Pav “out, proud” after all July 4, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Queer Muslims.
Hmmm. Remember this saga a few months back, after Pav Akhtar lost the election for NUS President? His supporters, including some Muslims, insist that he was the best candidate for Muslim interests, and that his sexuality should be irrelevant.
Remember the Muslim Weekly article in which he said he was “contending with” his sexuality and “insisted he has never recognised homosexuality as permissible in Islam”?
“If people understand that I recognise I have a shortcoming and that homosexuality is haram in Islam, in my view, that should be enough; this should not have been an issue in this case in my opinion. If I’d turned around and openly said ‘this is a platform I’m standing on as a gay Muslim to advocate gay rights, then even I’d have supported them (FOSIS),” he said.
That is, it seems that the Muslim students coordinated by FOSIS may have taken his “gay Muslim” status into consideration in choosing to back another candidate, resulting in him losing (and their backed candidate losing too). They deny that sexuality had anything to do with it, but I argued back then that if the delegates had taken it into consideration properly in the light of Islam, then they were probably right.
Anyway, it’s pretty clear from the above picture [more below, and see this one too], as well as his gushing e-mail to Imaan [see below] following their parade of perversion (aka EuroPride) that he fed the obliging Muslim Weekly chap whatever would allow him to make his attack on FOSIS while maintaining just a smidgeon of credibility among the Muslim readers of the paper.
Check this out and draw your own conclusions (emphasis added):
Salam brothers and sisters,
I’ve been around the block a few times on the odd demo or ten, and seldom am I moved enough by an experience to want to comment on it publicly.
Yesterday though was one of those exceptional experiences, and I do want to tell you what a brilliant success the event was.
I felt enormously privileged to be part of the Imaan Pride float, not least because it was one of the best dressed – the float I mean, (I shall reserve any comment on the floatees) – but also because of the incredibly important message that we were sending out to the wider community.
As out, proud and visible Muslim LGBT people, we really challenged the stereotyping with which we have too long been codified, and we also went a considerable way to confound the expectations of our community.
There was a generosity exuding from the crowds in an unprecedented abundance, and in particular from our Muslim brothers and sisters – yes, hijabi sisters waved at us and blew kisses with great ardour. Subhan’allah. I never thought I’d see the day when we would have such public acceptance. My only regret from yesterday is that I didn’t have a digital camera at hand to record this warmth.
So thank you, Imaan, for inspiring me with the generosity of our people, and society, and for re-kindling my wish to take our message out further a field.
I’m grateful to the creative volunteers who dressed the Imaan float on doing such an inspired job, the patient (and fit!) Imaan stewards for walking the whole route, the persistent Imaan Committee members for nagging us to attend, and of course all of the volunteers on the float for having the courage and tenacity to be there and help make this such a brilliant experience. Thank you.
Right, I’ll stop gushing here and get back to nursing my poor shoulder which is suffering the consequence of 2 hours of consistent waving to the crowds… I
My love and salam,
Pav is now a Labour councillor in Lambeth, and was re-elected in May 2006 as Black Members’ Officer for the Labour Campaign for Lesbian & Gay Rights. And in June 2006, he was re-elected as Black students’ rep for the NUS LGBT Campaign… Sorry, what was that about “contending”?