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How did homosexuality become acceptable? April 3, 2007

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Concepts, Homosexualists.
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It’s a question I ask myself often. I haven’t done enough research to present my own thesis. I do assert that it has more to do with campaigning than common sense – i.e. rather than it being about righting wrongs, it was a case of convincing the right people of certain things. A successful campaign, no doubt – but it hasn’t reached its ultimate conclusion. The public (even the non-religious public) is not 100% free of “homophobic” attitudes, but homosexualists might think that the hard work is all over, and things will change just with the passage of time (and the continuation of the present strategies). Still, these pesky Muslims aren’t buying the whole “LGBTIQ rights” thing like the Christians and others did. Being against sexual abominations isn’t yet seen by mainstream Muslims as a betrayal of the faith’s principles. So on with the Queer Muslim Reformation

Take a look at these interesting articles and let us know what you think. I take it to be a debate between a Christian and an atheist.

How did homosexuality become acceptable? (Provocative article by Chris Swift)

How the gays lost their Loonie (Response by Hell’s Handmaiden)

How the World went Loonie (Counter-response by Chris Swift)

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Comments»

1. Rasheed Eldin - April 4, 2007

Chris Swift has noticed our post and linked to us, while wondering aloud:
“Why am I linking to a site that is both Gay and Muslim ?
Two groups I have problems with.”
http://recycledart.org/drupal-5.0-rc1/node/351

As it happens, Chris, we are Muslims – and don’t really appreciate being lumped in with “Islamic states and the terrorism that stems from them”… Anyway, this is nothing to do with our blog’s themes.

And as for being “gay”, well – we’re not. See the following for an explanation:
http://gaymuslims.org/2006/01/22/whats-in-a-name/
http://gaymuslims.org/about/#comment-427
And just to be sure, we’re also not “ex-gay”:
http://gaymuslims.org/2006/04/04/were-not-ex-gay/

Still, thanks for the link. I do hope some good dialogue could come from that.

2. parabiodox - April 4, 2007

“and don’t really appreciate being lumped in with “Islamic states and the terrorism that stems from them”…”

I don’t think I did and that certaintly wasn’t my intention.
I said in my post that “I had problems with Gay and Muslim ‘groups’.”
I then went on to define what I meant by those ‘groups’.
“My problem with muslims is Islamic states and the terrorism that stems from them.”
I thought this was pretty clear in seperating out muslims from Islamic States but just so as to be clearer (I hope) I have now amended the last sentence to “My main problem with Islam is Islamic states and the terrorism that stems from them.”

3. Rasheed Eldin - April 4, 2007

Thanks Chris. I must admit, I still don’t quite know what you mean, but it doesn’t matter!

4. Rasheed Eldin - April 5, 2007

Chris is unhappy.
http://recycledart.org/drupal-5.0-rc1/node/357

He seems to think he has uncovered what we are about, while we were hiding it. The reality is that I gave him three direct links to find this stuff out, in my comment directly above.

No, Chris, we don’t obscure our purpose. You shouldn’t judge things all by a domain name. Yours is “Recycled Art”, which is nothing to do with your site. The subject of our site is “Gay Muslims”, though we take a negative (in this case = Islamic) view towards this phenomenon.

And while we have written hundreds of posts here, it’s a shame you do just like the others who make up words we don’t say, and don’t agree with fully. You said: “it’s [sic] purpose is to convert Gay Muslims to heterosexuality”. Wrong.

The nature of the site should be obvious to anyone who can fathom that “Eye on Gay Muslims” is just like “Gay Muslim Watch”, i.e. a critical look like the other “Watch” sites. But the tagline elaborates that we are coming from an Islamic stance – principled, because it won’t compromise on the basis of desires or emotions; but compassionate, because we mean to understand and advise, not berate. We save the berating for those few people who deserve it.

Link to us, or don’t link, I don’t much care.

5. Taleb Haqq - April 6, 2007

Be afraid…be very afraid….he may change his policy!!!!
(sarcasm).

6. Sunny - April 11, 2007

What does ‘acceptable’ mean in this context? Giving them equal rights? Not persecuting them for their sexual orientation? Including them in equality legislation?

Which bit do you have a problem with?

7. Taleb Haqq - April 12, 2007

Sunny: To me it means having it no longer classified as a sexual deviation.

8. Rasheed Eldin - April 12, 2007

Auntie Sunny: none of the above.

The problem is that the discourse of “rights” if taken in isolation will leave us disagreeing over what is a “right”. The “right to marriage”, for example – on that I wouldn’t agree. However, I would agree that nobody should be persecuted, and I probably believe more passionately than you that nobody should be persecuted for their “sexual orientation” – because I think feelings shouldn’t define a person in the first place.

But as Taleb said, the context here is how SSA should be classified – as something anomalous, or as the defining symbol of a “culture” to be celebrated and even promoted?

9. all-born-equal - April 28, 2007

How can you justify from a moral point of view not permitting others to get married?

