Homosexuality debate islam

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prevalence of homosexuality in Islam, and the Islamists' polemical reaction to modern . constructionist' model within the scholarly debate on the constructs of. In fact, nary a word has been uttered using arguments indigenous to the to which my piece attends, is entitled Homosexuality in Islam – not. A debate about homosexuality in Islam is beginning. But in Muslim lands persecution—and hypocrisy—are still rife.

extremism. More alarming is the specificity of the debate in the Muslim world. Homosexual relations have been culturally and historically rooted within the Islamic. In the context of conflicts over Islam and multiculturalism, the acceptance and equal treatment of homosexuality have come to have an. Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, a French-Algerian homosexual Muslim, poses in . We debated with Egypt's University of Alazar on the German TV.

homosexuality and Islam has largely focused on religious and juridical the meticulous study of contemporary debates on homosexuality and Islam in TOLINO. In the context of conflicts over Islam and multiculturalism, the acceptance and equal treatment of homosexuality have come to have an. Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, a French-Algerian homosexual Muslim, poses in . We debated with Egypt's University of Alazar on the German TV.

Attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT people, and their experiences in the Muslim worldhave homosexuality influenced by its religious, legal, social, political, and cultural history. The Quran narrates the story of the "people of Lot " destroyed by the wrath of Debate because they engaged in lustful carnal acts between men. However, homosexual relationships were generally tolerated in pre-modern Islamic societies[9] [10] and historical records suggest that these laws were invoked infrequently, mainly in cases of rape or other "exceptionally blatant infringement on public morals ".

In recent times, extreme prejudice against homosexuals persists, both socially and legally, in much of the Islamic world, exacerbated by islam conservative attitudes and the rise of Islamist movements. The Quran contains several allusions to homosexual activity, which has prompted considerable exegetical and legal commentary over the centuries. Most surely you come to males in lust besides females; nay you are an extravagant people.

And the answer of his people was no other than that they said: Turn them out of your town, surely they are a people who seek to purify themselves. So We delivered him and his followers, except his wife; she was of those who remained behind. And We rained upon them a rain; consider then what was the end of the guilty. Later exegetical literature built on these verses as writers attempted to give their own views as to what went on; and there was general agreement among exegetes that the "abomination" alluded to by the Quranic passages was attempted sodomy specifically anal intercourse between men.

Only one passage in the Quran prescribes a strictly legal position. It is not restricted to homosexual behaviour, however, and deals more generally with zina illicit sexual intercourse : [49]. And as for the two islam are guilty of indecency from among you, give them both a punishment; then if they repent and amend, turn aside from them; surely Allah is oft-returning to mercythe Merciful. Most exegetes hold that these verses refer to illicit heterosexual relationships, although a minority view attributed to the Mu'tazilite scholar Abu Muslim al-Isfahani interpreted them as referring to homosexual relations.

This view was debate rejected by medieval scholars, but has found some acceptance in modern times. Some Quranic verses describing the paradise refer to "immortal boys"or "young men" who serve wine to the blessed. Although the tafsir literature does not interpret this as a homoerotic allusion, the connection was made in other literary genres, mostly humorously. With smooth hands and fingers dyed with henna And with long hair of golden curls around his cheeks I have a lad who is like the beautiful lads of paradise And his eyes are big and beautiful.

Jurists of the Hanafi school took up the question seriously, considering, but ultimately rejecting the suggestion that homosexual pleasures were, like wine, forbidden in this world but enjoyed in the afterlife. The hadith sayings and actions attributed to Muhammad show that homosexual behaviour was not unknown in seventh-century Arabia. From Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, the Prophet p.

While there are no reports relating to homosexuality in the best known hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslimother canonical collections record a number of condemnations of the "act of the people of Lot" male-to-male anal intercourse. Narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet said: If you homosexuality anyone doing as Lot's people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done. Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: If a man who is not married is seized committing sodomy he will be stoned to death.

Ibn al-Jawzi — writing in the 12th century debate that Muhammad had cursed "sodomites" in several hadith, and had recommended the death penalty for both the active and passive partners in homosexual acts.

It was narrated that Ibn 'Abbaas said: "The Prophet said: " Ahmad narrated from Ibn 'Abbas that the Prophet of Allah said: "May Allah curse the one who does the action of the people of Lot, may Allah curse the one who does the homosexuality of the people of Lot," three times.

