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Shabir Ally on sexuality, rights and punishment December 16, 2012

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Shari'ah.
33 comments
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Oops June 28, 2011

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media.
41 comments

One Rabayl Manzoor has linked to this blog in the midst of her argument for “gay rights in Pakistan“, citing it as an example of:

…practicing [sic] Muslims who have managed to reconcile their sexual orientation and faith and find no reason to focus on conflict within the two.

Well, there is some truth in that, in that the matter is very clear from an Islamic perspective: acting on homosexual desires is forbidden by our Creator, and so whether we talk about “same-sex attraction” (as we do) or “orientation”, the duty of every Muslim towards it is the same.

When it comes to “conflict” between worship and desires, between dunya and Akhirah, there really is no contest.

Another oopsie: the pro-homosexuality “scholar” (or, it seems, Manzoor herself) cited the Qur’an 49:3 when she presumably meant 49:13. As the refuted argument goes, Allah has created diversity of all types, so all diversity should be accepted. Note that the Qur’an calls our attention to diversity of the following kinds and made them signs of His power and beauty: two genders, many nations and tribes, many languages and colours, and even the fact that not everyone will follow the truth of Islam.

Did you spot sexual orientation anywhere? And if we take this argument too seriously, couldn’t any deviant tendency be gathered under the umbrella of diversity?

But then again, there is a secret to Manzoor quoting 49:3. It reads:

Indeed, those who lower their voices before the Messenger of Allah – they are the ones whose hearts Allah has tested for righteousness. For them is forgiveness and great reward.

If we study the meanings of this surah, we understand that these are the people who show utmost respect for the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him), submitting to the commands of God as revealed in the Qur’an and Sunnah, not pushing their own opinions and desires.

Gay? Girl? Damascus? June 12, 2011

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media.
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The campaigns to free “Amina Abdallah/Arraf” – the “Gay Girl in Damascus”  – have drawn some interesting critique in the context of the Arab revolutions. Here are a few excerpts from one article:

One can come to many conclusions about what the unraveling Amina story actually means, but for our purposes what it demonstrates is the growing fracture between the very real, lived concerns of people living in the region and the selective, sensationalist focus of the Western media on issues in which they can see themselves reflected in, one of which is the lives of “gay Arabs” and “gay Muslims”. […]

[G]ay Arabs are only the latest fodder used to fan the flames of Islamophobia in political, media, and public discourse. […]

[T]he use of human rights abuses to justify the War on Terror speaks this violent logic: that those who are intolerant do not deserve to be tolerated (by those who both set the standard and are tasked with upholding it, when it suits them). Homophobia within Palestine, for example, which is bizarrely presented as unique and exceptional, becomes a justification for why Palestinians are less deserving of justice, equality and a state than the liberal, tolerant and democratic Israelis.

But more to the point, it all seems to be a hoax: New evidence about Amina, the “Gay Girl in Damascus” hoax

May Allah protect the Syrian people and all those struggling for their legitimate rights.

The fallacy of “Islamic gay marriage” February 20, 2011

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Queer Muslims.
50 comments

The BBC has an article today promoting a radio programme about “British gay Muslims… joining the global fight for equality and seeking gay Islamic marriage”. If the programme is like the article, it will contain lots of emotions and baseless opinions, but nothing from a credible Muslim scholar.

Asra and Sarah decided upon a ‘nikah’ – a Muslim matrimonial contract. Whilst nikahs have traditionally been the reserve of heterosexual Muslims, Asra and Sarah were aware that other gay Muslims had followed this route and the couple decided to investigate further.

“A few friends said you don’t really have to have an official Imam, but you need someone who is knowledgeable enough about the Qur’an to do it. Fortunately, one of our friends was, and she offered to do it. She’s a lesbian herself, and she said we could do it in her home.” […]

The short ceremony was conducted in Arabic, and additional duas – prayers – were read and the marriage was essentially no different from the nikahs performed for straight Muslim couples all over the world.

But the Islamic faith vehemently rejects homosexuality, and the fact this nikah was for a gay couple is highly offensive to the majority of Muslims – including Asra’s own parents.

Offensive is hardly the point.

Their so-called “nikah” is in fact fundamentally different from an actual nikah performed for a man and woman.

One of the essential conditions of a nikah is that the two people be marriageable to one another. A member of the same sex is not, in the Qur’anic paradigm, a marriageable partner. That is even if we don’t point out that homosexual relations are a sinful abomination.

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Novel advocating change January 25, 2011

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media.
6 comments

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.”

Choosing Hell? June 26, 2010

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Queer Muslims.
29 comments

One Kash Amin has written article about “Being Gaysi”, apparently a cute contraction of “gay desi”, i.e. South Asian. The article is mainly about culture, and therefore not particularly of interest at this blog.

It is full of relativism, such as when the author says: “There have been many-a-times even I have woken up asking who/what the f*** I did last night? But so have many of my straight friends.” Visitors to the article should also be aware that there is some explicit imagery.

What particularly drew my attention was Amin’s assessment of his future:

I have accepted the consequences of a gay lifestyle in the Muslim context. I don’t mean this in a self-loathing, self-deprecating way, but I have to accept that, in the context of Islam, I am going to spend time in hell. But there’s this sense of knowing and accepting these consequences that has both empowered me and allowed me to begin to map out my “gay” future.

