I'm bi and a girl I'm also demi, I'm currently trying to accept myself bc being lgbt is so frowned upon in the Muslim community we are seen as not proper muslims and as a joke, no one knows that I'm bi apart from my best friend who is muslim and questioning and I'm 100% sure I'm not gonna come out to anyone bc I will look like a joke since everyone knows Muslim and lgbt dont mix, I dont want to get married tbh maybe if I have a deep emotional bond with someone , and honestly I'm in a state of confusion ,
Btw does anyone know if we can support lgbt bc if we can't that wouldn't make sense since we are litterally part of the community
Sometimes I wonder if Islam is the right religion for me I mean it's not like I'm accepted which is kinda hurtful😔
I just want you to understand your not alone ❤️ and don’t let other straight Muslims get to you for validation to feel safe to feel comfortable to feel like you can be yourself coz that’s the worst thing u can do is trying to seek comfort and validation from a straight muslim may work depend on the person but most of the time no never works💀. For example it’s like a agnostic going up an atheist to learn about Islam. They simple wouldn’t know , nor understand nor help. A straight muslim can never will never relate to us they’ll just unconsciously or consciously be homophobic they can’t resonate with us because they haven’t been given the same factor as us. And another thing I want to say is that I’m so happy for this Reddit because before I was there with u I felt alone I had a hard time to accept myself but this is who I am this is how Allah destined my life because Allah is Al-Qadr (concept that Allah knows everything and has already decided everything that will happen). And now that I have found my people on this Reddit who I can relate to , not feel alone, being able to feel relaxed! 💆🏽♀️The worst thing you can do is rely on other Muslims opinions that’s just there mindset there beliefs, never take it so seriously, we are on our own journey, own thoughts , own emotions, own destiny. Allah never makes mistakes in peoples lives and you are no mistake accept urself 😌❤️
I like to think that I am a rational 'woke' person, I am all for personal freedom of all kinds unless it is harming others.
As a practising Muslim, I struggled with the idea of homosexuality (and how to treat people who are homosexual) in the context of my belief and I was troubled because I was not able to reconcile both in a logical way with the help of current conventional Islamic opinions but later I started doing my own research and it opened my heart to few facts that made my opinion much more refined (in my opinion at least). I wanted to share this with people so others might benefit from this.
I will make some points to establish my argument.
Homosexual people are real, due to some hormonal disbalances or other reasons they are born/develop psychologically into more feminine or masculine compared to their physical attributes. (A lot of Muslims reject this)
We have to understand that in Islam all sexual relationships are wrong without Nikkah/committed relations, so calling homosexuality bad but at the same time doing 'straight' zina yourself does not make you a good person. Consequently, asking Islam as a religion for acceptance of homosexuality as normal is foolish.
Based on the first two points we can deduce that we have to accept the reality of homosexuality (attraction not the act) as natural behaviour but also accept that Islam does not champion overt sexualization of human life so it is absurd to ask the whole community to accept homosexuality as an 'Islamic way of life'
But it is also apparent that Allah has not given me or anyone else the authority to tell people how to behave in their private lives, there are rules given but I or any government is not the one who will implement them, we are supposed to look out for ourselves alone and we are NOT burdened to be answerable for actions of others.
People who may or may not act on their homosexual urges are my fellow human beings, all the same, and they deserve to be treated as such, their actions in their private life that are not harming society are their own business and I must not use it against them.
This whole process of self reconciliation has given me happiness and peace that I can love all God's creation and not judge anyone as I am not the ONE to judge.
BTW this whole journey is from many years back and until now I did not find any strong arguments against it. I just want to share to learn from others.
I've been putting off responding to his but here goes. I am someone who identifies with their religion grew up in gayest western nation state and would consider myself as a practicing Muslim, Alhamdulillah.
Homosexual people are real, due to some hormonal disbalances or other reasons they are born/develop psychologically into more feminine or masculine compared to their physical attributes
Yes, accurate. Homos exist. So do pedophiles and so people who rape animals. And they're all giving into their urges that has been clearly prohibited. It's a mental illness and a disorder, that's been normalized. Rather then classification of homosexuality as an illness, it's being treated as a normal way of life, which it absolutely isn't.
