Staying LGBTQ will not justification your Islamophobia

We have to have to stop Islamophobia in the LGBTQ+ group. (Getty)

LGBTQ+ Muslims are created to feel unwelcome, unsafe and unwanted in lots of LGBTQ+ spaces – and it desires to finish, writes Arbër Gashi, ambassador for LGBTQ+ younger people’s charity Just Like Us.

Muslim and LGBTQ+ identities are usually positioned as polarized in our society, proposed the two can not mutually exist in one individual.

They can, and we do. Our identities, activities and the way we existing ourselves are absolutely legitimate.

As a group of people today, we often facial area forms of bigotry, discrimination and threats of all varieties from internal and exterior communities.

We frequently encounter homophobia within just our familial and cultural environments, as effectively as Islamophobia perpetuated by the planet close to us.

I’ve also generally come across Islamophobia in the LGBTQ+ group and spaces.

Some persons within just these spaces usually justify their perpetuation of anti-Muslim bigotry citing the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and unjust procedure of LGBTQ+ individuals in sure Muslim-the vast majority nations close to the globe, which of system is wholly unacceptable.

But you can’t use others’ bigotry to justify your very own.

What some LGBTQ+ individuals neglect to realize is that vilifying whole nations around the world and the religions in them is also inherently negatively impacting those people LGBTQ+ men and women who exist in these environments.

It is also problematic to generalize tens of millions of persons, and this further contributes to an Orientalist viewpoint that homogenises the diversity of Muslim communities and considered.

This bigotry disregards the aspect the western entire world, far more precisely Britain and its former empire, experienced in proselytising legislative homophobia by means of its colonial initiatives in the 19th century.

This nuance is normally negated in LGBTQ+ areas, and this then has a destructive impression on the LGBTQ+ Muslims who are in them. I have identified the most popular sort of Islamophobia is refusing to see us – even boasting that we as LGBTQ+ Muslims can’t exist.

I have myself been undermined, questioned, and picked apart by LGBTQ+ people who desperately seek to understand why I however want to “latch on to” my id as a Muslim. I am thus thought of a “walking contradiction” for identifying with a faith that other folks regard as “oppressive”, “backwards” and in distinction to anything LGBTQ+.

But items are not as black and white as people today make them look, for me and for a lot of Muslim LGBTQ+ individuals. Our spiritual identities are inherently interwoven into who we are.

I think that no one particular really should not be produced to sense like they ought to decide and pick amongst their religion and remaining LGBTQ+. As queer individuals, numerous of us previously working experience troubles about coming out and getting ourselves – why really should we have to prove our authenticity in queer areas far too?

November marks Islamophobia Awareness Month, a time in which we should all deconstruct the discriminatory notions of Muslim communities and Islam that we might have absorbed. We should be particularly mindful to bring awareness to those people who are more disenfranchised in Muslim communities, specially LGBTQ+ Muslims.

Muslims had been uncovered to be the 2nd ‘least liked’ neighborhood in exploration by the College of Birmingham in 2022. This is indicative of the normalization of Islamophobia in British culture. The Muslim Engagement and Growth Group (MEND) has also reported that Islamophobia is on a reliable rise in the British isles.

This no doubt affects all Muslims in the British isles, but additional specifically, LGBTQ+ Muslims go on to encounter issues in navigating oppressive methods that undermine, disrespect, and weaponize both of those their Muslim and LGBTQ+ identities versus them.

In research carried out by Just Like Us, it was uncovered that LGBTQ+ young individuals are twice as probably to have melancholy and contemplate suicide than their non-LGBTQ+ peers. It’s very clear that we are nevertheless a extended way from LGBTQ+ equality in Britain – and LGBTQ+ Muslims cannot be ignored in this journey.

We ought to make confident that spaces are inclusive of all identities. This is anything that I was in a position to obtain when I joined Just Like Us as an ambassador.

Doing work alongside the amazing crew at the LGBTQ+ youthful people’s charity permitted me to arrive into call with people today from identical ethnic and spiritual backgrounds, which did in the process improve my self-image and value – even more agent of how crucial affirming areas are for persons.

If you are an LGBTQ+ Muslim who needs more assistance in the British isles, please do achieve out to companies like Imaan, Hidayah, the Inclusive Mosque Initiative, the Naz and Matt Foundation, and Just Like Us.

I might also propose you study up on LGBTQ+ history within Islamic societies – Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, Background and Literature by Will Roscoe and Stephen O. Murray, and Homosexuality in Islam by Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle are terrific destinations to get started.

As LGBTQ+ Muslims, we require your help – not your Islamophobia.

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