The Homophobic Islam

Be it Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan, Yemen, or any other country on earth where Muslims make a notable percentage of population, homosexuality is considered to be a sin, an immoral, disgraceful act, a crime, a severe offense to Islam, and is punishable with prison, extreme torture, and even death in the most bizarre manners, like flogging and burying alive. As IslamQA puts it;

“The crime of homosexuality is one of the greatest of crimes, the worst of sins and the most abhorrent of deeds, and Allah punished those who did it in a way that He did not punish other nations. It is indicative of violation of the fitrah (nature), total misguidance, weak intellect and lack of religious commitment, and it is
a sign of doom and deprivation of the mercy of Allah.”

Such immense contempt for homosexuality is not spontaneous, as the Quran itself teaches hatred for it and also “prescribes” how people indulged in homosexuality should be treated.

“And Lot when he said to his people, ‘Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a brazen
people.’ But the answer of his people was only that they said, ‘Evict them from your city! Indeed, they are men who keep themselves pure.’ So We saved him and his family, except for his wife; she was of those who remained [with the evildoers]. And We rained [stones] upon them. Then see how the end of the
criminals was.” (7:81­84)

The “moderate Muslims” who try to bend and mold the Quranic verses to defend Islam often claim that this verse only applied at the time of Lot, but Islam itself is lenient towards the homosexuals, which is false for two reasons;

  1. Since (among the Muslims) Quran is believed to be the perfect, universal book that contains the complete code of life at all times, its laws remain applicable unless Quran itself mentions that a certain law has been cancelled. And if it really is true that the offense against homosexuals was valid for a certain period of time and is not applicable anymore, why not just take it out of there and produce a revised edition of the Quran?
  2. Mohammad, the prophet of Islam, himself preached aggression towards homosexuals. (Read Sahih Al­Bukhari Volume 7, Book 72, Number 774 and Volume 8, Book 82, Number 820 and Sunan Abu Dawud Book 39, Hadith 4447. Both these books are included in the Kutub al­Sittah.)

Homophobia in the light of Quran is even widely taught to university students in Islamic republics. Dr. Aziz Ahmed Khattab (Professor of fertility and sterility at Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt) in his book “Human Sexuality” writes at page#169;

“A close look at ancient and medieval history reveals that the term ‘sodomy’ is derived from the Old Testament. The early Christians believed that the biblical city of Sodom was destroyed by God because its male inhabitants engaged in homosexual intercourses. We, as Muslims, do believe the
same since it is mentioned more than once in the Quran, our Holy book.”

He further quotes a verse from the Quran to elucidate on the offensive attitude of Islam towards the “sin” of homosexuality;

“And [mention] Lot, when he said to his people, ‘Indeed, you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds. Indeed, you approach men and obstruct the road and commit in your meetings [every] evil.’ And the answer of his people was not but they said, ‘Bring us the punishment of Allah, if you should be of the truthful.’” (29:28­29)

He concludes the topic at page#170, saying;

“It is very unfortunate that the Western civilization has accepted homosexuality and lesbianism as a normal way of life. We must try to avoid such calamity by increasing our efforts to spread proper
sex education within the frame of our religion.”

The question remains: why do Muslims find it “unfortunate” that homosexuality is gradually being accepted and legalized? Just because a 14 century old scripture said that its author punished people for practicing it? Or are there some other “reasons” as well?

“Homosexuality is unacceptable because Quran says so, and Quran says so because homosexuality is unacceptable because Quran says so...”

Such circular argument might seem legit to those who claim to be the smartest people in the universe because Quran is their book and Mohammad is their prophet, but it is nothing but a not­so­funny joke in reality. An orthodox Muslim would simply base their homophobia on the Quran and hadith and argue about it no more. But let us have a glance at the common excuses that “moderate Muslims” make to justify Islam’s offense towards homosexuality.

1. It is not normal

So, Muslims, who gave you or anyone else the authority to set the parameters of normality? Each one of us is different or “abnormal” to the rest of the world in one way or the other. As Charles Addams says;

“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”

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If I am a Hindu, worshipping idols and paying at temples is normal for me. If I am a Muslim, praying five times a day to thin air is normal for me. But since, actually, I am an atheist, both the practices are abnormal for me. Similarly, not believing in any deity would seem abnormal to a Hindu or a Muslim, just that the Hindu is more unlikely to kill me for not believing in any deities. Eating raw meat: normal for lions, abnormal for humans; flying (naturally): normal for birds, abnormal for humans; breathing outside the water: normal for humans, abnormal for fish. There is difference, there is “abnormality” in all of us, not only human to human but species to species as well. Differences are not only natural, but we make different choices as well. There is difference in our choice of colors, cars, mobile phones, home appliances, perfumes, wallpapers, operating systems... The list goes on. In the words of Andrew Solomon;

“Ironically, it turns out, that it’s our differences, and our negotiations of difference that unite us.”