We have to understand that in Islam all sexual relationships are wrong without Nikkah/committed relations, so calling homosexuality bad but at the same time doing 'straight' zina yourself does not make you a good person. Consequently, asking Islam as a religion for acceptance of homosexuality as normal is foolish.
Yes. Straight Zina is also Haram and a major sin. Gay Zina is double Haram, cause you're still committing Zina and you're proving yourself to be amongst the people of Lut AS. Individual Muslims may or may not accept homosexuality, but the Muslim community will never accept it or normalize it. The same way we don't accept Zina, we won't accent homo relationship and it's idiotic to thing the community ever will. Even Muslims who aren't practicing can differentiate between Haram and Kufr, Kufr is when you start justifying Haram (i.e. acceptance of the people of skittles)
My last point is you, as a Muslim in the west are more similar to the Muslims who did hijrah to Habasha. You're there, to practice your religion freely, and maybe give some dawah, you aren't their to establish an islamic state, that's for the Muslims of the Muslim world to do.
I got an email from a reader a few days ago. She’s not LGBT herself, but she has many gay friends and is learning how to engage properly. (Way to go ally!) Her question was about how to accept yourself as a gay Christian. I wanted to share our conversation* with you:
Something I often ponder is why there are a lot of testimonies out there where people say they have “come out of the gay lifestyle” due to conviction that their same sex relationship was wrong and not God-glorifying. Does this ever bother/affect you? Are you afraid you’ll feel this conviction one day? And if not, what advice do you have for others in helping them achieve the same level of confidence and assurance? –Erin R.M.
Does it bother or affect me? Eh. Sort of. I’ve met and read stories of individuals who say that God “healed them” or brought them a spouse of the opposite sex, and they fell in love and had babies and yaddah yaddah yaddah. Do I believe them? Sure! Why not. Who am I to tell someone that their stories are invalid. Part of me thinks that their orientation wasn’t exclusively homosexual or perhaps they experienced some sexual fluidity, thus allowing them to engage successfully in a heterosexual relationship.
That is their story. I will honor that.
But that is not the story of most people who struggle with sexual orientation and gender identity.
The majority of people who struggle with their sexual orientation or gender identity who attempted to change it, to leave it behind, ignore it, etc, failed to change because. well, frankly, we can’t.
I often had these moments on my journey to accept myself as a gay Christian where I was out the closet and then I ran back in again because I thought, “Maybe if I just try again, maybe if I pray harder or fast more. ” It was a cycle of shame. I couldn’t imagine a life outside of the tiny box of white, heteronormative theology which was “correct.” It was the only way to look at it. I felt shame just for even thinking that there could be a different way to look at scriptures.
[bctt tweet=”That shame that is heaped on LGBT people is not of God.”]
That shame is a product bad teaching, a longing to stay in good community, and a fear of rejection that churches are perpetuating from the pulpit.
Many LGBT people have been taught there is something inherently wrong or broken with their sexual orientation, that it is displeasing to God and that it can be changed. Or they have been told that the ONLY redemptive purpose for their life and sexuality is to forego romantic relationships, give up any chance at deep human connectedness and choose celibacy.
I tried that. I tried going down that path, and what it brewed in me was nothing but sadness, depression, and thoughts of suicide that prevailed for most of the 11 years I was struggling with my faith and sexuality. These teachings are so deeply embedded in our psyches, it takes time to unlearn old patterns of behavior, and time to unlearn bad theology.
These are the first steps to accepting yourself as an LGBT Christian:
Find your tribe.
What I mean by ‘tribe’ is people around you, in your life regularly, who can support, affirm, build you up, and challenge you to be the person you were made to be. People who will speak truth against lies, who will listen to your fears, validate your story, and who are with you through thick and thin.
[bctt tweet=”Be around people who will love you for who you are, not in spite of who you are.”]
Meet other LGBT Christians.
Seriously, meeting other LGBT+ Christians who have been liberated and are finally living full lives as openly LGBT is life changing. Because when you see the Holy Spirit working, living, and active in the lives of LGBT people, I think it begins a shift. Because I met people who had been set free, I was in turn set free. And because I am set free, I get to set others free. And that’s pretty much how discipleship and evangelism works!
Get your identity in Christ settled.
Do I ever feel like I might want to “leave the gay lifestyle” out of personal conviction? A year ago, I would have said I was totally unsure of everything. But today, I can say with full confidence that no, I will never ever go back to the old way of thinking, the self condemning, self loathing, and truly self-obsessed way of doing life.
