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What this blog is NOT about… June 7, 2007

Posted by Taleb Haqq in Advice, Blog.

We sometimes get some comments that do not actually get approved.

One sister recently went off on a rant about how “homosexuals will burn in hell” and how our website is full of “hypocrisy”. This, of course, is nonsense and her comment was not approved. We also have the case of a certain someone who doesn’t realize that his IP address is linked to his comments and we can tell that it’s him that is posting. This man keeps on posting confused comments which are anti-Islam, and sometimes quasi-Christian in nature, though he claims to not believe in anything.

Another important point we wish to make here is that this website will NOT be used as a forum to present prejudiced and unsubstantiated opinions about Islamic scholars. If you have a problem with a particular mainstream scholar, please take it up with him/her or create your own blog. We will not allow you to present your hatred for them here. (This is going out to the brother who went off against Sh. Suhaib Webb.)



1. Habiba Khan - July 15, 2007

wait wait wait.. hold on.. Don’t you think its *fair* to see what other Muslims have to say about the issue of homosexuality? I believe its fair to get all sides of the spectrum. I think we should have a mature discussion on here based on quran and sunnah regarding homosexuality. I can understand why you’d delete non-Muslim’s comments because they can’t really contribute to the discussion since they probably wont be able to keep up with an islamic discussion.

Thats just my two cents…

2. Taleb Haqq - July 15, 2007

Salam Habiba,
We should be taking comments for their content and not (necessarily) for who is saying them. I don’t know what you mean when you say that we have to be “fair” to see what other Muslims believe about Islam. If their belief is that “All gays will burn in Hell” this statement is a)ambiguous, and b) as a result of a)…incorrect!

Obviously discussions will Muslims might take a different language than with people of different walks of life or different religions, but the message is one and the same: a Moderate, Insightful and Thoughtful discussion on Islam.

Wallahu a’lam (God knows best).

3. Rasheed Eldin - July 16, 2007

Truthfully Habiba, we wouldn’t mind if someone posted a really passionate message disagreeing with us and saying “It really is this simple: gays will burn in hell.” We would be willing to engage in the discussion as long as the other party seems fit to engage in it, i.e. they will listen to us just as we listen to them.

The trouble is that when it’s tacked onto a post into which we’ve invested time and effort in exploring subtleties, and someone just posts a “burn in hell” rant as if we’ve been the ones justifying sin (may Allah protect us from such), then we are surely justified in deleting that comment.

Wouldn’t you agree? Salams. šŸ™‚

4. Brravooo! - August 8, 2007

is this a public forum or not? please decide. if you want people to only make kosher statements that are acceptable to you then why not lock it up as a private yahoo group or something similar?

5. Rasheed Eldin - August 8, 2007

It’s not about being kosher or otherwise. It’s about what will contribute in some way to this important dialogue, versus things that depart from the topic or destroy its bases, one of which is civility.

6. David V - October 17, 2007

Assalamu Alaikum:
I just want to say that I’m really happy to come across this website. And if you’re like myself, trying to change, or at least stay away from trouble, then I’m hoping to find support in this site. Then if this is what this website is inteded to provide, I think postings arguing differently would belong in another site.

7. Jamal - October 18, 2007

Your website will support hateful, anti-gay comments though.

8. Taleb Haqq - October 18, 2007

It’s not anti-gay to say that Islam doesn’t support homosexual actions. It’s not anti-gay to offer support to those that don’t want to engage in homosexual actions. It’s not anti-gay to expose those that try to twist Islamic teachings in order to mislead people by telling them that Islam supports homosexual actions.

9. Rasheed Eldin - October 18, 2007

Actually I’m not afraid of a label like “anti-gay”, because that could quite honestly be applied to me depending on how the labeller sees it. I certainly wouldn’t say I’m pro-gay! I’m pro-people and anti-sin.

As for the term “hate”, again I don’t characterise my methodology with such an emotional motivation, but in order to be as sound an Islamic character as I can, I do try to hate what Allah hates. Shouldn’t we all?

10. Bravvooo! - October 18, 2007

So, do you have to try to hate yourself so that Allah loves you?

I mean you can be in a position where you are born into a muslim family but find yourself SSAing all along without a break. What then?

11. Rasheed Eldin - October 18, 2007

What on earth are you trying to say?

12. Bravvooo! - October 18, 2007

You said we should all try to hate what Allah hates..

So (as a homosexual), do you have to hate yourself (for being homosexual) so that Allah loves you (given that he hates homosexuality) ?

I’m trying to figure out whether you are preaching self rejection.

