Sunday Telegraph: Muslim Leaders Oppose Gay Marriage Bill

A huge number of Imams and Muslim community figures have written a letter published in the right-wing Sunday Telegraph today expressing ‘serious misgivings’ about the Gay Marriage Bill. Here is the letter in full:

SIR – We have serious misgivings about the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which seeks to legalise gay marriage.

As imams and Muslim leaders we have a responsibility to fulfil our sacred trust to God and present our view on these proposals on behalf of the Muslim communities we serve.

Marriage is a sacred contract between a man and a woman that cannot be redefined. We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is the cornerstone of family life and the only institution within which to raise children.

We are concerned that this radical change to the institution of marriage will impact on what is taught in schools. Muslim teachers will be forced into the contradictory position of holding private beliefs, while teaching a new legal definition of marriage. Muslim parents will be robbed of their right to raise their children according to their beliefs, as gay relationships are taught as something normal to their primary-aged children.

We support the numerous calls from other faith leaders and communities who have stood firmly against gay marriage and instead support marriage as it should be, between a man and a woman.

The letter should not come as any great surprise. Most religious groups tend to be very conservative in their outlook. In a democratic society, they should have every right to air their religious views. That does not mean that their views should not be scrutinised though.

The signatories say:

“Muslim teachers will be forced into the contradictory position of holding private beliefs, while teaching a new legal definition of marriage. Muslim parents will be robbed of their right to raise their children according to their beliefs, as gay relationships are taught as something normal to their primary-aged children.”

I am not convinced that this is actually true. Muslim teachers can still preach that they believe that gay sex is sinful as is gay marriage – if they wish to do so. Even though abortion and sex before marriage between adults is lawful, those whose religious beliefs instruct them otherwise can still entertain those beliefs and teach them to their children in the privacy of their own homes.

I am pretty sure that many of the very same religious figures would also like to deny the right of a woman to have an abortion, for unmarried adults to have any type of physical relationship,  for authors to publish books that they deem blasphemous or ‘deviant’, for movie makers to include scenes which they regard as being ‘lewd’ or ‘unacceptable’, the right of biology teachers to teach kids about evolution etc.

In short, they would prefer to impose on the rest of us a far more restrictive society. I am not at all convinced that it would lead to a better society. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Karl Popper famously wrote about the virtues of an ‘Open Society’ and the differences with other types of societies. His arguments are still every bit as valid today.

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60 Responses to Sunday Telegraph: Muslim Leaders Oppose Gay Marriage Bill

  1. Abdullah says:

    Brother Inayat,
    I posted a comment on an article you previously wrote, but I think it is more befitting to repost what I wrote here. It is easy to refute your points made in this article, but that would not be sincerity from my part, and thus I wish to make clear the principles of the methodology of Islam.
    I advise you to read the Qur’aan, which is the speech of you Creator that you will return to, and the best explanation of that is the sayings of the best of mankind, Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), and his way and methodology was best followed by his companions and the first three generations of Islam; surely that way is better than all these theologists and scientists that have come after.Allah says:“And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers – We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.”He, the Most High also says:“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”He also says: “So if they believe in the same as you (the Prophet and his Companions) believe in, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension, and Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.”The Messenger of Allah said: “I have left you upon clear guidance; its night is like day; and none strays from it after me, except he is in destruction.”He also said: “Verily I have left for you that which if you hold on to you will not be misguided; the Book of Allah and my Sunnah (creed, methodology and way).”He (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:“Whomsoever among you lives after me shall see many differences, so it is upon you to follow my Sunnah (creed and methodology) and the sunnah of the rightly guided caliphs, hold on to it and bite on to it with your molar teeth! And beware of newly invented matters (in the Religion and in beliefs) for every innovation (in the religion and in beliefs) is a misguidance.”So it is upon us to follow the Religion which has come from Allah the most High in the way it was understood by the best of mankind, Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the best of generations, his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and those that were upon their methodology. And Allah gave this Religion to unite us upon the Truth, because nothing else can unite people other than the truth as Allah says: “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.”The reason for the division of the Muslims today and their weakness in faith is because of their lack of returning to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger as it was understood by the people of virtue and knowledge from the best of generations. As Allah also says: But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.”And He, the Most High says:“O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.”Allah has not left us to our whims and desires to follow what we want from His message to mankind, because if that was the case, then all of the people will be in disarray, as everyone will have their own beliefs and opinons. Rather Allah has made clear the Truth as is in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and anyone who states otherwise has disbelieved in what the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) came with.This is sincere advice to all of us, including myself, and I have no intention to belittle you or attempt to disgrace you, rather just to clarify the truth which is from Allah and not from myself. A side note, I am a a student at the Islamic University of Madinah, if you ever happen to visit, feel free to contact me and we can perhaps meet to discuss these matters in a pleasant manner. May Allah guide us all to follow His Religion, His Book and His Messenger upon the way of the early rightly guided Muslims.

