Gay People are People Like Anyone Else

In my mosque, we don’t have a single imam, but rather the sermon is delivered by different people from week … Continued

In my mosque, we don’t have a single imam, but rather the sermon is delivered by different people from week to week. I don’t go to the imam of the week and ask, “Are you Arab or Indian? Syrian or Lebanese? African American or Somali? Did your parents hail from Karachi, Kabul, or Kerala?”

Rather, I listen to the sermon to see if this is a person I can learn from, a person who can inspire me to strengthen my commitment to living a life of decency and piety.

If these accidents of birth – race and ethnicity – are of no import to me, then why should another accident of birth – heterosexual or homosexual – make any difference?

If a gay man has a profound connection to his faith, deep knowledge, and a way with words and rhetoric that can inspire me to be a better Muslim, then of course I would be delighted to listen to his sermon and to pray behind him. Orientation has nothing to do with the matter.

Most Muslims believe that homosexual acts are a sin. Many believe that simply the fact of being gay is a sin. I disagree. The Qur’an, like the Bible, has passages about the people of Sodom. Two things are apparent from the story. First, it is a story of intended rape – the men who come forth from Sodom intend to have their way with Lot’s guests regardless of whether they want to or not.

But more than that, it is a story of a town where orientation has been turned on its head. Men who are naturally heterosexual have abandoned their wives in favor of fulfilling their desires with men. Much as men in Afghanistan commonly take young male lovers as a sign of status — whether or not either or both of them are heterosexual — so too the people of Lot had wholesale abandoned their natural proclivities.

That, I can see, is a perversion of nature. It says nothing, however, about men who do not have those proclivities to begin with.

Similarly, there is a narration from the collections of Hadith in which the companions of the Prophet, having been away from their wives for an extended period of time during a military campaign, asked if it was okay to fulfill their sexual desires with one another. The Prophet said no.

Again, it’s clear to me that these were heterosexual men, men with families and children, and the Prophet told them not to act against that nature. It doesn’t say anything about men whose nature is to be attracted to other men rather than women.

The Qur’an does mention such men – men who lack the masculine talent – in a verse which talks about women’s dress. Women are advised to be modest, and to draw their scarves across their chests in public. This is followed by a list of exceptions – your father, your brother, your nephews. Included in that list are men who lack the masculine skill.

That the Qur’an makes casual mention of such men in a list of other, presumably straight men, speaks to me of acceptance of homosexuality as a natural state at a profound level.

Further, in one narration from the Prophet’s life, we learn that his wives were in the habit of visiting with one such man in their inner chambers. When the Prophet overheard him describing a woman’s body in detail to a straight man who might be interested in marrying her, he advised them that they should treat him like a heterosexual male.

Clearly, it was not friendship with a gay man that was at issue, but rather that he had a loose tongue and no compunction against describing private parts of a woman’s body.

Those Muslims who believe that being gay or acting upon gay impulses is a sin would have big problems with an openly gay imam, but I see no issue. And it is the Qur’an and the example of my Prophet that lead me to believe there is no issue.

On the issue of gay marriage, I have various overlapping and reinforcing thoughts.

The Qur’an is quite adamant that there is to be no coercion in religion. It is not for me to impose my morality on you. Even the Prophet is told over and over that his job was not to force compliance, but to deliver a message.

This is why I believe Islam was never intended to be used to formulate state or national law after the death of the Prophet. It’s why I believe in secularism. More importantly, if even the Prophet could not impose Islamic morality on others, if the Qur’an clearly states there shall be no coercion in religion, then how can we allow some to force their morality on others?

Those who believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman are trying to impose their morality on the entirety of society. Those who advocate for the legality of gay or lesbian marriage are not forcing anyone into a same-sex marriage, nor are they forcing a member of the clergy who does not believe in same-sex marriage to perform their wedding ceremony. They are simply asking that they be allowed to follow their consciences the same as everyone else does.

I do not see how we can justify denying them freedom of conscience, even if we may happen to believe it is a sin. It is between them and God, just as your actions are between you and God, and my actions are between me and God.

Further, in a secular society my liberty ends at the tip of your nose. That is, so long as my actions do not harm others, then I am free to do as I please. Gay marriage in no way threatens anyone.

