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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)
  • 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.

SHARE
  • 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

Filmmakers Crack A Code To Successful Business, Shooting With Budget Control

While Indian filmmakers continue to look at foreign locations depending on their need, several states within the country have developed shooting-friendly policies.

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"The story needs to be in place and the locations can be cheated on and passed off as real ones sometimes. Also, being outdoors ensures the film shooting goes uninterrupted, and can be wrapped up in time." Pixabay

By Radhika Bhirani

It was the search for exact replicas of the gear and guns of Special Forces Officers which pushed the makers of “Uri – The Surgical Strike” to explore Serbia as a destination that would lend the film an authenticity that would go beyond its Kashmir-like topography.

“I couldn’t have got a better Kashmir outside Kashmir than Serbia,” director Aditya Dhar had once said of the southeast Europe country, now a hub for Indian film shootings owing to easy commute — no visa regime for India for 30 days — and an attractive 25 per cent cash rebate.

But Dhar’s reason to take the crew to Serbia was more than one.

He told IANS; “The kind of gear we were looking at for the film; the clothes, the guns, the night vision goggles, the helmets… Our requirement was very specific as we wanted to be as close to what real Special Forces Officers use. That kind of gear is not available in India. You get those kind of things in Europe or the US.

“Importing that to India may take you close to a year or two. And because the film was very time-specific, I couldn’t have taken that risk. That was one of the prime reasons why we went to Serbia.

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Filmmakers have to be smart about how they pull off films within a budget and with right locations because the stars charge a lot. So, they have to rationalise the shooting budget Pixabay

“The other was that the topography of Serbia is very close to Kashmir. That actually lent itself perfectly to the film. Another reason was that it was not a very expensive territory to shoot in, and was easy to commute to.”

“Uri…” was shot in 49 days and within a budget of Rs 25 crore. And Dhar was happy to have replicas of M4 carbine, M16 rifle and AK47.

“Somewhere, I feel if the law of importing the replicas into India can be eased out so that we can use them for film shooting purposes and we don’t have to go abroad so much. Instead we can create the exact same thing in India,” said the director, whose film has crossed the Rs 200 crore mark at the box office.

This is just one of the many examples of how, with tight schedules and smart choice of locations, our filmmakers are gradually moving towards an ecosystem where they are able to control the shooting budget to create content-driven movies that reap box office returns and audience appreciation.

“AndhaDhun”, shot in Pune, was a runaway success. “Stree”, shot in Madhya Pradesh, ran successfully and crossed Rs 100 crore. “Badla”, a story that largely oscillated between two rooms, was shot in Glasgow, Scotland, and has made close to Rs 90 crore. “Luka Chuppi”, shot in Gwalior, has surpassed that mark, as per industry sources.

Sometimes special shooting requirements, like in the case of “Uri…”, take filmmakers abroad — as it happened in the case of “Race 3”, when Hollywood stunt director Tom Struthers got UAE military support with a Blackhawk helicopter, Oshkosh trucks, NIMR military vehicles, and Humvees for action scenes. But that didn’t guarantee word-of-mouth success.

Trade analyst Komal Nahta told IANS: “Filmmakers have to be smart about how they pull off films within a budget and with right locations because the stars charge a lot. So, they have to rationalise the shooting budget. Plus, the audience is so discerning about the content that filmmakers can no longer sell stories on location alone.

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Filmmakers need to have better production planning and better integration with government authorities for a smooth process. Pixabay

“The story needs to be in place and the locations can be cheated on and passed off as real ones sometimes. Also, being outdoors ensures the film shooting goes uninterrupted, and can be wrapped up in time.”

Amod Mehra, another trade expert, said managing time and budget well can also be credited to how the industry has become very “professional and well organised” over the years. “Artistes do enough workshops before beginning the shoot so that no time is lost on sets. Plus, we are no longer shooting on reels,” Mehra told IANS.

While Indian filmmakers continue to look at foreign locations depending on their need, several states within the country have developed shooting-friendly policies. That is besides the single window clearance system put in place by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Also Read: Helicopter Attack on Six Rohingyas in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

Vikramjit Roy, a seasoned film fraternity member who now heads the Film Facilitation Office (FFO), told IANS: “The process of seeking permissions is not complicated anymore. In fact, the guidelines are very specific and there is no anomaly. Filmmakers need to have better production planning and better integration with government authorities for a smooth process.

“The government mechanism is in place, and the FFO now gives the comfort of single window clearance, so filmmakers can totally leverage that.” (IANS)