Wednesday, December 6

A critical discourse analysis of representation of LGBTQs in Sindh Moorat March/Slogans used in Sindh Moorat March

Zunnoor Zafar, Hasnain Ramooz Jilani, Waleed Jamshed, Ghulam Murtaza


The article presents the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of representation of LGBTQs in slogans used in Sindh moorat march in social context. The study investigates how it lies on the basis of application of Fairclough version of CDA in the text of the slogans. Moreover, it explicates the appropriation of the slogans in context of social, cultural and political values in the light of text and framework. The results of this research put forth the persuasiveness of the language used in the slogans and the linguistic items that persuade the society into accepting these beliefs, furthermore, the reactions of the society are also recorded which gives an insight on what the society thinks about this march and the research reveals that it’s not positive.


CDA, LGBTQ, Moorat March, Slogans, Fairclough’s Model, Discourse, Persuasiveness, Pakistan, Trangenders, Sindh


Discourse analysis examines patterns of language across texts and considers the relationship between language and the social and cultural contexts in which it is used. Discourse analysis also considers the ways that the use of language presents different views of the world and different understandings. It examines how the use of language is influenced by relationships between participants as well as the effects the use of language has upon social identities and relations. It also considers how views of the world, and identities, are constructed through the use of discourse. (Paltridge, 2012) This article presents a Critical Discourse Analysis of the slogans used in Sindh Moorat March 2022 by applying Fairclough 3D Model.

Discourse analysis is the study of language in context, focusing on the ways in which language use is shaped by and reflects social, cultural, and historical forces. (Tannen, 1989)

Since discourses are so influential, they can help to produce and reproduce unequal power relations between different ethnicities, social classes, genders, ages, and professional groups. CDA of the selected slogans highlights the relationship between language and persuasiveness. It points out how the slogans used in Sindh Moorat March persuade people into accepting the beliefs of the participants. The persuasive nature of the slogans is disclosed through CDA.

In the research article “A critical discourse analysis of Trump’s election campaign speeches” published by Heliyon, CDA is applied as a research tool and the results of this article are “Trumps political speeches are characterized by their hostility and racism towards Muslims and other immigrants in the United States. In the analyzed quotations, I have found that what Trump cares for is the original-native Americans and Christians only.” (Kadim, 2022)

In another research article “Developing rigor with Critical Discourse Analysis to examine educators‟ transition toward active learning” published by Procedia Computer Science, CDA is applied as a research tool and the conclusion of this article is “In this study, we have successfully identified the emergence of imposter syndrome among practitioners from their values, intention, and action towards active learning. Further, the identification allows us to deliver the social structure of current practice that showed the contradiction between intention and action.” (Rahman, et al., 2020)

One more research article “Migrants as ‘vulnerable groups’ in the COVID-19 pandemic: A critical discourse analysis of a taken-for-granted label in academic literature” which is published by “SSM – Qualitative Research in Health” uses CDA as a research tool to get the results which are “Our findings demonstrate that the concept of vulnerability is frequently applied as a descriptor with seemingly taken-for-granted applicability. Based on our analysis of 26 articles, we found that migrants are considered vulnerable in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic for a wide variety of reasons, most frequently relating to exposure and risk of contracting COVID-19; poverty or low economic status; precocity; access to healthcare; discrimination and language barriers.” (Molenaar & Praag, 2022)

The research article “The Construction of Career Women in Cleo: Critical Discourse Analysis” which is published by “Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences” uses CDA as a research tool and the conclusion and results of this research were “The analysis showed that Cleo had linguistically constructed career women solely as career women, confined to their working institutions. It may show the current trend where women nowadays are highly encouraged to join the working force and, hence, other social roles may appear less significant to the authors. Secondly, the analysis also showed that the women were constructed beyond the commonly collective norms in Malaysia, which may reflect the rise of ‘Western’ values by society in this country.” (Zulkifli, 2015)

In the research article “Applying Critical Discourse Analysis as a conceptual framework for investigating gender stereotypes in political media discourse” published by “Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences” also uses CDA as a research tool and the conclusion of this research are “Language and gender studies in media use diverse theoretical underpinnings in their works, but all promise to concern themselves with investigating the reproduction of ideology in the language used. Critical Discourse Analysis can be used as a conceptual and analytical framework to investigate and make sense of the ways in which the media conveys meaning and how it generates ideologies through linguistic choices, so that they can be more easily challenged.” (Sriwimon & Zilli, 2017)

All of the researches conducted above have used CDA as a research tool for understanding or solving different social, political and language problems. None of them conducted a research on the growing LGBTQ and gender transition beliefs in Pakistan and how the believers of this agenda persuade other people into accepting the same thing and this is what makes it important to conduct a research on the only march relating to LGBTQ and gender transition that is held in Pakistan and that is the Sindh Moorat March 2022, this is why we conducted this research and applied Fairclough’s CDA model on the slogans used in Moorat March to understand their persuasive language and the cultural context behind them.