Gays aren’t seeking to end straight marriage. Seeing my two male or female neighbors in a loving, mutually supportive relationship in no way threatens my own marriage. Homosexuality isn’t catching, like a disease; my children will be heterosexual or homosexual on their own right, not because they observed two women or two men in love. As such, I can have no objection, from a secular point of view.

Finally, the Qur’an clearly discusses marriage with the assumption that the marriage partners are male and female. It does not address marriage where both spouses are of the same sex. One canonical position throughout the history of Islam has been that whatever is not expressly forbidden is permissible.

Following that position, one could argue that same-sex marriage is allowed, since the Qur’an has not forbidden it.

Of course, most Muslims would argue that the Qur’anic view of marriage is not just an assumption that pertains to the vast majority of humankind, but that it is normative. I find no reason to believe that is the case.

The Qur’an also assumes that men will be the breadwinners of the family, but that does not mean it forbids women from being the breadwinners. Indeed, for the first thirteen years of Muhammad’s career as a Prophet, he was supported by his wife’s wealth.

Clearly the assumptions about men being the wage earner do not mean that men must be the wage earner, or that women cannot be the wage earner, but rather is a recognition that in most families throughout the course of history this has been the set up. So too, same-sex marriage.

All of these – my understanding of freedom of conscience within Islam, of secularism as inspired by that freedom of conscience, of what is forbidden and what is allowed, and of how the Qur’an relates to normative values – all of these lead me to believe that it is not my business to forbid same-sex marriage.

Finally, there is the issue of sin. Islam clearly says that sexual relations outside of marriage – be it premarital or extra-marital – are a sin. I find it hard to condemn an entire subset of humanity, who God created to be as they are, to either a life of celibacy (which the Prophet clearly discouraged) or a life of sin.

The Prophet said we are not true believers until we want for our brothers and sisters what we want for ourselves. I want a satisfying, committed, loving relationship with my spouse. How could I want to deny that to anyone?

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  • lkt

    Congratulations to you, Desmond Tutu, and Shakespeare!At a time in England when Jews had been driven out of the country and not allowed to reenter for 300 years, Shakespeare wrote one of his most famous speeches for Shylock the Jew, in Merchant of Venice. If one replaces the word Jew with “homosexual,” we would find the speech reads:”I am a homosexual. Hath not a homosexual eyes? Hath not a homosexual hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subect to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not laugh? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?”Just think if this speech were used with the words, Native Americans, blacks, gypsies, Arabs, Muslims… the list could go on and on. Is there a country or a religion that has not erred by trying to deny rights to a group that it did not believe was entitled to be treated as they wished to be treated.Indeed, if we “turn the other cheek,” and “love thy neighbor,” how could we be comfortable denying a group of our citizens the rights that we want for ourselves and our children.

  • iFaqeer

    Well-written, and well-argued. Especially the one-two punch of the penultimate paragraph and the last one.

  • victoria

    I am happy to consider ms taylor my sister- she has made her case with power and elegance. Ifaqeer- thanks for calling attention to the last 2 paragraphs- i think i glazed over them the first time-

  • Natalia

    Rock on, Pamela. :)

  • Megan

    This is beautiful. Great job, Pamela.

  • wiccan

    I have come to look forward to your posts, and you never disappoint. Well said, Ma’am. Brightest Blessings!

  • Jihadist

    Always a pleasure to read you Ms Pamela Taylor.Salaam and regards.

  • Laury Silvers

    Well done! Yes!

  • Pheadrus

    Well-reasoned, beautifully conveyed, powerfully felt. Salud!

  • John Conolley

    “Ten percent of human beings happen to be homosexually oriented…”I’ve threaded through a heap of internet sites on this question, and the current consensus seems to be that the rate of homosexuality among human beings is 4-6%. I feel even this number is high, but I can’t prove it.Here’s a curious datum: the homosexuality rate of dolphins is said to be 41%. What does this mean? It means, homophobes, get a grip. It could be a lot worse. What would you do if your majority were a mere 59%?

  • KazimBeg

    Its twisted logic and twisted interpretation. I can’t disagree with you enough on all the points you have made in this article.