I think the best way for others to gain that confidence step into a place of self-acceptance is really to realize the truth about one’s identity. You are already loved by God. God already approves of you, loves you, welcomes you into this family. Regardless of circumstance or life choices, what you have done or have not done, you are a Child of God. Our identity is daughter, son, child of God. Period. No questions. That’s the truth.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
When we can just accept that we are loved, everything changes. And that is the place that we operate from.
We work FROM approval, not FOR approval.
We work FROM God’s love, not FOR God’s love.
We work FROM a place of overflow of Grace, not FOR a modicum of Grace.
My self-assurance and confidence doesn’t come from me, it comes from what my Heavenly Father says I am and who He created me to be. I am not broken. I am not in need of more healing. I am not needing to overcome. I am already whole. I am already healed. I have already overcome. I am loved. I am worthy. I am valued.
I sit in the assurance that God loves me, because He loves me, because He loves me, because He loves me, because He loves me, because THAT’S JUST WHO HE IS! And that is where I live and breathe and have my being. And that’s what I believe truly needs to be settled before we even begin to talk about anything else.
(*This email conversation was edited a bit from the original for length and certain uses of language. Just FYI. )
At a fairly young age I always had a curiosity for men and how their penis looked like. I guess I thought this was normal or something interesting at the age of 7. I didn’t even know about the gay community or what sexuality meant. Through my early teens, internet access was more accessible and pornography was under my figure tips. After stumbling upon gay pornography, I felt a fast heart beat sensation and a joy to my curiosity. It was very fantasizing how two men were naked together. Moving forward to my late teenage years, I started to wonder why I was attracted to men mostly then women. I was saddened that my brother and my friends were always talking about girlfriends. I cried my self to bed and forced my self to change which never ended up happening. I felt like I was wrong or doing something prohibited in Islam that Allah would never look at me the same way. Growing up I was always religiously oriented from praying to doing zikir. My parents were heavily originated with a religious order called the Naqshbandi Tarikat. This traces their lineage to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and Abu Bakr, the first Caliph of Sunni Islam. During my late Teen years it was a battle with my sexuality and religion. As I started my first year in university, I moved out into a dorm and had a lot of freedom. On campus there was this booth that had an advertisement for Grindr and I was curious what it was so I went to it. They were expressing how it was an app to meet other LGBT people in the campus. This sparked my heart and attention. Unfortunately this app made me do decisions that I regret. I ended up hooking up with people and thought it was okay to be who I am. I never affiliated with sex because I was heavily afraid from Allah. Moving forward to covid, schools transitioned online and this got me even more horny and restrained because I wasn’t allowed to go out nor meet people, due to pubic mesures. After New Years the restrictions were starting to get mild so I gave the app another go. Met this gentleman from the same culture. We ended up clicking and started to hook up every week. One lead to another and we both agreed that we wanted to have sex. So I ended up penetrating him. He was very gassed and I was as well, so he was like fuck me without the condom. This gave me a big worry but I did it. After ejaculating. I felt this big doomed sensation with fear and guilt. I quickly left the room and got dressed. I asked for his HIV records and he couldn’t provide them atm. The reasoning why is because in Canada you have to call our doctors to hear results. I guess this due to legal confidential reasoning. So I ended up going home and having a anxiety attack. My hypochondriac self was thinking I caught something because he didn’t show his results that moment. So I started to develop urinary issues. So I ran to the hospital and did a full STD panel for all bacteria organisms. They all came back negative. So I made the gentleman get a panel done and he was negative as well. After getting many tests for 8 months and seeing many doctors and urologists for my urinary symptoms. With many antibiotics. I have developed Pelvic pain syndrome which was triggered from my Fright Flight Freeze reaction to this encounter eight months ago. I was constraining my pelvic floor muscles because I was worried anxious and guilty. Now I am suffering from urinary symptoms and rectum symptoms due to my tight pelvic muscles. I am currently doing physical therapy and stretching every day to relax my pelvic floor muscles.
I am sitting here, writing and thinking this is a punishment from Allah. Why am I the most unfortunate one to deal with my sexuality and my religion on top of that my health condition that was caused by this. Is my life always going to be walking on black ice?
It would be a pleasure if anyone can hear me out and give me some guidance.