The purpose of this research is to analyze the representation of LGBTQs in Sindh Moorat March by using critical discourse analysis. It will critically look into the slogans used by the participants of the Moorat March and investigate their culture appropriation.

Problem Statement:

The Moorat March has been happening in Pakistan for the previous few years, slogans are the main highlight of this march. So far no research has been conducted on the language of these slogans. There is a need for research on the language/linguistic features in the slogans used by the participants of this March.


The objectives of this research are:

  1. To highlight distinctive linguistic levels in the text of the slogans.
  2. To interpret the slogans and understand their relationship with text and interaction.
  3. To explain the slogans and understand the social context and their interactions in the society.

Research Questions:

  1. How far is the language used in the slogans for the Moorat March appropriate to Pakistani Culture?
  2. What persuasive linguistic elements are used in the Moorat March slogans to develop acceptance of the LGBTQ beliefs?
  3. What is the social context of the Moorat March?
  4. How did the Pakistani society react on social media to these slogans and beliefs?


The results of this research are limited to Moorat March only and not every LGBTQ related march, as the research is only conducted on the slogans used in Moorat March.


Due to shortage of time and resources and the Moorat March happening in another city, the data could only be gathered from slogans found online and other social media platforms. Furthermore the tool has been set to CDA only, because of the purpose of this research.


This research is significant in understanding the role of slogans. Understanding the ideology of participants in Moorat March. And also to see the reaction of society on social media. This research will be helpful for the society to understand how they are persuaded into accepting the beliefs of this LGBTQ agenda and it will be helpful for the the people of Pakistan especially the ones that want to know what most people think about this march as it will also look into the reactions of the society towards Sindh Moorat March 2022.

Research Framework:

To analyze the representation of LGBTQs in Sindh Moorat March. To find the slogans used in this March and apply CDA to further understand the linguistic elements in these slogans. This research helps the society in understanding the meaning and persuasiveness behind the slogans.

Research Type:

The research type is Qualitative since this research aims at critically analyzing representativeness of LGBTQ in Moorat March slogans therefore slogans of the March have been collected from websites, news, E-magazines and social media. To make this research rich the slogans and data collected will be Qualitatively and Critically analyzed by using Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough’s model).

Populations and Sampling:

The type of sampling for this research is Purposive (Non-Random) sampling. The samples are taken from the Internet and are the slogans used only in Moorat March.

Sample Type:

The sample type of this research are the linguistic features of the slogans used by the participants of the Moorat March found on the Internet. These features will help determining the persuasiveness of the language and linguistic features used in the slogans into making the society accept their beliefs.

Sample Technique:

This research is based on Purposive (Non-Random) sampling. This type of sampling has been used because the slogans that are found on the Internet are going to be related to only the participants of the March, which will make it easy to find more slogans and there will be a high probability of finding more data from more slogans.

Sampling Criteria:

The samples of the slogans taken for this research are about the Moorat March. The sample selection of this research only deals with the slogans used in the Moorat March.

Sample Size:

The exact number of slogans from which the data has been taken are 30. The sample size used in this research is considered as a standard size for achieving the desired results. This is why this sample size is considered as representative enough.

Tool(s) For Data Collection:

The data is collected from the web and it is the images of slogans used by the participants of the Moorat March which are all taken from the web.

Tool(s) For Data Analysis:

This research will qualitatively and critically analyze the linguistic features in the slogans used by the participants of the Moorat March with the model of Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis. It will consist of the Description, Interpretation and Explanation of the language used in the slogans.

Results and Discussion:

  • Text Analysis:

The slogans used in Moorat March 2022 are the main highlight of this March and are considered an essential thing for the participants, most of the participants are seen holding slogans which are for demanding their rights and calling out the “corrupt system”, we are going to apply CDA on the text of these slogans to highlight linguistic features of the language used in the slogans and what is the meaning they are conveying.

The very first thing one can see while taking a look at these slogans is the persuasive nature of the words chosen and put together to make sentences to get sympathetic reaction from the society.

Here’s one of the slogans which is held up by a transgender woman which says

 “Khairaat nahin insaaf chahiye

  Khairaat nahin ikhtisaab chahiye” which makes one’s sympathies allign with the motive of the slogan. It makes you think that these people are getting no justice and people only tend to give them some money and expect their problems to go away, this statement has the word “Khairaat” repeated twice which emphasizes that these people dont really want money out of pity but want justice and freedom of speech.

