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Novel advocating change January 25, 2011

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media.

AlMasryAlYoum has a story on a new Arabic novel entitled “Shab Takaya”: ‘Lady Boy’: A defense of Egyptian homosexuals?

Instead of condemning homosexuals, Saad told Al-Masry Al-Youm, we must “adopt a merciful approach and help them to repent.” […]

With regard to his position on homosexuals, the true sin is unwillingness to change, not homosexuality itself. Believing that every gay man deserves a second chance at heterosexuality, Saad is determined to become an advocate for that second chance by speaking out on behalf of gay Muslims, a group he affirms, that faces more difficulties than any other oppressed section of Muslim society. […]

Saad explained that Islam advocates sympathy and forgiveness: “Society must forgive [homosexuals] for their past, for Allah is a great, merciful forgiver.” As expressed in the book, gays are a direct result of a modern society that “participates in young men’s conversion to homosexuality.” Therefore, society should turn inward to examine its own behavior before it begins judging that of homosexuals. […]

Members of the other group view their sexual orientation as a disease to be treated. Saad sees the treatment process as a heroic struggle in which men fight their instincts with the help of a doctor, and “hope for God’s reward.” Fortunately for them, this ‘reward’ is virtually guaranteed; even those who fail to succeed in their ‘conversion’ find redemption in God’s eyes because of their efforts. […]

Saad adamantly opposes the idea of homosexuality as biological and unchangeable. He labels the “nature vs. nurture” argument as unsound and predominantly western, and insists that no individual is born with an unalterable sexual preference. “For every sin in Islam,” Saad explained during the interview, “there is a method to avoid or reverse that sin.”



1. davidgee - January 25, 2011

Rasheed, we’ve ‘talked’ before! As a (former) Christian, am I allowed to draw a comparison between Saad’s advocating forgiveness and Jesus Christ saying to the “woman taken in adultery”: GO AND SIN NO MORE? (He also said to the people about to stone her: “Let Him that has no sin cast the first stone”)

As a Westerner I totally repudiate the notion that men or women can be “cured” of homosexuality. The debate about Nurture vs Nature is an old and tired one. It may be possible to “adjust” homomosexuals into bisexuality, though it seems a very pointless exercise, and same-sex attraction is going to remain at the core of their identity.

2. Rasheed Eldin - January 25, 2011

Hi David. I see the comparison, because what we want is for people to repent quietly, and repentance includes a change in actions and lifestyle. When someone repents sincerely (of whatever they have done), God is ready to forgive all sins and even transform them to virtuous deeds.

The only exception to this is when the rights of others (and society) are transgressed, in which case the rights have to be restored, and sometimes punishment (through due process and proper authorities) is required. This is what so many people focus on regarding Islam’s teachings on homosexuality. The reality is, you would have to be really flagrant in transgression to deserve worldly punishment. God is the Judge, and the punishment of the Hereafter is more severe – hence the need for repentance!

Our opinions on sexuality differ, but I also don’t agree with the terminology used in the article above. Rather than “cure”, I think the emphasis should be on “self-development” and also “purification” (tazkiyah) which is a concept that concerns every Muslim and human being.

3. ahmed saad - January 26, 2011

Shahu started to write my book I was very honest with myself before to be honest with others was lighter than any Aizhaat you accuse me or other gay Banny
This is Emily to connect with you and answer any questions
Protect Saad, author of ” shab takaya “

Rasheed Eldin - January 27, 2011

السلام عليكم أخي أحمد، يبدو أنك استعملت برنامج ترجمة وبالتالي قصدك ليس واضحاً فاكتب بالعربية إن شئت كي نفهم إن شاء الله

أؤكد أنه لم يصدر منا أي اتهام بل انما اقتبسنا بعض الفقرات من مقال المصري اليوم بدون تعليق

4. Amina - January 27, 2011

I feel we should be more sympathetic; because there is usually two sides to a story. I read the profile of a popular American actress whose homosexuality was because her own father sexually abused her at the tender age of 6 and continued for several years, even giving her an STD (not HIV). What woman would want any man to touch her after such an experience? Therapy sounds like a reasonable cure but victims like her would not want to do that because the therapist would make them relive what they’d been true. Not that I’m condoning homosexuality- I’m just saying we should look at the causes; abuse, upbringing, background, before we start judging. I also read somewhere that every person is bisexual to some degree but your upbringing, background and environment that helps determine what you are, gay or straight.I dont approve of same sex relationship but based on what i pointed out; I’m in no position to judge or say ‘You’re going to Hell.’ It’s not my call or anyone else’s.

Rasheed Eldin - January 27, 2011

Salam Amina, we agree about the need for understanding and compassion, and not to treat all people who call themselves homosexuals in the same way. Most importantly of all, we insist that Islam distinguishes between actions and attractions. So a person is only judged (and can be criticised by other people) for what they do, not what they feel (or who they are).

About theories of sexuality, you can get an idea about my perspective on it here:

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