The US Supreme Court ruled yesterday that employers and businesses can be sued if they discriminate against LGBT. I’ve talked about this case several times and spelled out the implications for masajid, Islamic schools, Muslim orgs, and Muslim-owned businesses.
This ruling creates a HUGE problem for all Muslim institutions in the US. AS WE SPEAK, pro-LGBT activists are strategizing how to use this new legal landscape to force Muslim institutions to accept their fahisha through the civil courts. This is a major step in further restricting how Muslims can think and make decisions for themselves, their families, their orgs and businesses. The damage that is set to be caused by this cannot be overstated.
Some Muslims mistakenly think that the passage of this pro-LGBT law is somehow good for Muslims because, without this law, Muslims could be discriminated against too. This is complete and utter ignorance of the law. Title VII passed in 1964 already protects Muslims from religious discrimination. The new legislation, however, can be used to viciously attack masajid and Muslim orgs for believing what we believe, namely the truth about modern day Qawm Lut.
It is ironic, then, how the major national Muslim orgs in America and their celebrities had ZERO opposition to this. These orgs are supposedly concerned with the best interests of the Muslim community, yet they have nothing to say if it is the left wing that is stabbing us in the face. In some cases, figures like Linda Sarsour and orgs like CAIR, actually loudly supported the LGBT cause. And then there were the special celebrities who, short of wearing LGBT pride flags, propped up these pro-LGBT activists, sat with them on panels, shared the stage with them at conference after conference without a peep of criticism, took selfies with them, etc. Remember all the compassionate imams who posted #IMarchWithLinda?
Let’s take a look at two of the biggest offenders: Yasir Qadhi and Omar Suleiman. They deceive (yes, deceive) the Muslim community by repeating “gay sex is haram” while at the same time promoting LGBT policies and pro-LGBT activists. Their organizations push gay marriage and they invite pro-LGBT rights activists to speak at their masajid.
Who is holding these celebrities accountable?
While the Muslim community suffers from this LGBT assault, these celebrities benefit handsomely by being in the good graces of the left wing. They enjoy their university positions, their funding, invitations to “pray” in front of Congress and former presidents, invitations to write op-eds for left-leaning mainstream publications, and on and on.
Where is the outrage?
This is what Yasir Qadhi had to say yesterday about the Supreme Court ruling on his page:
“This law will definitely pose a new set of challenges to certain segments of religiously conservative folks (remember the baker in Colorado?).”
Re-read that sentence. He expresses ZERO negativity about this ruling, no criticism, no nothing. He doesn’t even mention the word “Muslim” in the entire post. He just says, it’s a “challenge” for “religiously conservative folks.” Who are these “folks”? Does he mean Muslims? Why isn’t he saying Muslims? Is it not a “challenge” for non-conservative folks?
If you may recall, earlier this year, Yasir Qadhi held an LGBT conference at his masjid, along with Omar Suleiman. At the time, many criticized the poster advertising the conference because it used rainbow-colored font. But not as much attention was paid to what was actually presented at the conference.
One of the speakers was Asma Uddin. Asma Uddin is a pro-LGBT rights activist. In her talk at Qadhi’s masjid, she explicitly promotes LGBT anti-discrimination laws as a “measure to prevent suffering” of “downtrodden” LGBT people, which is what this Supreme Court ruling writes into law. How fitting that YQ is the one introducing Uddin and giving her a platform at his masjid to spew this just a few months before the Supreme Court made its decision.
Uddin also has an extensive history promoting what she calls “win-win” where Muslims support LGBT rights (i.e., fahisha) and LGBT let Muslims run their masajid and orgs without being harassed. She is also the founder of the AltMuslimah website, which includes all kinds of shocking articles, everything from online dating tips to praising Amina “Ibrahim Is a Deadbeat Dad” Wadud to an article condemning the hudud as “unIslamic.”
Why is such a person invited by Yasir Qadhi to push this propaganda onto the community? Why does Omar Suleiman work so closely with such a person?
Omar Suleiman also spoke at the conference, saying the Prophetic Sunna is to stand against LGBT hate. His whole talk is his same cliche butchering of hilf al-fudul to justify allying with the worst of the worst rainbow groups.