You either have to accept these people as equal human beings or not. You can not strip other humans of their basic rights because your beliefs tell you to. If there is anything such as absolute morality then it must be that it is immoral to deny people their basic rights because of some prejudices built in to your beliefs.

Don’t you see that it is promiscuity and not orientation that brings about all the bad side effects of homosexuality
Let them get married so they don’t have to be promiscuous or at least to lessen that type of behaviour.

10. Rasheed Eldin - April 29, 2007

ABE: Thanks for your comments. I hope you can agree with me that while you can have your slogans, and I can have mine, we won’t get further in dialogue unless we are each willing to think from the other’s point of view.

My standpoint is a religious one, specifically Islamic. My understanding of Islam is what will guide my opinions about specific matters such as homosexuality and “gay marriage”. If you want to change my views, you would either need to show that I have misunderstood the Islamic sources, or that I have misunderstood homosexuality in forming my Islamic view on it.

I have no problem with asserting that people with SSA are just as human, and just as worthy in the sight of Allah (depending on their faith and deeds!) as everyone else.

Marriage is not a “basic right” in the same way as other things, such as life itself. But everyone has this right, even someone who calls himself gay. He can marry a woman, if he and she wish. But to talk about two men, or two women, marrying each other just defies the definition of marriage. You can choose to define marriage differently, but then maybe we will just be talking past each other.

You clearly have no understanding of religion if you can say “because your beliefs tell you to”. I believe what I take to be justified, and I act on what I believe – and this is in science or any other endeavour as much as it is in morality/religion. So yes, I will say what I believe and see nothing objectionable in that. Just as you can say what you believe – and back it up with your evidences if you want to be convincing.

I have never said that “orientation” brings any “bad side effects”! If you would spend a moment to read our articles here, you will find that we reject the very notion of “orientation”. And we emphasise that divine judgement is based on what we DO, not what we FEEL.

“Let them get married”? Then explain what marriage means (in Islam). Read this first:
http://gaymuslims.org/2006/12/10/debate-islamic-gay-marriage/

11. Sunny - May 1, 2007

But as Taleb said, the context here is how SSA should be classified – as something anomalous, or as the defining symbol of a “culture” to be celebrated and even promoted?

There’s something you’re not quite getting here.

You can think its sexual deviance, that is up to you. You can promote it as abomination, that is up to you. But you cannot be angry and frustrated at the fact that you live in a country where most people don’t share your views that gays and lesbians should be villified for their lifestyle.

We have equality legislation and I agree with it. Culture and free speech are about individual preference. Feel free to say what you want, but here it is a matter of respect. A few decades ago it was ok for Conservatives to run with the slogan “If you want a nigger for a neighbour vote Labour” – now its not. Times changes.

Homosexuality became acceptable when people realised that what people do in their own home is their own business and its no right of theirs to persecute others for sexual orientation.

Hope that answers your question.

12. Rasheed Eldin - May 2, 2007

Sunny, I wasn’t really asking you a question, but rather indicating the different paradigms in operation. There are also quite distinct subjects in discussion, namely how the matter of SSA is understood, and how homosexual activity/behaviour is regarded in society. Unless the relevant distinctions can be made, we would continue to talk past each other.

I wonder why you’re trying to portray me as “angry and frustrated” to live in my country. Maybe you’d like me to sound like a terrorist? No, I am a Muslim. I know that the moral guidance of divine revelation is the right way to live, but I understand very well the need for living in tolerance. Tolerance, however, does not change the moral facts. Neither does time.

13. all-born-equal - May 4, 2007

I don’t see how you expect me to take your ‘slogans’ seriously. We are not discussing what economic model to follow or what software operating system to use, we are talking about the rights of humans to make decisions about their private lives that have no ill bearing on others. One of us definitely is wrong. There can’t be two answers to whether we should allow humans to exercise their rights. We either can or we can’t.

So your belief system gives you the right to override certain moral values at its own discretion. Fine, but if your belief system could back this up by some reasonable argument life would be so much easier for everyone.

I propose that all humans are equal and marriage should not be restricted to sexual preferrence. Are you capable of applying reason to contest that or would you prefer to seek sanctuary in religion? I am sure you would prefer the latter as nothing can silence reason like religious dogma can.

14. Rasheed Eldin - May 5, 2007

I’m not asking you to consider my slogans, but rather my underlying point. I understand very well what you mean by rights, but I don’t agree with HOW you’ve applied the concept in this case.

It’s odd that you can be so absolute while not recognising the huge potential for people to disagree on what “rights” actually consist of. I would agree that there is a right and wrong on the matter, but for me the reference point would be what God has revealed, and what can be derived from that. What can you pin your absolutist values on?

You are not using reason. You are just throwing slogans. At least I can analyse my own discourse to show where it overlaps with others and where we will have trouble communicating. It’s all very well to call me a dogmatist, but have you ever looked in the philosophical mirror?

See if you can answer these questions, and if you can, then perhaps we can talk further:
1. Are there any limits to an individual exercising his/her rights?
2. Are there any innate characteristics of an individual that would not come under the banner of “right to exercise”?

