The announcement to attend the << Faith and LGBT Equality event in Denton on Jan 13, 2013>>. It was sent to WorldMuslimCongress@yahoogroups.com as an invitation (appended below). The group is open to people of all faiths, so together we can learn about each other in a moderated environment. We have about 1800 Members from around the world including but not limited to Imams, Muslim Scholars, Students and ordinary religious and secular folks.
A discussion follows the posting and is now posted at our website www.WorldMuslimCongress.com as well. An article is in the works for publication at a major news paper based on the input and quotes from the panelists from yesterday’s event. We are committed to building cohesive societies, where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other.
|Panelists: Jeff Hood, Scottie McIntyre Johnson, Mike Ghouse and Peter Johnson
The following information is in a discussion format, it is carried with the title <<Future Muslim Leaders and Gay and Lesbian Issues>>
This is a long response to make the point. It is always good to exchange thoughts and ideas without judgments to enrich ourselves to deal with the issue.
I realize the traditionalist will not like my take on the issue, and they are welcome to go behind my back and malign me, as if that is the Muslim thing to do. As a Muslim, it is my duty to speak out the truth as I see as an individual; we may not be ready for it now. Right now we are at a stage to ignore the issue, next time, we will remain silent, a stage of “don’t ask don’t tell” will come upon us, and then finally we will have a heart to accept fellow beings, as they are. Mahmood o Ayaz ( rich or poor) will be on par then.
The American Muslims and Christians are grappling with the issue; the majority is still swayed to think negatively, probably because of the propagated mis-understanding of homosexuality.
Let me share another perspective on some of your comments.
You wrote, …the first step will have to be in the form of recognition of homosexuality as a problem that needs to be eradicated rather than legalised, institutionalised and commercialized….
I am concerned about your statement of eradication, << a problem that needs to be eradicated>>.
God did not do it himself, but you want to do it then? Even if we went with your interpretation of Sodom and Gomorrah that God destroyed them because of homosexuality, then why did he not destroy them for Good? That is the fallacy of interpretation.
Diversity is God’s formula for sustaining his creation, God did not make a mistake, neither did he goof up. Everything is created in balance and proportion, including sexual orientations, promiscuity, hyper and lower to no sexual drives. Had God willed, all of us would have been exactly alike (Quran).
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah serves to acknowledge the diversity of mankind. The story also is understood in two different ways; one that God destroyed the Qarya (township) because the population was homosexual, the other part is God destroyed the township because of the lewdness displayed by those men who forcibly raped other men.
Our traditions, both Christian and Muslim, have been interpreted by men, to suit their whims rather than what is right, and we need to fix some of the errors from the past. I can give a lot of examples, but here are a few for you to ponder.
In case of Delhi Rape, thank God it was not Sharia, had it been the Sharia law, the Rapists would have gone scot free because the girl could not produce 4 men witnessing penetration of the rapists. So much for the mangled up Sharia! Thank God, India chose to be a pluralistic nation. You know the flaws of the Sharia as practiced, I cannot call that Sharia <<Islamic>> when injustice is rampant in that system, a man can put a woman with children on the street in a hurry if the asshole is angry by saying Talaq (divorce) three times, that is not Islamic, are you ready to challenge the tradition of practicing Muslims? The Islamic Sharia is about justice, but where is it practiced?
It is time to think and give room to our intelligence to function.
First of all, I have nothing to gain from this, but standing up for others people’s right is the right thing to do.
Humans are born with a free will and there should not be any compulsion on any one to believe otherwise, did our wise prophet not say that? Sharing knowledge, yes, but compulsion, No.
Javed, here you go again, “The best form of compassion towards gays will be to keep them away from their addiction, even if by force. Institutionalisation of homsexuality accompanied with their rights to marry and adopt children will only ensure a big growth in the percentage of gays. Isnt it a big crime to expose children to gay parents rather than normals? Children exposed to gay relationships will obviously have much greater chances to grow as gays.”
I am not debating with you to win or lose, nor am I expecting a person to clap for you or me… it is a serious issue for discussion and we cannot be judgmental.