I mean, what can you expect from Suleiman, whose org, Yaqeen, published an article arguing that Muslims should support LGBT rights like gay marriage and anti-discrimination? What can you expect from a celebrity that goes and prays side by side with Hindus and Sikhs and attends gay vigils?
Suleiman and Uddin have also collaborated on other occasions, such as a recent conference on interfaith pluralism at the Aspen Institute (which, for those not aware, was founded by Michael Chertoff, co-author of the anti-Muslim Patriot Act).
So again, I ask: Who is holding these people accountable? Why are they allowed to pretend like they represent the Muslim community when they are actively collaborating with those who are working against it?
Between calling the “medieval” Sharia “bizarre” and “problematic” and in need of “updating,” and generating shubuhat in the minds of Muslims, these personalities act like they are above criticism. They are not.
A number of people have asked me to explain or clarify issues raised in my coming out post, Yes, I Am. So here’s an attempt to respond to that feedback as well as offer some constructive points of advice for my fellow LGBT Muslims.
I am Muslim, by choice. Faith is central to my identity and without it I’d be lost as I still clearly remember my life before Islam.
So how do we reconcile faith with sexual orientation or sexuality? This is perhaps the most commonly asked question for gay Muslims but for me the question misses the larger point that orientation is not the same as sexuality. Beyond semantics, some of the language used to describe orientation is unhelpful. Orientation is not limited to who you sleep with and who you sleep with does not necessarily define your orientation. While our community has many hang-ups when it comes to sexuality, I think part of the challenge of having a discussion with gay Muslims is an inability to see beyond the jurisprudential bedroom. Islamic law is concerned with classifiable acts and is silent on matters, which are not so easily classified.
The idea of reconciliation or counseling for LGBT Muslims begins with an assumption that there is a conflict between faith and orientation. Not everyone agrees with this view. Nearly everywhere you look there is a growing movement of scholars and activists challenging old assumptions and interpretations to fuel a more progressive understanding.
Even if you’re like me, schooled in more conservative cultural interpretations (and every interpretation has its own cultural baggage), the progressive understanding holds an undeniable appeal though for me the arguments are not fully convincing. You will have to decide for yourself, which interpretation or understanding of Islam works best for you as no one else can live your life for you. So keep the lines of communication open between you and God and try to surround yourself with good and supportive family and friends.
Should you come out? Each decision to come out is incredibly personal and it’s a continual process with each group of people you encounter. I am out to some people and not out to others, it just makes life easier that way for me. You have to evaluate your own life situation. In reflecting on the life story of the Prophet Muhammad and in listening to Brene Brown’s research into vulnerability, shame, and whole-hearted living, there are so many lessons to be drawn from embracing vulnerability as a means to seek out authentic and meaningful connection with others.
You do not have to accept the idea that your orientation is sinful or unnatural nor do you have to accept the opinion that coming out is publicizing something that should be hidden. I’m always amazed by people who sincerely think that remaining closeted is the optimal solution when they themselves are completely open and in your face about the reality of their own orientation and relationships.
Know that a huge part of reconciling between your faith and sexuality or the courage to come out stems from your own self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. You are worthy, beautiful, and deserving of love and goodness. You have to believe this. Cultivate your relationship with God, your relationship with those who sincerely care for you, and take care of yourself. It’s very possible you will encounter haters along the way but you don’t have to value or accept their criticism.
In my experience, fearing how others might react, is a mostly useless and paralyzing activity. Despite my best efforts, I was not able to predict, with any sense of accuracy, how my family and friends and people in the wider community have reacted to my coming out. Not every experience has been positive but the overwhelming majority have been positive. As a rule of thumb, people who spend a lot of time online (so rarely in person because that would require courage most don’t have) trying to tear you down are usually in pain in their own lives trying to compensate for their own insecurities. If they were happy, they’d be out enjoying their own lives more than they enjoy commenting on your life. Spare a thought for those deeply closeted LGBT folks so scared that someone might think they are gay that they take up the anti-gay banner with more energy than the real homophobes. I know some of you are secretly reading this now and I wish you much love and healing.
What about the “love the person, not the action” distinction? This is problematic, is that even really love? This dichotomy works for some people but not for others. Certainly, we can give credit to those holding this supposedly more compassionate view over the more fire and brimstone exclusionary types but what does this really offer to the LGBT Muslim? It appears that lifelong forced celibacy is unnatural and maybe even harmful. Marriage to someone of the opposite sex can work for some but not for others, leaving aside the question of fairness to the unsuspecting spouse.
