Saturday, April 5, 2008

Loss of Identity (part3)

Hey;This last part of the 2nd article written by my sweet Palestinian Friend in Stockholm.

. You can check the First part at this Link

and the 2nd part at

And if you want, you can check also the FIRST article in this link

Now, Enjoy the last part

I was privileged to go through the very eye opening experience of meeting Imam Muhsin Hendricks while he was visiting Stockholm. Muhsin Hendricks comes from South Africa. He grew up in an Orthodox religious Muslim family and devoted himself to religious Islamic studies. He went on to become an ordained Imam. He was a teacher in two Madrassas (Islamic religious schools) and an Imam in the local mosque. But that changed as he came out as a homosexual. Following his coming out, Imam Muhsin left for Cape Town where he moved in with his partner, and established The Inner Circle, an organization of Queer Muslims. Since then, he’s been doing remarkable work in establishing the idea that Quran has nothing against homosexuals, or against women, taking leading roles in the religious institutions.
One of the things I admire most about this Imam and his work is that he argues his approach even as he continues to consider himself an observant religious queer Muslim. He bases himself on his Islamic religious knowledge of Quran and Hadith. It is his experience, and his certified ordination, as an Imam that gives strength to his argument and, perhaps lends greater credibility. Through him I have learned that the essence of our human existence is our souls, and in order for our souls to achieve salvation, we must seek to be pure and good people no matter what our faith and religion. Faith and religion are but a tool and a way for us to achieve that salvation.
So being a Muslim is a state of being. When we view religions without their original purity and the innocence - the soul may suffer even as the true holiness of the religion, without the accumulated theological misinterpretations, causes salvation.

He inspired and encouraged me to take pride in my curiosity and in my questioning. He supported the criticizing and the evaluating my religion, Islam, as I now understand that I do this in keeping with my logic and my own interpretations. He has shown me that Islam has encouraged and given us the space to do so.
During my talk with Imam Mushin, I recalled my struggle, when I was younger, to understand myself. Then I thought that I could consider myself either a Muslim or a homosexual. I was influenced back then by mainstream Muslims, in my environment, to believe that Islam viewed homosexuality as a sin. Once you are a homosexual, you can no longer be considered a Muslim.
So, I remember the difficulty and the feeling of guilt each time I went into a mosque or tried to read Quran. What a great difference it is today when I finally realized that I no longer harbor this inner conflict! Without actually noticing an unfolding process, I have slowly found that it’s become very normal for me to refer to myself as a Muslim, go into a mosque to pray and to read the Holy Quran without sensing that it conflicts with the fact that I am a homosexual.
I have become overwhelmed by a Utopian view that I would love to one day see become a reality. Today I can envision “A Queer Mixed mosque” where straight, bisexual, lesbian, gay and transsexual are welcomed and accepted to practice their religious customs and prayers equally and where women are allowed not only to pray side by side with men, or even in front of them, but also where they may lead the prayer, become Imams and hold other leading roles in the religious customs.
I have yet to succeed in my contacts with the primary Swedish Islamic youth organization to clarify their official positions regarding such issues. I shall keep trying. I hope to actively encourage increased dialogue and discussion in Swedish society and in its Muslim community in particular, as I establish a life for myself in Sweden and to become a part of its society. I believe that Sweden enjoys the needed infrastructural to support such a debate.

I have come to feel that Islam needs to show its many faces, in order to help overcome the prejudice, stereotyping, misunderstanding, and the dark image it has been suffering of late. , I have felt the urgent need and desire to refer to myself as a Queer Liberal Reformed Feminist Muslim hoping that together, with many other fellow Muslims like me, that I am confident exist all over the world, we can better ourselves and our societies. We can create a change that shall contribute to creating a better environment for our existence as human beings all over the world. This shall ring true whatever our backgrounds, races, faiths or religions.


At the end Let us all watch this Video from Al-Qudus (Jerusalem) ...and let us all greet our Palestinian friend in Sweden

1 comment:

tunisian simbad said...

hi my friend
Thx for giving us the opportunity to read the Palestinian's post, wonderful especially the conclusion even i am not sharing all the idea described here.
anyway nice aim to try to contributed in the Sweden society in particular.
i will not make along comment cause i am afraid that i bothered you by this, but i just want to say nice blog fornice personn.
just 1 remarks can you try to upload the video from Al-Qudus (Jerusalem) cause it dsn't appear please don't put it in Youtube or daily motion cause the both site are blocked in tunisia.
Just other thing i want to send you a small speech taken from a tv show called the Dawson Creek in which the hero make his coming out in face of his parents, the dialogue was very touchable very human, it shows how suffered the gay people inside and how their parents make the difference between brother in case they find out what one child is,of course (mp3 file+speech)
have a nice day friend