Gay Muslims need support, says leading commentator

By staff writers
October 6, 2009

The Muslim commentator Inayat Bunglawala has called on the Muslim community to be more supportive of its gay and lesbian members.

Writing for the Guardian newspaper, Bunglawala expressed his disappointment that “some religious communities are not reciprocating the tolerance and respect they insist on from others when it comes to gay rights”.

He suggested that this was the case “particularly in Muslim and some Christian communities”.

Organisations and support groups for gay, lesbian and bisexual Muslims have recently become more visible, with many emphasising that their sexuality is entirely compatible with their commitment to Islam.

This year's Pride march in London included a visible Muslim presence, as well as a number of Christian and other faith groups.

Bunglawala welcomed the Muslim Council of Britain's support for legislation against homophobic discrimination. However, he suggested that the Muslim community as a whole needed to be considerably more supportive of gay people.

Several of his points are similar to concerns raised about support for gay, lesbian and bisexual people within Christian churches.

“Islamic scholars and imams should ideally be performing a much-needed pastoral role by helping in these situations and providing guidance” he said “At the very least they should insist that any intimidation or discrimination against gay Muslims is unacceptable”.

He described working against discrimination as “an Islamic goal”.

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