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Concerns have been recently raised about the Muslim Toronto police chaplain on his personal views about women and marriage. Officer Musleh Khan's viewpoints come across as strongly patriarchal and infantalizing of women.
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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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.
Last month, Muslims across the world celebrated the feast of sacrifice, Eid al Adha, which takes place after the annual pilgrimage, Hajj. Many devout Muslims offer the ritual of animal sacrifice after...
The overriding objectives of Islamic law include justice, human dignity, equality, removal of hardship, prevention of harm, and realizing benefits for people. It would be against the spirit of Islam to advocate that Islamic law invalidates the prayers of queer Muslims or to condemn queer Muslims to a life without intimacy, love and companionship. How long will conservative Muslim leaders inflict scriptural abuse and channel their prejudice by selectively parsing the religious tradition?
Permanent celibacy is a value foreign to Islam, which recognizes the legitimate sexual need of human beings. Some traditional scholars admit that most human beings are not super-moral figures. As such, permanent celibacy imposes great hardship on human beings including queer Muslims.
Some conservative Muslim leaders, like their Christian counterparts, are disseminating a letter expressing the right of parents to withdraw their children from course content that conflicts with their understanding of faith. The letter expresses concerns about introducing children to sex-education and the realities of queer families.
To my fellow Muslims -- the 99 per cent who are peaceful -- here is my message. Online articles, information and resources, including amateur video productions, are everywhere.
"Policing" opinions on religious matters is unrealistic in most instances. But some of you say "Innocence of Muslims" is a special case and should be banned. Personally, I disagree. The video should not be banned, nor should any video that one finds disturbing because of its anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian or anti-religious content. Why? For a number of reasons.
A single murder or suicide of a queer youth is way too many. Fortunately, across the globe, both progressive and conservative Muslims, while differing on same-sex unions, have come out to strongly condemn homophobia in all its ugly forms.
Muslim law has always contained majority and minority opinions especially on controversial issues. As such, in contrast to conservative Muslims, progressive Muslims fully support same-sex unions. For them, the Islamic emphasis on justice and compassion outmatches classical rules any day.
Muslims for Progressive Values, like affirming Christian and Jewish denominations, have broken the consensus espoused by conservative Muslims that Abrahamic faiths prohibit same-sex unions. Online Islamic forums and are increasingly framing the issue as one of desire, if not sexual orientation.
The most retrogressive segments of Muslim society often angrily conclude that reformist Muslims only speak from a position of ignorance when questioning orthodox religious practice. Progressive Muslims are ignorant, self-serving, heretical, and hypocritical according to these conservatives, who consistently accuse revisionists of being fifth columnists with nefarious ulterior motives.