Are Some Islamic Leaders Becoming Less Homophobic?

Timothy Kincaid

December 3rd, 2007

suhail_abualsameed.gifWe seldom cover Islamic issues here at Box Turtle Bulletin, mostly because we have little familiarity with Islam and because it seldom is a significant social force in the United States. But the general impression is that those who are most devout in this faith, as well as those geographic regions most under its sway, are harshly homophobic and supportive of extreme punitive responses including execution.

However, a report out of South Africa (via ukgaynews) gives us some small hope for change.

The International Consultation on Islam and HIV/AIDS had spent several days denouncing the evils of homosexuality. An outsider might find this an unusual tactic for approaching “HIV prevention among hard-to-reach vulnerable groups like sex workers, street children, injecting drug users, and men who have sex with men.” But for religious Muslims in the third world, this seemed the only acceptable approach.

Then Suhail AbualSameed stood to speak.

“As a gay Muslim, I feel unsafe, unloved and unrespected in this space,” he said.

“Were I to become HIV-positive, the first thing I would lose is my Muslim community. I couldn’t come to you guys for support.”

After his speech, AbualSameed was surprised to hear apologies and words of support from many who sported the beards or the veils of the very religious. He was more surprised to hear an official response from organization.

Conference spokesperson and IRW head of policy Willem van Eekelen read their collective statement, saying that although Islam does not accept homosexuality, Islamic leaders would try to help create an environment in which gay people could approach social workers and find help against AIDS without feeling unsafe.

While I doubt that executions will diminish or that Islam will soon open its arms to its gay children, I am happy to report any steps of progress.

Suricou Raven

December 4th, 2007

Unlike Christians, Muslims in some countries actually follow their holy commands. If the Koran says to kill someone, they get killed. They lack the theological weaseling-out mechanisms that Christians are able to use to quietly dismiss verses they find awkward.

Samantha Davis

December 5th, 2007

Wow, this is great news. Personally, I think that homophobia in the Muslim world is much like homophobia in the Christian world: it’s more related to geography than it is to creed.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Emphasis Mine

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1980: Tickets, Tux, and a Court Order -- A Male Couple Attends Senior Prom

Born On This Day, 1926: Christine Jorgenson

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1965: Second White House Protest

Today In History, 1981: "Polyester" Premieres

Today In History, 1987: Barney Frank Comes Out

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.