The interesting observation from the “marriage solution” is that despite assuming an outward facade of heterosexuality that inward orientation rarely changes. I could marry a man and almost did yet my orientation was as settled then as it is now despite my efforts to pretend otherwise. In 1971, the American Psychiatric Association (APA), didn’t just stop referring to homosexuality as a disease based on a whim and switch to offering guidance that sexual orientation cannot be changed. Most people involved in ex-gay or reparative therapy programs also encounter this reality of stable orientation. I hear the “abuse argument” a lot from some Muslims i.e. that being gay results from sexual abuse, but this myth is also addressed in the link above about the APA decision. Give it a listen, it’s a good program, and won’t make you or your children gay, I promise.
Can I be LGBT and a good Muslim? Of course! Don’t ever allow people or their opinions or your own actions to come between you and your faith in God. Every person is more than simply an orientation or an action. When I stand before God to pray, I am Muslim, a human being, a daughter, a woman, a sister, black, gay, American, a nurse, a neighbor, a student and so much more than these labels can convey.
I’m okay saying to Allah as I bow down that I am here at your service, turning to you. I don’t always understand everything perfectly, but I ask you for help in everything, and I know that you will and always have helped me, and that you are the best of those who offer assistance.
What we need is open, honest and informed debates among all Muslims – and not just on the Internet.
Can a Muslim be gay – or accepting of a fellow Muslim who’s gay?
Ever since the landmark US Supreme Court decision on June 26 making same-sex marriage legal in the US, debate has emerged among Muslims worldwide about the merit of the ruling, with the obvious implication if they as Muslims approve or disapprove of a person being a gay while professing to be a Muslim.
“When the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday legalised same-sex marriages in all 50 states,” one commentator wrote jubilantly, “many American-Muslims were thrilled with the news. For these Muslims, their own religion [sic] convictions support their views on gay marriage and believe that God’s compassion trumps all.”
“But many Muslims on social media lashed out,” another cautioned , “saying ‘ qiyamah’, the day of judgement, was near while the story of Lot condemning homosexuality in holy scriptures, including the Quran, is being ignored.”
At the forefront of these two extreme positions, we see a band of clean-shaven yuppie US Muslims eager to appease their White-American constituency issuing their “fatwa”, as it were, encouraging Muslims to embrace the Supreme Court decision, while most their bearded and turbaned counterparts on the opposite side of the isle issue dissenting fatwas against such reconciliations.
These two sides, self-appointed “leaders” and “celebrities”, are both out-to-lunch and have no business issuing such fatwas beyond their own singular opinion on the matter and speak for nothing and no one beyond themselves.
The decline of turbaned clerical authority among Muslims worldwide does not amount to the rise of authority among the self-styled US Muslim “celebrities” with a sleek PR agent and a Madison Avenue hairdo.
What we need is a sustained course of community-wide debates among all Muslims, and not just on the Internet. Preferably, we would see these discussions within major Muslim countries such as Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, and Malaysia.
The history of sexuality, and its radical reconfigurations from medieval to modern times, need to enter the debates. Leading scholars of this field such as Joseph Massad have radically contested the manner in which what he terms “gay international” has imperially dominated the variety of homoerotic domains in Arab and Muslim history.
Over the last few decades, a number of groundbreaking works of scholarship have richly enhanced our understanding of the history of sexuality among Muslims.
Enhancing our understanding
Samar Habib’s edited two volumes Islam and Homosexuality (2009) and Khaled El-Rouayheb’s Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800 (2009) are examples of such groundbreaking work.
The legalisation of same-sex marriage in the United States will do very little to diminish the deep-rooted homophobia in this country.
Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle, Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims (2010) is another critical example, plus the work of other scholars such as Kecia Ali, Serena Tolino and Sara Omar.
Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed wrote a crucial autobiography, The Koran and the Flesh/Le Coran et la chair (2012), Jerry Wright’s Homoeroticism in Classical Arabic Literature, and Helie and Hoodfar’s Sexuality in Muslim Contexts have expanded our historical understanding of the issue, while Joseph Massad’s Desiring Arabs (2007) took the whole discourse of homosexuality radically to task.
