Factual inaccuracy
Your article contains a factual error (“Orlando shooting: It’s different now, but Muslims have a long history of accepting homosexuality”). Jordan was taken over by the British in 1921 and remained a British protectorate until 1946.

During that time, the Jordanian educational system, government, military and economic system were reshaped based on Western models. So the argument based on this is incorrect. Edward de Bono


Jordan was ruled by Britain after World War I and only became fully independent of the British Mandate in 1946. Martin Shore


The article mentions Jordon, but Google could not identify this country. The closest it can find is Jordan. Any reference to Jordon would be appreciated. Angel Bravo-Salgado.


The article says that Indonesia was never colonised. This is incorrect because the British, French and Dutch colonised it at different points. It was also occupied by the Japanese during World War II. Albania, too, was occupied by Italy and Germany for a major part of the war. Tushar Khanna


Either this is an amazing work of ignorance or evil deception. How can you? Daniel Genis


Actually, Jordan was under a British Mandate. So to say it was never colonised by the British is incorrect. – Anat Mooreville


Jordan was a British Mandate for many years. Plus, in Islam, as in Greek culture, infatuation with boys was talked about, but relationships between two adult men were not accepted even historically.

In cases where women were not available, a boy or a slave could be a passive partner. We only have to look at the dancing boys of Afghanistan to see how it is perceived. Sean Martindill


This is a very interesting and enjoyable piece. Perhaps, European domination and complete subjugation has eroded our traditions and mindsets. Ajit

Shoaib Daniyal responds on whether Jordan was colonised by the British:

From the article:

"It’s tough to nail down an exact reason but here’s an interesting coincidence: there are five Muslims countries where being gay isn’t a crime. All that the five – Mali, Jordan, Indonesia, Turkey and Albania – share in common is that they were never colonised by the British."

A number of readers have written in arguing that this is factually incorrect since Jordan was colonised by the British. the original piece should have been clearer but here's a longer, more detailed explanation of why the piece mentioned that that Jordan was "never colonised by the British" and how this relates to the absence of anti-gay laws.

Jordan was a mandate of the British; it wasn’t a colony. The main difference in this case: the British did not make laws for their mandates. So they didn’t make an anti-gay law in Jordan, unlike, say, India.

Under the mandate system the British handled mostly defence and foreign policy, but direct administration and law making was in Jordanian hands. Unlike, say, a colony like India, Jordan had its own independent state, the Emirate of Transjordan. In fact, Britain even signed treaties with the Emirate.

The correlation between the British Empire and anti-gay laws has actually been studied in some detail. Here, for example, academics at SOAS in London found that “when the British Empire was introducing legal systems around the world, one of the laws they included was the law against sodomy, which was not decriminalised in England and Wales until 1967”.

And, of course, to repeat: since the Jordan wasn’t a British colony but only a mandate, the British didn’t make their legal system and, therefore, Jordan doesn’t have an anti-sodomy law.

If Britain had the chance to colonise Jordan, rather than just having to make it a mandate, we can be rest assured that Jordan’s legal system would also have an equivalent of the various anti-sodomy laws Britain introduced around the world. Remember, anti-gay prejudice in the UK was so deep that as late as 1952, Britain chemically castrated its war hero mathematician Alan Turing because he was a homosexual. The fact that he won them World War II made no difference at the time.