  • Soja John Thaikattil

    Dear Ms TaylorIt is wonderful to read the thoughts of a Muslim woman who argues for an all embracing view of Islam, something that is so urgently needed in this day and age of intolerance and violation of human rights based on ignorance. Ten percent of human beings happen to be homosexually oriented and they can do nothing about it. After all attempts by the medical profession to “cure” them failed, homosexuality was removed as a disease from the psychiatry textbook in 1973. Science still has no answer to the origin of homosexuality, but that should not prevent us from treating them with the dignity, and granting them the same rights they deserve as children of God. Should any religion deny them the right to live full lives, experiencing as much physical expression of their love for a partner as heterosexuals do? As heterosexual believers is it not better for us to be found “guilty” of loving “too much” rather than too little when we are called to give an account of our lives to God? Thank you for expressing your support for the Muslim homosexuals who cannot help their sexual orientation, and love God and neighbour just as the rest of us do.Soja John Thaikattil

  • John Conolley

    Now I’m thinking. What if the homosexuality rate of human beings were 41%? Homosexuality would be so commonplace that it would only come up at parties: Do you want to sit in the boy-girl-boy-girl section, or in the boy-boy-girl-girl section?

  • Pamela

    And, John, all of a prayer lines segregated by gender would seem not quite so comfortable to some… *wink*

  • Pamela

    That should have been “all of a *sudden*, segregate prayer lines would not seem so comfortable.”

  • victoria

    see folks? who said muslims werent funny?

  • Ashfaq

    Mrs. Taylor,

  • victoria

    ASHFAQ- enlighten us then- as jihadist so aptly expressed- exactly how in the context of islamic respect for both privacy and the protection of reputations (and especially lives themselves) does one prove such a thing to get to the point of judgement from a human court? the way we protect and treat these members of our society is a great indicator of the civility and compassion we have as a community- i myself have witnessed how pervasively the inhumane and brutal interpertation that it is okay to beat your wife like an animal has filtered into every aspect of the cultural and traditional practices of many muslims- resulting in a justification of the sickest of abusive and co-dependent behaviors- so explain to me how condemning and damning a segment of humanity works exactly? from a holistic viewpoint- as ive struggled with this issue in a very very personal way- for people to rejoice that they see moderation and tolerance in those they had imagined were capable only of extreme and intolerant violent behavior- this is a plus- What is mildly disturbing to me is that you are disturbed by the non-muslims reactions- should our comfort zone be an apologetic defense when being attacked? do you imagine that an agreement on an issue constitutes some kind of corrupting western influence? im really curious as im a western woman who came to islam not through marriage but through the egalitarianism inherent in it- are you telling me that is doesnt exist? Brother im not trying to attack you- i really am interested in your opinion and wait for your response respectfully and with peace-

  • Ashfaq

    Jihadist:

  • John Conolley

    He he.

  • Anonymous

    Strange then how countless Imman’s (even in The West) call for the death (crushing by walls, throwing off mountains) of Homosexuals…Whatever you THINK Islam is like, however you HOPE Islam will act, however you are SURE it should act…IT DOESN’T ACT THAT WAY!

  • Jihadist

    Anonymous:)Breath. Homosexuals is still an issue for Christians too, from gay clergy to gay marraiges to gay bashing. We all want our religions to be what it is supposed to be, not what some who claim themselves to be true Christians or true Muslims had wrought in the name of God against their fellow men.While you are obssessing about Muslim treatment on gays, Hollywood conveyed to the whole world, American treatment of gays from “Boys Don’t Cry” to “Brokeback Mountain”. Countless imams can call for this and that and issue their own fatwas, but without the force of the Shariah courts, there’s nothing they can do to enforce them. Do bear in mind that some of the imams let in by the west as refugees were rejected by their Muslim country of origin as wackos.

  • Jonathan Switzer

    Homosexuality is an abomination. That being said, we are all sinful and in need of salvation. God gave us that grace in Jesus Christ. He is our salvation. Repent and be baptized, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

  • James

    Now this Muslim God is a God I can Believe In!!what a wise, compassionate post. Ms Taylor, you transcend the limits of human ability, and if the God you believe in can inspire you to such elevated spiritual places, that’s the kind of God I can worship (atheist that I think I am).(Victoria and Jihadist: peace and love to you both, you energetic and loving humans)One of the true and positive benefits of the Post forum here is that it has given me a deeper love and understanding of my Muslim sisters and Brothers. And this column blew me away.

