News and views 2010


-Islamic Texts as a Source for Acceptance of Queer Individuals.pdf
-Letter of support for Judith Butler
-To be gay and racist is no anomaly by Jasbir Puar
-2009 National Sermon Contest Winners?- “Real Men Don’t Hit Women”
-CRITICAL THINKERS FOR ISLAMIC REFORM-The Way Forward- 11th - 13th June 2010
-Homosexuality Is Not Fornication But Love, Says ZMD Germany's Islamic Org‏anisation



-Islamic Texts as a Source for Acceptance of Queer Individuals.pdf
Source: Inner Circle
Queer Muslims face a multitude of challenges, of which one is rejection. This is anchored by the belief that homosexuality is a major sin in Islam and punishable by death under Shariah law. The Inner Circle has documented through engaging with the local Muslim community of Cape Town that most people who react harshly towards queer Muslims do so from a position of fear and ignorance of the challenges facing queer Muslims.

There have been attempts in the past to raise the topic of homosexuality within Islam and to highlight homoeroticism within Muslim communities. Yet there is a lack of literature on the issue from a theological perspective. This perspective is necessary as most clients who approach the Inner Circle for help seek a theological answer for their inability to reconcile their faith with their sexuality.

Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle examines this need in his book “Homosexuality in Islam” and braves the waters of addressing the issue from a theological point of view. However, the book is an academic piece of work and it does not provide uncomplicated answers to the ordinary Muslim. This article therefore attempts to meet this need.

Islam, its sacred texts and their authenticity have been under more scrutiny in the West since 11 September 2001. This, coupled with the international queer sector’s demand for human rights, has placed pressure on orthodox Muslim clergy to defend its religious texts and to publicly authenticate their position on non-hetero normative sexualities. These events provided an opportunity for progressive Muslim thought to re-emerge. Hence, we observe progressive Muslim individuals and organisations re-opening the discourse on Islam, gender and sexual diversity in the last decade. Scholastic work such as that of Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle and Kecia Ali was possible due to the re-emergence of progressive Muslim thought around homosexuality and sexual ethics in Islam.

“And say: Truth has now arrived, and falsehood perished: for falsehood by its nature is bound to perish."

It is an Islamic belief that the trajectory towards unravelling matters is a universal process through which truth authenticates itself over falsehood. Those who perceive themselves to be the custodians of the truth would attempt to justify and defend their position as if it were the only truth, until such a time when new information is presented to them, compelling them to change their stance.

By Muhsin Hendricks, Director of the Inner Circle, a queer Muslim organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa. Established in 2006, the Inner Circle gives support to queer Muslims locally and internationally and has a number of empowerment programs for queer Muslims and the communities they come from. It also hosts an Annual International Retreat that brings together queer Muslim activists from different queer Muslim organisations across the globe.

-Letter of support for Judith Butler
As activists who work on the frontline, within our communities, on the
interconnected issues of sexuality, gender and Islam, Safra Project wishes
to appreciate the solidarity Judith Butler has shown in her public
denouncement of racism and Islamaphobia that exists in gay organisations
during Berlin Pride on 19 June 2010.

We welcome the personal refusal of the Zivilcourage Prize and instead
dedicating the Civil Courage Prize to the organisations
GLADT(, LesMigraS (, SUSPECT and ReachOut

The evidence of inciting racism against Muslims and migrants to Germany
by the Lesbian and Gay Federation Germany (CSD) and the gay helpline Maneo
is exposed.

Thank you Judith for putting yourself on the line as we do everyday.

In solidarity and peace,
Safra Project

-To be gay and racist is no anomaly
by Jasbir Puar
It's no surprise that the English Defence League has gay and lesbian members – liberal inclusion has always been exclusive... Read on

-2009 National Sermon Contest Winners?
“Real Men Don’t Hit Women”.
Imam Khalid Latif, a chaplain for the New York Police Department who began giving sermons in his teens and who was a runner up in the 2009 National Sermon Contest with an address “Real Men Don’t Hit Women”.

