(here to click to find episode 1) … Islam means « being in Peace ». It is the second religion in France, and according to some thinkers and philosophers from everywhere around the globe, Islam is witnessing an obvious reformation. Will Islam be able to provide us with a fully appeased, laic, progressive and universallyecumenist spiritual countenance in the future?
That would be an Islam of France able to protect and to defend the right of sexual minorities,
especially within the Muslim community, which has been too often wrongly dubbed as intrinsically
homophobic. Although homosexuality (al&mathliya al&djansiya) does not seem to
be clearly condemned neither in the Quran nor in the hadith. Additionally, it is here itself the center of “Muslim homosexuals’” preoccupation: not being stigmatized anymore by thinkers or religious leaders, who are very often self&proclaimed, using a so called science which they manipulate according to their own will, in order to dehumanize and infra-humanize us; to make us less than human beings, somehow to justify, according to them, the fact that we are not sufficiently worthy (of being human?) in order to express any form of spirituality, or to embrace freely any faith nor re
ligious practices. The second main preoccupation of our sisters and brothers of Muslim faith,
de facto homosexuals, seems to be related to a certain islamophobia which they think (are they right or wrong?) is directed towards us.
In other word, wherever these remarks come from, we consider them to be extreme and we
want henceforth to openly condemn these discriminations which are in our eyes intolerable; these
xenophobic remarks, as much used by religious clerics who described themselves as radicals – some of them are even openly dogmatic &, are the main reasons which have encouraged us to create this citizen network: HM2F.
Muslim and Homosexual, or how to be between the hammer and the anvil?
“Lesbian, gay and transgender Muslims affirm that we can be agents in this slow but necessary evolution, as well as women, youth and other groups without power position. But it is only God who gives us a central place in the diversity of humanity & to the forefront, both a place of danger and insight” Islam means “being in peace”. It is a fact that Muslims do not ossess a central religious authority. It is for this reason that when we talk about Islam; it is important to distinguish among three interdependent intellectual entities. First of all, we can consider Islam as a religion which exists for more than 1430 years, with a dogma more or less accepted unanimously by different Muslims’ sects. When we refer to Islam, we do it also as an Islamic Arabian civilization, some times “tolerant” upon sexual minorities, sometimes puritanical, depending upon the geographical and times context; sometimes both at the same time . An Islamic Arabian civilization which sprouted from the Arabian Desert, at a time when human beings could not really make any particular distinction between Islamic laws, inspired from a universal humanitas, and Arabic popular traditions. The final definition of Islam refers (roughly, at l east here in France) to this Islamic credo imposed by the orthodox Sunnis scholars of the tenth century and who legislates upon most of the sphere of life of a believer, including homosexuality. An Islamic legislation which has never been enforced that way before. Finally, we see emerging today an Islam qualified as “reformed”, at a time which is considered to be “liberal”; yet, no one has ever been so much categorized by gender or sexuality.
Let us ponder once again for a moment upon the orthodox Islamic credo, is it conservative?
At first sight, it is undoubtedly the case. This is so because those faithful intellectuals who had
worked out this credo did it with the intentions, clearly shown, to preserve the Islamic traditions
inherited from the first Muslims’ generation (the Arabic term used is al&salaf al&salah); these great Sunnis and Shiites imams wanted to endorse such a tradition within the credo which was taking birth, as a fact within two century after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. There is a great probability that homosexuality as it is, two centuries before the conservatives scholars of the tenth century, has never been condemned explicitly, not even by the Prophet himself or by his companions . Eventually, more and more Muslims’ thinkers display their homosexuality (for example Imam Mushinh Hendricks in Cap town – South Africa).Others publicly defend the rights of sexual minorities or of women, to name only a few, as they know with exactitude how much fascism and extremism of all horizons are fond on this type of scapegoat. These intellectuals defend the right of individuals and who are themselves Muslims and who belong to some vulnerable minorities less and less visible within the Muslim Arab world (in Uganda, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia ); a dogmatism which rely more often upon a represented identity which is hegemonic, very often negatively defined on the basis of what one should or should not do, in order to be a good Muslim. Some dogmatic Muslims, who have inherited a certain Islamic heritage which has been politicized, to show their strength, declare that they are trying to track the slightest perversion.“ Perverts ”, or “ mentally unstable ”; this is actually how Mr. Tarik Ramadan considers the homosexuals in his article of 26th of May 2009 called “Islam and homosexuality ”. The author says that “The Islamic position on homosexuality has become one of the most sensitive issues facing Muslims living in the West, particularly in Europe.It is being held up as the key to any eventual “integration” of Muslims into Western culture, as if European culture and values could be reduced to the simple fact of accepting homosexuality. The contours of this de facto European culture is in a state of constant flux, shifting according to the topic of the day. Just as some insist, as do the Pope and certain intellectualsYoften dogmatic and exclusivist defenders of the EnlightenmentY that Europe’s roots are Greek and Christian (thus excluding Muslims), so several homosexual spokesman and the politicians who support them are now declaring (with an identical rejection of Muslims) that the “integration of Muslims” depends on their acceptance of homosexuality”.Some Muslims who call themselves as radicals do not seem to be afraid of offending their fellow citizens who they consider with less esteem. Nor do they fear to mix up ifferent subjects of debate, for example by confusing between the protections of inalienable human rights and those dealing with the politics of the politicians, which do not concern us more than a fellow European citizen. This is a very good example on matters of rhetoric build up in pieces around a scapegoat (sexual minorities). Besides, this is essentially the principle critics made to this article of Tarik Ramadan for his lack of raw objectivity, on both axiological and historical basis. Because in fact, what has been the status of homosexuality up to now within the Arabo&Islamic civilization known for centuries for its hospitality and its relative tollerance … (next week part 3)