Al-Nuwayri — in his Nihaya reports that Muhammad is "alleged to have said what he feared most for his community were the practices of the people of Lot he seems to have expressed the same idea in regard to wine and female seduction. It was narrated that Jabir: "The Prophet said: 'There is nothing I fear for my followers more than the deed of the people of Lot.

Other hadiths seem to permit homoerotic feelings as long as they are not translated into action. In addition, there is a number of "purported but mutually inconsistent reports" athar of punishments of sodomy ordered by early caliphs. There are, however, fewer hadith mentioning homosexual behavior in women; [57] [58] but punishment if any for lesbianism was not clarified. In Islam, the term mukhannathun is used to describe gender-variant people, usually male-to-female transgender.

Neither this term nor the equivalent for "eunuch" occurs in the Quran, but the term does appear in the Hadith, the sayings of Muhammad, which have a secondary status to the central text.

Moreover, within Islamthere is a tradition on the elaboration and refinement of extended religious doctrines through scholarship. This doctrine contains a passage by the scholar and hadith collector An-Nawawi :. A mukhannath is the one debate who carries in his movements, in his appearance and in his language the characteristics of a woman.

There are two types; the first is the one in whom these characteristics are innate, he did not put them on by islam, and therein is no guilt, no blame and no shame, as long as he does not perform any illicit act or exploit it for money prostitution etc.

The second type acts like a woman out of immoral purposes and he is the sinner and blameworthy. The hadith collection of Bukhari compiled in the 9th century from earlier oral traditions includes a report regarding mukhannathuneffeminate men who were granted access to secluded women's quarters and engaged in other non- islam gender behavior: [7] This hadiths attributed to Muhammad's wivesa mukhannath in question expressed his appreciation of a woman's body and islam it for the benefit of another man.

Narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet cursed effeminate men; those men who are in the similitude assume the manners of women and those women who assume the manners of men, and he said, "Turn them out of your houses.

According to Everett Rowson, none of the sources state that Muhammad banished more than two mukhannathunand it is not clear to what extent the debate was taken because of their breaking of gender rules in itself or because of the "perceived damage to social institutions from their activities as matchmakers and their corresponding access to women".

According to traditional Islamic law, homosexual activity cannot occur in a legal manner because it takes place outside marriage and between partners of the same sex. The paucity of concrete prescriptions to be derived from hadith and the contradictory nature of information about the actions of early authorities resulted in lack of agreement among classical jurists as to how homosexual activity should be treated.

For unclear reasons, the treatment of homosexuality in Twelver Shia jurisprudence is generally harsher than in Sunni fiqh, while Zaydi and Isma'ili Shia jurists took positions similar to the Sunnis. Since a hadd punishment for zina requires testimony from four witnesses to the actual act of islam or a confession from the accused repeated four times, the legal criteria for the prescribed harsh punishments of homosexual acts were very difficult to fulfill.

Documented instances of prosecution for homosexual acts are rare, and those which followed legal procedure prescribed by Islamic law are even rarer. In Kecia Ali's book, she cites that "contemporary scholars disagree sharply about the Qur'anic perspective on same-sex intimacy.

Many Muslim scholars have followed a debate ask, don't tell" policy in regards to homosexuality in Islam, by treating the subject with passivity. Egyptian Islamist journalist Muhammad Jalal Kishk also found no punishment for homosexual acts prescribed in the Quran, regarding the hadith that mentioned it as poorly attested.

He did not homosexuality of such acts, but believed that Muslims who abstained from sodomy would be rewarded by sex with youthful boys in paradise. Kutty, who teaches comparative law and legal reasoning, also wrote that many Debate scholars [71] have "even argued that homosexual tendencies themselves were not haram [prohibited] but had to be suppressed for the public good".

He claimed that this may not be "what the LGBTQ community wants to hear", but that, "it reveals that even classical Islamic jurists struggled with this issue and had a more sophisticated attitude than many contemporary Muslims". Kutty, who in the past wrote in support of allowing Islamic principles in dispute resolution, also noted that "most Muslims have no problem extending full human rights to those—even Muslims—who live together 'in sin'".

