Netflix told by Gulf states to drop videos violating Islam

The Netflix logo is seen on its office building in Hollywood, California. (Photo: AFP)

Six Gulf Arab states have told streaming service company Netflix Inc to stop broadcasting material that they said violates the region’s Islamic values and threatened legal action if it did not act.

The countries said some Netflix content “contradicts Islamic and societal values and principles” adding they had contacted the United States-based company to drop the offending material. They did not specify which content had caused the issue.  

The move comes after a debate on social media and television in the Gulf about content for children which was said to promote homosexuality.

“In the event of continued broadcasting of infringing content, the necessary legal measures will be taken,” a statement from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council said on Tuesday. Attempts to contact regional representatives for Netflix for comment were not immediately successful.

Ekhbariya, a Saudi television channel, ran a recent interview with a behavioural and family consultant who decried what she said was Netflix’s promotion of homosexuality to children. Habib Al Mulla, a prominent lawyer in the United Arab Emirates, praised his country’s telecommunications authority for its separate announcement on the GCC move.  

Homosexuality is prohibited in Islam and same-sex activity is criminalised in Gulf countries. 

The GCC region which comprises Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar hosts a predominantly Muslim population.

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