Eurabian homosexuals

A while ago Eatbees posed a question about homosexuality and Islam.
His question was if it was possible to be a "practicing homosexual" and a "good Muslim" at the same time. He wondered if there was a middle ground whereby Islam and homosexuality could co-exist.

My answer was/is yes on both. You can be a practicing homosexual and a good Muslim. Because both are an individual choice, whether you like it or not. Her Holiness Madonna and God can't force you to be something you don't want to be and can't force you not to be something you want to be.
But I know that this is an opinion that's being attacked by both Islamic radicals and Cher-loving radical gays.

And yes there is a middle ground, although not very big at the moment. Heterosexuals Muslims and homosexuals can coexist without attacking each other. As I mentioned at Eatbees' blog, the keyword here is respect. Its not acceptance/endorsement that leads to coexistence. Although acceptance would definitely help.
Respect has a far bigger role to play. People can live next to each other without accepting each others lifestyle.
Let me first explain what I actually mean with acceptance. Acceptance, in this case, means that the Muslims accept the gay lifestyle and homosexuality. Thus saying that Islam doesn't forbid homosexual acts.
Respect in this case, means that Muslims don't accept or condone homosexuality. They still think that Islam doesn't allow homosexual acts but they at least respect the lifestyle. Meaning that they don't go on a hunt for homosexuals and punish them for their lifestyles.


I think most (ex)-Muslim gays, including me, don't ask for acceptance but just normal respect.
For example, I can live next to a dog-eating satanist without accepting his way of living. I won't condone it but I will respect it because clearly that's how he/she wants to live his/her life.
And that's what I want when I live in a Muslim country next to a practicing heterosexual Muslim. Or when I lived in a predominantly muslim neighborhood of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The problem here is that most Muslims think that respect has to come with acceptance. That when they don't punish a homosexual that it means that they condone the practice .
And this way of thinking is one of the main reasons why gays still face persecution and uncertainty in Muslim societies.

Eatbees asked me in the comments if I think that the gains made by muslim homosexuals in Europe (where a growing number of them dare to take a stance against the Islamic homophobia) can end up having a positive effect in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

I thought about that question for some time. And I came to the conclusion that the gains of Muslim homosexuals in Europe won't have any or little effect in their countries of origin.
Main reason for this is the fact that Muslim homosexuals in Europe fight another battle in another environment then their counterparts in the MENA-region.
We are already accepted and "protected" by our society and governments, we have no fear of being arrested for speaking out. We only fight against the prejudice and the violence within our families.
In the MENA-region homosexuals have to fight against both prejudice and violence coming both from their families as well as their own governments.
This difference in battle makes it difficult for European Muslim gays to help the ones in the MENA-region.
Actually, we just don't have the experience in that field.

The gays in the MENA-region have their own battle to fight. They know their society and their government, they know how everything works.
The heavy burden is on them. Relying on gay Muslims from Europe would be disastrous.
Heterosexual (conservative) Muslims and their governments would perceive this as yet another intrusion of the "Western world". Resulting in an even bigger denial of gay-rights.
The gay Muslims in Europe would be unable to take proper actions because of a lack of knowledge within and about the region.
We are the sons and daughters of immigrants. We may think we know the country of our parents but we only know the holiday-version.

We can provide basic help and financial, mental and logistical assistance. But we can't solve the problems and a situation which we never experienced in its totality.
That is something the gays in MENA have to do themselves.


Crossposted to Mideast-Youth

3 Comments:

  1. xoussef said...
    You Are Absolutely Right ^^, nothing else to say...
    eatbees said...
    Thanks for the tipoff to come over here. What you're saying seems right to me, especially this:

    "Relying on gay Muslims from Europe would be disastrous. Heterosexual (conservative) Muslims and their governments would perceive this as yet another intrusion of the 'Western world'. Resulting in an even bigger denial of gay-rights."

    When I first asked the question, I suppose I thought that gay Moroccans raised in Europe could, when visiting the bled for the holidays, be a positive influence on people there, both the conservative members of their family and any closeted relatives/friends they may have, just by showing what a "well-adjusted fully contributing gay member of society" might look like.

    But I agree that the social reality is so different that the struggle in Morocco is a completely different thing that must be handled in its own way, on its own time.

    I really enjoyed Myrtus' post where she pointed out that maybe "gayness" isn't condemned in Islam after all! -- that only forcible sex is condemned (i.e. anal rape) -- so it may not be so farfetched, maybe in 20 years, to move beyond respect to full-on acceptance. It happened in the Christian world, for all but a few neanderthals, and this change took place not so long ago!

    Thanks for coming back to the topic :D
    BO18 said...
    You're welcome eatbees ;)

    But if only forcible sex is condemned, do they then think that all gays rape each other?
    But 20 yrs may be a bit too quick. Lebanon may see something happen in 20yrs if it stabilizes.

    But the rest of the Middle East will take a much longer time. And I expect that I wont witness the changes.

    @ Xoussef.

    Thank you, mysterious guy! ;)

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