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Ugh. December 23, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Queer Muslims, Responses.
33 comments

DaayieeDaayiee Abdullah, aka Sidney Thompson, still masquerading as an “Imam”, has given an interview to his local LGBT rag.

Because of the protracted prominence of this all-round fruitcake, we’re soon going to publish a document outlining some of his outlandish claims and their refutations, and proving that he has no right to call himself an “Islamic scholar”. That became obvious at his own e-mail group some months ago, when he hounded someone out just for insisting on knowing Daayiee’s Islamic credentials.
Simple answer: he has none.

In the meantime, comments on a few bits from the interview are below. And here are some previous posts on Daayiee/Sid for those who haven’t read them:

The Stripy Charlatan 
Daayiee’s latest heresies
Daayiee vs. the “rabid homophobes”

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Debate: “Islamic gay marriage” December 10, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Proggies, Responses, Shari'ah.
32 comments

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how focusing the scriptural debate over homosexuality according to Islam on just the passages about the people of Lut (peace be on him) falls short of understanding the whole picture of opposition from the entire legal system of Islam, based faithfully upon the Qur’an and Sunnah.

I want to write something in-depth about this, but in the meantime here are snippets from an ongoing debate over at ProgressiveIslam.org, a haven for bizarre opinions, but not entirely unchallenged. I have posted a couple of comments, which I reproduce here alongside others relevant to the thread:

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Lock, Imaan and Islamophobia December 8, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Responses.
11 comments

You may remember the latest OutRage “Imam Backs Shariah Shock” and the interesting developments in terms of the British “gay Muslim” group Imaan (formerly Al-Fatiha UK) calling Peter Tatchell an Islamophobe. I’m of a similar opinion, as I expressed along with others on their forum discussion.

Now Brett Lock has written an opinion piece in the magazine he edits, namely the Gay Humanist Quarterly (full PDF available there - see p.13). Entitled “Submission & Denial”, the article criticises Imaan for complaining about Tatchell & Co. singling out Islam:

If some of Imaan’s leaders feel Islam is being unfairly singled out as “uniquely reactionary”, perhaps they should ask themselves when they last heard a priest or rabbi in Britain defending the death penalty for homosexuality.

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NY Times: “Prisoners of Sex” December 8, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Responses, Shari'ah.
8 comments

The New York Times Magazine ran an article last weekend by Negar Azimi about homosexuality in the Arab world, particularly Egypt, called “Prisoners of Sex“. It discusses various political aspects, but I quote here only what pertains to the religious question. Yet again, an attempt to make the matter more misty than it actually is…

On my second visit to Tanta, in August, I sat down for a lunch of kapsa, a sweet Saudi rice specialty, with Hassan and Mo, a slight student of English literature at Tanta University. The discussion turned to Islam and homosexuality. Both of them considered themselves practicing Muslims. Mo has combed the Internet for signs as to whether homosexuality is at odds with Islam. He said he had browsed the popular Egyptian lay preacher Ahmed Khaled’s Web site and found nothing. But he did see that Sheik Yussuf Al-Qaradawi had called homosexuals “perverts.” Al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric generally considered a liberal, is best known for his television program “Shariah and Life” on the satellite channel Al Jazeera, and for his Web site, Islamonline.

She must mean Amr Khaled. I browsed his site just now and found this (albeit in English). And of course there is plenty on the Internet about Islam’s prohibition of homosexual activity, even if there is a lack of depth and quality in how it is discussed (I hope we can count this blog as an exception). Where did Mo see this thing about Qaradawi calling homosexuals “perverts“? If that is all he saw, then he must have got it from MEMRI or one of the sites that love all their output. Anyone who watched the Shariah and Life programme itself, or read his fatwas on his site or Islam Online, would better realise what he says – i.e. much the same as all Islamic scholars.

It goes on…

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Heba Kotb goes global December 6, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Concepts, Islam, Responses.
17 comments

A while ago, I mentioned a thesis we came across by Dr. Heba Kotb, who now has her own website and satellite television show. The AP report about this show was picked up by numerous newspapers around the world, indicating a great interest in this woman giving sex advice on Arab TV.

On her show, “Big Talk,” Kotb answers questions from Muslims all over the Middle East about the most intimate bedroom issues with an openness that is shocking and revolutionary in a society where discussing the subject is taboo.

“How do I talk about these issues? Very seriously,” the Egyptian sexologist says. “I put on a mask-like face and make sure I speak in the right tone of voice.” She also does it by talking about sex in an Islamic light, arguing that the faith is in favor of pleasure for both men and women, with one important caveat – that it be only in the context of marriage.

[...]

Kotb, 39 and married with three daughters, studied sexology with Maimonides University, a private school in Florida, and combined it with her own knowledge of her religion to produce a dissertation titled “Sexuality in Islam.” She opened a sexology clinic in Cairo in 2002, wrote sex advice columns in newspapers, appeared on talk shows and answered questions on an Arabic Web site.  She started “Big Talk” on the independent Egyptian satellite channel El-Mehwar more than two months ago.

Much of her advice is straight biology – laying out facts rarely aired elsewhere. Nothing is too sensitive. She discusses sexual positions, female orgasm, oral sex (allowed, “since there is no religious text banning it”), even masturbation (frowned upon but at least preferable to unmarried or adulterous sex, which is “haram,” meaning forbidden by religion). She takes a strict Islamic line on homosexuality – she calls it a disease.

I have a few comments on that.

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Before commenting angrily… December 6, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Uncategorized.
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…read some of our posts! As well as the “queer Muslims” and their supporters who have a go at us (which is fine, if it’s in the spirit of debate and dialogue), from time to time we are berated by someone who just looked at the URL (and didn’t even notice “Eye on” in the title). Here’s a recent one:

u guys r sick u r out of islam, why do u claim to b muslims, ur even worse than kufaar themselves, UR OUT OF ISLAM…PAGANS…LOOK ONLY AT SODOM DOZ IT REMINDS U SMTHNG…U LL B REMOVED FROM DIS EARTH INSHALLAH LIKE THEY HV BEEN…LA3NAT ALLAH 3ALEYKUM…STOP CLAIMING UR KUFR IN THE NAME OF ISLAM U DIRTY PPL…ISLAM IS NOT ABT MEN HVING S*** WIV MEN…OR WOMEN WIV WOMEN…WATS DIS TIME WER LIVIN IN.????

Did you wonder before why we call ourselves “compassionate” even though we’re critical of homosexuality? Maybe now you know. I dare say this outpouring of rage is not representative of most Muslims’ attitude, even though most would probably still be shocked at the very mention of “gay Muslims”. We have a long way to go before the issues are understood properly. In the meantime, people with deviant ideas about Islam are allowed to gain ground. 

To make it easier for casual visitors, here’s another small selection of posts from which you can gain a balance of our views. There is loads more besides!

Muslim Before Anything Else

“Are we going to Hell?”

We’re not “ex-gay”

The Dangers of Denial

When Muslims are brick walls

The role of the “scholars”

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