Whitaker on “native misinformants” September 10, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Proggies.
Quite some time ago, I promised a response to Brian Whitaker’s article asking: What’s wrong with being gay and Muslim? Well, I’ve shelved the idea of responding to that, as it would be better to respond to what he’s written in his book, once I get round to it! See here and here for relevant previous posts.
The article gives a taster of the arguments found in the book – arguments that are apparently based upon the work of Scott Kugle (which I’ll have to refute before Whitaker’s, therefore). In fact, Whitaker doesn’t so much indulge in the scriptural reinterpretation in the article, but just gives the case for doing this, and moving with the times.
Note the way in which he frames the question in terms of identities (“being Muslim and gay”), making it difficult to provide an answer based on juristic principles. There is nothing wrong with being anything, simply, as Islam describes sin as an act of doing, not a state of being. Whitaker realises this, but I feel his use of the concept is highly misleading. His subtitle says: “The Qur’anic verses usually cited as condemning homosexuality are by no means as clear or unequivocal as people imagine.”
My attention was caught by a later article by Brian, a cutting overview of the “native misinformants”, chiefly represented by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji. I’m left a little confused, in that Brian is going on about reform of Islam’s attitude to homosexuality, without noticing the overlap between all these figures, and the implications of the Queer Muslim Reformation.
It so happens that both the women he castigates have taken homosexuality as important planks in their anti-Islam campaigns (though Manji’s is supposedly from “within”). I posted here before about the endorsement given by Al-Fatiha founder Faisal Alam to Ayaan’s Submission movie – and that was the first one, not the forthcoming one about gays. Meanwhile, Brian Whitaker links to Al-Fatiha, and I wonder if he has any criticisms of their role as “reformers”.
Another chap going on a lot about the “civil war” in Islam and how reformation is going on right now, is Reza Aslan, author of No god but God. In an article on the proggies’ central site, a young lady tells of how her interest in Islam was piqued by how “very very good-looking” Aslan is. He later tells her:
[Y]ou must be careful, because there are lots of crazies out there and they all have their ‘authoritative’ views on what Islam is and what it is not; what it allows and what it doesn’t. Don’t listen to any of it… Islam is what you consider it to be… I have countless gay Muslim friends and encourage you to contact my very good friend Faisal who is the head of al-Fatiha organization…
Whether “scholars” like Kugle and Aslan, or “activists” like Manji and Ayaan, these are players in the same insidious game.