QJ Hookups and Cluelessness May 1, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Queer Muslims, StraightWay.
Let's start with the cluelessness, because the other part will be a bit stomach-turning for some readers. Here's a query from one Brian Tipton on the Queer Fasad group:
Has anyone heard anything about this Muslim cleric in Europe who "reforms" Muslim men who have SSA? A month ago I was communicating online with another gay identified man in a predominately European Muslim community. He mentioned his uncle recommended he go visit this so called "reformer." I have lost touch with this online chat buddy, but have been fascinated by his story. Does anyone know anything about this in Europe? Or maybe this man was in the Middle East somewhere? I've heard about the Christian right in America having crusade type weekends for ex-gays. But I've never heard anything about a Muslim in Europe or the Middle East who does this specifically for Muslims. Anyone?
Note: he's not the one I'm calling clueless, as he's just making a query. It's even possible that he's interested in personal reform himself, but is afraid to write that explicitly, knowing the kind of reactions he would get.
Anyway, my reply is that I'm unaware of any Muslim scholars (not clerics: we have no clergy) who specialise in this issue; indeed, it seems most are oblivious and quite content to be so. The kind of answers they give to the questions on the issue tend to lack nuance, and even where the scholar is more understanding and compassionate towards people experiencing this struggle, they lack the knowledge (and terminology) to provide a helpful way forward, other than in generalities. They might recommend counselling, which is not a bad idea, except that the counsellor would need to be sympathetic to the religious orientation of the person seeking help.
For now, it seems the only group dealing with this issue as holistically as they can are the StraightWay Foundation. I'd be delighted to be informed of other initiatives too. As for scholars, we have seen promising things from Sh. Abdullah Hakim Quick, and we hear from a contact that as well as speaking and debating on the issue, he has counselled Muslim youth in South Africa.
The cluelessness referred to is from one LaDuqesa, who replied to the above query as follows:
There's even a Yahoo group that this guy has set up and from which I was chucked out for having the temerity to question both methods and outcomes.
I can't remember his name or the name of the group, but I'll look back in my archives and if I can find them, I'll send you another email.
He speaks as though homosexuality is accepted by the vast majority of Muslims worldwide, as well as by the weight of Islamic scholarship. Thus if LaDuqesa encountered some anti-gay feeling amongst Muslims, or even Muslims with SSA who are trying to change their feelings, they must belong to one particular strange, heretical group.
Look how the world is turned upside down! In fact the weirdos are these sheltered Queer Muslim groups who twist the words of the Qur'an and Sunnah (when they're not denying the latter altogether) to support their desires, and tell each other not to listen to anyone not from their exotic bunch. They refuse to engage in any critical discussion of their basic position, which is that homosexuality is part of identity, and nothing associated with it can be prohibited from a religious standpoint.
The group that LaDuqesa was thrown out of was Ex-Gay Muslims, which is not associated with me or StraightWay, but is worth a visit. Neither of us are associated with any particular scholars, although certainly we take the advice/rulings from scholars very seriously, unlike our queer adversaries.
Why was he thrown out? In fact it was because of his being abusive to other members, not due to his overwhelming logic. He replied to a member who shared his positive experience in overcoming SSA, saying:
You're still gay even if you deny it to yourself. Gayness is an intrinsic part of your personality and can't be changed. You and others like you will wake up one day to the religious manipulation you have been subjected to.
What religious manipulation? Oh, religion is manipulation, as LaDuqesa further enlightened the group members:
ALL theistic religions are discredited superstitions, invented as they were in times of ignorance of science and the way the world was really made. Do you honestly believe that the world was made 6000 years ago? That all humans are descended from Adam and Howa? There you go.
Now about the hookups. This happens from time to time even on groups like QJ that don't encourage it. Some other groups are just filled with these plus spam. I post it here just so you may judge the scope and characteristics of the people we're talking about.
So one guy says: "hi there, I am a handsome gay working in Dubai,but it's very difficult for me to find a nice gay to be together.So I hope to find one nice gay to set up long-term relationship. Can I have your hand? thanks"
The reply comes:
Hello Jie Wei:
I am Michelle… I am a member of QueerJihad…and I am a gay crossdresser….I like to express my feminine side…. I am not muslim…but I greatly admire the religion and the Islamic culture. I am hispanic, 25, and I live in California. I am also seeking a long-term relationship… The thought of meeting a handsome Arab man in Dubai is very interesting.. Tell me more about yourself…. I know this is a shot in the dark…with you living in Dubai and all. Talk to you soon..thanks. If I were to fall in love with you, I would even wear the veil….I am Arabic-looking… I think that I have some Lebanese heritage….