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Imaan and Pride June 23, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Islam, Queer Muslims.

Remember way back around the time this blog was launched, I wrote the epic twoparter in response to that Channel 4 shockumentary?

Well, there was a bit left over that I meant to write, about the comments made by one “Rasheeda”, who I assume to be the same person as Farzana, chairperson of Imaan. She (behind a probably-not-for-modesty niqab) said:

You can’t be proud to be gay in Islam, you can’t be proud of your sexuality, it’s immodest. Islam is all about modesty, and protecting your modesty. That’s why we won’t go out wearing skimpy [clothes], next to nothing, and you know sleeping around and stuff like that. That’s an un-Islamic notion, being proud of your sexuality. Your sexuality is not something you’re proud of, it just exists. You’re not even supposed to show public displays of affection in Islam, rather you’re married… you just don’t find it. And certainly we wouldn’t advocate that kind of immodest behaviour at all.

We have a lot of respect for our culture and our religious culture as well as our religion itself, as well as our community, as well as our family. We don’t want to do anything that would upset people, but at the same time, we are asking them to think more broadly, you know, think, have an open mind. Because, you know, the chances are, you’re related to a gay Muslim and you don’t even know it.

That sounds almost sensible. But put it together with the images of her crew parading around in their bizarre get-up (including a rainbow hijab – talk about an affront to a religious concept), as well as her words on the stage, and you have yourself a most perplexing self-contradiction.

“I’m here today to tell you Islam is not a homophobic religion,” blares Rasheeda X. “I’m here to tell you that the Qur’an is not a homophobic book, contrary to what you may have been told… Muslims need to get used to the idea that gay Muslims exist: we are here.”

Yeah, so? We’re listening. Now talk to us if you have a case. No? Oh right, get back to your People of Perverted Pride then.

This post of mine comes as I hear that Imaan are organising a float for this year’s Europride, in London. Their proud secretary has sent out an appeal for help, offering the following perky notes:

This is a great and unique opportunity for Imaan members to show:

  • That we are proud LGBT Muslims!
  • That we are here
  • That we are representative!

[…] lets have a fun day but in the back of our minds remember why we are here and use this day to show London, UK and internationally that LGBT Muslims exist and are not going anywhere!



So who are we to believe: Farzana or Ubaid? Modesty or pride, which is it to be? The Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) taught us that modesty is Islam’s special characteristic – and that nobody with a speck of pride in their heart will enter Paradise. (Sure, I know that there are different types of pride – but stay with me here.)

Let’s look at Ubaid’s bullet points. Number 1: why should they be proud to be L, G, B or T? Do they feel this makes them into a community alongside those other people who march on these things? That’s really worrying. Is it more important to you to be with them than with your fellow Muslims – your Ummah? Are these your Qawm?

Yawn, some of the perceptive among you say – is Rasheed going to mention those people of Lut again? Yes, for sure I am. Allah mentioned their story eight times in His Book. From the outset, let’s be clear that the Prophet Lut (peace be on him) condemned the very act of men satistfying their sexual desires with other men [e.g. 7:81, 26:165-6]. But according to Mujahid (the classical commentator, not my blog-mate), 29:29 indicates that the people were engaged in these acts in the open. This factor may be what made their sins so serious that they deserved the unique triple-punishment rained on their city.

So why would you want to parade your sexual antics through the streets? Why would you want to associate with the most depraved elements of society, even if you think you share their “orientation”?

Among these People of Pride are those who share the same scorn towards people of morality as Qawm Lut had towards their messenger (peace be on him) and his family:

{And his people’s response was not but to say: “Drive them out of your town: they are a people who want to be pure!”} [7:82]

And Ubaid, Number 2: you have already told us that you are here. Now what?

As for being “representative” – of what, exactly? Not all people who experience same-sex attractions decide that they’re “gay”. [EDIT: e.g. see “Aslam”!] And not even all who believe themselves as such go along with your take on things, i.e. how they should live their lives. Even the bulk of Muslims who don’t practise the religion so fully would consider homosexuality a line not to cross. And as for those even who go down that road, I doubt you’re even representative of them.

