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So This Gay Muslim Imam Is Perfectly Fine With Other Gay Muslims?

Being Muslim and being gay are both strong identities. And I think that they are both innate identities for me. So somewhere along the line I had to reconcile the two. … Imams see me as a threat to their worldview and the way they see Islam. I don’t feel they should be threatened. It’s just another view that I would invite them to look at. My view allows queer Muslims to continue being Muslim but also to accept themselves for who they are.

—Muhsin Hendricks, the gay Muslim cleric in South Africa who leads the pro-gay religious foundation The Inner Circle, probably wouldn’t be welcome in certain (or, all) Middle Eastern countries [via]

By:           JD
On:           Feb 26, 2011
Tagged: , ,
  • 21 Comments
    • tallskin2
      tallskin2

      Like with gay christians I just don’t get how gays can choose, of their own free will, to participate in something so vilely homophobic as the middle eastern sky pixie religions: judiasm, christianity and islam.

      Surely they can see how by participating they’re giving credibility to this supernatural absurdity and actively participating in their own oppression.

      Just get out and attack from the outside, for god’s sake.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      @tallskin2: Your anti-religion agenda is becoming more and more trite.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TimeToLook
      TimeToLook

      That’s a legitimate opinion, Tallskin. I guess religious gays, of whichever religions, will see it so differently though.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      In addition, not all denominations are homophobic. Take Unitarians, for example. they’re one of the most accepting and GLBT-friendly religions in existence.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Someone
      Someone

      @tallskin2: Religion is too interpretable. Islam itself is not homophobic. And also, though not religious myself, your calling Christianity, Judaism, and Islam sky pixie religions and supernatural absurdities is highly offensive. You should accept others’ identities if you want someone to accept your own.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • greenmanTN
      greenmanTN

      Religion is more than a set of beliefs, it’s also a culture and a community you’re raised in, usually from infancy. That’s one reason why it’s so hard for people to reject their religious training; they’re not just rejecting tenets of their faith but also the traditions, the community they were raised in, and sometimes even their family. Many, if not most, atheists celebrate certain religious holidays (Christmas and Passover for example), albeit in a secular manner, because it’s part of their history and reminds them of family traditions and pleasant childhood memories. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Atheism and secular humanism, for all their appealing logic and critical thinking, don’t really offer an alternative to the communal aspect of religious belief, the shared rituals and celebrations that tie non-related people together.

      And every sect, denomination, and church, synagogue, or mosque has its own identity, it’s own peculiar balance of beliefs about faith and secular responsibility. With the exception of fundamentalists of ANY stripe, they’re all trying to place their faith in the context of larger society.

      And overt hostility toward religious belief, while often satisfying, doesn’t really win many new friends or converts to your way of thinking. It usually just creates enemies who refuse to listen to you any further. As an atheist who lives in a fairly religious part of the country I’ve developed my own way of dealing with it. When asked I say that I’m a “noncombatant,” that I don’t think it really matters whether there’s a god or not. After all, the Bible doesn’t open with “Dear Diary,” it’s a book written by men, thus unreliable, and it’s arrogant to think you really know the mind of an omnipotent creator anyway. Religions are all over the map, from snake-handling to Pope fetishists so who’s to say which, if any, is the “right” one? Even assuming there is a god none of us get our “report card” until the end so all any of us can do is try to be good, responsible people, which is necessary anyway for a civilized society to function.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Harbo
      Harbo

      TALLSKIN2@@@@ I totally agree with you. How can any gay man (or woman) want to be a part of any organization that considers them undesirable and second-class citizens. When I dared to think for myself I got fed up. I left religion years ago and couldn’t be happier. Your “anti-religion agenda” is not becoming trite, its becoming the norm for clear-thinking gay individuals.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      Leaving religion is hard for many. They might be unable to deny their gayness, but they still are equally unable to see that they are participating in something that simply is not for them. Religion brainwashes them. Nobody is immune to that. So, they work out some kind of weird compromise in their heads and insist that they can be both religious and queer. Nothing doing, I say, but to each his/her own.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair
      WillBFair

      It’s sad that so many queers are unable to tell the difference between liberal religion and fundamentalism, despite mountains of evidence. It shows that they might have emotional issues that prevent them from seeing the obvious facts.
      As GreenmanTN says, they aren’t winning us any freinds. But I would go further. I think they are full of internalized homophobia, and are sub consciously sabotaging our movement by allienating some of the best freinds we have. It also could be that they’re too lazy to lift a finger for anyone else, and are threatened by christians who actually work on behalf of the poor and oppressed.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      An Iranian friend told me that ALL Moslem mullahs are gay.

