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Gay rags support war agenda July 28, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Media.
8 comments

Faisal Alam apparently doesn’t mind forwarding filth, but this innocuous-looking interview request just clicked into place in my mind alongside a bunch of surely-not-unrelated happenings in the world of LGBT advocacy.

Hi,

I am writing an article for the UK magazine Gay Times on the topic of gay rights in Syria and I would be very interested in the views of your members on the situation for LGBT people in Syria. What is the prevailaing attitude? What forms does homophobia take? How easy is it to come out to friends, family, employers? What reasons are there for society’s attitude? I am happy to publish any comments under a false name if you prefer.

[…]

Best wishes,

Debbie Stowe

Syria? Not the most common area of interest to British readers, surely. Could this be an exercise in cultural exploration, or is it rather a humble contribution to Yo Blair’s Bush-led machinations for the Middle East?

See also Al-Fil’s concerns about a recent article praising Israel and bashing Palestine at the Advocate.com. (OK, Al-Fil and I might not agree on much, but it’s worth noting that the problematic nature of the article is obvious to anyone against the Bush-Blair wars.) 

And I dare say that, whether the homosexualists meant it to be so or not, the July 19 demonstrations against Iran hanging two boys a year ago (allegedly for rape) fitted into this agenda as well as the one they were promoting primarily.

I don’t know any unique facts about that case; but below I reproduce a long statement by Scott Long of Human Rights Watch (Director, LGBT Rights Program), because it might contain important points for consideration not found elsewhere…

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“I feel dirty after prayer” July 26, 2006

Posted by Mujahid Mustaqim in Advice, Islam, Responses.
12 comments

Someone wrote to the StraightWay Foundation with the following problem:

I don’t perform jummah anymore because of the teachings especially when it comes to gays. It is said to be one big sin and dirt and I always feel dirty after jummah please help.

Here is what I replied:

It is important to strengthen your faith in Islam, which means “achieving peace through submission (to Allah)”. Whatever Allah has decreed for us is best for us in this life and the Hereafter. The example of His Prophet (peace be upon him) is the sure path to His pleasure and reward.

Islam does not have teachings about “gays” – what do you mean by this word? If you mean what Islam says about people with same-sex attractions, then let me make clear that Islam does not teach that such people are any less in worth or in their potential to be close to God. The same-sex attractions (SSA) are merely a test in this life – however difficult, we know that this test is not too much to bear (see Qur’an 2:286).

However, Islam also teaches clearly that any sexual relations outside of marriage – and any sexual acts between two men or two women – are forbidden. Whoever feels tempted to commit such acts must restrain himself and seek refuge in Allah, who is the Most Merciful. If someone commits such sins, he or she should repent to Him in all sincerity, hoping for His vast forgiveness, and resolving to be more strong in the future.

Whatever difficulties you are going through, it is not advisable or acceptable to give up on the obligations of the religion. These are the things that will give you stability and open up the doors of guidance and mercy from the Almighty.

It is not the Jumuah prayer that should make you feel dirty. It is sin that stains us, and from which we must purify ourselves. The acts of worship are the means to this. Like the Prophet (peace be on him) taught, performing the ordained prayers is like taking a bath in a clear stream five times a day: just as the stream removes the physical dirt, the prayers clean us from the sins that we all commit.

Take care!

Michael Mumisa update July 22, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Islam, Media, Shari'ah.
10 comments

Michael MumisaI have e-mailed Michael Mumisa to ask for clarification of his views on homosexuality, after conflicting images were presented by a Radio 4 feature on one hand, and a small book he has written (plus a comment from someone who attended a seminar of his) on the other.

Two months have passed, and he has not responded.

However, we were contacted by Shazia Khan, the journalist who interviewed Mumisa and produced/presented the Radio 4 piece. She denies that she misrepresented him, and quotes from her most recent conversation with him, in which he says:

The mainstream position can’t claim to have the key to absolute truth on this issue. As someone who has been brought up in the mainstream, i think people can have legitimate questions to ask about whether it is a sin. It is an area that is debatable. It is not absolute that the Qur’an considers homosexuality to be a sin.

Compare this with his book‘s declaration that “Islam therefore considers homosexuality a great sin and a crime punishable by Islamic law.”

Maybe he thinks the Islamic stance is not based on the Qur’an? Go check my full article out, with the update at the end:

Michael Mumisa: misunderstood?

Sodomy good, tattoos bad? July 18, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Queer Muslims, Shari'ah.
7 comments

If you can handle somewhat explicit writing, take a look at this post to get an idea of the contradictions inherent in the notion of being a “gay Muslim”. The writer himself goes that way, and describes a liaison he allegedly had with an unnamed Imaan leader. Needless to say, we can’t vouch for the accuracy of his account.

Will I go to Heaven?

In order to make their “Islam” accommodate the juicier things the queer Muslims are after, they need to throw gallons of water on it. In so doing, they inevitably wash away much of the religion, or at least the outward things they would rather do without. The prohibition on homosexual acts floats off alongside other “inconveniences”, so it doesn’t matter if the queer Muslims go to clubs and drink alcohol.

Yet there are some who insist on certain aspects, sometimes due to cultural influences (while paradoxically claiming that they are transcending culture and tradition to find the essence of Islam) – and that’s what results in charming stories like this chap’s.