  • Ba’al

    For what it’s worth, the book of Ezekiel has this to say about the sins of the people of Sodom.16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.It seems fundamentalists like to obsess over the sex and they forget this part. Naturally they will accuse me of cherry-picking verses, but of course everybody cherry-picks when they try to use scripture to make a point — any point.(Of course, in the same book YHWH reveals through this prophet that he really hates pillows. These old books can be hilarious in places).

  • Ba’al

    Not just pillows, but hankies too.Ezekiel 13:18 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you?13:20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly. 13:21 Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

  • Anonymous

    —Homosexuality is an abomination—Morons like you are an abomination.

  • Anonymous

    —Homosexuals is still an issue for Christians too—Well now! you don’t say!!Yes i know that. And screw them too.But the fact is The West/Christianity does not execute homosexuals and Priests do not stand up in church and call for them to be murdered!THAT’S the difference!

  • Pamela

    Halozcel, First, this is God talking to the angels…8:12 When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying:) I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger.It’s not a command to human beings. It’s talking about the spiritual/moral support God and the angels would give to the community of Medina in the midst of their conflict with Mecca. The angels, evidently, did not do a physical smiting but a symbollic or spiritual one, as we have no record of people suddenly losing their heads and fingertips. Second, as I’ve said in other responses, many of the verses that deal with the conflict were superceded by others establishing peace, the sharing of home and hearth through intermarriage and sharing of food. These verses cannot be understood as establishing a permanent state of war, but commenting on the struggle of the day.The verses which are universal and permanent say, “This day I have perfected your religion for you (…) This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness.” The Qur’an also says in numerous places: “Those who believe (in the Qur’an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians and the Christians,- any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness,- on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” This instance is in chapter 5:69. If God is promising Heaven to Jews, Christians, Sabians, Muslims and any who believe in God and the Last Day and so good works, what justification can there be for war between Muslims and those folks??Third you cannot pick a piece of scripture here, and a piece of it there and hope to understand anything. The Qur’an says, “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” 2:256. And: 5:48 “To thee [Muhammad] We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah. it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute;Again… if God doesn’t coerce people to be Muslim, how can the community of Muslims strive to do so?One can find many tons of misinformation about Islam on the web and in the publications of people who hate it a priori. I wonder what the point is of dwelling on such distorted views of Islam… 1) we have to learn to live on this small planet in peace, lest we destroy ourselve and it, 2) you catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

  • Anonymous

    I hate all you religious madmen. You’ve sent this world screaming backwards, covered in blood, through the centuries! I hate you all. Laughable, fantasy religions (populated by bigots, madmen, the corrupt, the stupid, the psychos) that should have died out centuries ago are instead going to be THE defining aspect of this world for countless years now…Stinking Muslims with their Jihad and terrorist acts in the name of their piss-God Allah and lousy Christians/Jews/Catholics and their need to ‘spread the word’ of their mythical God have plunged this world into a darkness not seem for centuries…Only now they have the weapons and technology of the modern world to use to blast us ALL back into the dark-ages.Damn you all for what you have done to my country, my society, my family’s future, the future of all of us and damn you all for what you have done to the world.ROT in your perspective Hells!

  • Pamela

    Anoymous,You are right. Persecution of gays in the US is a crime, and the rare instances of violence against them are received by the general populace with horror, while it is a state policy in various Muslim countries with much of the populace cheering it on. A huge difference. That is why it is so important for Muslims such as myself to stand up and say, “No More. This is not acceptable.” And to provide strong reasoning from the Qur’an to back up our positions. Since these horrific excesses are done in the name of Islam, we must use Islam to counter them. (along with other tools like consciousness raising, etc.)There are human rights groups in place like Iran, who are doing just this. We can support them financially, or with moral support. We can put pressure on these governments to change — write their embassies, or their presidents, or kings. We can put pressure on our government to say to our allies amongst them, “If you want to keep this nice cozy relationship with us, you’d better improve your human rights record.”

  • Danny B.

