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The Muslim position of supporting human rights in the West, while casually condoning harsh Islamic punishments in Muslim countries, is hypocritical.
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.
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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.
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Ahmadi Muslims, Christians, and other religious minorities in Pakistan remain oppressed due to draconian blasphemy laws and institutionalized discrimination. Their oppression seems to have no end. Unfortunately, one cannot claim that these would be the last of such horrific incidents, which also affect many Muslims.
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Valentine's Day will soon be upon us. Many Muslims celebrate it in their own special way. Some celebrate it to honour the love for their beloveds, while others cherish it with their parents or children. Indeed, human beings were created with deep desire for belonging, companionship and above all love.
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We are told that the prohibition of homosexuality is black and white in Islam. Comparisons are often made between sins like eating pork, drinking wine, committing adultery and homosexuality. However, all such arguments do not reflect a reasonable understanding of Islamic law, which is meant for the welfare of human beings and not for sole subjugation.
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Given the press on Islam about draconian punishments, face coverings, supremacist ideologies, Caliphates, etc. it is ever so important for us to assert our voice on Islam. It is important for us to speak out for religion is too powerful to be left to the hands of those who seek to usurp it for their nefarious purposes.
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Some Muslim leaders have expressed "grave concerns" over the Study Qur'an, a recent translation and commentary of the Qur'an. Their main concern seems to be the promotion of perennialism, a philosophy of religion that views each of the world's religions as sharing a single universal truth.
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If it is not right to host Islamophobic or white supremacist speakers, then it is not right to host Muslim supremacist, homophobic and transphobic speakers. Indeed, all zulm (oppression) is connected. Muslims overwhelmingly condemn ISIS. However, according to Muslim human rights activist, Shafiqah Othman Hamza, it is not enough to quote Qur'anic verses on peace while ignoring the systemic persecution and discrimination of minorities.
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Recently, a bloodthirsty mob torched an Ahmadi owned factory in the Pakistani city of Jhelum. In contrast to Canada, where communities galvanize against hate, there were no rallies in defence of Ahmadi neighbours, and social media was ablaze with their "heresies" instead of condemnation of persecution.
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How can Muslim LGBT lead the dialogue if a majority amongst them segregate their lives from conservative spaces? The importance of dialogue within conservative Muslim communities cannot be over-emphasized. Such a dialogue will have to be part of a much-needed internal critique, for outside solutions may be rejected as anti-Muslim bigotry.
Queer activists are guided by a deep love for other communities, including those that shun them, to uphold justice. In contrast, fundamentalist theists seem motivated by a fear of losing their "threatened values" to deny the human expression of love to LGBT persons.
A friend told me recently that the horrific conduct of ISIS -- Islamic State in Iraq and Syria -- has left many people with the impression that all Muslims are like ISIS. However, a simple Google search reveals the Muslim response to ISIS.
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It may be a crime under shariah but it is the legend of Muhammad who befriended Christians, Jews and Pagans, gave women rights, never persecuted gays and lesbians and spoke out against the rich, established tribes of Mecca. Where would he be if he was alive today? According to shariah law, Muhammad would be in jail, labeled an infidel.
Prescribing gay Muslims to remain in the closet is a bullying tactic that has no basis in the Islamic tradition. Likewise, caricaturing the genuine human need for mawadda as a compulsive desire is a dehumanizing tactic that violates the core Islamic values of human dignity, egalitarianism, compassion and social justice.
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Recently, Muslims of many stripes expressed outrage at the misogynist jokes of Abu Eesa, a U.K. based instructor at the Al Maghrib Institute for Islamic Sciences. In fairness, Al Maghrib issued a sta...
By demanding a male student have no interaction with female students didn't the university administration disregard the right of female students to full and equal status at York University? Didn't the university administration fail in its duty to make efforts to protect the female students from gender discrimination?
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Early this month, anticipating stiff opposition, Syed Adnan Hussein showed much inner strength to openly initiate a religiously plural, gender equal and queer affirming Unity mosque in Halifax. Unfortunately, soon after the media announcement from CBC, online spiritual bullying by homophobic Muslims began. Their comments, which alluded to the "homosexual agenda" and "the wrath of Allah", showed lack of a reasonable understanding of a mature faith.
Some kids have been targeted by bullies because the hatred towards gays, lesbians, trans and "others" runs so deep in North American society that even appearing different may merit ostracization. Who are we to complain about bigotry against our children if we perpetuate it against others? And so we must ask them, our fellow (otherwise peaceful) Muslim parents, how does the intolerance you teach at home, affect all our youth and our Muslim communities?
On Saturday, October 26, more than 60 Saudi women got behind the wheel and drove in Saudi Arabia to challenge the ban on women driving in that country. Some of them posted their videos on YouTube. Several people were detained and fined. Last week I interviewed another brave woman who drove on October 26, human rights activist and photographer, Samia El-Moslimany.