Small Gains For Norway’s Gay Muslims

Gay Norwegian Muslims just got a little more religious space in which to roam. And we do mean a little.

The Islamic Council of Norway this week came out and said that gay Muslims should not live in the closet. Rather than hiding in the dark, Council leader Senaid Kobilica declared that gays should feel free to speak with their Imams.

And Imams, in turn, should be receptive to dialogue: “Most of all they need somebody to speak with. Imams must therefore be open to listen to homosexual Muslims. We recommend that everybody respect homosexuals and lesbians.”

While that’s definitely a step in the right direction, Kobilica still maintains a divide between Islam and homosexuality. They are not “compatible:”

It isn’t possible to live homosexually and at the same time say that one practices Islam. These are two incompatible things… Homosexuality goes against what Islam stands for, and therefore it can’t be combined.

Though Imams are meant to talk with their gay brethren, they’re also told to reiterate Islam’s teachings, because, as Kobilica says, the men and women must remember “that every Muslim should live in conformity to basic Islamic principles.”

But isn’t Kobilica already breaking that rule by opening the doors? More strident followers simply kill the gays. So, really, this isn’t conformity at all. And hopefully this small move can help crack away at more overarching discrimination.