Queer Muslim. These two words appear to be incongruent terms in many contexts; however, there has been a real commitment recently to creating a discourse that allows for queer Muslim voices to be respected and validated. It is tiring to be caught in conversations when the various parties cannot accept each other simply for their differences and instead resort to admonitions of an individual’s or a group’s connection to the Most High, based on their sexual identity. It can be emotionally and spiritually draining for a queer or LGBT person to try to act as a bridge within the broader Muslim community without the support of straight Muslim allies to communicate their feelings of isolation and expulsion from mosques, prayer places and other Muslims spaces. Similarly to a person of colour having to explain to a person holding white privilege about racism, to be queer is sometimes to be stuck in a conversation that continually happens to hit a wall.
Connecting to other queer/gay/lesbian/trans*identified people who also are Muslim and are trying to remain a tie to a spiritual tradition can be essential for a person’s emotional, physical and spiritual survival. In fact, it can provide a source of reassurance and self-acceptance that they can indeed be a practicing Muslim who is loved by their Creator. In the testimonials from a LGBT Muslim Retreat that takes place in Philadelphia, Mahmoud Anwar said of his experience:
“Since the retreat in 2011 was so phenomenally beneficial to me in so many ways… I brought along my partner of 11 years… (to the 2012 retreat)… and he was also completely blown away by the dedication, love and mind-boggling energy of the organizers & attendees alike Alhamdulillah.
This retreat was heaven sent to most of us and is proven beyond any doubt, extremely needed thus growing exponentially.
May God bless all & everyone involved in this noble endeavor.” [Read more...]