Lucky I don’t claim to be a representative of anyone. And interestingly, neither does StraightWay, except on one occasion where they sort-of tried!


1. Yousef - June 23, 2006

I wonder if they (Imaan) would form a Muslim Parade, or are they more proud of their “sexuality” rather than their religion?

2. Mujahid Mustaqim - June 23, 2006

It seems to me that despite the rhetoric, they are just following an agenda that has been set for them by people with attitudes hostile to our religion and way of life. They should think twice before (literally) following in their footsteps.

As for representing SSA Muslims – of course it's impossible to do, but what we tried back during the Qaradawi storm was just to speak out on behalf of the people in our groups, i.e. those who are SSA but don't call themselves "gay" or make a big deal about their sexuality in the media. Remember that we were trying to counteract the opportunism within OutRage. By their definition, our friends are also "gay Muslims", so their voice should be considered in the debate – and our group is supportive of everything said by Sheikh Qaradawi on the issue of homosexuality.

3. AbduAllah - June 24, 2006

I couldn’t agree more with you. Sexual orientation is not really the thing that we’re supposed to be proud of, & we shouldn’t follow westerners in every step they make. We should be independent & be proud of our religion. Sex is not everything in the life of muslims.

4. sonia - June 27, 2006

oh right, so why is it all these men go think they can go around [‘beating their wives if they won’t sleep with them} Let’s see you practicing what you preach.

there is a big difference in pride as in arrogant pride and being proud of what you are in a good way. like celebration.

5. sonia - June 27, 2006

it’s like people saying muslims ought not to be ‘proud’ of their religion because they ought to be modest. lots of people think girls shouldn’t indicate ‘pride in their religion’ through wearing the hijab. i’d say the attitudes those people show towards muslims is reflected in these attitudes i see here.

6. Rasheed Eldin - June 27, 2006

I don’t understand your point about wife-beating. Needless to say, it is not acceptable for a man to beat his wife – not for refusing to sleep with him, and not for anything else. And Sheikh Qaradawi affirms this view.

I realise the difference between different types of pride, and indicated so. But there is a vast difference between being proud of one’s religion and flaunting one’s sexuality, which is a private matter – and the Qur’an and Sunnah tell us a lot about modesty where sexual matters are concerned.

I can show you abundant references about being proud and thankful for faith, and manifesting it and spreading that guidance among people. Can similar be found to justify Gay Pride, or any sexual parade? As I already indicated, the passages about Sodom serve as quite the opposite!

7. Rasheed Eldin - July 1, 2006

In another rallying e-mail, Ubaid of Imaan wrote:
“By being present WE Imaan and our allies will be able to combat criticism from the mainstream Muslim community and the LGBT community.”

Again, how will they do the former? Perhaps making a credible religious-based argument would be a better start than prancing around with the most depraved elements of society.

He also said:
“May Allah bless us all for taking this courageous important respectful step together. May Allah help us achieve our goals.
May Allah reward us for maintaining Islamic values of respect, honesty and compassion.”

I say: May Allah show you the error of your ways and forgive you for the obscenities you are doing while even mentioning His name.

8. PureofHeart - July 5, 2006

* * *There would be no need for LGBT Pride if LGBT’s were not being persecuted, harassed, discriminated against, defamed or abused. But they are. So that’s why we have LGBT Pride* * *

Hurrah for Imaan!

9. Proud - August 10, 2007

Im all for Imaan and LGBT Pride!

We live in a quite a diverse society, where differences exist. I see no harm in being proud and public about these differences – (especially with those of the same sexual orientation).

You can be a practising Muslim and be ‘gay’. You’re sexuality doesn’t conclude your entire existence..