13. Bravvooo! - October 18, 2007

And before you or Taleb start to scatter our thoughts by asking what I mean by homosexuality, I am using the word as it appears in most dictionaries such as the American Heritage and Miriam Webster.

Attraction to the same sex, not necessarily acted out (SSA)

14. Taleb Haqq - October 19, 2007

Bravooo, your thoughts are already scattered as you are not clear on what you are talking about. We hate the action and not the people, what part of that don’t you understand, or is that too scattered for your mind?

15. Bravvooo! - October 19, 2007

You hate the actions but not the people? Actions don’t materialise untill some person decides to act them. What does it mean to hate the actions but not the people? Nonesense.

I bet you wanted to write something different. You dislike practising homosexuals only.

And you think my thoughts are scattered? Well you seem to be at a stage where you’re still wondering whether homosexuality is innate or not (the moral relativism thread). Not a huge problem but it just means that you’re one step behind the discussion on homosexuality. Nevermind what you think about homosexuals.

Rasheed, I clarified my question so give us your answer.

16. Rasheed Eldin - October 19, 2007

Bravo, as it happens, the dictionaries tend to define “homosexuality” as an ORIENTATION characterised by attraction to the same sex, or otherwise in various ways. It is not merely a word for the attractions themselves (i.e. what we describe as “SSA”).

Did you even bother to check the two dictionaries you cited before getting it wrong?

1. Sexual orientation to persons of the same sex.
2. Sexual activity with another of the same sex.

1. The quality or state of being homosexual.
2. Erotic activity with another of the same sex.

17. Taleb Haqq - October 20, 2007

Bravoo: Where is the proof that homosexuality is “innate”? What does that mean anyways, that you are born as such? Where is the proof as this? Surely this is a new idea that has yet to be proven.

18. Bravvooo! - October 20, 2007

Taleb, I’m sure you can ask the same of depressed people. What is the proof you’re depressed and what proof there is you are born with such a vulnerability. Can you see the flaw in your thinking?

In prinicple there is no way anyone can prove anything to do with feelings or emotions. I don’t suppose you’ve had much training in the sciences but ‘proofs’ are the domain of mathematicians and for anything else there is ‘evidence’. Either evidence for or against. You don’t proof your loyalty to your family, you show them evidence of it.

For homosexual behaivour it’s straightforward. You observe that people have a spontaneous tendency to prefer sexual partners of the same sex. Now that would be impossible to ‘prove’ at a childhood stage so you depend on your patients telling you how long they’ve had the symptoms for you to know how early it all started.

If you’re not ready to accept that you need to have some trust in your patients, your team members or your spouse then you just need to refrain from any of these activities or discussions and get treated for paranoia.

You’re stuck at too primitive a stage of the discussion and you’re asking ridiculous questions. Let’s part company on this one and I’ll talk to you when you’re ready to move on. Before I leave let me remind you not to complain when your pharmacist demands you prove your headache before giving you any help.

19. Bravvooo! - October 20, 2007

Rasheed, what was your point?

Why can’t you look up a dictionary, get the concept of the meaning and apply to real life?

The dicitionaries say it’s orientation to the same sex and I wrote attraction to the same sex. Same thing when it comes to sexual preferrences, now let’s move on.

Is there any hope in hell I’ll get an answer to my original question..

20. Taleb Haqq - October 20, 2007

No one is requiring proof when a patient needs help and asks for it. However, when you are claiming that something is “innate” (in essence that you are born this way) then you better be able to prove what you are saying. I’m not denying that same-sex attractions exist, I am, however, taking you up on your claim that they are innate.

Do YOU see the difference between the two?

By the way, it would do you a little bit of good to step back from this arrogance that I am sensing from you, for your own sake I mean.
I am, walhamdulillah (praise be to God) a scientist, in fact.

21. Rasheed Eldin - October 20, 2007

Orientation is a concept over and above attraction (which nobody would dispute).

You said we should all try to hate what Allah hates..
So (as a homosexual), do you have to hate yourself (for being homosexual) so that Allah loves you (given that he hates homosexuality) ?
Iā€™m trying to figure out whether you are preaching self rejection.

I am not a “homosexual”, nor do I recognise that conceptual construct. We can talk about people who have SSA. They do not have to “hate themselves” of course, because we do not say that Allah hates any sincere person. But He does hate arrogance and the arrogant, for example. If someone finds such negative traits, he should hate those within himself and fight them in order to draw closer to God. Islam does not teach self-hatred.

There is nothing difficult to understand in hating sins while not hating those who commit them. We hate for someone to fall into a fire, but that may be out of love for that person or simply compassion for humanity. What then of the Fire to which all sins invite? We don’t hate someone just because they commit sins, as we all commit sins.