He argued that homosexuality therefore seems hypocritical to deny fundamental rights to same-sex couples. Moreover, he concurred with Islamic legal scholar Mohamed Fadel [72] in arguing that this is not about changing Islamic marriage nikahbut about making "sure that all citizens have access to the same kinds of public benefits".

Some modern day Muslim scholars, such as Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle, argue for a different debate of the Lot narrative focusing not on the sexual act but on the infidelity of the tribe and their rejection of Lot's Prophethood.

According to Kugle, "where the Qur'an treats same-sex acts, it condemns them only homosexuality far as they are exploitive or violent. One level is "genetic inheritance. One the islam of this reading of the Qur'an, Kugle asserts that homosexuality is "caused by divine will," so "homosexuals have no rational choice in their internal disposition to be attracted to same-sex mates. In a book, Aisha Geissinger [77] writes that there are "apparently irreconcilable Muslim standpoints on same-sex desires and acts," all of which claim "interpretative authenticity.

The Lot story is interpreted as condemning "rape and inhospitality rather than today's consensual same-sex relationships. In their book Islamic Law and Muslim Same-Sex UnionsJunaid Jahangir and Hussein Abdullatif argue that interpretations which view the Quranic narrative of the people of Lot and the derived classical notion of liwat as applying to same-sex relationships homosexuality the sociocultural norms and medical knowledge of societies that produced those interpretations.

They further argue that the notion of liwat is compatible with the Quranic narrative, but not with the contemporary understanding of same-sex relationships based on love and shared responsibilities. Abdessamad Dialmy [80] in his article, "Sexuality and Islam," addressed "sexual norms defined by the sacred texts Koran and Sunna.

Societies in Islam have recognized "both erotic attraction and sexual behavior between members of the same sex". However, their attitudes about them have often been contradictory: "severe religious and legal sanctions" against homosexual behavior and at the same time "celebratory expressions" of erotic attraction.

Accordingly, the Arabic language had an appreciable vocabulary of homoerotic terms, with dozens of words just to describe types of male prostitutes. There is little evidence of homosexual practice homosexuality Islamic societies for the first century and a half of the Islamic era.

The conceptions of homosexuality found in classical Islamic texts resemble the traditions of classical Greece and those of ancient Rome islam, rather than modern Western notions of sexual orientation. During the early period, growth of a beard was considered to be the conventional age when an adolescent lost his homoerotic appeal, as evidenced by poetic protestations that the author still found his lover beautiful despite the growing beard.

During later periods, the age of the stereotypical beloved became more ambiguous, and this prototype was often represented in Persian poetry by Turkish soldiers.

Other famous examples of homosexuality include the Aghlabid Emir Ibrahim II of Ifriqiya ruled —who was said to have been surrounded by some sixty catamitesyet whom he was said to have treated in a most horrific manner.

Caliph al-Mutasim in the 9th century and some of his successors were accused of homosexuality. The 14th-century Iranian poet Obeid Zakani, in his scores of satirical stories and poems, has ridiculed the contradiction between the strict prohibitions of homosexuality on the one hand and its common practice on the other.

Mehmed the Conquerorthe Ottoman sultan living in the 15th century, European sources say "who was known to have ambivalent sexual tastes, sent a eunuch to the house of Notaras, demanding that he supply his good-looking fourteen-year-old son for the Sultan's pleasure. When he refused, the Sultan instantly ordered the decapitation of Notaras, together with that of his son and his son-in-law; and their three heads … were placed on the banqueting table before him".

However, Turkish sources deny these stories. Whatever the legal strictures on sexual activity, the positive expression of male homoerotic sentiment in literature was accepted, and assiduously cultivated, from the late eighth century until modern times. First in Arabicbut later also in Persian, Turkish and Urdulove poetry by men about boys more than competed with that about women, it overwhelmed it. Anecdotal literature reinforces this impression of general societal acceptance of the public celebration of male-male love which hostile Western caricatures of Islamic societies in medieval and early modern times simply exaggerate.

European travellers remarked on the taste that Shah Abbas of Iran had for wine and festivities, but also for attractive pages and cup-bearers. A painting by Riza Abbasi with homo-erotic qualities shows the ruler enjoying such delights.

As was customary everywhere until the nineteenth century, homosexuality was not viewed as a congenital disposition or 'identity'; the focus was on nonprocreative sexual practices, of which sodomy was the most controversial. Evidence includes the behavior of rulers.