This image shows some transgender women holding up the slogans that say “Stop Killing Transwomen” and “No more harassment”, now looking at this it’s obvious that one will develop sympathy for transgenders considering killing and harassment are the type of deeds that are considered very bad not just in our culture but in every one of them, if of course these people have to face all these things and are also killed, one’s sympathies lies with them. Apart from this, these slogans also have a persuasive language being used in them because they’re telling people to STOP and are straightforwardly saying NO MORE which is also used in context of stopping.

Here’s another example of persuasiveness and using the word STOP in the slogan which can also be seen as a command or an order to stop dehumanizing transgenders.

This persuasive nature can also be seen in many of the slogans, there is one that says “We are like YOU”, you can be considered as a persuasive word because it makes a person realize that himself and the person in front of him are the same and should be treated as equals, apart from this when YOU is used in a sentence, one doesn’t have a hard time understanding who the slogan is directed at.

The slogan above has implicit interpretations and biases about indigenous populations, which can be seen as some of the members of jamaat e islami who are shown in this slogan are being called rapists and are being put in context of a community named “Loot” which is mentioned in the Holy Quran, this community used to practice homosexuality and were destroyed by GOD for this sin.

Another slogan is seen in this march which says

“Mera Gender

 Meri Marzi

 Mera Jism

 Meri Surgery”

This can be seen as persuasive considering the slogan has repetitive use of the words “Mera, Meri” and it implies that one has no say in what these people do, in their sexual identity and who they are, even if they want to transition from a man to a woman or vice versa, the society is no one to stop them because they’ve made it very clear with the words ‘Mera and Meri’ that it’s their body and sexuality and they’re free to do whatever they want with it.

The word “Cis” is repeated many times in the slogans in the context of sexuality, here are some of the slogans using the word ‘Cis’

This repetitive word also implies that the gender these people are identified as biologically, which are of course given to them at birth is not the one that they want and they want to go ahead and get it changed and also want to be identified as a different gender, the word cis is used as a prefix and suffix with other words to make the reader understand what the slogan wants to say and point at. It also has a sympathetic element to it because the first slogan asks you to support not just the people that are fine with their biological gender but also the ones that want to transition.

The tone of the text of both the slogans held by participants in the second image can be well described as disrespectful considering they are calling people out who stand against them and telling them that they’re the killers of this community and also the word “bullshit” is used in the slogan on the right which can also be considered disrespectful.

This slogan has the imprints of hands which are imprinted in red color referring to the bloodshed that the transgenders have to face because as mentioned above they are either killed or are bullied so much that they kill themselves, the red hands on the slogan is a symbolic reference to the violence and the bloodshed that this community has to face, the text also tells the society to see transphobic violence as a crime which can be considered persuasive in nature.

The slogan held above by one of the participants of the moorat march can also be seen as disrespectful in tone and nature as it has a picture of a woman who’s against this March being compared to an egg. This also implies that the woman turned from an egg into a human which obviously everybody does before they are born, this transition of egg to a human being is being compared to transition of gender by the participant and is asking why can’t she transition again.

Here’s one of the slogans that have a sarcastic tone, the slogans has pictures of a comedian acting like a transgender in a comedy show and the text says that when they do it people laugh and tend to take it as a joke but when these people who want to transition do it, it is seen as a bad thing and are often cursed.

  • Processing Analysis:

The text and language used in the slogans of the moorat march are produced for a reason, the participants are trying to put forward their beliefs and are making the society realize what they have to go through.

The text was produced because the slogans have a big significance in the Moorat March 2022, and for other reasons like to hold up signs that show their beliefs and the message they want to convey.

Some historical context is given below:

  • The 1960s were pivotal for various social movements including American and African trangender rights. After the stonewall riots on June 28, 1969. The supreme court legalized transgender or gay marriage  in USA.
  • In Pakistan this movement started in 2018. In this movement transgender raised their voice for proper rights. People of Pakistan think negative about them and look down on them. They call transgenders at weddings for dances and a religious party in Pakistan has filed a petition against a law that protect the rights of transgender people, opponent says the legislation could act as jailway to allow same sex marriage. So due to all these hardships that they faced, they organized the MOORAT MARCH. They spread their voice in society and they used slogan to convey their message.
  • They wrote the slogans to make people realize what exactly was the purpose of having a march for this movement and what exactly they have to face in everyday life and also what they want.

The text in the slogan says “Apni hifazat ky liye kahan jayen” and this can tell you a lot about the context of this slogan. The text signifies that the transgender community gets no safety in the society and also have to look out for themselves just so they don’t get killed. The text was made for and directed toward the society and the audience is anyone who stands against them.

