De Sondy knows his audience July 13, 2009Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Media, Responses.
Like all “progressives”, Dr Amanullah De Sondy is not speaking to the Muslim community when he asks, “Why can’t Muslims be gay and proud?” He is working for someone else, and seeking someone else’s approval.
Like his friends, he holds the Muslim community in contempt. (“Homophobes!”) And as such, he stands no chance of making a difference. With this latest “coming out”, I’m sure he realises he will never be invited to speak to Muslims again, except in the depths of his university department, for whoever thinks that is a proper way to learn Islam. Yes, study at the feet of non-Muslims too! Indeed, many of them are much fairer in their treatment of Islam than twisted people like De Sondy.
As a commenter at Harry’s Place put it: “A courageous young man. Very much like Irshad Manji.” Yes, very much. Although at least Manji is explicit that her purpose of rewriting Islam for herself was to justify being with her lesbian lover.
1. This is precisely what I mean when I say that no religion is monolithic and that texts are open textured. Understandings of any particular religion changes over time, and from place to place.
2. De Sondy is, no doubt, regarded as a “fake Muslim” by anti-Muslim bigots, Islamists and those who regard reaction and intolerance as the hallmark of “authenticity”.
3. How I wish that the SNP had chosen somebody like de Sondy as their ‘bridge to the Muslim community’, rather that the odious Muslim Brotherhood activist, Osama Saeed.
1. Who exactly states that Islam is “monolithic”? We can have diverse opinions without tearing up all standards and methodology. Furthermore, De Sondy is hardly the sort of intellectual heavyweight who could lead the way for a new understanding of Islam. His religious training is meagre at best.
2. He is not a fake Muslim, just a misguided one. But the real question is, why is his voice considered by the likes of Toube as more authentic than others, who are routinely dismissed as “Islamists” etc.?
3. Far be it from me to comment on Scottish politics, but given that De Sondy has no regard for, and no involvement in the Muslim community, that would hardly have been expected to work.
Both Maan and the Scottish Islamic Foundation’s spokesman are defending a deeply conservative position without bothering to formulate coherent arguments; they simply state it has always been that way in Islam.
Quite apart from the fact that De Sondy has shown this not to be the case, this is not as good an argument as they clearly believe. For many centuries, Islamic scholarship tolerated slavery; certainly it is (as it is in the Bible) accepted in the Qur’an. People who make the argument that homosexuality always has been and always will be completely unacceptable in Islam should also make their case for why slavery is a different matter – which went from being accepted to illegal.
De Sondy makes an important argument for the acceptability of homosexuality in Islam and the “community leaders” also interviewed by the Sunday Times can only answer with intellectual dishonesty and unthinking conservatism.
Actually, De Sondy has not made a coherent argument at all, despite the fact that he was interviewed at length and the others were presumably phoned up for a quick comment.
I don’t know what “always been that way in Islam” is supposed to mean: are we talking sociologically? If we’re having a discussion on theology and jurisprudence, let’s do so properly. Our sources are the Qur’an and Sunnah, then juristic reasoning and consensus, then various other considerations. It really wouldn’t matter even if at some point in history everyone was indulging in, or approving of, homosexual activity. But that is far, far, far from established, and quoting a couple of poets from here or there is truly a pathetic attempt to prove something.
Regarding the slavery argument, there is no analogy here because there are clear signs that Islamic law sought to minimise and bring an end to slavery, even though its approach was gradual. But even now, the texts referring to good treatment of slaves, and freeing them seeking the pleasure of God, have not been abolished by any means, because it could still be the case now or in the future that slavery will exist, so we should know how to deal with it.
To make a proper analogy, you would have to find something that was forbidden (and a major sin) and now acceptable. And by the way, “acceptable” doesn’t mean simply “accepted”, let alone by a handful of ignorant people.
Update: Faisal Gazi is more than a little taken by this pathetic argument about slavery, so it was good to see him thoroughly refuted by fellow Pickled Politics commenter Munir:
Faisal: “The same is going to be true for Islamic homophobia, whether you like it or not. Muslim society is going to find it unacceptable, one way or another, to continue discrminating and in some cases persecuting homosexuals.”
Munir: “It is unacceptable to persecute homosexuals. But sodomy is a major sin from now till yawm al qiyamah [the Day of Judgement].”
Faisal: “And ijtihad is going to be used, just as it has with slavery, to render it [homophobia] illegal. As it should be.”
Munir: “No it isnt because there is no ijtihad [independent juristic reasoning] against a clear text.”
In other words, while something permissible can be taken or left, a person has no choice but to do what is obligatory (according to the Qur’an and Sunnah) and abstain from what is prohibited (according to the Qur’an and Sunnah). And this is a fixed matter not subject to ijtihad, which in fact is called upon in the absence of clear texts. But ignoramuses like Faisal Gazi will just throw this word around with no regard for its actual meaning.