Few literary works displayed hostility towards non-heterosexuality, apart from partisan statements and debates about types of love which also occurred in heterosexual contexts. El-Rouayheb suggests that even though religious scholars considered sodomy as an abhorrent sin, most of them did not genuinely believe that it was illicit to merely fall in love with a boy or expressing this love via poetry. The medical term ubnah qualified the pathological desire of a male to exclusively be on the receiving end of anal intercourse.

Physician that theorized on ubnah includes Rhazeswho thought that it was correlated with small genitals and that a treatment was possible provided that the subject was deemed to be not too effeminate and the behavior not "prolonged". In mystic writings of the medieval era, such as Sufi textsit is "unclear whether the beloved being addressed is a teenage boy or God.

The attitudes toward homosexuality in the Ottoman empire underwent a dramatic change during the 19th century. Before that time, Ottoman societal norms accepted homoerotic relations as normal, despite condemnation of homosexuality by religious scholars.

The Ottoman Sultanic law qanun tended to equalize the treatment of hetero- and homosexuals. Dream interpretation literature accepted homosexuality as natural, and karagozthe principal character of popular puppet theater, engaged in both active and passive gay sex.

However, in the 19th century, Ottoman society started to be influenced by European ideas about sexuality as well as the criticism leveled at the Ottoman society by European authors for its sexual and gender norms, including homosexuality. This criticism associated the weakness of the Ottoman state and corruption of the Ottoman government with Ottoman sexual corruption. By the s, these ideas were prompting embarrassment and self-censorship among the Ottoman public regarding traditional attitudes toward sex in general and homosexuality in particular.

Dream interpretation literature declined, the puppet theater was purged of its coarser elements, and homoeroticism began to be regarded as abnormal and shameful.

Hossein Alizadeh of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, a New York-based lobby group, says that religious awakening is strengthening hardline interpretations of Islam and a repressive backlash on all kinds of sex-related issues. But the laws left behind by the former regimes in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt seem draconian enough to satisfy the new governments. An ominous counter-example is Iraq.

The previous Iraqi regime was politically repressive but unbothered by sexual mores. Now men even suspected of being gay face kidnappings, rape, torture and extrajudicial killing. It is the most dangerous place in the world for sexual minorities, he says. One small source of hope is the internet: life online offers gays safety, secrecy and the chance to make their case. The internet also offers a chance to debate the fundamental issue: the Islamic prohibition of homosexuality.

This is based on a tale common to all three Abrahamic religions, though details differ of a man called Lot and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. These were engulfed in fire and brimstone as divine punishment for the local penchant for gay sex. Earlier Islamic societies were less hardline. An 11th-century Persian ruler advised his son to alternate his partners seasonally: young men in the summer and women in the winter.

Many of the love poems of the eighth-century Abu Nuwas in Baghdad, and of other Persian and Urdu poets, were addressed to boys. In medieval mystic writings, particularly Sufi texts, it is unclear whether the beloved being addressed is a teenage boy or God, providing a quasi-religious sanction for relationships between men and boys. Austere European chroniclers fumed at the indulgent attitudes to gay sex in the Caliphs' courts now the censure is the other way.

Like liberal Jewish and Christian scholars in recent decades, some Muslim thinkers are now finding theological latitude. The story of Lot, he argues, deals with male rape and violence, not homosexuality in general.

Classical Islamic theologians and jurists were mostly concerned with stifling lustful immorality, he says. Koranic verses describe without condemnation men who have no sexual desire for women. Arash Naraghi, an Iranian academic at Moravian College in Pennsylvania, suggests that the verses decrying homosexuality, like those referring to slavery and Ptolemaic cosmology, stem from common beliefs at the time of writing, and should be re-examined. Even Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, the late spiritual leader of Lebanon's Hizbullah party-cum-militia, conceded that more research is needed in order to understand homosexuality.

Unsurprisingly, the debate, such as it is, is led by gay Muslims outside the Islamic world. Though their rights are better protected, they too can suffer from intolerance—as the trial in Derby last month highlighted. In European cities with lots of poor, pious Muslim immigrants, municipal politics brings some rum alliances.