Are you denying the parenting rights to men and women who are gays and lesbians? You think children will not feel the need to have a father and a mother, regardless of what the parents are? You think the children are going to drop their parents because of their sexual orientation, promiscuity or no sex drive? You think your declaration will turn the switch off for the longing of the children? My friends, you have not understood the human need for longing, loving and caring.
God may have a real problem with your statement, “If mankind is to be saved from the menace, homosexuality has to confronted and at a certain time, severe punishments may be required to first punish those who commercialise and institutionalise homosexuality and then the gays and lesbians themselves.”
You call it a menace? Are you saying God screwed up?
No, not at all. God did not mess it up.
As a society, we need to punish rape, or any act that violates the rights of others. Indeed, God did punish the people in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the punishment was for the lewd behavior; raping men and not for homosexuality.
Have empathy my friend, and ignore what people would say. They did not even spare the prophet, and they will not spare you or I. We might as well do the right thing then; to speak for the rights of all humanity.
Every human has a right to express his thoughts and sex without taking away things from others. There is a grave mistake on the part of hetrosexuals and bisexuals, marriage simply implies intercourse to them, ignoring all the other good and important things that come with it. They imagine lust as the driving factor in gay and lesbian relationships, and completely dismiss the overwhelming need to be oneself in a relationship, it is companionship over sex.
“I will request you to not become a pawn in the hands of the forces that have interests in the institutionalisation of homosexuality. Think of the larger mankind rather than a few perverted people. “
And my friend Javed, I request you not to pander to the men who would clap for you. The truth is neither you nor I are motivated by any such non-sense, we are speaking our hearts and minds out, period. We are being truthful in expressing our understanding. What we should not do, is to deny other individual her or his right to the pursuit of his or her happiness.
Insha Allah, I am writing a full piece for publication – amazingly in the conference yesterday, we referenced Quraan and Bible with the exact same six verses, that seem to have been interpreted by men who were biased.
Quraan, Al-‘Ankabut (The Spider) chapter 29: 26-39; Nour (Light) Chapter 24: 30-32 and The Romans, Chapter 30: 20-23
I beg our friends to not clap for either one of us, we all need to learn the truth and not go by what is dished out to us, even if it were by the greatest Imams of the time, only Allah’s word is final, and the still to be authenticated Hadiths would be final – all else is simply guidance and not law. Sharia should be guidance and not the law, because it is not the word of God.
Mike Ghouse is committed to work for building cohesive societies, where no human has to live in fear of the other.
If Quran has prescribed death sentence for certain practices, do you think it is against the Wisdom? The biggest farce being imposed on the world by vested and institutionalised interests is that homosexuality is inborn, and God has chosen to give birth to gays.
First, pure gays can in no way reproduce, which is the essential condition for genes to pass through to next generation. Second, even the people born with congenital anomalies are treated as required. Schizophrenia is often linked with genes but schizophrenics are actively and aggresssively treated, and if they become a threat to others, they are imprisoned in assylums.
Homosexuality is an addiction and gays should be given an opportunity to get treated. This is necessary in the first stage of what should be a phased campaign to eradicate homosexuality from society. But for this campaign to begin, the first step will have to be in the form of recognition of homosexuality as a problem that needs to be eradicated rather than legalised, institutionalised and commercialised.
Furthermore, it has to be recognised that homosexuality is the biggest threat to homosexuals themselves, with the life expetancy of homosexuals being 20-30 years less than the straight. They pose serious threats to others also as they are more likely to catch and spread STDS and AIDS.
The best form of compassion towards gays will be to keep them away from their addiction, even if by force. Institutionalisation of homsexuality accompanied with their rights to marry and adopt children will only ensure a big growth in the percentage of gays. Isnt it a big crime to expose children to gay parents rather than normals? Children exposed to gay relationships will obviously have much greater chances to grow as gays.
If mankind is to be saved from the menace, homosexuality has to confronted and at a certain time, severe punishments may be required to first punish those who commercialise and institutionalise homosexuality and then the gays and lesbians themselves.
I will request you to not become a pawn in the hands of the forces that have interests in the institutionalisation of homosexuality. Think of the larger mankind rather than a few perverted people.