11th - 13th June 2010
University of Oxford
St. Anne's College
Oxford, OX2 6HS

This year MECO's annual conference focuses on Critical Thinkers for Islamic Reform; The Way Forward. It will be held at St Anne's College, Oxford University, 11-13 June 2010. The participants and panellists of this important conference recognize the urgent need and imperative for fundamental reformation and rejuvenation throughout the Muslim world. These independent thinkers, scholars, activists and others from the UK and abroad agree upon the urgency of re-examining the theology and traditions of Islam and to review contemporary Muslim attitudes and actions so that we can align ourselves more faithfully to the Holy Qur'an in the light of reason and logic.

The five principle objectives of this major international conference are:
- Diagnose and contextualize the theological, intellectual, cultural and political malaise that has contributed to the degeneration and decline of global Muslim civilization.
- Critically analyse the political, cultural, economic and psychological mindset of contemporary Muslim society around the world and its interaction with other peoples and communities.
- Explore and dissect the geopolitical strategy of globalization and the total hegemony of the great powers in the Muslim heartland and elsewhere.
- Propose pragmatic solutions and formulate effective short, medium and long term projects to foster progressive Islamic reform in both the personal realm and social domain.
- Facilitate the opportunity for reform-minded Muslims from around the world to meet, exchange ideas and develop constructive alliances for the future.

The affordable registration fee for this three-day intensive conference for all delegates is only £50. This includes the specified meals, break refreshments and entertainment found in the programme below. Seating is limited and will be awarded on a first come basis. So book early and register with MECO ( We look forward to seeing you at this ground breaking event next month.

Conference Schedule

FRIDAY, 11th June 2010
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Salat al-Jumu'ah Congregational Prayers Sermon and Service conducted by Raheel Raza

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm Conference Registration

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Welcome and Introduction

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm Panel I The Paradigm of Islamic Reform- History and Heritage

5:30 pm - 6:00 pm Refreshment Break & Prayers

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Panel II Theological and Philosophical Imperatives for Islamic Reform

8:00 pm - 10:30 pm Dinner and First Keynote Speaker followed by performance by Jeff Mirza, renowned Muslim comedian

SATURDAY, 12th June 2010

9:30 am - 11:00 am Panel III New Qur'anic Hermeneutics, Muslim Law and Islamic Reformation

11:00 am - 11:30 pm Refreshment Break

11:30 - 1:00 pm Panel IV

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Lunch & Prayers-Second Keynote Speaker

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Panel V Islam, Science, Culture and Freedom - Towards a Muslim Renaissance

4:00 pm -; 4:30 pm Refreshment Break

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Panel VI Gender, Sexuality & Human Rights in Islamic Discourse

7 pm - 10 pm Dinner Third Keynote Speaker (Followed by entertainment provided by Muslim musicians)

SUNDAY, 13th June 2010

9:00 pm - 10:30 am Panel VII Muslim economics and entrepreneurship in revitalising Islamic creativity

10:30 am - 11:00 pm Refreshment Break

11:00 pm - 12:30 am Panel VIII Democracy, Justice, Tolerance and Reason- Prerequisites for Reform

12:30 am - 1:00 pm Light lunch

1 pm - 3:00 pm Panel IX Workshop / Round Table Pragmatic Steps Towards Islamic Reform

3:00pm - 3:30 pm Conclusion and Farewell

-Homosexuality Is Not Fornication But Love, Says ZMD Germany's Islamic Org‏anisation

Islam and homosexuality can go together, finally. A new speech ("Islamic Word") has been published on the website of Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland (ZMD) (= Central Council of Muslims in Germany) as one of a series on speeches on Islamic topics.
The author, Hilal Sezgin - a Muslim woman writer and journalist, says, "I cannot imagine that God woud not accept two people loving each other - irrespective of what their bodies look like. (....) Because homosexuality does not automatically mean "fornication", but is a form of love and pleasing God."

Listen to the speech here: [ January 2010, Length: 3:46 min]
Link to the manuscript: