Moroccan men are facing death threats, family alienation, discrimination, violence, abuse, and reports of suicides after a transgender Instagram influencer campaigned to out them.
Naoufasl Moussa (also known online as Sofia Talouni), advocated for her captive nightly audience on social media to out gay or bi men in Morrocco by encouraging their family members to download dating apps, teaching them how to create fake profiles and check the distance of men on the app.
“These apps will show you the people who are near to you. One hundred meters, 200 meters, even just one meter, just next to you in the living room,” Moussa said in the since-deleted Arabic video that was translated by activist Adam Eli. “Since everyone is together at home, it could show you your husband in your bedroom, it could show you your son who might be in the bathroom.”
Moussa is a Moroccan Transgender living in Turkey and her actions are possibly an act of retribution to “unmask the hypocrisy of Moroccan men” who had posted homophobic comments but were, in fact, repressing homosexuality.
While she did not incite violence, it was a byproduct of her callout and she also has no remorse for the actions since upheaving lives of Moroccan gay men with nowhere to hide during the lockdown, dealing with abuse, distress, and suicide.
Moussa’s social media accounts have since been deleted, but she is determined to continue creating accounts, she has also since started a YouTube channel.
“Personally, if I ever find out that Morocco recognizes homosexuality, I’m the first one that’s going to stand up,” Moussa said in part of her come-back video that was posted to Twitter.
“We shouldn’t recognize homosexuality. We are an Islamic country.”
Morocco is a conservative and religious society, with Article 489 making same-sex activity illegal, punishable by up to three years in prison.
Grindr sent caution to users, while Planet Romeo sent a security message to all 41,000 users, and blocked all profiles created since the announcement from Moussa, while Facebook is cracking down on groups that share app profiles outing people.