10. Taleb Haqq - August 11, 2007

PureofHeart’s comment makes no sense, though it highlights the continuing campaign by homosexualists to convince people of SSA that they are victims and they need to come out to gay pride (which has become a huge industry in itself!).

Proud: We’re Muslim and our sources are the Qur’an and the Sunnah (traditions and sayings) of the Prophet peace be upon him. These are also where our arguments are based. As for your last statement, if by “gay” you mean that you can go out and have sex with members of your own sex then that means that you are sinning. (No one is saying that you can’t be a Muslim still, but you would be sinning!)

11. Brravooo! - August 12, 2007

Taleb you’re being dishonest when you criticized Pureofheart. Gays are definitely being harrassed in the Islamic world. If you haven’t noticed then please do.

12. Taleb Haqq - August 13, 2007

Bravooo and marching around with half naked people will change that? Is this the intent of these parades?

13. Proud - August 13, 2007

You know what i find so extremely aggravating? Everyone seems so concerned about gay people sinning, when we’re all the same – gay or straight – we make mistakes. I think we should just keep our focus on ourselves rather than being so.. judgemental about other peoples business.

Sex before marriage is haraam, if a gay couple we’re to practice such things, and wanted to have a somewhat normal life.. I don’t see any harm in that?

14. Taleb Haqq - August 14, 2007

Proud, we’re concerned about anyone sinning. This particular blog is concerned about people committing sins with regards to their attractions to the same sex. Is hellfire harm enough for you? This is the punishment of sinning.

15. Proud - August 14, 2007

I respect that you’re ‘concerned’ but, whether we burn in hell or not – thats between the individual and Allah.

16. Taleb Haqq - August 14, 2007

Proud, I don’t even know you and I never said whether you will burn in hell or not (you’re right that is up to Allah). I am concerned that my brothers and sisters get the correct information about their faith in the hope that they do not fall into sin. I hope that this point comes across clearly.

17. Proud - August 16, 2007

Taleb, to be honest.. I think most people that are a part of Imaan (or similar groups) are in denial – trying to find a justification or something that allows them to believe that what we’re doing is Islamically acceptable. I’m ‘gay’.. but i’m fully aware that i’m commiting a sin.. though i feel like, we dont have a choice in who we fall for.. i guess im hoping that Allah will understand the confusion.. the battle i went through, to even reach this point of.. comfort.. so yeah. I guess we’re all just trying to find our place in society, be able to live a normal life, just like any other Muslim

18. brravooo! - August 18, 2007

Taleb, were they all marching half naked? Mind you, they marched in a town where you could be three quarters naked and minding your own business enjoying the sun in the park.

19. brravooo! - August 18, 2007

.. i guess im hoping that Allah will understand the confusion..

Proud, that really broke my heart. Reading the quran on the story of Prophet Lut kills all hope that this will ever happen. However remember that not all actions are eternally considered sinful. Consider the act of prostration to another human being (story of prophet Yusuf) and incest (the first family in the history of mankind according to scripture).

20. Taleb Haqq - August 21, 2007

Proud, there are many others of that thought and are working through these feelings and gaining self discipline and strength through Allah’s commandments and the Prophetic teachings. You are right, we are all looking for our space in the world and we pray that we are doing it according to Islam.

Brravooo: Have you seen “gay pride” parades? They certainly are not pushing forward an agenda of modesty (you know…as Islam teaches us)

21. Taleb Haqq - August 21, 2007

Brravoo: regarding comment 19: Certainly the Qur’an is not there to break anyone’s heart or to kill the hopes of believers, rather, it is there to give hope for a better life, one that is freer of sin insha’Allah.

22. Rasheed Eldin - August 21, 2007

Re: comment 19 and the point about divine laws changing over time. It should be pointed out that while we can talk about how Messengers of Allah through history sometimes brought an “updated Shari’ah”, this process came to an end with the Final Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

In fact sodomy has been sinful as long as it’s existed, but even if we suppose that its ruling could have changed, we are obliged to take what the Qur’an decrees, and how the Prophet explained it.

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