The current level of public discussion by Muslims, and non-Muslims alike, remains scandalously ignorant of such works of scholarship, and quickly cuts to a passage in the Quran and interpreting it in one way or another declares Islam to be one thing or precisely it’s opposite.
In the US, gay marriage has become legal not because the Bible says it’s ok. It certainly does not. Christian fundamentalist like Mike Huckabee et al. are up in arms (some literally) against this law.
Generations of civil-rights struggles
In the US, same sex marriage became legal by virtue of generations of civil rights struggles, and ultimately as an act of civil liberty. This cannot just be created for the Muslim world by fiat among Muslims by one Imam or another celebrity issuing their respective fatwas.
The legalisation of same-sex marriage in the United States will do very little to diminish the deep-rooted homophobia in this country, as indeed the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 did not entirely end racism; or Roe v Wade of 1973 end patriarchy, machismo, and misogyny; or Brown v Board of Education of 1954 ended school segregation, which has continued apace along class lines to this day.
The US, and the world at large, still have a long way to go to end such acts of bigotry, racism, and sexism.
Muslims at large are part and parcel of this world. Before a similar law might pass one day in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, or Pakistan, etc., Muslims too need to be integral to that global struggle for civil liberties, as they continue their conversations to learn to respect and honour their fellow human beings without wondering what their gender or sexual orientation might be.
Same sex marriage has been legal in more than a dozen countries, such as Mexico and South Africa, with no such fanfare. The recent legalisation in the US has the unintended consequence of adding it to the arsenal of claims that US foreign policy is promoting its imperial interests.
The most significant aspect of this Supreme Court decision is that it places the US on democratically levelled ground with other countries that have already had similar legislation in place. It can then use them all as examples to encourage Muslims at large to participate in open, honest, and informed discussions articulating and safeguarding their civil liberties across the board – which includes, but isn’t limited to, gay rights and the possibility of the acceptance of same-sex marriage within Muslim communities.
Hamid Dabashi is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.
US Supreme Court rules in favour of gay marriage
President Obama calls decision that same-sex couples can marry anywhere in US “a big step in our march toward equality”.
Ireland says big ‘Yes’ to gay marriage in world first
With an overwhelming 62 percent of “Yes” votes, Ireland now world’s first country to approve gay marriage by referendum.
i have so many feelings about lgbt muslims, i can’t help but get a little sad thinking about us because of how isolated we are from any form of support…it’s been almost a year since i made this blog and i’ve gotten a lot of messages from people talking about how they’ve never met anyone like them or that i’m the first person they’ve come across who looks like them and, that’s really fucking sad lol.
and i know that we are out there it’s just that it’s really hard to be open about it. congratulations to those who are, that’s really fucking brave. but i keep thinking about those who are trapped in impossible situations, and feel like no one understands or like they shouldn’t exist…it doesn’t matter where you live, whether you’re in an accepting country or otherwise, some people feel like they’ll never be able to live as their true selves even if they’re in an accepting country because of the guilt that comes with accepting yourself. you shouldn’t have to feel guilty for being who you are, but the religious teaching we grew up with makes us feel that way and it’s really, really, hard to unlearn.
it would be cool if there was a way for us to come together in our own little community and support each other because the wider lgbt community doesn’t care about us, people don’t think we exist, and on the other hand our muslim community won’t accept us, so many of us feel rejected by both and that just adds to how fucking isolating it can be
for those suffering alone, it shouldn’t have to be that way. it’s so hard to come to terms with your identity with no outside help and it drives people to reject themselves or to become vulnerable to traps like arranged marriages and family violence bc you can’t just cut off your family and your muslim community that you depend on your whole life. sometimes that’s the only way to get out of it and find happiness in the outside world, but if the outside world is also cold and unwelcoming, what can you do except put your happiness aside to appease your family?
and i feel like that’s also the reason why lgbt muslims don’t reach out because of that “no one will ever understand what i’m going through” mentality. personally i’m so glad for the friends i have that i can talk to because i’d probably go crazy otherwise and thinking about how so many people like me don’t have that it just..makes me rlly sad lol
The following is reprinted with permission from Religion Dispatches. Follow RD on Facebook or Twitter for daily updates.
