Saturday January 20, 2018
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Was the Orlando Shooting a queerphobic attack? Here is what the Queer Muslims have to say

Many queer Muslims took to social media to remind others that they exist, too.

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Image Source: Buzzfeed (Dylan Martinez / Reuters)
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  • The debate on whether Muslim communities need to be more welcoming of gay people left the queer Muslims at the epicenter of the conversation
  • Many queer Muslims took to social media to remind others that they exist, too
  • Being Muslim and queer are not mutually exclusive

While the world is mourning over the deadly mass shooting in Orlando that left 49 killed and 53 injured, it is true that this incident has become more of a blessing for the queer groups who are often abandoned by the society and their religion. Post this incident, the Islamic Organisations who keep mum about the LGBT issues, has shown some sense of responsibility towards this community.

The American Muslims have condemned the shooting and the shooter. American Muslim groups issued statements expressing their solidarity with the LGBT community and emphasizing tolerance as they brace themselves for the sadly familiar backlash that they have come to expect in the aftermath of such events, said a Buzzfeed report.

The debate on whether Muslim communities need to be more welcoming of gay people left the queer Muslims at the epicenter of the conversation.

“I hope we empower and uplift our LGBT Muslim brothers and sisters, who often suffer in silence and have been ostracized and demonized by multiple communities in America for their sexuality, religion and ethnicity, “says popular U.S. playwright and journalist Wajahat Ali on his Facebook page on Sunday, June 12.

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“We will not be erased in this tragedy. We will not be pitted against ourselves and others — we are both and all things. It’s not ‘queers versus Muslims’ and it has not been historically,” said Jordan Alam (24), a queer Bengali American writer and activist living and working in Seattle.

Izzaddine Mustafa(24), a trans man living in Brooklyn, New York while speaking to Buzzfeed said,“being a Muslim and queer are not mutually exclusive. We are here, we exist — and we are here to help bridge the divide that the politicians and corporate media makers are creating among our communities.”

“Millions of my Muslim sisters and brothers are queer and millions more of us believe in equality. This scumbag and his bullets don’t speak for us, “lashes out Saladin Ahmed on twitter.

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Street Protest. Image Source: The Atlantic

Zaynab Shahar, a queer, black doctoral candidate at the Chicago Theological Seminary is also a co-founder of the Third Coast Queer Muslims of Chicago and runs a Tumblr for queer Muslims. She speaks to BuzzFeed ,“Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti says in his last sermon ‘love all and hate none’ is ‘but never refuse to bless and help the needy and the poor, the widow and the orphan, if they come to your door. This is your Mission of Peace, to serve the people.’ […] I take this very seriously as a Sufi Muslim. If I can live a life of service to ending oppression, if I can live a life dedicated to writing and embodying activist theologies, making space for queer Muslims and queer people of faith at large to connect with the divine and each other, then I will have lived a good life.

I want people to know that our community, like any other, is a symphony of stories, whose complexity and diversity are like the notes on a page. No one note is more important than the other, they are all essential. But it only begins to unfold if you take the time to truly listen,” said a Buzzfeed report.

While it is easy to blame and bring one community against another, it takes true strength to stand up and fight for other’s rights and defend one’s faith from false accusations. It is required of us to have a broader mind to see things as they are,resist the forces of division and hatred, and to stand against homophobia and Islamophobia.

-prepared by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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  • devika todi

    It is required of us to have a broader mind to see things as they are,resist the forces of division and hatred, and to stand against homophobia and Islamophobia.

    I could not agree more. Isn’t it high time we lived peacefully and harmoniously, with equal rights?

  • Karishma Vanjani

    Terrorists cant be singled out from the haystack of Muslim Community. Terrorists have no religion to belong to a community.

  • devika todi

    It is required of us to have a broader mind to see things as they are,resist the forces of division and hatred, and to stand against homophobia and Islamophobia.

    I could not agree more. Isn’t it high time we lived peacefully and harmoniously, with equal rights?

  • Karishma Vanjani

    Terrorists cant be singled out from the haystack of Muslim Community. Terrorists have no religion to belong to a community.

Next Story

Will prohibiting Burqa result in freedom from under house arrest or religious bias?

According to Islam, it is not necessary to cover the face.

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Due to Burqa women can go and vote multiple times. This increases corruption in the election. Wikimedia Commons
Due to Burqa women can go and vote multiple times. This increases corruption in the election. Wikimedia Commons

In recent years there have been several incidents involving the Burqa. In 2009, a state college in Karnataka told a student she was not allowed to attend classes wearing a Burqa. It was later reported that the young girl reached a “compromise arrangement” with the college but did not continue in the same college. Days later, violent protests sparked in Hyderabad after a college principal allegedly told students not to wear a Burqa.

But opposite episodes have also occurred. In July 2010, a teacher at Kolkata’s Aliah University, which has a focus on Islamic studies, was not allowed to teach without a Burqa. The report followed an official notice released in April 2010, in which the university dismissed suggestions it enforced a dress code, mentioning specifically the use of the Burqa within its campus.

There is steep rise in the cases related to crime against burqa clad women. Wikimedia Commons
There is a steep rise in the cases related to crime against Burqa-clad women. Wikimedia Commons

At some point imposing a ban on Burqa will be beneficial…
Point 1:
According to Islam, it is not necessary to cover the face. Hands and face can be uncovered. So banning won’t conflict freedom of practicing religion. And it will not be against any religion.
Point 2:
There are security issues. Imagine man/women under burqa leaves a bag in a public place which later blasts. Now, what do police have? CCTV cameras, forget face they cannot determine if is it male or female due to Burqa. It is the biggest security Loophole.
Point 3:
Many Muslim women do not have a bank account because they are not allowed to cover their face in bank premises. If you didn’t know then yes you cannot cover your face with bank premises and ATM.
Point 4:
It’s easy to have multiple voters ID. Due to Burqa women can go and vote multiple times. This increases corruption in the election.
Point 5:
Crimes under Burqa are on the rise. Murder, kidnapping, robbery are been carried out using Burqa. It’s the biggest advantage for criminals.

What Noorjehan Safia says…
Noorjehan Safia Niaz, a founding member of Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, a movement which works to improve the status of Muslim women in India, said security concerns have not been a major issue when it comes to dressing. “Muslim women in India comply with all the laws. They are active participants when it comes to elections and has their photos on their passports. So identification and security have never been an issue as such,” she said.
Discrimination, however, has sometimes caused problems, said Ms. Niaz. “There are cases when women are not considered for a particular job because they wear a Burqa. In such cases, women have negotiated. They do not wear Burqa while at work but before and after it they put it on.” Overall, Ms. Niaz said that women themselves – not the law – should decide what to wear. “Let each woman decide what she wants to wear. Neither can you enforce a ban on Burqa nor can you force women to wear it.”