So, why are all the rest of the differences and abnormalities completely tolerable and homosexuality is so much of an offense, an immorality? Even if, for the sake of argument, let’s say that homosexuality is an act of immodesty, it is definitely nothing as compared to telling women to breastfeed five times every man whom they want to meet “legally” regardless of his age (Read Sunan Abu Dawud Book 11, Hadith 2056).

2. It contradicts God’s plan

As an atheist, I do not believe in any creator god. But, again for the sake of argument, let’s assume that there is a god and his name is Allah. If homosexuality “contradicts” Allah’s plan and even that so successfully, it could mean only one of the two possibilities;

  1. Allah is not all­powerful. If he were, he wouldn’t let anyone be born or become a homosexual. If not that, then at least he could destroy all the places where homosexuality is legal just like he did to Lot’s people.
  2. Allah is not the best of the planners as he claims in 8:30. Because if he had a plan to make only straight humans, his plan has obviously gone wrong. Sigh!

Actually, there is a third possibility as well, which is the clearest, most obvious fact: There is no Allah, there is no god.

3. Homosexuality is as bad as pedophilia

This is my repeated personal experience as well as the general height of insanity found in the homophobic parties. Every time I have indulged in a conversation on this topic with a Muslim – and I have indulged with a lot of them – either in the very beginning or at the end when they have nowhere else to run, they argue, “Okay, if you atheists are so keen about homosexuality to be accepted in the society then why not pedophilia as well?”

*Mental knock­out* Seems to be a perfect reason to be unwilling to live on this planet anymore, no? It’s really difficult to respond to such lame and exceptionally highly absurd arguments because you simply get baffled with how much of a disgrace to rational discussion one can be. Even I feel numb and blank in my head upon seeing this surprisingly inane argument and the ones similar to it.

See, two homosexuals who love and understand each other and are willingly getting married is completely opposite, EXTREMELY opposite to a little girl – who has no clue about marriage and related responsibilities, who should be playing with dolls and stuffed teddy bears or computer games at her age – gets married to a fully grown­up man just to get sexually abused and humiliated and gets murdered in cold blood! On one hand, we have two conscious people who have decided to spend their lives together, married. On the other hand, we have a child who gets married to some inhuman cunt and at the wedding night, she has no idea of what has happened and what is going on, why is she being licked and bitten, all she knows is that she is being punished – punished for being a girl born in a society which mentally still dwells in the seventh century Arabia. If you think that both these cases are equal or even barely comparable, then you are what has been wrong with the world for more than 1400 years.

4. Homosexuals bring HIV/AIDs

First of all, homosexuals do not “bring” HIV/AIDs, they do not serve to be the source of it. In the recent years of research, scientists have come to know that the virus was transmitted into humans through the chimpanzees in Africa thousands of years ago. [1][2][3] Yes, it is true that HIV/AIDs is much more common among the homosexuals as compared to the straights. Stigma (to hold disparaging social attitudes and/or cognitive beliefs, resulting in a discouraging and discrediting social tag that radically changes the way specific individuals or groups view themselves or the way they are viewed by others) and discrimination (the outcome of stigma; the act of being hostile and discriminative towards members of a group, due to their membership to that group) is a major reason why that is so.

Even today, in most parts of the world, a person suffering with HIV/AIDs is barely considered to be a part of the society – an unwelcomed part. And if the person is a homosexual along with being a victim to HIV/AIDs, it only serves as salt on the burns. They are neglected, hated, isolated just because of traditional “values” and Holy Scriptures. Due to such disgraceful attitude from the so called “normal” people, most of the patients do not even disclose that they have HIV/AIDs, let alone bringing their homosexuality to light.

That is the reason why we must accept the homosexuals as a part of the society just like everybody else. Doing so would encourage them to come forth and let themselves be treated without any fear of disgrace, baseless contempt, and harm to their self­esteem.

Any vaccine is of no use as long as the ones who are to benefit from it are discouraged to avail it and are made to feel unworthy of it and unwelcomed in the society. There is a need for social awareness, acceptance, and recognition. But above all, there is a need for the elimination and discouragement of such sacred verses which have always been nothing but stains of delusion and discrimination on humanity.

There is a need for shutting the mouths of those preachers who build­out hatred against particular groups in the name of “freedom of speech”. Why flourish such values in our society that only bring harm to fellow human beings? Why isolate or torture someone only to follow a book? At this point, I don’t wish to sound agnostic, but just to spark a thought in the minds of our readers: if there is a God, He has to be more concerned about human well­being than a book He wrote centuries ago. If He is not, then such a God is not worthy even of recognition, let alone being worshipped.

References

  1. Keele, B., Li, Y., Takehisa, J., Heuverswyn, F. V., Delaporte, E., & Sharp, P. (2006, May 25). Chimpanzee Reservoirs of Pandemic and Nonpandemic HIV­1.
  2. McNeil, D. G. (2010, September 16). Precursor to H.I.V. Was in Monkeys for Millenniums. Retrieved from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/17/health/17aids.html
  3. TheAIDsInstitute. (n.d.). Where did HIV come from? Retrieved from The AIDs Institute: http://www.theaidsinstitute.org/education/aids­101/where­did­hiv­com...

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