Ex-gay billboard defaced (USA) February 24, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Media, Religion, Responses.
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I just read that one of the billboards sponsored by an organisation called Exodus International, “the largest Christian referral and information ministry dealing with homosexual issues”, has been defaced.
There are also plans by local homosexualist campaigners to protest Exodus’ upcoming conference at a church in St. Louis, USA.
I quote from the Exodus press release here, with emphasis from me:
Alan Chambers, a featured speaker at the Love Won Out conference and president of Exodus International, responded saying, “Anonymous defamation from any party is offensive, but the public protests planned by the gay community is particularly disturbing. Contempt for those of us who have chosen to leave homosexuality behind is not an action consistent with the call for tolerance and diversity.
“While there are some who may not agree with our message, we ask for their consideration and welcome their presence at this event,” said Chambers. “We continue to share our message of hope knowing that there are hundreds of thousands of lives who have been changed by this truth and there are many more who are longing to hear it.”
You may also be interested to know about a coalition called Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality. I don’t know enough about these groups to endorse them, but I do decry the way the homosexualists rubbish them, and accuse them (and StraightWay, whom they know nothing about) of using dangerous techniques. Perhaps that sort of thing happens, but I refuse to accept that helping someone to develop their identity and feelings in a non-queer direction should be considered “damaging”.
Sacranie pulls out February 20, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Responses.
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I wrote the other day about the criticisms made against the Unite Against Fascism conference’s speaker invitation to MCB Secretary-General Iqbal Sacranie.
Turns out that he didn’t speak on Saturday after all. According to the OutRage press release, “The conference organisers claim Sacranie withdrew because he had another engagement.” But Tatchell says:
Three days ago the conference organisers were adamant that Sir Iqbal would be a speaker. After being deluged with protests they are now saying he is no longer available. This is not a credible explanation. We believe the organisers realised they could not secure the acceptance of a homophobe at an anti-fascist conference, so they dumped him.
I hope he’s wrong, as he is about so many things. Does anyone know whether someone else from the MCB spoke instead? What other Muslim speakers were there? I see the following names on the UAF website: Mohammed Azam, Sadiq Khan MP, Mohammed Taj, Salma Yaqoob. [I don’t know the two Mohammeds, but I’m assuming they’re Muslims.] Is Tatchell not concerned about these probable “homophobes”, or is it “liberal until proven Islamofascist”?
Outrage’s intervention is particularly irresponsible, given that the BNP has announced that it intends to turn its campaign in the May local elections into a “referendum on Islam”. Yet Outrage proposes that UAF should exclude from its conference the main organisation of the Muslim communities who are the direct victims of the BNP’s racism.
If attitude to homosexuality is going to be the litmus test for Muslims “we” can talk to, “we” are really not going to get very far. UAF should stand firm against the idiotic OutRage fanatics, just as Mayor Ken Livingstone stood firm against them after the visit of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
EDIT: Aha, yes, a high-ranking replacement from the MCB did speak: their Assistant Secretary-General, Daud Abdullah. Looks like the OutRage campaign was, after all, the failure it was bound to be. Bob Pitt comments:
In fact, the demand that Tatchell and Outrage had raised was for the MCB as an organisation to be banned from the conference platform. […] Yet, in the outcome, the invitation was not withdrawn and the UAF conference was addressed by an assistant general secretary of the MCB, rather than by its general secretary. So, a bit of a limited victory there then, eh Peter?
Sacranie: no charges
“Statement on Homosexualist Campaign Against Muslim Scholar” (17/11/04)
What about these Muslim saints? February 19, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Islam, Responses.
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Siddhartha of the Golmal Press made a point that is also brought up regularly by the more intellectually-aspiring homosexualist Muslims.
Historically, there have been many Muslim saints who have chastely adored the male form as a path to gnostic enlightenment – as recorded by Ibn Arabi in his writings of travels amongst Andalucian saints. So, there’s certainly a spiritual precedent of conciliation.
