It takes a lot of courage to operate an LGBT radio station in a Muslim nation governed by Sharia law.
But that's exactly what an LGBT group is doing in Tunisia. As Reuters reports, the new Shams Rad radio station provides dialogue on matters of individual freedom and LGBT concern. Unfortunately, for the simple act of speaking freely, the radio station's staff have received numerous threats.
From my perspective, that makes this is an LGBT group to be proud of.
After all, whatever we might personally believe about LGBT issues, it is a natural right for individuals to freely speak their minds. That Shams Rad is doing so in the context of possible murder makes their speech that much more impressive and that much more important.
In addition, while Tunisia is currently governed by a moderate secularist party and is certainly the Arab Spring's greatest success story, it remains a place where homosexuality is illegal. That Shams Rad staff are thus able to show their fellow citizens that they are no threat is a positive development toward greater tolerance.
Shams Rad's inclusive approach also offers a refreshing contrast with many LGBT groups in the West. After all, where Shams Rad pursues dialogue and debate, LGBT organizations in the U.S. and Europe too often weaponize against discussions of social policy. Moreover, as racecar driver Lewis Hamilton found out over Christmas, many western LGBT activists even lack a basic sense of humor.
As I say, this is an LGBT group to celebrate.