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Think about it… March 31, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Media, Religion, Responses.
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I've just been sent this link to an American site called We Are Thinking, made by some people who have also made several television messages, which can be viewed on the site.

Their aim is to challenge the hitching onto (or even hijacking of) the civil rights movement by LGBT campaigners. I'd urge everyone to watch the commercials, which are rather provocative. They feature a Jewish man, a man in a wheelchair and an African-American saying the following, respectively (excerpted):

[On homophobia] "They use other words for us too, like hatemonger, or Nazi. But I'm no Nazi: I'm a Jewish American. And I don't believe that people should be given special rights based on who they have sex with."

"Civil rights protect Americans with immutable attributes like race, gender and disability… Gay sex is an action, not an attribute… Sex is an option, but cerebral palsy isn't."

"Our parents did not march with Dr. King so Tom and John could get married."

There are a couple more, including some interesting comments from psychiatrist Robert Spitzer.

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That storm in a teacup March 27, 2006

Posted by Mujahid Mustaqim in Homosexualists, Media, Responses, StraightWay.
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Sheikh al-Qaradawi with Mayor LivingstoneRasheed has written quite a few posts about Peter Tachell and OutRage, so I thought it would be worth reminding ourselves of how our relationship blossomed. It all goes back to the visit to the UK, in July 2004, of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi: a person whom not everyone follows, but nobody of any knowledge or fairness can deny is an eminent Islamic jurist and thinker, indeed one of the highest (unofficial) authorities for Muslims around the world today.

The tabloid papers and various lobbies pounced on the opportunity to demonise him and call for him to be kept out of the country (bizarrely, even after he arrived). This despite his visiting the UK many times previously, to attend conferences similar to what he came for on that occasion. He was described as a “sheikh of terror” and things much more obscene, with the common thread being that he was misogynistic, anti-semitic and homophobic. His hosts, the Muslim Association of Britain, offered some defence, including this article in the Guardian: If Qaradawi is an extremist, who is left?

As well as the Zionist MPs on his case, joined even by the unrepresentative Board of Deputies of British Jews – who tried and failed tTatchell making a sceneo have al-Qaradawi prosecuted – there emerged a motley crew of “Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, gay people, students and some Muslims” calling themselves the London Community Coalition. Led by Peter Tatchell, they focused their energies on castigating the London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, who had welcomed (and even hugged) the Sheikh.

In response to the heightening situation, and concerned specifically with the labelling of a Muslim scholar as “homophobic” for merely expounding what is found in the Islamic sources, we at the StraightWay Foundation circulated the following document:

“Statement on Homosexualist Campaign Against Muslim Scholar” (17/11/04)

Nobody really seemed to pick up on that. When the situation didn’t go away, thanks to the persistence of Tatchell and his friends, we decided to send the following letter to the London Mayor to offer some words of support for his stance:

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Love in Islam March 27, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Advice, Concepts, Islam.
2 comments

Following Yousef's recommendation in his comment below, let me direct you to a three-part audio lesson on "Love in Islam", by Sh. Abdallah Adhami.

It's featured at the SAKEENAH site and is in MP3 format, in three parts for download:

Part 1: Lecture
Part 2: Q&APart 3-Q&A

Shaykh Abdallah talks about love and the context by which it is applied in light of the Qur'an. Shaykh Abdallah also expands upon how love, when properly understood, can shape and define our deen within the scope of gender relations.

The Great Virtue of Lowering the Gaze (Ibn al-Qayyim) March 27, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Advice, Islam, Shari'ah.
2 comments

I've (slightly) adapted this from Khutbahbank, which says it was: "Taken from Al-Muntaqaa min Ighaathatul Lufhaan fee Masaayid ash-Shaytaan  [pp. 102-105] of ibn al-Qayyim, summarised by Alee Hasan."

Allah the Exalted said:

 “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts; that will make for greater purity for them. Indeed, Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.” [24:30]

So Allah made purification and spiritual growth to be the outcome of lowering the gaze and guarding the private parts. It is for this reason that lowering one's gaze from the prohibited things necessarily leads to three benefits that carry tremendous value and are of great significance.

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Irony that almost hurts March 26, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Religion.
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Yesterday was the colossal March Against Muslims For Free Expression, which you can read about over at Lenin's Tomb, with a few more links at Islamophobia Watch. Summary: it was a damp squib.

Peter Tatchell was one of the speakers. Now, to be quite honest, I am getting sick of mentioning the guy, but he keeps supplying me blog material. What can I do? Maybe he would like me to give him his own tag. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Tatchell's self-congratulatory article announcing his attendance contained the following bemusing note:

In January, I challenged Sir Iqbal Sacranie of the Muslim Council of Britain when he denounced homosexuality as immoral, harmful and diseased. But I did not seek to ban him, nor did I support calls for his prosecution. I defended Sir Iqbal’s right to free speech.