I thought it worth reproducing the reply by a commenter there called nasser:
Manji gets a pasting February 19, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Proggies, Queer Muslims.
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OK, it's nothing to do with gay Muslims, but I couldn't resist sharing this Democracy Now head to head between lesbian refusenik Irshad Manji and "Angry Arab" As'ad AbuKhalil, professor of political science at California State University.
AbuKhalil gives it to her good, and though it might have been better if they had got a Muslim guest on to do the job, his honesty in identifying himself as an atheist puts him in a suitable position to lambast Manji for her sick hypocrisy.
Here's a blog post of his about her.
Hat tip: Dr. M's Analysis
Tremble Before Allah February 18, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Queer Muslims.
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I heard of this ages ago, but the blogosphere is abuzz with talk of a film on “gay Muslims” coming out soon, by the title In the Name of Allah. The people behind it are Indian-born and New York-based director Parvez Sharma and Jewish producer Sandi Simcha DuBowski, who was responsible for a similar film about Jews called Trembling Before G-d.
“Parvez’s film is extremely important,” Mr. DuBowski said. “It challenges the idea that there are no Muslim gays or lesbians. It poses much the same question that ‘Trembling Before G-d’ did: why would gays want to be part of a tradition that rejects them?”
Sounds a similar idea to the recent Channel 4 documentary, which I responded to here and here. I expect at some point I’ll end up doing another detailed analysis. Is it worth the effort of writing such a thing? I just get the feeling that someone should, somewhere.
More info: New York Times article (Nov 2004)
L, G, B and T February 18, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Concepts, Homosexualists, Islam.
If you’ve been reading other articles here, you may have gathered by now that I have a problem with the idea of identifying people according to their sexual inclinations. I consider such feelings as something experienced by a person, not something that should define who the person is.
Here’s a brief sketch of how I perceive sexual attraction from a Muslim perspective. The norm that God has placed within His creation is the attraction between opposites in a pair, including between male and female humans. Thus the presence of opposite-sex attraction (OSA) is the base-line that does not demand explanation wherever it exists. As for same-sex attraction (SSA), it is a phenomenon that exists to varying degrees in many people, for one reason or another. So I believe we could ask in each case, “Why the presence of SSA?” – and whether or not we find the answer, there is a cause. That cause might even be genetic (I don’t believe so), but it is, in the wider scheme of nature, an aberration.
“WAIT,” I hear one of you shout, “Did you just call me an aberration?” Well no, I didn’t. I’m talking about same-sex attraction, and I don’t regard that as part of your innate identity. So I’m not even talking about you – don’t take things so personally! You may well disagree with me vehemently, but at least hear me out. For my part, I am ready to listen to you too.
LBGT groups defend Sacranie invitation February 18, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Islam, Responses.
Hat tip: Islamophobia Watch
A number of groups have co-signed a statement in defence of organisers of the Unite Against Fascism conference after they invited Sir Iqbal Sacranie as a speaker, meeting outrage on the part of Peter Tatchell and his friends.
The signatories include Imaan (formerly Al-Fatiha UK), the head of Stonewall, and various people from the NUS, including Pav Akhtar (“gay Muslim” who heads its Black Students’ Campaign). They state:
We cannot afford to underestimate the mortal threat that growing fascism poses to all of our communities or to be divided in the struggle against it. This means bringing together all those who are threatened by and opposed to fascism within a united anti-fascist framework. Muslim communities are a major target of BNP hate campaigning.
It is a regrettable reality that leading figures of most major religions have reactionary attitudes to homosexuality. We obviously disagree with these views. However we believe all those who oppose the BNP must be engaged with and that in turn can open a dialogue in which we seek to change such views.
We look forward to this dialogue! Sadly, it seems the homosexualist Muslims are even less prepared for this than the mainstream community. I hope that efforts like ours could be part of the solution.
The Spirit of Al-Fatiha February 14, 2006Posted by Mujahid Mustaqim in Islam, Queer Muslims, Responses, StraightWay.
