Community and youth worker, Abu Aaminah argues that the notion of a “gay Muslim” does not exist.
As many of you will be aware in recent weeks there seems to be an ever growing interest, media attention and hysteria surrounding the notion of “gay Muslims” perpetuated by the new poster boy for “gay Muslims” and the Asian LGBT community – Asif Qureshi. Asif is enjoying appearances on various mainstream channels including BBC 3’s Free Speech debate where he posed the question “when will the Muslim community accept gay people”?
Let’s break this down a little because there seems to be many issues arising from the topic.
Firstly, does the concept of a “gay Muslim” exist in Islam? Quite simply put, no it doesn’t. The term “gay Muslim” is in fact a nonsensical term. Islamic theology does not differentiate between mankind based on sexual inclination. For example, we do not have concepts like “heterosexual Muslims”, “bi-sexual Muslims” and so forth. We have beliers and disbelievers who are judged on their actions.
Now, there is almost a consensus amongst the 1.6 billion Muslims (I say almost because I’m sure someone will point out an obscure group of militants who are telling the masses otherwise) that agree that acts of homosexuality are immoral, impermissible and a sin in Islam as they are in Judeo-Christian faiths too.
The issue is when Muslims start to believe and accepting sinful acts as social norms, an example being homosexuality which has become normalised in the West. The general public struggle to stomach such values, and the hate preaching, bigoted, xenophobic Islamophobes come out like vultures to attack witch hunt those who speak out against it.
Like most Muslims, I regard homosexual acts a major sin just like gambling, sex outside of wedlock, dealing in riba (interest), eating pork and back biting. Where is the poster boy for these major sins? Maybe there is a young Pakistani boy from Bradford who back bites and will get slots on primetime shows to come and ask why Muslims don’t accept him? We won’t because there isn’t a movement or an agenda behind it.
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One of the questions paraded to Muslims from the Islamophobic media is will we accept gay Muslims? The answer should be, why? Why do you want our acceptance? I don’t judge, Allah (swt) will be the judge. If people like Asif want to call himself a “Muslim” let him, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it, but like every other Muslim in the UK, and I’m entitled to my own opinion on this issue.
This whole debacle does raise a couple of issues. I’ve heard Asif say on many occasions along with other people of a homosexual inclination that it is not a choice but rather genetical. If that is the case then it begs the question – why are they then choosing to be a Muslim? Surely that is a choice isn’t it? Why are you choosing to follow a religion where the vast majority of people following it, as well as the Holy Scriptures and scholars categorically agree that homosexual acts are forbidden? It makes as much sense as the UKIP ethnic minority campaigners.
The second point to come out of this is the attempt to take hostage the Muslim community on yet another issue. Why should the belief that Muslims can be gay be enforced on our community? This is not meant as an infringement on the rights of the LGBT, of course like many other Muslims I advocate the rights of LGBT community as I do for other minorities in this country. What I do take exception to however, is the ideology that us as Muslim community should reform the religion to accept it.
It is vital that we as a community in the UK resist this, as I’m sure all rational thinking Muslims would. Why is Asif being singled out to launch a crusade on LGBT rights? As someone who has worked with young people for over eight years now, there are many young men out there from non Muslim, non Pakistani, middle of the road white British males who are also gay and would love to enjoy the family support that Asif enjoys from his mother and sisters. Why are there stories not being heard? Why only Asif Qureshi? In my opinion he is being duped into thinking that the mainstream media care about him, his sexuality and his “struggle” for acceptance when the truth of the matter is they don’t!
He will be ditched as soon as the next anti-Muslim Islamophobic agenda hits the media. Not to worry, maybe the LGBT equal right campaigners from the EDL will take up his cause.