‘Gay Muslims’ comment on Eastenders July 30, 2009Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Queer Muslims, Responses, Shari'ah.
Remember Pav Akhtar, the one whom Muslim students were asked to support in NUS elections? That same sore loser who went crying to the Muslim Weekly with the following lies after most Muslims didn’t back him?
Pav said that his sexuality was something he was personally “contending with” and insisted he has never recognised homosexuality as permissible in Islam.
I posted written and pictorial evidence back then that he was in fact fully “out and proud” (his words), and now he is the Chair of Imaan, a London-based pro-homosexuality group who have obviously featured on our blog before. According to today’s Guardian:
Pav Akhtar is not usually a fan of soaps. But the 30-year-old local councillor and Unison worker has been paying special attention since EastEnders introduced its first gay Muslim character. Akhtar, the chair of Imaan, an organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Muslims, advised the BBC on the storyline in the hope that the character of Syed Masood would help tackle the double discrimination of homophobia and Islamophobia that many gay Muslims face.
The Guardian article – What’s it like being a gay Muslim? – features various voices, none of whom are Muslims who choose to resist their same-sex attractions, as Syed is presently doing on the show. That course of action is what mainstream Muslims would advise any person in that situation. Yet the implication of the article, probably constructed with the advice of Pav and Imaan, is that those people are not “true to themselves”, which I suspect will also be the eventual message of Eastenders.
It also states that “The Muslim theologian Amanullah De Sondy said recently that the vast majority of Muslims were ‘deeply homophobic'” – massaging his ego by making him a “theologian” when he’s just a recent PhD in Sufi poetry with vanishingly meagre credentials in Islam. Oh, and mightn’t he have just a bit of bias in this question? Also, given that he’s not a sociologist or anthropologist, how did he gather this “vast majority” data? Ah, doesn’t matter does it, it’s only journalism.
Let’s take a look at a few of their comments…
But although I am out to my immediate family, I’m not out to my community, so I don’t want to identify myself fully. I couldn’t reconcile my sexuality with their teachings, and so I lost my faith. I was religious up to my mid-teens, but once I started to understand my sexuality, I became confused.
That is a tragedy, and at least part of the blame must go to the Muslim community for not providing support to people questioning their ‘sexual identity’. We need to promote ideas like in this important essay of Mujahid Mustaqim, namely that being Muslim should be the basis on which one’s sexuality is interpreted, not the other way round.
My understanding was that in Islam homosexuality was seen in the same way as adultery. That sends a message that being gay is something to be ashamed of and not socially acceptable.
The whole “being gay” is what we question, and regardless of what message you feel it sends, it is obvious that homosexual acts are comparable to adultery in the sense that it is sexual activity outside of marriage. There is no notion of ‘gay marriage’ in Islam.
Farzana Fiaz, 37 Journalist
Eventually I saw a meeting advertised in the Pink Paper looking for gay Muslims for a support group. Through Imaan, I listened to scholars and open-minded imams, and discovered that, like many things in the Qu’ran, there can be different interpretations about homosexuality.
Ah, we have met this Farzana before – not in any real sense of course, since Imaan have shown no willingness to engage in proper discussion, even online. Are they open-minded enough to engage with proper imams? God knows who they came up with to justify their behaviour to them. There can be different interpretations about many things, but the ruling on homosexual activity – absolute prohibition – is a matter of scholarly consensus proven by source-texts.
Ibrahim, 40s Charity worker
I’ve worked with rabbis and imams and the one thing they agree on is that gay men should either marry women or abstain. But abstinence is not an option to most human beings and I always ask, “Would you marry your daughter to someone you knew was gay? Do you think they would be happy with him?” The nikah (Islamic marriage service) is not gender-specific, so why not just let gay Muslim men marry each other?
Many Muslims think gay culture is about promiscuous sex, drugs and drinking. But being a gay Muslim can mean committing to one relationship. If gay Muslims marry each other, it would discourage double lives and promiscuity. The imams I have said this to agree with me, but say they can’t say that in public.
How convenient that they agree with this blatant nonsense ‘privately’. Let’s just refute the idea that the nikah is not gender-specific. One of the essential items of a marriage contract is the mahr (dowry) paid by the man to the woman. Who pays whom in one of your imagined ‘gay marriages’? Need I go on? OK here are a few more…
- A man may not marry his sister or mother. Can he marry his brother or father? Provide us some scriptural backing.
- A Muslim man may – if the law of the land permits – marry up to four women. Would you suggest the same for each man, resulting in a big complex web of men all married with each other?
- A man has the full obligation to provide for his wife and children, while the woman’s money is her own right to spend or keep as she wishes. What system will you devise into Islamic law for two men?
- In the eventuality of divorce, there is a difference between the procedure by the husband as compared to the wife. Which of the ‘gays’ gets the right to pronounce talaq?
In short, ‘gay marriage’ is a notion completely incompatible with Islamic law in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Nobody educated in Islam would agree to such a preposterous idea. Let me share with you my simple scriptural proof against ‘gay marriage’ as presented here:
Therefore, whatever actions are carried out in pursuit of fulfilling sexual desires must be deemed unlawful unless the proper channel is followed, i.e. marriage, which Islam defines clearly as being only with the opposite sex. We select one relevant verse to begin a short discussion of this matter:
And Allah has given you spouses (azwāj) of your own kind, and has given you, from your spouses, sons and grandsons, and has made provision of good things for you. Is it then in vanity that they believe and in the grace of Allah that they disbelieve? [Qur’an 16:72]
The reference to procreation is significant, as one of the aims of marriage is indeed to bring forth new generations of humans who will worship Allah. Furthermore, much could be said about the word azwāj (sing. zawj) with its linguistic and Qur’anic meaning as “the opposite part of a pair”. One of the numerous evidences in the Qur’an of zawj meaning the opposite sex, and indeed a very relevant evidence in this context, is the following proclamation of Lut (peace be on him). Here it is evident that the spouses (azwāj) of the men addressed cannot be male, and that homosexual partners cannot be considered as azwāj:
“What! Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, and leave the spouses (azwāj) your Lord created for you? Nay, you are a people exceeding limits.” [26:165-6]
From such verses, we establish that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Therefore any sexual activity between two men or between two women is by necessity outside the realms of marriage and, by extension, outside the realms of permissibility. In other words, homosexual marriage is unsupportable within the Islamic legal system, and by definition any homosexual behaviour is fornication; indeed, it may be considered a level worse, by virtue of including the additional element of sexual perversion.