Summer Ramadhans tends to take the spring from my step. Long days of fasting coupled with the heat does takes some getting used to so I find myself napping more often than usual. Today, I found myself in deep despair when my post-nap web browsing revealed yet another terrorist attack, this time on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The shooter has already been identified and with a ‘Muslim’ name and ‘radical leanings’ (yes, they discovered it very quickly, masha Allah), it will not be long before this attack is classified as an ISIS one.
That said, I found myself not being surprised at all that this attack was on a gay club. The targeting must have been deliberate. I am not surprised because I am well aware of the Islamofascist hatred of homosexuals. I am part of the Inclusive Mosque Initiative and we are friendly towards gender and sexual minorities (LGBTQIA folks) although this is not our main agenda. Even so, those who despise us still call us ‘the gay mosque’ as it scores points against us. This crass labelling merely capitalises on Muslim homophobia.
The Muslim world’s attitude towards gender and sexual minorities is nothing short of medieval. Yes, reportedly ISIS carries our brutal capital punishments against homosexuals. This is mandated to them by Islamofascist law and must be stopped. But we need to also ask, what about the quiet homophobia on the ground? Muslim communities are rife with it and you will find even ‘moderate’ scholars comparing homosexuals in the worst possible ways. These very same scholars elicit cognitive dissonance when they condemn terrorism yet refuse to renounce violent punishment against homosexuals. All this does is create hatred in the hearts of their followers which will then erupt in the way the Orlando shooting most probably happened.
The Muslim community, now in their Ramadhan lull, cannot afford this complacency. We need to weed out these so called scholars. Ask them if they still believe in capital punishments for homosexuals (and while we’re at it, for adulterers, apostates and blasphemers). If they do, then we must dissociate from them. They are part of the poisonous tradition of Islamofascism and are completely bereft of the mercy and understanding which should be the underpinning of every Muslim’s outlook.
The Muslim community is a minority in the West and so is the LGBTQIA community. Let us not make things more difficult by creating animosity between ourselves. I hope, in the days to come, the Muslim and LGBTQIA folks will make a stand of defiance against today’s act of violence and pledge to remove any phobia we have for each other.
Pic courtesy of Redeeming God (https://redeeminggod.com/im-becoming-a-gay-muslim/)