Even terrible sins don’t make us hate a person, but if they are insistent on those sins, and inviting people to them, and trying to justify them by twisting the religion, then it’s likely that they fall into the category of people who deserve hatred: until they desist and repent.

22. Taleb Haqq - October 20, 2007

Bravo: the point (in response to brother Rasheed) is that your claims of “science” are unfortunately flawed since you cited two books by name and misrepresented their content [and ignored the definitions about sexual ACTIONS]

23. Bravvooo! - October 20, 2007

Thanks Rasheed, I see what you mean.

Once you’re convinced homosexuality is a sin, your frame of reasoning follows on automatically. As you can see I just can’t bypass the basic tenet of your argument: that homosexual behaviour is a problem. It ain’t and the world is yet to hear some compelling argument for it.

When the level of discussion falls to a contest of personal/spiritual/religious convictions on any subject the whole thing becomes pointless. There are simply too may of the sort and the religious want to be exempt from the obligation to explain why their views on the subject are rationally valid. As long as you say: our personal God forbids us to, that’s a deal breaker.

At least that was tolerable when the blog was strictly focused on Islam’s view on the topic. I still saw a good reason to engage muslims on their views as their numbers are increasing in Europe. However that entry on moral relativism and the subtle criticism of a view of a minister in an open society mean that muslims feel they are ready to challenge the secular world with their views.

The disappointment is that when one returns the favour they (any religious person) can qucikly go back into a shell and say: my personal conviction is that it’s a sin and I won’t argue that. This situation is just not sustainable. Not in a multi-cultural society.

24. Bravvooo! - October 20, 2007

Taleb you are insufferable.

How did I represent my sources? Didn’t I follow on with an explanation on why I think my para-phrasing was accurate enough? For all practical purposes ‘orientation’ and ‘attraction’ are the same when it comes to sexual prefference.

I’m not a scientist and never claimed to be so. Yet you don’t have to be a doctor to know that someone who claims to be one starts saying that homosexuality leads to AIDS or masturbation leads to blindness. Same with proof vs evidence. That’s ought to be fairly common knowledge.

You seem to be confusing ‘innate’ with ‘congenital’. Indeed the latter can only be confirmed if a genetic cause for homosexuality is found. If you’re a scientist you should know better than demanding proof that homosexuality is innate. Refrain from that or don’t complain when people mistake you for not being a scientist at all.

25. Taleb Haqq - October 20, 2007

Unfortunately for you, the dictionaries, yet again, do not support your argument, every single one that I’ve checked has Innate and congenital as synonyms …and the first definition of innate is always “inborn” or “possessed at birth”.

So which is it? Are you arguing that homosexuality is something one is born with or acquires as a result of his/her environment?

By the way, what in the world do HIV and blindness have to do with the discussion, stay on (one) topic please.

26. Bravvooo! - October 20, 2007

I think you’ve blown my fuse now.

You either skim carelessly thgough my writing, intent on winding me up or you’re intellectually challenged. Can’t I give examples from everyday situations as I go along? Am I to constrict my writing to a monotonus dull piece of dictionary parroting just to get the messages through to your head?

HIV and blindness or whatever. You need training in basic conversation and you need cognitive treatment to rid you of your semantic obsessions.

Whatever is wrong with you it appears both non pardonable and irrevocable. Good luck, this conversation is over.

27. Taleb Haqq - October 20, 2007

Suit yourself, the examples that you have had absolutely nothing to do with what was said, you seem to be relating those that say “homosexuality causes HIV” to what is being said in this thread. You seem to be saying this for the shock effect in order to discredit the points that are being made. Just like you did when you wrote your last response, you avoided the question and decided to “blow your fuse”.
Bye bye! (i.e. good riddance).

28. Rasheed Eldin - October 20, 2007

I reiterate what I said earlier: “Orientation is a concept over and above attraction.”

And I further point out that even if we were to accept Bravo’s paraphrase of “orientation”->”attraction”, he would still have misrepresented Merriam-Webster, which didn’t mention either term!

The closest entry (the first one) says “the quality or state of being homosexual” – i.e. a matter of identity, and that can only be identified with an inherent characteristic, not merely an inner experience.

Anyway Bravo, I think the utility of our discussion has gone. One thing I have benefited from is realising the need for a definitive post on the matter of attractions (feelings) vs. orientation (identity).

29. Adam Deen - December 25, 2008

Mashallah ! much needed site.

Please read my contribution to this very important topic :


30. Rasheed Eldin - March 30, 2009

Thanks Adam, feel free to stay in touch!

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