Two Stories, One Faith

A great post by blog author JC, about attending a lecture by Faisal Alam called, “Hidden Voices: The Lives of LGBT Muslims”. The quote above hit home- and you know what Muslims don’t even think about LGBTQ Muslims being in the world.

People don’t often think about the fact that there are LGBTQ Muslims, and that their voices even more marginalized by the stereotyping/discrimination towards Muslims based on faith on top of the discrimination towards LGBTQ equality. This post reminded me of a conference workshop I went to this summer on LGBTQ people and faith, with three panelists. While the Christian and Jewish panelists (who were religious leaders) talked about intentionally creating a welcoming environment in their congregations for LGBTQ people, the Muslim panelist had really nothing really to say, because he was partially of the opinion that LGBTQ Muslims don’t exist. He actually said and if they do exists, we operate on a don’t ask, don’t tell policy. Well that’s not true. I was frustrated that the conference organizers firstly had asked religious leaders from Christianity and Judaism to speak on LGBTQ people in their faith communities, but had asked a local Muslim businessman with no theological or religious experience working with Muslim congregations. In my opinion if you’re going to base ignorant comments on Islamic theology, then you should at least in symbolism be trained in Islamic theology. Secondly, this particular panelist only left the audience with the idea that he was completely out of touch with the growing resources available to LGBTQ Muslims in the U.S. and in the world, and they do exist i.e. LGBT Muslim Retreats! (more on that in a future post)

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