    Anonymous writes:”But the fact is The West/Christianity does not execute homosexuals and Priests do not stand up in church and call for them to be murdered!””THAT’S the difference!”I don’t think that the attitude toward gay people in this country by so-called “Christians” is that much better. It’s like you are saying that psychological abuse is way better than physical abuse.The fact of the matter is that hate is spewed from the pulpit in this country, and helps congregations believe that they are “loving the sinner while hating the sin”.Gays have been slandered by the GOP to encourage “Christians” to turn out and vote…and it worked! That’s all it took to increase voter turn-out…how very Christian on all sides.The KKK hates gays, as well as the Neo-Nazis and they believe that they are Christian as well. If they thought they would get away with more violent tactics they would be doing it.Exclusion, slurs, causing people to question their self-worth just because these “Christians” can’t accept the separation of church and state is not that much better than what you indicate we “don’t do”.

  • halozcel

    Progressive Muslim writer says,Most Muslims believe that homosexual acts are a sin,I disagree.Banker asks,tell me what we muslims should do about the homos then? and Art interpreter says,enlighten us then……If any of your women are guilty of lewdness(lesbianism)…..confine them to house until death takes them away.Nobel Quran 4.15 If two men among you are guilty of lewdness(homosexuality) punish(torture) them both.Noble Quran 4.16.

  • Anonymous

    —It’s like you are saying that psychological abuse is way better than physical abuse—Well if i had a choice of having some preacher state that i am a sinner or being executed…I’d choose the words!!How stupid!And i said I know (and indeed i do know) how bigotted Christians are. In fact how most members of organised religions are.But the fact still stands that Homosexuals in America can host the Oscars, be successful film stars, Tv personalities, successful singers, successful authors and can on the whole be open about their sexuality and go through their daily life just like anyone else…despite the obvious bigottry that still exists from some people in various forms.Compare that to to Homosexuals in an Islamic states though, where they could be arrested, tortured, imprisoned and even executed for simply existing and where those that do survive have to keep their homosexuality a secret.Just as Muslims will moan and whine about every little so called compromise when living in The West…while at the same time Christians in Muslim lands are literally in fear of their lives even if they are able to practice their religion at all…there is no comparison between Christian/Secular rule and Islamic rule!

  • Danny B.

    Anonymous (get a name for goodness sake),I see by the nastiness of your reaction that that you know in your heart how ridiculous you are.”How stupid!”Now I know that I am talking ABOUT you, not just to you.”Well if i had a choice of having some preacher state that i am a sinner or being executed…I’d choose the words!!”A preacher merely pointing out sin is not what I am talking about, and either you know it, are stupid yourself, or are EXACTLY who I am talking about.As I stated before…Exclusion, slurs, causing people to question their self-worth just because these “Christians” can’t accept the separation of church and state is not that much better than what you indicate we “don’t do”.Furthermore you state; “Homosexuals in America can host the Oscars, be successful film stars, Tv personalities, successful singers, successful authors and can on the whole be open about their sexuality and go through their daily life just like anyone else”You clearly miss the whole point of the discussion at hand. Gay people can’t go through their life JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE…yet!

  • Anonymous

    Halozcel,Most commentators understand 4:15-4:16 as dealing with adultery — setting out very stringent witnessing requirements for a woman (and jurists extend this requirement to men as well) to be charged with adultery (four witnesses to the act…)4:15 And as for those of your women who become guilty of immoral conduct, call upon four from among you who have witnessed their guilt; and if these bear witness thereto, confine the guilty women to their houses until death takes them away or God opens for them a way [through repentance].4:16 And punish both of the guilty parties; but if they both repent and mend their ways, leave them alone: for, behold, God is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace.Again, most traditional commentary has seen this to be discussing adultery and/or fornication, not homosexuality, and the both the guilty parties being the man and the woman. A few have said that 4:16 would also apply in the case of homosexual acts, as at the time the notion of gay marriage had not been considered, so any gay sex was a priori extramarital.Either way, I understand this ruling as a measure against public indecency. If you have to have four witnesses to the act, well, that’s pretty public! Most of us do not engage in sex (hereto or homo)in such a way as to be visible to four witnesses.My professor of Islamic law told our class that there were no recorded instances of anyone being convicted by four witnesses, it is that rare. Whatever convictions there may have been were based upon confession. More recently, things have gone awry, and pregnancy or charges of rape have been used in some countries to convict women although the Qur’an quite clearly states there should be four witnesses.I believe the point of the verse is actually to protect women (and men)from false accusation, by placing very stringent witnessing requirements.Unfortunately, as well as know, the “Islamic” governments of the world are all too often unIslamic, or even anti-Islamic.Their treatment of women and gays top the list of ways in which they violate not only the spirit but even the letter of the law.