The person in the middle is holding a slogan that says “Disowning Trans Children should be a criminal offense”, the slogan is directed at the parents who disown their children when they find out that they want to transition and change their gender.

The slogan also hints at the past that parents usually disown their children when they find out about their sexual identity getting changed.

The text in this slogan talks about religion, and hints at the treatment the transgenders have to face just because they are abandoned by the society and even their parents, the only choice they’ve got left is to beg for money because no one is ready to employ them. Religion is also mentioned in this slogan and it shows that the text was made for the community that is very religious. The religious community tends to stop most of the things saying that their religion is in danger if this happens but the slogan says why isn’t the religion in danger if people aren’t treated right.

This slogan held by a participant of the Moorat March 2022 states that the society only supports people who are straight and only likes straight people but the people who want to transition and change their gender get no support from the society and even their families. The text was produced because obviously the people who want to change their gender want support from the society and their families too. This isn’t culturally appropriate either considering in Pakistani culture, people don’t like gays and the ones who try to changetheir gender or identity.

  • Social Analysis:

The participants used the slogans are totally against the Pakistani culture. Some of the slogans are completely based on stupidity and if we look at slogans as a Pakistani, we will realize that Islamic Republic of Pakistani is going to be another Western culture. Due to these slogans people of Pakistan are opposing the Moorat March. The words are used in slogans in a very nasty way. They are distorting the culture of Pak because these type of slogans are considered inappropriate in our society.

The results reveal that Transgenders who have changed their gender are in the thinking that in Pakistani traditions can be ignored, though these people are insulted and called bad in every aspect of life by the society. They are mistreated in the field, whether it is the field of education, health or the field of employment, they are considered as the worst of people among us, if they try to do something positive.

The results reveal the society views these slogans in very negative way because Pakistani people think that Transgenders want to apply LGBTQ in Islamic state. Transgenders might want their freedom and equal rights but the reaction of society is not in support of them. Society thinks that they want to create illogical and illegal relationships instead of gaining rights. People are totally against it.

Participants think that on the behalf of this Moorat March 2022 Transgenders and the ones who want to change their gender will get their rights. They are demanding to be treated equally. They will get rid of violations, transgression, and oppression. On the other side, society has no positive attitude toward transgenders. Society abuses them and tramples them under their feet because the results reveal that the things they are demanding are irrational. People think that it won’t be a good thing for any society if individuals just start changing their gender and identifying as a different one.

“Qaum e Loot hum nahi tum ho”

This slogan is just an example of the bizarre words used in the Slogans of Sindh Moorat March 2022. Qaum e Loot is considered as bad people according to the teachings of Islam because they practiced Homosexuality. The participants are accusing the society (mainly the people from Jamaat-e-Islami) openly. Pakistani culture is based on Islamic perspectives and and the participants are targeting a political party that is purely islamic, which does not go well with the society. This is just one of the slogans that can be highlighted in context of the negative reactions that the society gave to this march. Many reactions can be recorded on social media too; the hash tags #MooratMarchNeedsTobeStopped and #ArrestThem started trending on Twitter which gives us an insight to what the society thinks about this March and this Agenda Overall.


This research shows that the slogans used in Sindh Moorat March are highly persuasive and the language and linguistic items used by the participants in these slogans have many inappropriate things in them which are highlighted above, The people who think it’s right to change their gender are convincing others that it’s right and demanding their rights by saying it’s their choice to do whatever they want with their body. The society however, as shown by the study thinks that this March and its purpose is highly in appropriate and it needs to be stopped because it is not something that is accepted in the Pakistani culture and neither in Islam.


Kadim, E. N. (2022). A critical discourse analysis of Trump’s election campaign speeches. Heliyon.

Molenaar, J., & Praag, L. V. (2022). Migrants as ‘vulnerable groups’ in the COVID-19 pandemic: A critical discourse analysis of a taken-for-granted label in academic literature. SSM – Qualitative Research in Health.

Paltridge, B. (2012). Discourse Analysis. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Rahman, A., N.F, K, M. Y., F.A, P., M.T, A., M, M. A., et al. (2020). Developing rigor with Critical Discourse Analysis to examine. Procedia Computer Science, 49-54.

Sriwimon, L., & Zilli, P. J. (2017). Applying Critical Discourse Analysis as a conceptual framework for investigating gender stereotypes in political media discourse. Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences, 136-142.

Tannen, D. (1989). Discourse and Context: A Sociolinguistic Perspective.

Zulkifli, C. N. (2015). The Construction of Career Women in Cleo: Critical Discourse Analysis. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences , 53-59.

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