Fundamentalism ain’t new in the Middle East. Or, anywhere for that matter. Zealots reign on all sides of religious chasms, splintering off into their own wings and sub-wings. And, as fundamentalists, these fools think homosexuality’s fundamentally wrong. It comes as no surprise, then, that the Islamic Council in Israel has raised its voice against an upcoming conference organized by a Palestinian lesbian group, Aswat.
To be held March 28th, “Home and Exile” will celebrate the Haifa-based group’s fifth anniversary with a lecture on the lesbian Palestinian experience and performance by lady rappers, “Arapiat”. The Islamic Council and other like minded conservatives have come out against the event. A Council press release implored its growing ranks, all respectable people from all communities and streams to stand up against preaching sexual deviance among our women and girls.” And, employing a tried and true metaphor, “We must not let this fatal cancer spread in our community.”
But not all Islamic organizations hold such a monotonous, monstrous view. Take, for example, the lefties over at liberal newspaper, Ittihad (Unity). Journo Raja Zaatry sees the inherent danger in rigid, rightie ideology:
Today, they are attacking gays and women – tomorrow, who else? We shouldn’t compromise. We have to challenge this fundamentalist stream in our society.
While Zaatry uses his ink to fight oppression, the women have another approach: ignoring the Council. A spokeswoman rose above, saying, “We are focusing all our energies on the conference right now.” That’s right girls. You don’t need to get wrapped up in that drama. Just keep it to the essentials.