Muslim & LGBT

This week I continue a special series looking at religion and LGBT issues, today focusing on the Muslim community.

But first… There’s Breaking News as I prepare today’s installment of ‘Gay Video of the Week.’ A controversy has erupted this month among Muslims over a new ad released by Nike. There are calls for a boycott and for Nike to withdraw the ad altogether.

The Nike ad, which is actually quite compelling and well-crafted, presents the theme “Nothing Can Stop What We Can Do Together.”

Tinxi /

Specifically the objections arise from this 4-second excerpt depicting a niqabi (Muslim woman wearing a niqab) riding a skateboard and transforming into a gay or transgender person. It’s seen as disrespectful to Islam and Islamic women with the LGBT connection or inference being particularly offensive.

There are many aspects to this video and its implications for Muslims on multiple levels, none of which I feel qualified as a non-Muslim to address. That’s for others to do. But with respect to the LGBT aspect, the uproar is no surprise. Many Muslims are anti-gay based on faith — which has been true of pretty much all religions, and remains widely true today. That’s why I’m spending a few weeks focused on religion in first place. If you want to know more about the opposition to the Nike ad I’ve assembled a few videos in a special Addendum to this post.

Do All Muslim’s Think the Same?

Before even talking about LGBT Muslims specifically, it seems necessary to start more broadly. In this age of Trump, the Muslim ban and the whole political climate in the United States, Islam and its adherents are widely feared and condemned. Muslims are seen as a kind of monolith, all thinking the same, and all inclined towards violent terrorism. Like all stereotypes, such sweeping generalizations have a grain of truth that’s blown into a mass fiction. The many are judged by the acts and characteristics of a few.

Jubilee assembled a group of Muslims and asked how they individually feel about a series of questions. As it turns out, they’re a lot like everyone else. They have a lot of different opinions even as they share a common faith.

The BBC series Free Speech brought together Muslims to answer the question, “Can you be gay and Muslim?” This is a brief excerpt from that broadcast. As you can see, it wasn’t a simple question. Some disagreements were deep. So much for the monolith.

What it’s Like Being LGBTQ & Muslim

LGBT Muslim youth described their experiences on MTV.

LGBT-friendly Mosque in Berlin

The LGBT struggle is international, of course. The Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque in Berlin, Germany, serves as a vital refuge for LGBT Muslin youth.

A Queer Muslim Perspective

Born in Tanzania, El-Farouk Khaki is a refugee lawyer and human rights/social justice advocate. He is founder of Salaam: Queer Muslim Community, co-founder & imam of el-Tawhid Juma Circle, co-founder of the Canadian Muslim Union, and a long list of other accomplishments.

Queer & Muslim: Nothing to Reconcile

Blair Imani is a historian, author, activist and advocate for girls’ and women’s rights, the global Black community, and the LGBT community.

As she described in her TED Talk, this is Blair Imani’s memorable and spontaneous public coming out on national TV in 2017 — which she had not preplanned and which caught Fox News’ Tucker Carlson completely off guard.

LGBTQ Muslims in Islam

Dr. Junaid Jahangir is an Assistant Professor of Economics at MacEwan University. He speaks of new perspective on homosexuality and Islam.

Islamophobia in the LGBT Community

The Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando in June 2016 forced the LGBT and Muslim communities to address their shared struggles and their differences. They marched together in protest of the shooting and organizing continues, yet homophobia remains in the Muslim community and Islamophobia in the LGBT community. This discussion took place after the shootings on BRIC TV, a service in Brooklyn, New York.

Title image: Ink Drop /

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