What’s in a name? January 22, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Responses.
Mujahid asked me why I decided to call this blog (in its URL) “Gay Muslims”, given that I agree with him that this juxtaposition of terms is problematic. Why problematic? Because to accept that one is Muslim means thinking as a Muslim, which precludes accepting the orientationist philosophy that underpins words like “homosexual”, “gay” and even “heterosexual”.
[What happens if you look at it the other way round? If someone accepts that they are “gay”, then they have to figure out what they mean by “Muslim”, considering the pretty obvious negativity in the Islamic sources about what they consider homosexuality to be. See Mujahid’s “two approaches” in Muslim Before Anything Else.]
Well, I decided on that name to make it simple for anyone who is searching for perspectives on these issues. Also, among the major subjects of this blog are those who call themselves by that name (or LGB, LGBT or even LGBTIQ Muslims, etc.). So we are taking a look at this phenomenon, hence the name Eye on Gay Muslims.
I neither endorse their decision to identify themselves that way, nor of course do I include myself in such a categorisation, despite what my username (gaymuslims) might unintentionally lead people to think.
Naturally, a lot of people are going to ask what my interest is in all this. Well, I have thought deeply over this, and concluded that such questions are quite irrelevant. I don’t regard myself as anything but a Muslim, and one who is trying to please his Lord – you can call this “straight” if you wish (if that means being on the straight path, and upright – haneef as the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be on him).
So some people will claim that I am a “closet gay” and others will complain that I just don’t understand because I haven’t experienced what they have. To the former, I say that they should grow up. To the latter, I say: if I misunderstand something, inform me. I have worked hard to learn and understand, so don’t rubbish my efforts. I am always ready to stand corrected. But at the same time, don’t disparage those people who have gone through everything you have, but have found a different way to reconcile their feelings with their faith. I am interested in that struggle, and you should be too.