He’s black. And he’s Muslim…. and gay!

He’s black. And he’s Muslim. Think that’s not hard enough? He’s gay. Think that’s still not hard enough? He’s an Imam. And he loves life.
Think you have challenges in your life? What do you think the challenges are for a gay, black, Muslim who is the United States’ first openly gay Imam?

Well, Imam Daayiee Abdullah is all those things. Plus you can add one more thing to his description: He’s truly one of the most optimistic people you will meet—and for good reason.

“When I graduated from high school, I hoped that one day gay Americans would be able to get married. And now here I am 45 years later officiating same-sex marriages—how can I not be optimistic that the future is bright?” explained the 61-year-old Abdullah, who lives in Washington, D.C.

Abdullah has been fighting for civil rights all his life. First, for African Americans. Then for gay rights beginning in the 1970s. And since the 1990s, he has been on the front lines advocating for LGBT Muslims in America.

Yes, I know for some the idea that there is a gay Imam is astounding. I’m sure many are asking: Aren’t Muslims supposed to kill gays?

We do see gays killed by ISIS, and there are five Muslim majority countries (out of more than 50) that have a statutory death penalty for homosexuals: Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen.

But what I would imagine only a few non-Muslims know—and ISIS and others like them could care less— is that there is absolutely no mention in the Koran about punishing gays, let alone killing them.

As Imam Abdullah explained on my weekly SiriusXM radio show on Saturday, “Nowhere in the Quran does it say punish homosexuals. And historians have also never found any case of the Prophet Muhammad dealing with homosexuality.”

To his point, there are at least eight Muslim countries that do not criminalize a gay lifestyle on a national level including Indonesia (the world’s most populous Muslim country,) Jordan, Turkey, Bahrain, and Albania. Keep in mind Jordan is governed by King Abdullah, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, so if the tenets of Islam truly called for gays to be punished, that law would surely be in place there. (Most Muslim majority countries still have criminal penalties on the books that call for imprisoning gays, but the degree to which these laws are currently enforced varies greatly.)

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Gay men called criminals in Dutch booklet on Islam: Sexuality and Intimacy

seksualiteit en intimiteitQuote from the author Muhammad Mustafa al-Jibaly: “From the above verses, we see that sodomy is a sin that deserves a very severe punishment. Some current cultures sympathize with them and give a misleading name, such as ‘sexual preference’ or ‘alternative lifestyle’. They also sympathize with the criminals who commit them and give them social rights that are at the level that they offend heterosexuals. This shows how far modern civilization has sunk. Sodomy is a great sin that deserves the curse of Allah.”

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Attitudes towards same-sex relationships improves in Turkey according to new poll

Only around 60% of Turks now say gay and lesbian relationships are unacceptable according to new research by the Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center of Kadir Has University

Acceptance of same-sex relationships in Turkey are at a record high in the majority Muslim nation, according to new research.

The Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center at Kadir Has University in Istanbul surveyed a thousand people across 26 cities on a range of issues and found that attitudes towards women’s rights and LGBTI rights are steadily improving.

Only around 6-out-of-10 of those surveyed said that same-sex relationships were unacceptable.

18.8% of those surveyed said that homosexual relationships were not a violation of societies morals while another 18.5% had no opinion about whether same-sex relationships were immoral or not.

This is a stark jump in acceptance compared to a Pew survey conducted in 2013 which found 78% disapproval of homosexual relationships – though the question may have been put differently in the Pew survey.

One of the reasons for the shift in attitudes towards LGBTI Turks could have been the visible role that LGBTI activists played in the Taksim Square protests that erupted against plans by the government to demolish the public Gezi Park and replace it with a shopping center.

The protest movement spread nation wide after protesters were violently cleared from the square – with strikes called by unions and the rainbow LGBTI pride flag was visibly on show at many protest actions across Turkey.

On 30 June tens of thousands of Gezi Park protesters marched in solidarity alongside the 4th Istanbul Pride Parade.

On 3 July of 2013 it was finally announced that the destruction of Gezi Park had been cancelled by a court ruling weeks prior.

Homosexuality has been legal in Turkey since 1858 under Ottoman rule and continued with the founding of the modern Turkish state in 1923 – though same-sex relationships are not legally recognised and there are no laws protecting LGBTI people from discrimination.

Source: gaystarnews.com

Online Magazine for Turkish Gay Men and their Admirers