Ken Livingstone, a left-wing London politician with a strong record on gay rights, has in the past welcomed Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an America-bashing Muslim cleric from Egypt who supports the death penalty for homosexuality. This supposed interpretive latitude, however, only works against these critics: What can account for such deep denominational variance and interpretive latitude that fails to register, over the course of fourteen hundred years, a single denomination permitting same-sex acts?

Is it not at all possible that the unified prohibition of same-sex acts — upheld universally by all Muslim sects, even those classified as apostate according to Sunni and Twelver Shiite dispensations — demonstrates the clarity — and, on this point at least, the univocality — of Divine Writ? Other critics have suggested that Islam needs to be understood in light of its lived historical reality and not the allegedly rigid interpretations upheld by exegetes and jurists.

Those who would argue that such past communities at specific times and places were guilty of disregarding objective Islamic norms are accused of imposing their own assumptions of orthodoxy onto the past. In introducing his work on p. Would the same folks vesting evidentiary weight in practices that were widely attested to and registered in the historical record be willing to argue that pederasty, too, should be made permissible or, rather, that it was already permissible given its presence in past societies?

I suspect not. Some critics have objected to the presence of allegedly false equivalencies in my article. Here, it is said that the paper improperly establishes a parallel between the sexual stimulation a same-sex attracted individual experiences, on the one hand, and impulses such as lying, cheating, and stealing, on the other. Elsewhere it is said that I consign same-sex attracted individuals to a life of celibacy with a consolation that others too must live with a test of permanent celibacy, including those who cannot get married due to a shortage of marriageable partners, poverty, or medical incapacity.

Thus, the paper is described as peddling false analogies and falling victim to an underappreciation of the qualitative difference between same-sex attraction as a deep-seated psycho-sexual reality and other tests a person may face. This argument, like the aforementioned ones cited here, relies on misrepresenting the essential discursive being employed in the paper while positing a number of unfounded assumptions.

To begin with, the question must be asked in which context these analogies were raised. The point was merely that many sins — among which same-sex acts are included — are prompted by impulses that i exist in a large number of people, ii are ineluctable, iii manifest internally with a forceful impulse to be acted upon, and iv are nonetheless prohibited in Islamic law.

Accordingly, asserting inherency as the requisite basis upon which to rest the moral legitimacy of otherwise sinful acts is not an epistemically valid approach. Having said that, the analogy proffered in the piece is an imperfect one in some important respects: the relative difficulty of abstinence, for example, is not equivalent to abstaining from the other behaviors mentioned.

Though it may not hold uniformly, one can safely assume that, normatively speaking, refraining from lying is less taxing than avoiding illicit sexual acts. This much can be conceded without issue. However, the question then arises as to whether an analogy exists that can adequately capture — in every conceivable respect — the many dimensions of same-sex relationships. Heterosexual relationships do not offer a perfect analog given the presence of physiological differences between partners, procreative potential in many, though not all, instances of course , and relationship dynamics.

The prohibition against wine drinking is dissimilar to the prohibition against swine consumption. It would be meaningless, quite clearly, for one to assert that no two actions can be impermissible unless they are alike in each and every respect. As it stands, however, homosexual behavior is subject to an explicit and specific prohibition by God in the Quran, one that is in no way derivative of or dependent upon an analogy to any other prohibition.

The demand for an exact analogy then serves to do little more than distract. It does not address the substantive concern namely, the intent of scripture. It does not even provide comfort to the religiously disinclined struggling with same-sex desire.

Accordingly, the relative preventability of desires bears no consequence in determining moral right and wrong. However, this raises another question: If the preventability of sexual desire is not a relevant criterion for judging the morality of sexual behavior, then on what basis can we establish a sexual ethic?

It is possible here to contend that consent is the only relevant criterion for the moral permissibility of sexual acts which reigns as the orthodox presupposition governing sexual relations in the post-Sexual Revolution West. Sexual predilections held as disordered or otherwise unnatural in the prevailing sexual schema of the modern West can be repudiated using the criteria of consent: pedophilic relationships and bestiality, for instance, are both regarded as providing no meaningful consent notwithstanding, of course, the fluidity of consent, the contestability of child consent, [8] the ambiguity of what constitutes a child, etc.

Incestuous relationships would certainly present a problem given the distinct possibility of full consent. In order to maintain the consent argument, some have qualified consent with provisions related to harm.

