Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Gay Muslims - Australian Imam comes out & life threatened

An extremely interesting look at what gay Muslims face in coming out, even in Australia. In some Muslim countries overseas they still have the death penalty for being gay, which is extremist in Australia but still gets a mention by the Imam in the video. 

Such thinking and attitudes make it extremely hard for gay Muslims to live openly, and they appear to often live a double life. Something that in my personal opinion isn't sustainable in the long run. How can one live an authentic life when much of it is a facade?

Simon used to have a saying that he mentioned often, and he was someone who'd traveled to many countries across the globe in his life. That wherever you find humanity, you will find gays. As it is with Muslim people, no matter what the religion or country, there will be the same percentage of gays existing within the Muslim world as there is anywhere else.

It does surprise me though that such attitudes still exist in Australia among some religious folk. It's not something you hear much about from the Muslim minority here, put it that way. Strange that a minority would be so against another minority like that.


More about Imam Nur Warsame from the ABC:
In spite of this, a Melbourne Imam, Nur Warsame, has taken the bold step of preaching a progressive interpretation of Islam to his own congregation of LGBT Muslims and supporting their sexuality within the Muslim faith. 

Imam Nur, a Somali-born man, lived in Egypt and Canada as a child and moved to Melbourne as a high school student. He has been an Imam for 13 years, and is only the second Victorian Muslim leader to earn the title 'Hafiz', meaning he has memorised the Koran. 

"There have been threats to my life because I am finally speaking out," Imam Nur told ABC News. 

Earlier this year, he said, two men (who he knows are from the Muslim community) came to the front door of his house in Melbourne to threaten him after hearing him speak about Marhaba on LGBT radio station Joy FM. 

"They wanted me to stop talking about gay Muslims. But luckily the Victorian Police were very helpful and I am OK," he said. 

For two years, Imam Nur has run the support group Marhaba (which means 'welcome' in Arabic) covertly in a range of community halls across Melbourne. 

"When I started this group, I knew it was a suicide mission. But I'm cautiously optimistic and I am careful. I look after myself and don't see myself as some martyr willing to die for this cause," Imam Nur said. 

While LGBT-friendly mosques and prayer halls can be found in South Africa, France, the United States and Canada (some as early as the late 1990s), he says it is the first "mosque" of its kind in Australia. 

"I do not want to be linked to the mainstream conservative Muslim organisations, they have done a lot of damage to the LGBT community," he said. 

"I want to be known as an independent Imam who is sympathetic. My calling in this lifetime is to help young, gay Muslims who have been traumatised by the Muslim leaders in Australia." ABC  
It never ceases to amaze me how much damage so called holy books from many centuries ago can still inflict today. Even in modern Australia.