  • Danny B.

    Ms. Taylor:I am very moved by your writing.You, my friend, are one who truly understands what is means to live and participate in a great secular society like that of The United Sates of America. You have not compromised your faith, and regardless of one’s particular faith, we can all learn something from you.I was raised a Catholic by very devout parents who still believed that differences in others are good, not to judge or exclude others with different beliefs, and that doing so should not compromise my own faith. Sometimes I found this to contradict what I was being taught in the Catholic school they paid for me to attend. I admire them for knowing they needed to impress these points upon me themselves.I could not imagine exercising the power of my vote to make things uncomfortable for other people I don’t even know. I don’t understand how people who believe that they are moral don’t see the hypocracy of intolerance, nor how they could reduce another whole human being to a singular aspect of their personality in order to do so.Thank you for sharing. I hope you can soften some hard hearts who will read this.

  • Ba’al

    Jonathon SwitzerThere are numerous passages in the Gospels and Epistles that indicate that the Kingdom of Heaven was going to come in the lifetimes of people who had seen Jesus, or at the very least, in the lifetimes of the New Testament writers. In fact, Jesus is quoted as saying this himself, for example in Matthew 16:28 and Luke 9:27. I leave it as an exercise for you to find other examples of this claim in Matthew, Mark, and John. Either those predictions were wrong or the Kingdom of Heaven means something different than you think it does or maybe the Bible is simply not internally consistent. Maybe you should not be so sure of yourself.

  • halozcel

    Dear Writer says,The Quran is quite adamant that there is to be NO COERSION in religion…When your Lord revealed to the angels,I am with you,therefore make firm those who believe.I will cast TERROR into the hearts of those who disbelieve(non muslim).Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.Noble Quran 8.12

  • halozcel

    Dear Pamela posted march 6 3.41 PM.Your first,second and third sentences reflect your own interpretation not absolute situation.Many scholars didnt and dont interpret like you since centuries.What is House of War?..You give one example 5.69 and let me give many 5.57,5.58,5.59,5.63,5.64 they(jews)shall be cursed..,5.65,5.66.In that case your example can be considered one of hundred contrdictions in Book.Besides,5.69 doesnt rule out 2.191 and 2.193.Another example 5.48. and I ask Where is the prescribed law to Japanese,Chinese,Hindus,black africans and Sitting Bull(red indians) arent they beloved peoples of God?.You say,one can find many tons of misinformation about Islam on the web.Are you only Art Interpreter in the world?.Can you say exact meaning of Elephant Chapter?.You say we have to learn to live in peace.Dear Pamela,couldnt you learn since 14oo years?.Is it our fault or Teachers or Books?.Honey and Vnegar.Germany pop.82 mil.GDP 3000 bil dollars,Egypt pop 78 GDP 300 bil.dol….Japan pop 130 mil.GDP 5000 bil.,Pakistan pop.170 mil.GDP 475 bil dol.Which one Honey?

  • Anonymous

    I said ON THE WHOLE they can live their lives like everyone else.That does not mean they are not still open to abuse.And my points still stand. You’re just a hypocrite who hates white, Christian America MORE than you care about Homosexuals, because you refuse to acknowledge the fact that Christian America (EVEN WITH THE FAULTS I ACKNOWLEDGED AND AGREED ON!!) is still a FAR, FAR, FAR safer and tolerent place than ANY Islamic country.But you just can’t bring yourself to care enough about the plight of Homosexuals to actually say anything about a mainly non-white, non-American/non-West religion!You’re a joke.

  • Willy

    Fell free to go to any Islamic country and happily a hang around the cities openly Gay clubs, Gay bars, Gay pubs, Gay hang-outs and entire Gay quarters of the city of your choice.The thing is though you won’t be able to…Because there won’t be any such places.

