Lock, Imaan and Islamophobia December 8, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Responses.
You may remember the latest OutRage “Imam Backs Shariah Shock” and the interesting developments in terms of the British “gay Muslim” group Imaan (formerly Al-Fatiha UK) calling Peter Tatchell an Islamophobe. I’m of a similar opinion, as I expressed along with others on their forum discussion.
Now Brett Lock has written an opinion piece in the magazine he edits, namely the Gay Humanist Quarterly (full PDF available there – see p.13). Entitled “Submission & Denial”, the article criticises Imaan for complaining about Tatchell & Co. singling out Islam:
If some of Imaan’s leaders feel Islam is being unfairly singled out as “uniquely reactionary”, perhaps they should ask themselves when they last heard a priest or rabbi in Britain defending the death penalty for homosexuality.
This is the point he makes all throughout his article. A point that he seems to have given no thought to is that Islamic law stipulates punishment for various crimes, and the death penalty also applies to adultery and murder. Therefore all Muslim scholars will “justify”, “advocate”, “defend”, “suggest” this ruling exactly as they “support”, “endorse”, “favour”, “back” the rest of the Shari’ah. But of course these words (taken from Lock’s article) don’t represent the true approach to scripture and rulings.
You don’t see Imams trying to flog boys and girls who’ve gone too far, so don’t worry about anyone being thrown off tall buildings for sodomy. Muslim scholars respect the commandments and limits of the religion, but also have a realistic understanding of the societies we are living in. What we won’t accept is that anything has to be “updated”. Yes, we need debate, but that debate has to be faithful to our sources and principles.
Moreover, the rhetoric about “gay people…put to death”, “executing gays”, “execution of gay people”, “killing of gays”, “execution of gays”, “gays…put to death”, “gays…killed” (all these variations present in the article!) misses the subtlety of the question, as Lock well knows. The punishment is not about who people are – but rather, what they do, and are proven to have done.
Not that my words here are going to make Brett a believer, of course.