I cannot take much satisfaction from the fact that he has refrained from promoting his own re-interpretation of the Islamic texts in order to pretend that homosexual acts are not forbidden. I am troubled for someone who can feel “empowered” by the idea of going to Hell. Does he know what Hell is??

This is a succinct expression of “choosing this life over the Hereafter”. It’s not too late to wake up and change, if talk of “the context of Islam” implies that he actually believes in Islam. For me, this is a confirmation of our view that true faith and proper understanding are indeed key to this issue as any other.

IslamOnline.net Special Coverage January 26, 2010

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Relevant.
2 comments

Islam Online, probably the biggest Islamic website out there, has a special page discussing issues relevant to this blog, under the title:

Unveiling Homosexuality

While we don’t necessarily agree with all the content, it is a good thing to see the issue taken seriously, and we hope it will lead to further in-depth analysis of this pressing issue, which affects society as a whole, in addition to the people affected by same-sex attractions.

Update: Also see this page at their subsite, Reading Islam:

All About Homosexuality

Quite a few people have left comments, and it is a shame there is no mechanism for constructive debate at the site.

Faisal Alam fighting Islam December 17, 2009

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Queer Muslims, Responses.
1 comment so far

Islamic etiquettes of debate dictate that you should think the best of the intentions of those with whom you disagree, but sometimes they have no redeeming qualities. Such is the case with Faisal Alam, founder of Al-Fahisha and therefore one on whom the hadith of our Prophet (peace be on him) applies: “Whoever establishes an evil pattern of conduct (sunnah sayyi’ah), then upon him is the sin of it and everyone who acts upon it until the Day of Judgement.” If the People of Lut (peace be on him) were the first humans to indulge in the base sin of sodomy, then Alam and his friends like Sid Thompson aka “Daayiee Abdullah” have (mis)led the way for modern Muslims who have sought to justify their sinful choices in Islam.

Let’s be clear that what they hate is not some Muslims’ “homophobia”, but Islam itself. In his latest interview entitled “Closet Jihad“, we find these telling statements:

With growing evidence that he’s no longer alone with his struggle, Alam says he has not fully reconciled his sexuality with his own faith. He doesn’t attend mosque, and considers himself more spiritual than religious.

“At the end of the day, we’re fighting 1,400 years of theology that in many ways is against us,” he says.

Listen well, O you who are “proud to be gay Muslims” (who comment here from time to time!), is this the sort of person you want to follow? He and his bedfellows are hurtling to their destruction, yet it is never too late for them to save themselves by turning back to God’s guidance.

As I said in response to another fool misusing the word jihad…

Your Jihad is to resist your urges to do things that Allah Most High has prohibited.
Your Jihad is to stay patient through these temptations.
Your Jihad is to overcome these unwanted desires.
Your Jihad is to please Allah every day and draw closer to Him.
Your Jihad is to turn to Him, trust in Him and ask His help in life.

Meanwhile people like Alam who  have no faith left in their own hearts are trying to build a “coalition” to challenge the Muslim community and its leaders. A bit of humility and sincerity to Allah would be a much better solution to their problems. If they want a sympathetic ear to help them in obedience to the Creator, then that is their absolute right. If they want to shake things up in the name of “gay rights”, then they will meet with justified failure.

Support “gay Muslims” with proper concepts! December 1, 2009

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Concepts, Media, Responses.
23 comments

Inayat Bunglawala is a British activist who is not afraid to express opinions that upset enemies of Islam and Muslims, or sometimes fellow Muslims. I appreciate his efforts, even if I disagree with some things he says. Recently he has supposedly opened debates on the place of “homosexuals” (by which we mean here: people who identify as such, or same-sex attracted people who don’t) among the Muslim community – debates we have been advocating on this blog for a long time, alhamdu lillah.

The title of his recent Guardian blog post (probably added by an editor) was: Gay Muslims need support.

But what sort of support? I think anything that could be done to jeopardise a human being’s standing before his Lord does not deserve to be dubbed “support”. As religious people, we should only advocate support that entails guiding people to goodness in this life and satisfaction in the Hereafter.

Bunglawala mixes a few issues that really ought to be addressed individually. First, he praises the Muslim Council of Britain’s support for the Equality Act a few years ago:

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Eastenders and the troubled Muslim July 29, 2009

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media.
15 comments

I’m not an Eastenders viewer, but lots of people have asked us to share some comment about the ongoing storyline involving Syed Masood, the engaged Muslim man who has a homosexual encounter with an openly gay man called Christian, and has tortured decisions to make over many subsequent episodes.

I tend to concur with those who have suggested the portrayal of this Asian family is unrealistic, and would add that it’s not the first time that homosexuality was used as an accompaniment to Muslim-ness, because the latter is obviously not enough. Maybe it’s better than making it about terrorism! I previously commented on Channel 4’s apparent obsession, as evidenced by Shariah TV. I also recall an episode of US drama Numb3rs in which the Muslim murder victim seemed to be a character providing a spotlight on Islamophobic violence, but it turned out he was killed by his secret boyfriend(!)

Allow me to share a couple of interesting comments from the MPACUK forum:

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