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Mainstream Muslim institution stakeholders often ignore the contributions of progressive Muslims. However, despite their small numbers, progressive Muslims have been relentlessly working on issues that include Syria, Palestine, racism, human rights abuses and Islamophobia.
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Not all traditionally conservative people are judgmental, sexist or homophobic. They may reject a worldview without God and traditional rules of ethical conduct while being compassionate neighbours and friends.
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In 2005, Muslim scholar Dr. Amina Wadud led Friday prayers despite bomb threats. Curiously, 12 years later, a Muslim consultant, Yasmin Mogahed, invoked consensus that men should lead prayers and that women should stop mimicking men.
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The objective of this blog is to resist juristic opinions that forbid Muslim women from marrying outside the faith. Many Muslim scholars and Imams affirm interfaith marriages of Muslim women to non-Muslim men. Ten such voices follow.
My articles are based on a hermeneutic that is religiously plural, atheist inclusive and LGBTQ affirming. Yet, time and again, I have received strong responses from those critical of faith and Islam. Ignoring socio-economic and political factors, the critics simplistically blame all the ills in the Muslim world on Islam.
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Leaders outside progressive Muslim circles have moved beyond the celibacy prescription to address the concerns of their fellow co-religionists. Time may allow them to fully affirm gay Muslims in their own unique ways.
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After Orlando, conservative Muslim leaders have become more conscious of the need to defend themselves against charges of homophobia. However, they blame LGBT Muslims for bringing oppression upon themselves and oblige them to uncritically follow their beliefs on homosexuality.
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Blaming Islam for terrorism is silly as the texts are silent and it is Muslims who speak. This however still does not absolve Muslims of responsibility for internal change to stop those on the cusp of joining terrorists. This means challenging popular speakers who support medieval sharia laws, Caliphates and draconian punishments under Islamic law.
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The aftermath of the dastardly Orlando gay bar shooting brought many LGBT Muslim voices to the forefront in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax, and in various places across the United States. Equally significant were the voices of straight Muslim allies.
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In the aftermath of the Orlando gay bar shootings, mainstream Muslim organizations suddenly began to express solidarity with the LGBTQ community. Likewise, many LGBTQ Muslims across North America visibly asserted their voices.
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Many Pakistani Muslims are taught that Ahmadis are kafirs (disbelievers) for they do not believe in the finality of Prophethood. Ahmadis argue that their promised Messiah and Reformer confirmed the seal of Muhammad (upon whom be peace). It is this doctrinal difference that has stoked immense persecution of the Ahmadis of Pakistan.
LGBT Muslim youth deserve the unconditional love of their families and their larger, faith-based families. They should not have to deal with homelessness or estrangement from their families irrespective of any theological differences on same-sex marriages.
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Lives are at stake. This much is clear from the murders in Bangladesh. One death is far too many. The big organizations of Muslims can really send out a strong and powerful message that despite theological differences, there is no room in Islam to so poorly treat our LGBT Muslim brothers and sisters.
For many Muslims, God is not a stingy merchant engaged in debit-credit accounting or a partisan bully that enforces hollow rituals by threats of eternal damnation. For them ritual prayer is not about seeking material gains from a stern taskmaster but having an undying trust in the power of hope, mercy and compassion.