BY MUJAHID MUSTAQIM
I notice that a lot of posts here recently have been responding to the Muslim homosexualists, and the words used are sometimes fairly harsh. It just occurred to me that we need to make something quite clear, especially since a commenter at The Golmal Press, which has kindly linked to us, said: “that blog you linked to doesn’t sound too sympathetic”.
I don’t think that’s a fair criticism, but a casual visitor might indeed assume that we are intolerant and unkind, even aggressive or militant. I hope that those who look deeper into the blog will find something quite different. We are indeed firm in defence of the religion, and for principles we view as crucial for successful society. But we recognise the reality of same-sex attractions for many Muslims, and respect those who are struggling for the sake of God.
What about the others? We do believe in the “live and let live” principle as a way of getting along in society, but that doesn’t mean overlooking what is clearly sinful according to Islam, let alone changing our beliefs to “suit the changing times”. No, we just say that our duty is to inform and advise, and whenever people distort the truth or call to wrongdoing, we will stand in opposition to them and do our best to correct their errors and lies.
When I first heard about the existence of the “gay Muslim” groups, I was as shocked as anyone else. But I went beyond that shock and chose to read whatever I could find about them online. Then I decided that there should be at least one group, or at least one website, dedicated to responding to their misconceptions.
Among the people the Muslims (and their scholars) must address are those who, facing the trial of same-sex attractions and finding no sound advice in the mainstream, have fallen into the trap of these deviant groups. Once in, any notion of reform is quickly beaten out of them. (I don’t suggest that physical torture is used, but strangely enough, Al-Fahisha people have indirectly suggested that we do stuff like that!!)
So while being firm and even harsh against the insincere propagandists who mislead others from the path, and spread the fitnah of homosexuality (as a ‘lifestyle’) into the Muslim community, we should also be soft on those who, while perhaps being part of the groups, have open minds and hearts ready to receive guidance – and we ask Allah to grant us guidance from Him.
Below is an article I wrote right back at the beginning, in 2002. It reflects my earliest thoughts on the issue, and I still like to look back at it. Hopefully my understanding has evolved a lot since then. Basically it is a reflection on Surah al-Fatiha, based on a tafseer article by Sheikh Salman al-Oadah.
IOL response to Kugle February 11, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Islam, Responses, Shari'ah.
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While researching the last post on Daayiee Abdullah, I had a look through the excellent section at Islam Online on The Hadith and its Sciences. In particular, an article on The Modernist Approach to Hadith Studies, by Noor al-Deen Atabek, contains a rare analysis of the contentions of Scott “Siraj al-Haqq” Kugle, who appeared on the UK Channel 4 documentary on “Gay Muslims” (my response to him here). Atabek’s comments surround Kugle’s article on Sexuality, Diversity, and Ethics in the Agenda of Progressive Muslims.
You would need to read the whole article to understand properly, but I reproduce the relevant excerpt below if you just want a quick look!
Daayiee’s latest heresies February 11, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Islam, Queer Muslims, Responses, Shari'ah.
Mujahid introduced you already to a Mr Daayiee Abdullah, moderator of the Muslim Gay Men group (closed membership) and owner of the more-than-a-bit-dubious epithet of “queer Muslim scholar”. Daayiee (assuming my reading of the corrupted Arabic is correct) means “inviter”, and we can see just what sort of things he is inviting to, in a recent post of his. He is responding to a gay-affirming new member who made the following observations:
This group deserves the most sincere praises from us gays, since it is an oasis in the desert i.e. a hope. However, I had observed that you guys rarely mention the ahadith, though ahadith are the second leg of Islam and I am a staunch supporter of it. … I think this group’s aim is to promote Islamic values and to know Islam, but unfortunately no such thing is being carried on…
I’m going to pick up a few points from Daayiee’s lengthy post, beginning with the most serious part. Not for the first time, he expresses his misgivings about hadeeth.