News Agencies – March 2, 2012
Ludovic and Qiyaam were married in South Africa last August. This week they got married by an imam in Paris. More than forty friends and members of HM2F – Muslim gays of France – attended the event. Christian and Jewish LGBT organizations were also invited. The ceremony was conducted by Jamal, originally from Mauritius, who heads the Prayer and Meditation group in HM2F. Christian and Jewish clergymen then added their blessings.
Ludovic says he received the blessings of his family, who reside in Marseille and came for the occasion. He added that he has more problems with French law.
The Toronto Star – October 14, 2011
The Sheraton Centre hotel will not host a Muslim religious conference that was to feature speakers who have expressed anti-gay and anti-Semitic views. The Star informed a Sheraton convention services manager about the speakers. A hotel spokesperson then said it had been “cancelled due to the organization’s failure to satisfy a contractual requirement.”
The conference, which had been scheduled for Oct. 23, was organized by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), a British organization seeking to establish a Canadian presence. “The aim of the upcoming conference, far from promoting hatred, will focus on getting Muslims to pro-actively engage with the wider society by sharing the true essence of the Islamic faith in both word and deed,” the IERA said. Jewish and gay organizations had criticized the IERA for inviting four speakers who had disparaged gays, Jews and Christians.
The Toronto Star – June 30, 2011
Toronto’s gay community will celebrate Pride on downtown streets on July 3, 2011. At the same time, Muslims attending a major Islamic conference at the nearby Metro Toronto Convention Centre will hear from two anti-homosexual speakers.
Journey of Faith is the same annual event that drew criticism last year for inviting a televangelist, whose speech was later cancelled, who expressed solidarity with Osama bin Laden and disparaged homosexuals and other groups.
Bilal Philips, a charismatic Jamaican-Canadian religious scholar who embraced Islam in 1972 in Toronto, where he was raised, has advocated death as a punishment for males who “confess” to homosexual behaviour, or are seen performing homosexual acts by four reliable witnesses, in countries governed by Islamic law. The word of the Qur’an must be followed in Islamic countries, he said, and the Qur’an says gays must be killed.
The leader of the conference argued that controversial speakers are entitled to freedom of speech. Philips, 63, said he attended Jarvis Collegiate and Northview Heights high schools in Toronto. Now a resident of Qatar, he was expelled from Germany in April and denied entry to England in 2010.
June 10 2011
Radio Netherlands Worldwide carries a profile of Omeed (a pseudonym), a 27 year old Dutch Muslim homosexual. Omeed, whose parents immigrated to the Netherlands from Pakistan, says that being Muslim and homosexual was not something he regarded as problematic. “I was and still am a believer but I also knew that Allah made me this way.” Omeed notes that while he is an exception in the Dutch Muslim community, more and more gays and lesbians are ‘coming out partially- i.e. carefully, to a very select circle of friends and- in some cases- family members’.
For many gay and lesbian young people in France, Le Refuge is a lifesaver — literally. Since 2003, the organization has helped hundreds of desperate youths, most of them from Muslim families, who have been rejected by their families and forced onto the streets. But the charity is overwhelmed by the number of people seeking assistance. The organization, France’s only refuge for gay and transsexual youth who are abandoned by their families, offers 22 rooms to desperate young people like Amine. For up to six months, 18- to 25-year-olds can live in one of Le Refuge’s homes in Paris, Lyon and Marseille, complete with educational, medical and psychological support. They can finish their schooling, search for jobs and start to build a new life.
Since its founding in 2003, Le Refuge has cared for about 200 young people, including 80 in the last year alone, says Nicolas Noguier, 33, who is the organization’s founder. About 70 percent of the people living there are young men. Most come from Muslim families.
November 1 2010
Radio Netherlands Worldwide this week considers the frequency of homophobic incidents in Utrecht. The article itself describes several descriptions from gay Dutch men who have been targeted in homophobic incidents by young Moroccan Dutch. However, it also notes that “there are no reliable figures showing an increase in homophobic violence” in the country despite their increasing media coverage. One young Moroccan man cited in the article suggests that the violence is committed by teenagers who are reacting to the anti-Islam rhetoric of Geert Wilders. “He’s fighting against Islam so they want something to fight against too. So they pick gays, because Geert Wilders stands up for them.”
October 11 2010
The leader of the Dutch Green Party (GroenLinks) called this week for her colleagues to express their opinions about the position of women and gays in Muslim communities. Speaking during a lecture on the freedom of religion, Femke Halsema suggested that progressives show their passion for promoting the rights of Muslim homosexuals and women. Halsema called for a nuanced approach in which politicians “protect freedom and criticize lack of freedom within their own circles”.
September 19, 2010
The Cooperation Association of Moroccans in the Netherlands (SMN) has said that the national Justice minister’s action program against discrimination should pay more attention to incidents against Dutch Moroccans and Muslims. The program does not deal specifically with discrimination and violence against Dutch Moroccans and Muslims.
The SMN is further critical of a police letter attached to the report outlining that discrimination against gays and Jews rose sharply in 2009 but omitting the information that the biggest category of incidents of discrimination are based on ethnicity and origin- including those against Dutch Moroccans.
“This bias in the presentation of the research ultimately influences the images formed in society” explains SMN’s Farid Azarkan. The SMN says that they are against all forms of discrimination, and Azarkan calls the fact that Jews and gays are increasingly targets of discrimination a “sad and alarming development”.
Trouw reports that Moroccans who extorted money from gays in the area of Bergen op Zoom targeted men who had initiated contact with minors in internet chat sites, threatening them with police action. When confronted with printouts of the chats targeting 16 year olds, the men handed over cash, watches and phones in values up to 750 euro. The men were wary of reporting the extortion because of the illegality of the initial online contact with minors.
Some British Asian gay Muslims are embracing a new identity, based as much on race and religion as on sexual orientation with a number trying to do it with the help of their local imams.
Unlike Britain’s wider gay community, the Asian gay scene is still largely underground. They may go to gay clubs or support groups, but most remain in the closet. But the fear of rejection, humiliation and in some cases physical harm from their own communities keeps many Muslim gays isolated.
Asif Qureshi, a key worker at The Naz Project, a London-based support group working with British Asian gay men said: “In my experience, the number of Asian gays coming out has almost tripled over the last three years.”