      Very much like Catholic priests, the mullahs fight anything that will unveil their closeted reality to the world, even though they’d all be so much happier if they all came out.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 1 · tallskin2 wrote, “Like with gay christians I just don’t get how gays can choose, of their own free will, to participate in something so vilely homophobic as the middle eastern sky pixie religions: judiasm, christianity and islam.”

      Get a grip, guys – at least in the U.S., you have a legal right to make up your own religion. If you want, you can clone Catholicism but dump the sexual repression, and claim that the Catholic Pope is infallible regarding purely theological statements but is as fallible as anyone else regarding anything that happens in the observable universe. I.e., the Pope cannot be questioned about Jesus in Heaven but is simply babbling when he starts to rant about the love life of Jesus from Lord and Taylor (the hottie in the shipping department). And, of course, you don’t have to pay the Roman Catholic Church a dime do to that. You can even copy the original Latin mass verbatim – it is so old that it gets no copyright protection.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andy
      Andy

      @tallskin2: You have to respect religion. When it says “Kill all the fags” in Leviticus, it doesn’t really say that!

      Feb 26, 2011 at 10:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tallskin2
      tallskin2

      ah sky pixie believers, eh?

      [img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_xQBb-Qv9S5o/TRvgezLW6mI/AAAAAAAAAbY/OfIrCP3MJSI/s1600/imaginary-friends1.gif[/img]

      Feb 27, 2011 at 5:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Van der Doodle
      Van der Doodle

      Why should one “respect” a set of beliefs because people believe in it? People believe in Nazism and modern profit driven cults and witch burning, so should we respect those beliefs because people have them too? In terms of doctrine the Abrahamic faiths are no better a manifesto for life than Mein Kampf or Dianetics. If we can acknowledge, as anyone capable of even the slightest amount of critical thinking probably can, that all religions are invented by man to assuage his fear and confusion of death and suffering, we should seriously question people who adhere to kinds of faith that despise them. Its like that black gay tea partier, there is an inherent and unsustainable clash of interests.
      Although myself an atheist, I do in fact have no problem with many religions, especially polytheistic ones that admit man is a part of nature and the world is too complicated for one god and one set of rules. The fanatical monotheism of the desert, however, is about as welcome a place for a sexual minority as a “family values” think tank. Oh yeah, and I have read the Koran, it may appear more liberal than the Bible for not judging you if you have “inclinations” but it still ascribes you the death penalty. Even if this Sand God who loves to mutilate penises could be proven to exist, it would still not be in anyone’s interest to follow him!

      Feb 27, 2011 at 5:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tallskin2
      tallskin2

      As for islam and its vile and violent homophobia, well don’t believe what the fuckers say. They’re horrificially homophobic and they lie about not being so.

      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/andrewgilligan/100077810/east-london-mosque-keeps-on-lying/

      The East London Mosque, that legendary home of tolerance and moderation, has condemned a series of posters which have appeared in its local area, Tower Hamlets, containing a Koranic invocation and declaring the borough a “gay-free zone.” Dilowar Khan, the mosque’s director, was quoted in a council press release saying: “We stand together with our fellow citizens against all forms of hatred, including homophobia. We are committed to building strong and cohesive communities in Tower Hamlets, and our strength is that we will not let incidents of hate divide us.”

      As so often, however, the East London Mosque speaks with forked tongue. Yesterday, it was due to demonstrate its deep commitment to “standing together against homophobia” by hosting a gala dinner with one Uthman Lateef, a homophobic preacher who has stated: “We don’t accept homosexuality… we hate it because Allah hates it.”

      Mr Lateef is one of at least half a dozen homophobic preachers hosted or promoted by the East London Mosque, three of whom have been officially invited to deliver the Friday sermon. In 2007, as my Dispatches programme on the East London Mosque disclosed, a “Spot The Fag” contest was staged at the mosque. In recent years, there has been a sharp rise in homophobic hate crimes in Tower Hamlets – something which simply cannot be unconnected to the fact that hatred of gay people is allowed to be openly and regularly expressed inside one of the area’s most prominent institutions.

      The technique of saying one thing designed to appeal to white liberals, while in fact doing the exact opposite, has been brought to a fine pitch by Islamists generally, and the East London Mosque in particular. The mosque’s idea of “standing against hatred” involves hosting literally dozens of hate, extremist and terrorist preachers on its premises – most famously, the al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. It now claims to have banished hate preachers from its building – but, as this blog has documented, continues to welcome them almost every month.

