Islam, LBGT, and Peter Tatchell

So this event happened a few years back. “Public reactions to LGBT-Muslim Solidarity initiative – East London, 21 October 2015”:

The reason I’m posting now is that Peter Tatchell is still selling this narrative.

It was a brave attempt by the great Peter Tatchell, the long term campaigner for LBGT cause against persecution, particularly by the law and the police.

I support Peter’s support of gay Muslims. An since I support freedom of belief, I support their right to be gay and Muslim. No problem.

Unfortunately, Peter suffers from the common blindness that has a tendency to think a critic of Islam is an anti-Muslim bigot. He has joined in the smears of people outspoken about Islam. And it’s this aspect of the narrative being sold here that I object to.

Here’s the problem in a nutshell, 2 minutes in:

“I feel that LGBT communities and Muslim communities are ideally placed to show solidarity with one another because of the long history of homophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment that they both face.”

Let’s go through some of the problems with this statement, that sweeps across time and geography selectively picking out the narrative that Peter Tatchell has been pushing for some time.

LGBT communities, and Muslim communities are not monoliths (we are told so often) that have some uniting common ground.

The long history of homophobia in Britain is there to be examined. But now? No. Some remnant homophobia among the ignorant, but generally socially accepted.

The most homophobic messages in Britain today come from religious people, and, accounting for population proportions, proportionately more from Muslim ‘communities’. That is, after all, why this event was put on.

And, you will find that the most horrendous stories where gay people are rejected wholesale by family and community are from gay Muslims and ex-Muslims. The video above starts with one, and others are recounted. And, since the religion is often specifically cited as the reason for the rejection and persecution, the idea that LGBT communities, and Muslim communities have something in common is laughable – unless you see the common ground as actually having polar opposite views on homosexuality.

Of course, not all Muslims are homophobic. And not all LBGT are not anti-Muslim. And plenty of LGBT people are anti-Islam. And not all non-Muslims are not homophobic.

It’s a messy world, and the above poor attempt to persuade Muslims that they have a lot in common with LBGT because they are both persecuted is a lie. LBGT is well accepted now in the wider British society, and it’s Muslims doing the persecuting of LBGT now. It’s an insane narrative.

Then, add to that the fact that Muslims are not a minority.

We are told there are 1.6 billion Muslims. That isn’t a minority. It’s the 2nd largest and fastest growing religion. And in ‘Muslim lands’ (that monolithic term beloved by many Muslims) Muslim and ex-Muslim LBGT are at risk of losing their lives. You will have seen the images of gay men hanged on cranes in public squares in Iran.

Nevertheless, you can bet your life that without having to endorse LBGT one iota, the Islamic homophobes will be rubbing their hands, because their victim status has been turned up a notch and validated by the LBGT community in this video. This is madness.

Oh, wait. I’ll tell you where there’s common ground between LBGT and homophobic misogynistic Muslim groups. When Maryam Namazie tried to present her views on the misogynistic nature of Islam at a university, the ISOC shut her down. And then the LBGTSOC backed up the ISOC, not Maryam. This is madness.

By all means get as much support from the Muslim communities as you can. Try to persuaded them that freedom of belief and freedom of sexual orientation are valuable freedoms. It was obviously nice to see that some Muslims agreed (we don’t know to what extent the video was edited).

But the problem with trying to set a false narrative is it has the habit of backfiring. The emperor’s nakedness is obvious. And speaking of nakedness, at 2:13

Muslim: If I don’t approve this, doesn’t mean they are my enemy. It doesn’t mean I haven’t got tolerance against (for) them. I am tolerant. …

That sounds like freedom of belief and tolerance to me.

Off screen interviewer: Don’t you believe that the fact you are saying that you don’t approve of something is lessening people who are gay and Muslim. You’re not saying that they deserve to be gay.

This is typical Leftie BS. You’re worth is not set by whether someone believes that being gay is OK. It is set by yourself. If this Muslim man, as a parent of a gay son or daughter, were to persecute them, that would be infringing on their freedom. But if he disapproves, but is tolerant of them, then what’s the problem? After all, Peter Tatchell is here preaching tolerance and he’s not a Muslim. And I doubt all ex-Muslims present approve of Islam.

Msulim: Do you approve of somebody walking barefoot without clothes?

To which one could answer yes or no, depending on one’s approval or disapproval. That’s freedom of belief. I think he expected here to disapprove, but she may have been about to approve. But she lost the plot when she tried to deny the comparison to right to express your feelings in nakedness to the rights of LBGT. He wasn’t denying rights, he was speaking of personal approval., which is free to give or not.

They do get a bit confused.

Of course, the interviewer is merely arguing here that the Muslim’s view is devaluing. It’s a handy rhetorical tool – it can be useful to throw back at someone that accuses you of devaluing them, while they happily devalue you. Where have we seen that before? Oh, yes, when Peter Tatchell complains about how Muslims are devalued by critics of Islam, and then goes on to devalue those critics of Islam, calling them anti-Muslim bigots.

So, to be clear, freedom of belief is important. Thought policing, the persecution of people for their beliefs, is bad. But, trying to persuade someone to change their beliefs, through dialogue, and through protest (Peter Tatchell’s fame is built on it) is legitimate.

Sadly, Peter doesn’t seem to think this is the case when it comes to criticising or protesting against Islam, because, as this narrative goes, Muslims are a minority ally of the LBGT community.

Who knew? Someone best tell the gays and their hangmen in Iran that they are allies.

Another Muslim interviewed, asked if they should unite is against a common oppression, having just been told that his community is doing the oppression:

No comment, man. No comment.

 

 

 

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