  • Danny B.

    –You’re an idiot!—-How slow are you!?—-Idiot–Wow! Anonymous, no name and full of rage and hate…I AM talking about you! You dish it, don’t take it,and thus can’t see the point.By your nasty tone and insults I see exactly who I am dealing with. You can’t see that “better in the West” does not equal good. All I was ever saying is that by mere comparison we can’t play down what is happening here just because it is worse somewhere else.–Well Islam does all that TOO.What’s YOUR point? Are you saying that there are degrees of harmful un-Christian behavior that are acceptable? That because one is seemingly less harmful than the other that it is OK?That was your point in first place that I had responded to.Sorry I’m an idiot, Sir/Ma’am. Your kindness in only pointing it out is noted. I realize that I could be killed in other places for being the idiot I am. Thank you for having mercy on me by only using hate talk.An idiot corrected,Danny B.

  • Anonymous

    BTW, Anonymous:–I never said Homosexuals have it FAIR or EQUAL.–Then please expalin what you meant by:Just like anyone else would be fair AND equal.Please don’t kill me for pointing out that you contracted yourself.For future reference, you can scroll up and re-read posts before posting again.An idiot, humbly,Danny B.

  • Danny B.

    I meant “contradicted”. THAT’s how slow I am.

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  • afdhere

    salam, pamela. ani told me about this article last week and i think it is pretty darn good. thank you very much for your compassion and reason in this day and age. :)

  • Johanna-Hypatia

    Dear Pamela, salam `alaykum I disagree that the mukhannath in the hadith you cited, about the Prophet’s wives’ friend, should be read as a gay man, considering that transgender is a much better fit. There have been debates in queer studies over how to read gender-variant historical figures, for example in several American Indian tribes, as gay or transsexual. I would suggest that when someone takes on the socially contructed role of the other gender, and there’s no reference to sexual behavior, then trans is the more likely reading. Another consideration is that the current definition of “gay” is a modern construction and people of earlier cultures didn’t draw the boundaries the same way we would. So caution is advised when outing folks of another time and culture.As for Muslims who get nervous when other Muslims have pleasant, civilized dialogues with kuffar, like this dialogue… It reminds me of a statement I heard spoken by a gentleman from Tablighi Jama`at once. “How can you know for sure when your Islam is correct?” he posed. I don’t know, how? “When people are fighting against you! If no one is fighting you then your Islam is not correct.” I felt disbelief and disgust that anyone could go through life with such a mindset, or that they would twist Islam into such an ugly shape. I have been all over the world, in many Muslim countries, and know many Muslim communities in this country. I’m glad that only a very small percentage of Muslims I’ve ever known hold such hardline militant attitudes. Their number is dwarfed by the hardline Islamophobes who lately have been coming out of the woodwork whenever even the gentlest, most progressive Muslims like Pamela Taylor try to say something healing and beneficial for a change.I doubt the deep emotional problems surrounding Islam will ever improve until more believers can do as Pamela is doing, take a fresh look at the doctrines with a clean heart, a compassionate human heart free of old prejudices. Remember the Qur’an’s verse 26:89 about bringing a healthy heart to Allah – ata Allah bi-qalb salim. The word salim not only means safe and sound, its form in Arabic carries the active meaning of safety as well, meaning someone who does not harm others. Pamela’s essay here is a great example of how to argue what is best (Qur’an 16:125) with a heart that is salim like the Qur’an says. I think Pamela is setting a good example for doing this right, and I’m happy to see her connecting with people like this.Right on, sista. :)

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  • PAYDAY

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    If a loan is with recourse, the lender has a general claim against the Regular way settlement In the money and bond markets, the regular basis on which some security trades are fund

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    If you read the Quran you word know better…

  • Anita

    Dear Pamela K. Taylor,I found your article extremely inspiring. I have been researching about the views of Islam on homosexuality for a long time, since I am a homosexual myself and yet I never found such stirring article. The way you interpreted Qur’an and the way you phrased your thoughts moved me. It made me realise that the religion I was starting to question because everyone had said that it was against homosexuality, was actually welcoming and accepting. Since the same God that they say prohibits homosexuality created homosexuals. Thank you for your enormous support, we appreciate your help deeply.Anita.