      Why does the East London Mosque tell such obvious lies? Simply, because lies work. There is a part of liberal white society which would rather ignore or deny the problem of extremism, hatred and bigotry in some parts of some Muslim communities. The lies give them a form of permission to do so.

      In that same council press release, the chairs of the Rainbow Hamlets LGBT Community Forum, a local gay group, condemned the anti-gay posters but added: “We also condemn those who use these incidents to create a moral panic and stoke up racist or Islamophobic sentiment. At present the people responsible cannot be accurately determined, but it is clear that whoever is responsible, they do not represent any of the local communities.”

      This statement contains at least one palpable untruth, one questionable assumption, and one dubious elision. As any gay man in Tower Hamlets will tell you, and numerous victims of homophobic hate crime in the area have told me, “the people responsible” can be perfectly “accurately determined:” the hostility towards gay people in the borough comes largely from young Bangladeshis.

      It seems rather unlikely that posters quoting the Koran were put up by evangelical Christians, yuppies, brogue-wearing trendies or members of the white working class, the other main parts of the Tower Hamlets community. And given the anti-gay activities allowed inside the area’s largest Muslim institution, and the expression of sentiments there almost exactly identical to those on the posters, it’s also hard to know how the LGBT Forum can be quite so confident that the posters are entirely unrepresentative of any of the local communities.

      The rise of homophobic hatred in Tower Hamlets, even as the rest of London becomes more tolerant, cannot be solved unless its cause is honestly recognised. It is caused, not by Islam as such (there has, after all, been a huge Muslim community in the borough for more than forty years), but by something much more recent: the growth in the area of radical political Islam – Islamism – under the influence of groups like the East London Mosque and its controlling body, the Islamic Forum of Europe.

      Islamism, in the words of one of the IFE cadres secretly filmed during our Dispatches programme, holds that Islam is far more than a religion, but also a prescription for how the whole of society must be. Attacks on gay people and others whose behaviour transgresses the Islamists’ idea of social norms are, therefore, a logical consequence of this. It is neither “racist” nor “Islamophobic” to oppose it.

      Feb 27, 2011 at 6:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tori
      Tori

      @tallskin2: Why do you feel it’s your place to tell people who they can and can’t believe in?

      Feb 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tallskin2
      tallskin2

      @tori

      because idiotic beliefs in non existent sky beings lead to fuckwits flying airplanes into skyscrapers

      because followers of such idiotic beliefs get endorsement for their homophobic beliefs from them, or have homophobic bigotry inculcated into them because they believe

      I could go on for an hour listing reasons, but I cannot be bothered

      but, because there’s no fucking evidence for the existence of a sky being- and remember, just because one billion people believe something does not make it right or correct.

      Tori, you believe what you want but be prepared to take shit for it and defend those silly beliefs

      Feb 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 17 · tallskin2 wrote, “@tori because idiotic beliefs in non existent sky beings lead to fuckwits flying airplanes into skyscrapers”

      Not true, however. Read http://www.representativepress.org/Motivesfor911.html (for the motivations – not as a statement about whether these are reasonable): “A German friend of Mohammed Atta(the hijacker pilot who flew into WTC) is quoted as describing him as “most imbued actually about Israeli politics in the region and about US protection of these Israeli politics in the region.” I.e., he was motivated by politics, not religion.

      They flew airplanes into skyscrapers because they don’t like certain U.S. policies – any appeal to religion is simply an attempt to justify their actions. To put such appeals in perspective, what general/president/”president for life”/dictator/king/pime minister/satrap has ever said, “we are going into battle and God/the gods are not on our side”? Of course they don’t say that – it is bad marketing when you are trying to get people to get themselves killed for your personal advantage.

      Feb 27, 2011 at 11:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul A
      Paul A

      Queerty, you managed to convey Orientalist clichés in just one sentence… Please change that because that reeks.

      Mar 3, 2011 at 5:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Boner
      Boner

      May Allah bless him.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 7:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B'emet Or
      B'emet Or

      @Someone: Are you out of your mind??????? You think islam accepts homosexuality??????

      PLease I beg you to open your eyes and your minds to the FACT that the only reason that Islam accepts Homosexuality would be to have you slide your neck into the noose they’ll tie around it and hang you with!!!!!

      Islam accepts nothing but Islam.

      I pray for this crazy south african imam……he’s a marked man.

      I wish the gay community would wake up to the oppression of islam……don’t defend something that wants to kill you for no other reason than you are gay…….I mean Achmadinijad said there are NO gays in Iran, its because he murders them. wake up please……wake up

      Aug 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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