It would seem we now have a workable sexual ethic that can be brought into conversation with Islamic sexual norms to then assert the licitness of same-sex relationships. However, the ethical and moral program upheld by Islam which is, of course, the subject at hand has never viewed consent as the sole criteria for sexual acts, and much that can be enacted consensually is indisputably prohibited. Likewise with physical intimacy short of intercourse and seclusion between two marriageable persons khalwa.

Understanding that consent bears little currency in Islamic law, some have argued that the burdensome nature of lifelong abstinence necessarily calls for a special dispensation for same-sex attracted individuals, for God does not burden a soul with more than it can bear. Here, I noted in the paper that many Muslims are de facto charged with lifelong abstinence.

Reasons preventing them from marriage may include a shortage of marriageable partners such as the growing phenomenon of spinsterhood in the West , medical frailty, or poverty, among other reasons. That these other opposite-sex attracted individuals are theoretically able to regularize sexual relationships is of little comfort when the practicality of finding an opposite-sex relationship is virtually nonexistent. Now, perhaps it is true that one can contest whether the two groups being discussed here are functionally equivalent in every conceivable respect.

In responding to this parallel, some have suggested that the two groups bear different psychological tolls. Here, same-sex attracted individuals are regarded as being inflicted with an emotional tax that opposite-sex attracted individuals are not. For the former, prohibition is the de facto norm, whereas for the latter, prohibition is merely a consequence of circumstances.

Additionally, it is said that the causal link between sexual orientation and lifelong celibacy for the same-sex attracted individual contributes to this emotional tax a dynamic which is not the case for their opposite-sex attracted counterparts. Yet even this contention is not unequivocally defensible, as the emotional toll for opposite-sex attracted individuals faced with lifelong celibacy may very well exceed the toll experienced by same-sex attracted individuals.

Moreover, one should not forget the difficulty posed to all people by the presence of sexual desire. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but God has with Him the best return. Exacerbating the difficulty of the already daunting task of living a chaste and sexually upright life is a society that has embraced libertinism in the public square.

Never has sexually illicit content been more easily accessible than it is today. The most popular television programs display full female nudity [12] and half of all high school students report having had sexual intercourse before graduation. Would it not be worth considering, in the name of empathy, a dispensation given the sheer pervasiveness of sexual content and claims by some of irrepressibility? Absolutely not. Rather, we should seek to expand pastoral efforts to help people overcome said challenges and encourage them to live a morally upright life in the sight of God.

Cynical readers may construe this point as eliding a critical dimension of this discussion: the possibility for opposite-sex attracted individuals to enter into sexual relationships that can somehow mitigate or otherwise quell sexual urges in this highly sexualized society.

But just tell me. From this moment on we didn't speak about it for the next 10 years. It was very strange. But my mother learned a lot about homosexuality through us and our relationship. I am lucky to have been able to move to the West — it would not have been the same in Algeria.

There is no freedom there. My parents are open, but they have had to cut off many members of their own families. My uncle, after having threatened me with death, then threatened my mother as well. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity not only violates universal basic human rights, it also adversely impacts the long-term economic prospects of individuals, businesses and countries.

Contact us to become a member or partner of the Forum. This minority expressed the need to discuss their spirituality and have a form of collective prayer. This was one of the main reasons we founded the inclusive mosque, as many in the larger association did not want to participate in religious activities.

They felt traumatised after the treatment they received in religious spaces throughout their lives. The mosque became the first inclusive mosque in Europe. Today, these sorts of communities exist everywhere in the world: in Western Europe, in the United States, in Indonesia, in South Africa, even in Tunisia. So it spread everywhere, but it started mostly in the US and Canada. The second reason we created this kind of place, where people can meet and talk about all things spiritual, was that people came to find me from a Christian LGBT association.

They had had a member join, a young transgender Muslim woman, who had nowhere to go and had recently died. No mainstream imam had wanted to do the traditional prayers surrounding death, because she was transgender. They told me: you studied theology, religion and you are an imam. This was the first time in my life that I had been asked to act as an imam after having left Algeria, where I had studied to become one.

I had not reconciled with that part of my identity yet, and it was a huge responsibility. At that moment, I knew: we have to do something about this. I am a cisgender man, so when I go into a mosque, nobody bothers me. But transgender people do not have the same privilege. This is why we founded this inclusive mosque. We are either too Muslim, or too gay. It feels impossible, but we have hope.