A duty for scholars July 18, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Proggies, Queer Muslims, Shari'ah.
2 comments

A commenter on this article said:

It may be the case that most of the scholars condemn homosexual practice as a sin. Not all of them do. I refer to Siraj Kugle’s work (available in the book “Progressive Muslims”. Don’t let the name put you off.) I would humbly suggest that just as we need female Muslim scholars to provide a female perspective on things, so we need scholars to discourse with gay Muslim intellectuals to identify whether all of the arguments surrounding Islam/homosexuality have been covered. My personal view is that they haven’t. And that does render their opinions on that basis alone susceptible to criticism as not having considered all angles.

Even if ultimately, practising homosexuality is haraam (and gay people don’t just sodomise one another), then the scholars need to provide practical solutions to living such as how to/whether to marry, how to live day by day, how to manage desire. I’ll restate that the methods need to be practical. To suggest fasting every day for the rest of ones life is completely unpractical for example. The net effect of that, incidentally, is no food and no sex (no partner?) for 50 – 70 years. Could things get any worse?

Discuss.

My bed is dust… July 16, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Advice, Islam.
2 comments

There is no greater reminder than the words of God; but sometimes other other ways of communicating will reach people’s hearts. Whoever you are, please watch this and reflect. Perhaps Muslims, especially Arabic speakers, will be moved the most.

Let’s repent of our sins today. Our Lord, forgive us and guide us.

Shariah TV “keen” for gay couple July 15, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Queer Muslims.
2 comments

I’ve hinted previously that the UK’s Channel 4 seems to have a mild obsession with “gay Muslims”. They’re trying hard to prove me right. A researcher for their Shariah TV programme, Shariq Ali, recently wrote to Imaan (among many Muslim groups, to whom he tailored his appeals), saying to them:

We are also keen to find a gay/lesbian couple who could talk about misconceptions regarding how they live their life.

I’ve always thought Shariah TV is a very strange idea, and I really wonder who it’s meant for. I doubt that many young Muslims tune in for religious guidance. It’s more like entertainment, of an odd kind. Some people would laugh at the Muslims’ expense.

It’s such an artificial environment: a few scholars of varying levels of expertise sit among a group of supposedly perplexed teenagers who put their carefully prepared questions forward for answers that they’re probably not that interested in taking. The scholars disagree with each other on air, leading to the impression that they don’t really know what they’re talking about. Sometimes that is actually the case. At other times, if they’d talked amongst themselves before filming, they would have come across much more coherently and helpfully for the audience.

This would not be the first time Shariah TV tried to highlight the plight of Muslims who want to live the gay way – they had such a tortured soul on back in 2004. In this, their third series, they are filming at the end of July and one of their four topics is, according to Shariq Ali, Relationships; sex, marriage, what is/is not permissible in Islam.”

Of course, Imaan see this as a prime opportunity to be seen (hey, didn’t waving from a float with rainbow t-shirts do the trick, as last year too?) I’m tickled by Ubaid’s attempts to speak for Islam, so here I’ll take a look at his latest rallying call. He says:

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Some highlights so far July 14, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Uncategorized.
2 comments

I’m amazed to see that since I launched this blog less than 6 months ago, there are now 85 posts – most of which are quite substantial, including some detailed articles. All praise is due to Allah.

I rather wish there were a bar on the side of this template for highlight posts, or recommended reading… but in the absence of that, here is a list to guide new visitors who want to dive into our way of thinking! I have loosely categorised them to make browsing that bit easier.

Religious guidance:
Muslim Before Anything Else
“Are we going to Hell?”
Actions, Attractions and Personal Responsibility

Concepts (religious & philosophical):
L, G, B and T
Gay + Muslim = Gay Muslim?
We’re not “ex-gay”
The Dangers of Denial
Genetics and Morality

Gay Muslims (sociology & religion):
The C4 documentary (I)
The C4 documentary (II)

The Queer Muslim Movement:
The role of the “scholars” (also follow links at bottom of post)
Daayiee vs. the “rabid homophobes”
Interview with Adnan Ali
The power of wishful thinking
Imaan and Pride

Current affairs and controversies:
That storm in a teacup
Are gays perverts? (MEMRI & Qaradawi)
MCB to fight homophobia?
When Muslims are brick walls

Why change? Our survey says… July 14, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Ex-Gay.
3 comments

Just thought I’d point readers in the direction of this interesting survey done by People Can Change, which found “personal values” among the top reasons for people to try and rid themselves of SSA, while the bottom of the pile was “outside pressure from others”.

Survey on Factors Motivating Desire to Change

If you’re so ‘passionate about Islam’… July 12, 2006

Posted by Mujahid Mustaqim in Media, Queer Muslims, Responses.
4 comments

…why not put that consideration above sexuality? That’s what I wrote about years ago with Muslim Before Anything Else, and I still feel that article is a good starting point for Muslims considering this issue. Instead we see in the media what Rasheed politely termed “typical fluff”, and here I will make a few remarks about another in the ‘series’:

Homosexual and ‘passionate about Islam’ (MSNBC)

It’s mainly about Imaan and their appearance at Europride, starring their secretary, Ubaid.

The article by Jennifer Carlile gives the Fahisha people yet another platform to go on about how “We exist! Honest!” and misrepresent the attitudes and opinions of mainstream Muslims and their scholars.

It confuses being with doing, and sinfulness with heresy. The ignorance of the interviewee isn’t balanced by the insight of the writer, let alone by comments from anyone with an articulate, alternative point of view (like you might find, well, here.)

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