In Senegal the issue of homosexuality and lesbianism (Lgbt) has been in the news for some time. Especially since the visit of Jean-Luc Mélenchon. A brief look back is in order.


the colonial period and in the first 30 years of independence, in Dakar, homosexuals were well established. They don’t raze the streets. They don’t hide. They appear publicly, taking full responsibility for themselves. They come to dance in tam tam sessions organized by women and also organize them, as well as tann beer and simb (false lion) sessions. Homosexuals shine as footballers in clubs in the Dakar football championship. At the corner of streets 6 and 15 in the Medina, a homosexual manages a restaurant that has never been boycotted. These gays are not literate and have modest jobs. Being single, they find themselves in their circles called mbootaay and do not shy away from fighting with violence if someone lacks respect for them. Homosexuality is then not only tolerated but accepted. My Gueule Tapée neighborhood has no less than 5 well-known gay men whose names I remember without revealing them, because they are no longer in this world. Especially as they grew older, they repented and normalized. A French aid worker assigned to the Presidency of the Republic under Senghor was known for his homosexuality, which he never made a secret of. Today’s Senegalese homosexuals, who have graduated from French schools, are for the most part senior executives in administration and business, married and heads of families. Beyond all suspicion, these saay saay who hide are the alienated products of Western LGBT. They are exhilarated by the fact that French political figures such as a former mayor of Paris and the current prime minister have publicly acknowledged their homosexuality.


I would say that homosexuality in a past period was informal. Now it has become officialized in a planetary strategy with globalization. What we call globalization is not an inevitable historical process. It is a project designed in the 19th century in England and the United States. Colonization is an integral part of this. Since the 1980s, globalization has become emboldened thanks to two phenomena: the advent of new information and communication technologies, and secularization-atheism with extensive de-Christianization in Western countries.

Africa and Latin America are now the bastions of Christianity in the world. The most important part of globalization is not the economy, but culture. The West seeks to enlist the entire world in its culture. Only one culture must prevail, that of the West.

Cultural ethnocentrism is the attitude which consists of valuing one’s own culture over that of others, to give it a universal value, to make it the center of reference. Cultural ethnocentrism is the negation of cultural relativism which recognizes the existence of different cultural areas on the same equal footing. It was in reaction against ethnocentrism that the French philosopher Roger Garaudy said: The West has confiscated the universal. From there he believed himself authorized to situate and judge all “the others” according to his own history, his ends and his values ​​(“Promises of Islam”, 1981, p. 157 ).

The West has sought to take advantage of Africa’s economic and financial vulnerability to impose its cultural values, including LGBT. Aware that Islam can constitute a bulwark in the western part of Africa above the Sahara, we must start with what is supposed to be the weakest link, Christian East-South Africa. But what a surprise and what a disappointment!

In independent Namibia in 1990, Prime Minister Sam Nujoma, with his slogan ”A heterosexual Namibia”, declared war on the LGBT. During an interview with a journalist from the English radio BBC he presents homosexuality as a perversity of the Whites who seek to impose it in Africa and proposes to uproot it. He decides to refuse LGBT people to enter the country, and to expel or imprison his compatriots who seek to indulge in it. The reaction is not expected from the outside: Namibia is a totalitarian state.

Two other heads of state in the sub-region Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and Noweri Museveni in Uganda are following the same approach. In 2010 Uganda was eligible for a $90 million loan from the World Bank to strengthen its health system. In 2014, Museveni promulgated the LGBT criminalization law. The WB suspends the loan under the pretext that this law is anti-development because it deprives the country of LGBT workers who constitute a useful labor force, and that multinationals will be reluctant to come and invest in the country. The WB is supported by Denmark, Norway, Holland and the United States. US Secretary of State John Kerry says anti-Lgbt law mirrors Nazi anti-Semitic laws and apartheid laws in South Africa. It is easy to dismiss these arguments: (1) For years, the development of African countries was disrupted by AIDS transmitted by homosexual relations; AIDS appeared for the first time in homosexual circles in New York and Los Angeles (2) multinationals invest where they expect to make profits. (3) The World Bank has violated its own statutes which do not allow it to interfere in the internal politics of countries, confined as it is only to the economic and financial domain. This is where we see the true ethnocentric motivation of Westerners in Africa. Lgbt is really close to their hearts. It is through their financial pressure that the number of countries with anti-Lgbt laws in the world increased from 92 in 2006 to 71 in 2021. But throughout North and South Africa, the number of anti-LGBT countries LGBT is around 37.


During Mélenchon’s visit on May 16, 2024, Ousmane Sonko in his speech, while remaining courteous to his guest, insisted on Senegal’s anchoring in its African values ​​and criticized LGBT. But when he finished, he dropped this unfortunate sentence: Homosexuality is tolerated in Senegal. This is no longer the case. It is then holy bread for the castaways of Sunday March 24: Sonko defends homosexuality. Which is nothing more than a vindictive politician’s lie. We must not play politics with insults. A lie taken too far as here becomes an insult. This last sentence from Sonko is nothing more than a slip of the tongue, that is to say a relaxation of thought at a given moment, to the point of expressing something other than what one wanted to say. No doubt due to fatigue at the end of the speech. Mélenchon knows that Sonko did not defend homosexuality.

On the problem of homosexuality, Sonko was clear: External desires to impose on us the importation of lifestyles and ways of thinking contrary to our values ​​risk constituting a new casus belli. Casus belli is a Latin expression which means an act likely to motivate a declaration of war. The opposing parties here are the West and Africa. It cannot be a question of war, but of cultural opposition, as Sonko clarifies. He says he respects the fact that the defense of sexual minorities is made a priority debate within Western opinions. But in countries like Senegal, this raises a lot of tension and misunderstanding as it brings cultures, civilizations and political systems with diametrically opposed visions face to face.”

Is this defending homosexuality? In his speech he bluntly used the Wolof term goor jiggen. Let’s not forget that Sonko had sent a message of support to Senegalese footballer Gana Guèye, then a member of PSG, who had refused to wear a jersey with an LGBT propaganda image. Homosexuality has no future in Africa and particularly in Senegal. Senegalese people of all ethnicities and faiths are fighting it. The first safeguard against LGBT is popular disapproval.

The Quran condemns homosexuality through the story told of the prophet Lot (pbuh), contemporary and nephew of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, pbuh) (Quran 7: 80 – 81; 26: 165- 73; 27: 55; 29: 28-29). The Bible also (Genesis 19:30-36) condemns homosexuality. We learn that the birthplaces of homosexuality are the two cities Sodom and Gomorrah on the side of the Dead Sea between Jordan and Israel. These two cities did indeed exist, having been destroyed by a shower of stones as divine sanction, the Koran tells us. Their sites were discovered recently by the American archaeologist Ron Wyatt. That being said, it is important to tackle the country’s real structural problems and put an end to the debate on homosexuality. Which does not exclude vigilance, but it should not be used as a business.

By Makhtar DIOUF



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