? On Saudi charts? What??????’

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Another tweeted, ‘Congrats! I’m not even surprised because the song is HOT and tbh the song itself doesn’t say anything about homosexuality it’s the video that blasted it, so many of them prolly don’t even know.’

As per the Human Dignity Trust, Saudi Arabia operates an uncodified criminal code based on Sharia law. So, while there’s no penal law, both sex outside marriage and same-sex marriage is illegal, and same-sex intimacy is also criminalised.

The trust explains, ‘The punishment varies depending on the circumstances: married men and interfaith sex are punished with the death penalty, while non-married men are punished with flogging. Sharia law principles underpinning the criminal law in Saudi Arabia also impose strict dress codes that impact on the gender expression of transgender people.’

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Back in 2017, a Human Rights Watch World Report found ‘judges use principles of uncodified Islamic law to sanction people suspected of committing sexual relations outside marriage, including adultery, extramarital and homosexual sex’.

It added, ‘If individuals are engaging in such relationships online, judges and prosecutors utilise vague provisions of the country’s anti-cybercrime law that criminalise online activity impinging on ‘public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy.’

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In response to Nas, one fan wrote, ‘Period!!!! Let’s correct the narrative about the Middle East! Shoutout Saudi Arabia.’

However, another replied, ‘I lived in Saudi Arabia my whole and if I come out I will literally get stoned and people will be happy about it, saying it’s a ‘narrative’ doesn’t help anyone in the contrary, the middle IS homophobic and change NEEDS to happen.’

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Music, LGBTQ+, Lil Nas X, Now, Saudi Arabia

Credits

Human Dignity Trust
  1. Human Dignity Trust

    Saudi Arabia