Subject: Re: MuslimsTogether :: Future Muslim Leaders and Gay and Lesbian Issues
Date: Monday, January 14, 2013, 8:05 AM
Quraan is the basis for our conversation, whether one is conservative or liberal.
Even though conservative religious rhetoric has dominated the american religious landscape, it has not permeated in the society. The people of two states have approved same sex marriage, and the trend will continue.
A majority of American Muslims are grappling with the issue. If the conservative Christians and Muslims have the dictatorial powers, they will kill all Gays and lesbians, thank God, the power to judge one’s faith still rest with God, it’s his call. He created us all, and he could have created us all alike, like the angels, but he chose to create us to be different, each one with his or own unique DNA, thumb print, taste buds etc.., shouldn’t we honor God’s choice?
Javed it’s not easy, Allah has given us the freedom to look at the masalah, and find answers thru what works in the society, and as Muslims particularly, we cannot judge ones practices, as long as they are not robbing others, hurting, killing or breaking the civil covenants.
Jazak Allah Khair
— In WorldMuslimCongress@yahoogroups.com, javed jamil wrote:
Mike and MAW
If speaking or campaigning against homosexuality is bigotry, God save the mankind!
Should I repeat the figures that tell how big a threat homosexuality is to human existence? Surely, thousands of times bigger than “Terrorism”. Homosexuality is an addiction much more dangerous than cocain. It needs to be eradicated at the earliest. Compassion for gays and lesbians is understandable only if it is aimed at weaning them away from their addiction rather than preserving it. Severest measures need to be taken against those who commerialise homosexuality or promote/institutionalise it.
Mike, it will be better if you do not try to gain support from Quran for everyting that you do. If you want to support gay rights, better do it withut invoking Quran, which does not accept homosexuality at all.
Yes, you have the right to post or not post this letter of mine. You both also have the right to call me a bigot if it suits you.
Mianwaheed likes my Ghazals more than my prose. But here he will have to bear with my prose.
Subject: Re: MuslimsTogether :: Future Muslim Leaders and Gay and Lesbian Issues
Date: Sunday, January 13, 2013, 2:28 PM
You have guts to stand up against the bigotry.
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2013 2:12 PM
Subject: MuslimsTogether :: Future Muslim Leaders and Gay and Lesbian IssuesFUTURE MUSLIM LEADERS and GAY/LESBIAN ISSUES
…. As Muslims we need to be a part of the society, if any one of you is thinking of leading the communities in your city, county, state or national politics, don’t be a Todd Akin or a Murdoch, or a bigot like Bachman, Cain, Gingrich, West and a host of others… please join us today to learn about dealing with the issues of Gays and Lesbians, there is someone in your family that needs your compassion.
We have to believe and be like Rahman and Raheem and a rahmat to fellow beings…… remember 49:23, the best among you is one is who knows and learns about others… but if you believe you want to shape the future of America, want to be in public office… you cannot be on the side lines or be an ignorant about the issues. Most of our Imams do not want to touch the topic, but there are a lots of Gay and Lesbian Muslims and we have to learn about the issues.
I am one of the speakers, come and learn different perspective and develop your own.
Faith & LGBT Equality event in Denton on Jan 13, 2013
Members of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Denton will conduct a forum on faith and equality featuring area religious leaders at 3 p.m. Sunday.
The event is free and open to the public and will be at Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 1111 Cordell St. Denton.
Scheduled to participate are:
• Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis of congregation Kol Ami in Flower Mound and adjunct professor in the Jewish Studies program at the University of North Texas;
• Mike Ghouse, president of the Foundation for Pluralism, founder of America Together Foundation and speaker and writer on intercultural issues;
• the Rev. Jeff Hood, Baptist minister and peace activist who works as a chaplain at John Peter Smith Hospital and as moderator of the Denton Fellowship of Reconciliation;
• the Rev. Peter Johnson, longtime civil rights activist and associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and
• Scottie McIntyre Johnson, ministerial intern at Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
PFLAG Denton is a local chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Gays and Lesbians. Our mission is to support, educate and advocate for the LGBT community and their families and friends.
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.