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How propagandists miss the point March 6, 2006

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

Benjamin Cohen, editor of PinkNews.co.uk, has summarised the complexity of a former minister arranging a meeting with a controversial non-violent Islamist group under threat of being banned in the UK, consequently facing criticism from other MPs including two Muslims, thus: 

Clare Short under fire for meeting with anti-gay Muslims 

Now, their being “anti-gay” is hardly the point, is it? Is that why Sadiq (not Sidiq) Khan MP is worried about them being “given an air of credibility”? No, I assume it is because they are staunchly against Muslims engaging politically with democratic societies, as well as important concepts they somehow interpret as negative (including “freedom”, “human rights” and “integration”). Sometimes their rhetoric is over-the-top; while I don’t agree with them, I also don’t agree with Blair’s proposed ban. 

If Clare Short were under fire for meeting “anti-gay” Muslims, she and any MP would be under fire for meeting just about any Muslims. I know that would suit Peter Tatchell and OutRage, but it would be quite a stupid state of affairs.

As for the comments by Khalid Mahmood: I disregard them as I will always disregard anything he utters. He has the nerve to say: “the hurt will be felt among mainstream Muslims – she should listen to them”. Yet as we are reminded by the iWitness

Pathetically, he signed his name in place of Foreign Office minister Dennis MacShane’s above an Observer article criticising Muslims for believing “myths now being peddled about the [Afghanistan] conflict”. The Guardian Diary gave him the bronze award that year for “Stupidest MP”. Yet somehow Mahmood feels it is his right to lecture Muslims and lambaste their leaders for their opinions. He needs to make a decision: is he with us, sympathetic to us or against us?

Oh, and speaking of Tatchell (I did, just above), this is just hilarious:

Islamophobia Watch helps target Tatchell for murder (really!)

This article quotes “the trustees of the Peter Tatchell Human Rights Fund” (aka Peter Tatchell) as claiming: “The website, Islamophobia Watch, regularly (but falsely) denounces Peter as anti-Muslim. It is feared this could make him a target for Islamic fundamentalists who monitor the website to compile their hit-lists.”

No, he can’t be anti-Muslim. He is fine with “progressive Muslims” (such as atheists), but quick to point out that being an “Islamic fundamentalist” is equivalent to being a murderer.


1. Yousef - March 7, 2006

Assalamu alaikum,
I think a proper definition of “anti-gay” is in order, not for this article but for everything . Am I anti-gay for supporting people’s right to choose to live their life in a propper Islamic manner without giving into their temptations of practicing sexual activities with anyone other than their oppositely gendered spouse?
People like these ring words “anti- this and pro-that”.

2. Rasheed Eldin - March 8, 2006

I think it is more to do with being against homosexuality as a lifestyle, encompassing disapproval of their actions. This is interpreted as being a denial of people’s right to their identity. But as we argue here, same-sex attractions should not be considered part of identity, and someone who experiences them is no less (or more) in the sight of God as a result. We are judged by what we do. Affirming equality for SSA people is not necessarily to state that all actions are equal. And those who are concerned about the effect of asserting mistaken notions of “rights” on a societal level may end up sounding quite harsh in their “anti-gay” rhetoric: but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a point to be considered on a rational and moral basis.

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