What?! I recall Tatchell calling for the UAF conference to withdraw its invitation to Sacranie to speak at a rally against anti-Muslim racism, in his capacity as the head of the main umbrella body for British Muslim groups.

Which makes these other excerpts from Tatchell's self-indulgent nonsense even more absurd:

Some of my friends on the left are refusing to take part. Preferring to remain marginal but pure, they object to the involvement of right-wing groups like the Libertarian Alliance and the Freedom Association. I share their distaste for these groups. But my participation on Saturday is based on supporting the statement of principle, not on who else is taking part. I will not let the dubious politics of others dissuade me from supporting what are important, progressive humanitarian values. […]

As a left-wing Green, committed to human rights and social justice, I do not share the politics of some other speakers and rallyists. But this is the whole point of Saturdays’ demo – to defend the free speech of those with whom we disagree.

Whitaker on the “Brokeback Desert” March 23, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Islam, Responses.
9 comments

Brian Whitaker, who often writes interesting things about Arabs and Muslims, is very interested in the subject of being gay and Arab. He has long hosted a list of links (one-sided, and it's not my side!) about "Gay and lesbian Muslims" on his site.

He has a book coming out in May on the issue, called Unspeakable Love: Gay and lesbian life in the Middle East. Blurb:

Homosexuality is still taboo in the Arab countries. While clerics denounce it as a heinous sin, newspapers, reluctant to address it directly, talk cryptically of ‘shameful acts’ and ‘deviant behaviour’. Despite growing acceptance of sexual diversity in many parts of the world, attitudes in the Middle East have been hardening against it.

In this absorbing account, Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker paints a disturbing picture of people who live secretive, often fearful lives; of sons beaten and ostracised by their families or sent to be ‘cured’ by psychiatrists; of men imprisoned and flogged for ‘behaving like women’; of others who have been jailed simply for trying to find love on the Internet.

He now has a blog as part of the new Comment is Free collection at the Guardian. In a recent post, he tells us that "It is a pity Brokeback Mountain isn't showing in the Arab world, because it resembles current reality there."

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Muslims beat gays… March 23, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Media.
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…at football, that is. This was such a strange and stupid story that I didn’t think it worth posting, until I saw the result!

AMSTERDAM – A Muslim team played a soccer match against a gay side on Tuesday in a Dutch event intended to counter growing homophobia often blamed on immigrants. […]

The soccer tournament was organized as part of a conference on fighting discrimination against immigrants who come out as gay — particularly, against gay Muslims by other Muslims.

As well as gays playing against Muslims, a team of women played Latinos, with some players swapping sides to illustrate competing identities.

Anyway, turns out that the Muslims beat the gays 4-0 and went on to claim victory in the final against the Latinos: 4-1. Thrilling stuff.

Faisal the Flippant… or Ignorant March 23, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Islam, Queer Muslims, Responses, Shari'ah.
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The Council on American-Islamic Relations has issued a plea for the release of an Afghan man who converted from Islam to Christianity, and is now facing the death penalty. CAIR says: “Religious decisions should be matters of personal choice, not a cause for state intervention.”

Faisal Alam, who will bear the infamy of being behind the Al-Fahisha Foundation and its evil offspring (aka Al-Fatiha and other LGBTIQetc. Muslim groups), posted this to MuslimGayMen with the following quip:

interesting that being gay constitutes apostasy to fundies, yet they are so adament [sic] to gain the release of this person….

Dude, that is wrong on so many levels. One would think that such a pioneer as yourself would be a bit more aware of what we “fundies” are saying!

Sigh… keep reading folks, and you shall understand.

Yusuf pulls out, replaced by Namazie March 23, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Islam, Media, Responses.
2 comments

Last month I mentioned that one “Sheikh Dr” Muhammad Yusuf would be the main speaker at a function in honour of the ever-odious Peter Tatchell. Via Islamophobia Watch, I learn that he pulled out and was replaced by Maryam Namazie of the Worker Communist Party of Iran.

Quite why he pulled out is not clear. Tatchell put his spin on it, and this was obediently published by the Pink News:

Liberal Islamic scholar forced to pull out of gay rights speech by Muslim leaders

A mighty claim: so where is the evidence? Who are these “senior Islamic clerics” alluded to in the article? It suffices for Tatchell & co. to make smears against Muslims and their senior figures, implying that we are an outfit of thugs.

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7 steps to “reform” March 20, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Islam, Media, Proggies.
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Check out this funny (but sadly too true) post over at ‘Aqoul:

How to be a Muslim reformer