15. all-born-equal - May 7, 2007

Very well written reply.

My reffernce point is you, the human being. On the other hand the default referrence point of religion is an abstract entity with its own set of conflicting interests. I dont’ see why we should consider it more noble to denounce the rights of the human being for those of a silent and hidden deity. Religous concepts seem to have lost focus of our earthly existence for the sake of a hypotheitcal ‘after life’ for which we have no direct observable evidence whatsoever.

The concept of humanist values on the other hand is an evolving concept but its referrence point is more stable and dare I say more noble: the welfare of the human being. You are welcome to reason your way around the Universal Declaration of Human rights and you may even contribute to shaping our current understanding of morality only if you provide us with a rational reason. So far you have provided no direct argument in favour of prohibiting same sex marriage.

So my ‘slogans’ stem from reasoning while yours come from religious dogma. We may be alike in our passion for what we believe but it ends there. One of us derives his beliefs from ancient scripture and the other derives his principles using reason. I am open to dialogue but you are obliged to always reach one conclusion: Religion is right because it says so.

To answer your questions: No ther is no limit to an individual exercising their rights. It goes without saying that breeching the rights of others is not a ‘right’ one is free to enjoy. If you apply this golden rule everything else falls into place e.g suicide vs euthansia..etc

Yes certain individuals are not usually allowed to make judgment when they lose the mental capacity to make rational decisions. The only situation is that of psychotic derangement. These characteristics are well described in the medical literature. Homosexuality does not belong to that category.

In this case you are neither dealing with an individual incapable of making rational decisions nor seeking to ‘limit’ their exercising of a right that you may consider legitmate when not abused in excess. You are seeking to categorically abolish one of their rights.

16. all-born-equal - May 8, 2007

Seems like my last post disappeared.

I am a bit disappointed at being accused of throwing slogans when all I called for is the equality of human beings with respect to their rights. Do you feel this is a ‘slogan’ that needs an explanation to back it up or can’t you see it as one of the basic principles of morality upon which one builds on when tackling issues of ethics and moral behaviour. I think it is deplorable that I have to justify myself for denouncing prejudice.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights lists the right to matrimony without restriction to the sex of the spouse. This restriction is but a prejudice imposed by religious belief systems without any reasonable explanation.

I hope you can provide us with one.

As for your questions:
There are no limits to an individual excercising their rights. Rights are there to be excercised and enjoyed. Please remember that breeching other’s rights is not a human right by any standard.

The only type of individual who can be restricted from excercising their rights is the psychiatric patient. The characteristics of such an individual are well defined in medical literature. For an example we may deny them the right to terminate their life as we know that mental disturbances may be treated (sever depression) or controlled (schizophrenia).

Homosexuals belong to neither so none of your questions are stikingly and obbiously relevant to this case unless you want to explain yourself further

17. Rasheed Eldin - May 8, 2007

Abe, thanks for coming back to me. The post didn’t disappear, but there was a delay in the moderating process. I’ll also have to apologise because I’m presently too busy to reply – but will come back to this post in due course, God willing.

18. Lauren R - July 15, 2007

Hey, you should see this classic article by Charles W. Socarides, its from 1995 but really a good read.
http://www.leaderu.com/jhs/socarides.html

19. Qusai - July 16, 2007

Salam

I read the article. I’ve heard this all before: The Jews have taken over the economy of the world, the Masons have infiltrated all political instiutions and now even the gays have invaded the moral fabric of society.

The fact is that nowadays, irrespective of whether your views are legitimate or not, you have to work hard and present a case so that your opinions earn the respect you think they desserve. What the writer was doing was lamenting over a long-gone period of biased ignorance that once ruled the credulous among us and made misery out of the life of generations of innocent beings.

I diagnose his symptoms as: expressing the painful throes of a defeated and groundless theory that had never had anything to do with the objectiveness and point-of-view invariance that defines the modern scientific process.

I am happy discussing the morality of sexuality within a religious frame work but applying a reigious conviction to a scientific method is to commit the scientific equivalent of blasphemy! If we did we’d have Hindu phsyics, Christian Chemistry and Budhhist biology. We’d still be using spiritual witchcraft to treat infections or mystical ranting to treat cancer.

Keep the non-overlapping majesteria (relgion and sciences) where each belongs.

Salam

20. Charles - July 10, 2009

God bless your endeavour. Be careful about asserting that Christians have bought into the “LGBQTI” agenda; Catholic teaching, the largest body of teaching in the Christian world, is consistently against homosexual practise. Those Catholics who find themselves in the same situation as the authors of this blog regard the claims of crazy Anglican innovators with the same contempt that you regard those of self-styled “gay-affirming” Muslims.

21. Rasheed Eldin - July 12, 2009

Thank you Charles, of course you’re right and I didn’t intend what I wrote as such a generalisation as it appeared. That’s a good point you make about the Catholic stance on the issue in particular.


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