Tracing the history of homosexuality in the Arabo-Islamic world (Book 2 -3/XI) curated by Dr Imam Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed

(published inside ” Progressive,reformist Muslims” N.4  on 214.000 entries as you  can verify here at 2/7/16 a4 7.00 CET)


(… clicking here the episode 2)

The Arab Spring and the fight for LGBT rights!
The Arab Spring was a watershed in the fight against the barrier of silence and repression,which was supported by the Arab peoples, since it i
s now enjoying a much greater freedom of expression about our claims in all areas that relate to our society. These revolutions have worn
slogans of freedom and rejection of repression, oppression and marginalization, and they have fulfilled their goals by breaking this cycle of tyr
anny that lasted for years … And as long as homosexuals will be an integral part of this society, things will change and we will continue to strive
for recognition, justice and peace. This movement appears so clear to claim the rights of homosexuals, including on Arab general websites and
on social networks in particular…
After this came the Tunisian magazine GAYDAY, who was the first Tunisian emagazine gay oriented. It was a great success and many Arab medi
a have referred to it as an excellent initiative.
Other magazines have been out, like our magazine “Aswat”: an electronic magazine produced by young Moroccans. This magazine has a great success,and its first issue in April 2012 has been downloaded more than 22,000 times. This magazine has a wide audience and has followers all overthe Arab world… In addition, such groups and organizations actively defend those rights, after the Arab spring, to get rights for all groups, without distinction.
To date, Arab societies still consider homosexuality superficially, in terms of sexual practices only; a perspective that does not benefit from the
full breadth of culture or sex education. Everything they represent is the relationship between a man and a woman, and everything that comes out of this configuration is similar, according to them, to a practice against nature… All of this drives us back to our fight against homophobia.
First, we focus on clarifying the definition and representation of these homosexual tendencies, despite these prejudices implanted by a
n Arab conservative culture. When people will understand the exact meaning of sexual orientation,only then we will be able to convince people of
the legitimacy of our claims, which have nothing to do with the sexual histories about the people of Lot.

(Activist and thinker of the contemporary Islamic Feminism, was chosen by her country as one of the 100
most influential people in Latin America -2010)
Construction of lesbian identity, especially in the case of Muslim women, is a long and painful process. Sometimes it never happens. For a
woman to consider herself lesbian the first step to follow is that of awareness of the category “lesbian” to be able to identify to. There is a whole inner struggle between tradition and the deeper feelings  that erupt in a patriarchal society built from heterosexual experience.
The majority of lesbians Muslim women question their identity during their lives. First question is: “Who am I?” Which is in general respon
ds according to the gaze of others and which is closely linked to the second question: “How to present myself to others?” It’s a constant struggle
between identifications felt by the woman and own identifications imposed by the community.
The majority of women interviewed during my research feel identified as lesbians. That isto say they feel emotionally and sexually attracted
to other women and most have taken the steptowards the interpretation of this attraction as that of lesbian identity. Most, however, keeps this
secret to the outside world.
Some believe that homosexuality is not dependent on them and that their sexual identity is linked to the essence of their own existence. For this, lesboerotic attractions are seen as inevitable. However, others maintain that their feelings and desires are the work of theShaytaan and struggle
not to fall into the temptation to commit an illegal and perverse act.
All recounted painful stories about the denial of their homosexual orientation and the difficulties to identify their own feelings due to the suffering that implies the choice to live as a lesbian. In general, Muslim women assume they have not chosen their sexual orientation, but if the opportunity to live or not in this orientation. Take lesbian identity is in most cases a long process that does not always coincide with the beginning of physical contacts or the attraction ofthe same sex. For that to happen this self identification as lesbian or bisexual must be taken into account various factors: access to information  on LGBT, preconceptions about homosexuality, ability to build an identity consistent with the experience, etc.
There is a widespread feeling of guilt, fear or anxiety when they begin to assume their sexual orientation. There is especially a strong psychological impact on time to act out their sexual identity because they are afraid of failing to honor their family and do something contrary to Islam.
Imaginary country (Azaan- the call – and Nia- the intention) on the other side of the world, where our
special contributor is a human rights activist.
In “The Book of Sufi Healing” by Sheikh Hakim Moinuddin Chisti, the author starts off the last chapter titled: ‘
The Infallible Remedy’ with a quote by Sheikh Bayazid Bistami (RA):
“Once I saw the Most High God in a dream.
He asked me, “Bayazid, what do you want?”
I replied, “I want what You want.”
The Most High God was pleased and said,
“I am yours and you are Mine.”
So I guess selfdefinition and comingout is as overrated to sexuality as snow is to Europe. It becomes irrelevant in the bigger scheme of things,
in the larger creation similarity, and difference is of no consequence. Any difference, be it rank of any kind is not the differentiating factor. In Verse
of Surah Ali‘Imran(the family of Mary) Allah reminds us, yet again, that Forgiveness and Mercy are for all those that love and align themselves with t
he very source from which we all originate : Divine Compassion. It is this divine revelation, complimented by the words of Sheikh Bayazid Bistami, thatrequests of us to see our troubles of this earthly existence as distraction and unnecessary detail to our ultimate journey, i.e. Being at one with that which we are a part off.
There are a few assumptions in that last statement It assumes that we are comfortable withourselves; that we have forgiven ourselves of our transgressions and transgressors and are ready to move on. But we all know that is mostly true in a utopian existence. So we all carry with us a
saboteur, an inner saboteur that is with us most of the time. This saboteur is afraid of selfempowerment and most times (in varying degrees) can
be self destructive, or have the need toundermine and exclude others. In my humble opinion,a saboteur struggles with (self) restraint.
… to be contiuned  next Sunday

Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed     ©2016

Imam Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed´Books