To Our Fellow American Muslims,
Hey there. It’s two of your brothers. We’re writing to you about the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage in all fifty states. The good news is that a whopping 42 percent of you support marriage equality, as do both of our Muslim elected officials in the United States Congress. One even serves as vice chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus! There are many faithful gay and lesbian Muslims in the U.S. and we love and support all of them.
At the same time, many of you are scandalized by the ruling (we know because you keep tweeting about it), and many more of you are equally perturbed but have chosen to keep it to yourself. With all the rainbow-flag waving and self-congratulatory pats on the back this country is giving itself right now, you don’t need another reason for Americans to dislike you.
Sure Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee can call the Supreme Court decision the precursor to the End of Days and the final battle of Armageddon. But if you try saying something like that on TV you may end up in Guantanamo. So you’re staying quiet. You may not like the Supreme Court’s decision but you’re willing to tolerate it.
We understand where you’re coming from. Being Muslim in America is not easy. On the one hand you’re a part of mainstream culture. You’re a Warriors fan. You listen to Kanye. You watch Game of Thrones. You even went to the office Christmas party and sang Silent Night!
On the other hand, you want to stay true to your faith and traditions: You go to the mosque and send your kids to Islamic school, fast during Ramadan, and swap Turkey bacon on your BLT, all in an attempt to establish a firm Muslim identity in a non-Muslim country.
But now that same-sex marriage is legal in America, it’s shaking up your faith. You’re afraid of the future and what this could mean for your kids. You recognize the growing acceptance of gay rights, but personally you just can’t bring yourself to embrace the shift. You may feel okay with having gay acquaintances or coworkers. You may even agree that being gay doesn’t disqualify you from also being a Muslim. But privately, you still feel like the LGBT community is a living contradiction to what you were brought up to believe.
But here’s the thing. When you are an underrepresented minority–whether Muslim, African American, female, etc.–democracy is an all or nothing business. You fight for everyone’s rights (and the operative word here is “fight”), or you get none for yourself. Democracy isn’t a buffet. You can’t pick and choose which civil liberties apply to which people. Either we are all equal, or the whole thing is just a sham.
We Muslims are already a deeply marginalized people in mainstream American culture. More than half of Americans have a negative view of us. One-third of Americans–that’s more than one hundred million people–want us to carry special IDs so that they can easily identify us as Muslim. We shouldn’t be perpetuating our marginalization by marginalizing others. Rejecting the right to same-sex marriage, but then expecting empathy for our community’s struggle, is hypocritical.
Think about the way people look at your hijabi sister or your bearded brother when they walk through the mall. Think about the grumbles and stares you get at airports. Think about the vitriol that’s spewed on you by your own elected political leaders. That’s how your LGBT brothers and sisters feel every day of their lives. Are you okay with that?
We don’t know about you, but our faith teaches us to care for the weak and the marginalized, the poor and dispossessed, those who are trampled underfoot, those who are persecuted–no matter who they are, no matter what they believe, no matter who they choose to love.
“Believers, stand firm for God, be witnesses for justice. Never allow the hatred of people to prevent you from being just. Be just, for this is closest to righteousness” (Quran 5:8).
It doesn’t get any clearer than that.
You may think LGBT rights is a new conversation, something that’s only recently come into contact with modern Islamic thought, but trust us, it’s not. Challenging the status quo for the betterment of society is one of the very foundations on which Islam was built.
No one is asking you to change your beliefs. If you feel your faith tells you that homosexuality isharam, fine. We disagree with your interpretation, but you’re entitled to it.
Ain’t America grand?
But if you can’t find it in your heart to accept gays on principle, think about the country you want to live in. After all, the constitution that just ensured the rights of LGBT communities is the same constitution that protects our mosques and community centers, that keeps our Islamic schools open, that allows us equal rights and privileges in the face overwhelming hatred and bigotry from our fellow Americans. You can’t celebrate one without the other.
That’s why it’s not enough to simply “tolerate” the Supreme Court decision. Tolerating another community only stirs up concealed fear toward the marginalized and apathy toward the political process. As minorities we don’t have the luxury to have either of those emotions. We have to do more than tolerate. We have to embrace. We have to fight for the right of others to live their lives as freely as we want to live ours.
Bottom line is this: standing up for marginalized communities, even when you disagree with them, is not just the right thing to do, it’s the Muslim thing to do. Remember that whole God is merciful and compassionate thing? That extends to all people, not just those who are straight.