Canadian gay Muslim scholar claims shunning from community

Junaid Bin Jahangir, PhD student at the University of Alberta, claims he is shunned from the Canadian Muslim community because of his homosexuality.

Jahangir has spent two years studying the teachings of Islam on homosexuality and has begun to be recognized internationally for his research.

He argues Muslims misinterpret the Qur’an if they consider the ban on homosexuality to be as firm as bans on alcohol or pork. The common story from which most Muslims draw their teaching is about violent homosexual rape, he says, and it’s time to rethink the possibility of consensual, supportive relationships.

Although his PhD in economics is incomplete, Mr. Jahangir has contributed to a new anthology on homosexuality, Islam and Homosexuality, edited by Samar Habib and published by Praeger Publishers. Jahangir avoids the Muslim community in Edmonton, and any local mosque, too, he says. “I’m a pariah.”