  2. Abdullah says:

    I mean no offence brother Inayat, but reading this article, I am unable to distinguish whether a Muslim wrote this or the likes of Douglas Murray or Richard Dawkins…
    Allah did not reveal upon us Islam so that we turn away from its teachings. I really hope and pray to Allah that you do notbsee my comments in aan offensive manner but just give sone thought to what I am saying. As they say: Don’t think about the one speaking, think about what has been spoken. If you don’t wish to take heed from my comments, then at least think deep about the words of the One who created us and is free from imperfection, and the words of His Messenger (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), who did not speak of his desires, but spoke from revelation. I have faith and trust in you that you would do that, brother Inayat. May Allah guide me and you to the Truth.

    • Chosen_To_Stay_Anonymous says:

      “I mean no offence brother Inayat, but reading this article, I am unable to distinguish whether a Muslim wrote this or the likes of Douglas Murray or Richard Dawkins…”

      I have told Inayat to start his articles with Bismillah numerous times. FFS Inayat sort it out.

    • Thank you for your advice. I am afraid I don’t find your arguments at all convincing.

      As I stated in my blog, I believe the kind of society envisaged by many of the religious figures who were signatories to the Sunday Telegraph would be a very restrictive and oppressive one – as witnessed by all the modern attempts to build an ‘Islamic state’ be it in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Sudan and elsewhere.

      I prefer to live in a secular state where human rights are entrenched and people are not discriminated against on account of their religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc.

      • Abdullah says:

        You said what I feared you would say, I didn’t say anything in my comment that goes against the ijmaa’ (consensus) of the pious predecessors, and the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said that this ummah (nation) will not unite upon falsehood. Kindly point out what exactly you disagree with, with evidence from Allah or the Prophet, so that if I erred I can correct myself.
        I agree that some, infact many, of the Muslim leaders today have gone astray from the true guidance and teachings of Islam, some have either gone too extreme and others have diluted the Religion.
        However some points you made were not against their mistakes and extremist views, but rather criticisms of the law of Allah, unintentionally. As your brother in Islam, I thought I would just mention to you what they are.
        You said: ‘unmarried adults to have any type of physical relationship’
        Allah says: “And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.” Allah not only forbade fornication and adultery but even that which leads to it.
        You said: ‘movie makers to include scenes which they regard as being ‘lewd’ or ‘unacceptable’’
        If you mean by this scenes where women are exposed and projected as objects of sex, then that really is the freedom which you speak of, and the equality you boast about. As for you Creator, then He, who is free from imperfection, said:
        “Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.”
        There are other points I wish to mention, but this suffices for now. I remind you that this is no argument where either side wins the debate, rather it is an establishment of the Truth, so that we can correct ourselves and work together towards righteousness and piety.
        So I kindly request you to consider the speech of Allah, and point out to me, if you are sincere, where I have erred so that I can retract from what I said and follow the truth from Allah as He the Most High says: “And who is more unjust than one who invents a lie about Allah or denies the truth when it has come to him? Is there not in Hell a [sufficient] residence for the disbelievers?”

        • Abdullah – however many verses of the Qur’an you quote, it does not change the fact that wherever Muslim religious groups have tried to set up an ‘Islamic state’ based on what they consider to be Islamic law, the results have been human rights disasters.

          I no longer have any confidence in any kind of state which does not sufficiently enshrine human rights legislation into its law. This includes the right to live your life regardless of your sexual orientation, to believe in what you want to believe and share those ideas with others regardless of what any book says. This freedom is essential for progress in science and technology.

          You say you live in Saudi Arabia. I have been there a number of times. It is a frightening country whose feudal and incredibly corrupt rulers surely have no place in the modern world. They regularly censor magazines and films and even ideas with their ridiculous religious police.

          • Abdullah says:

            You still fail to bring me evidence from the Book of Allah and the way of His Messenger. That is all i asked for. I did not speak about the Muslims trying to form an Islamic state, or any of the current Muslim countries – that is another topic. If you do not have any evidence from Allah, and you make man-made laws that which you judge by, then I advise you to fear Allah, and read His revelation to mankind, ponder over its meanings and think about what you are doing. I need not to comment further, but ask you to think again about the words from the Qur’aan and Sunnah I quoted – and see where your stance is with them. May Allah guide us to follow His commandments and stay away from that which He has prohibited; and may He, the Most High, make us from among those who give precedence to His speech over the speech of His creation. May He make us judge by that which He sent to His beloved Messenger, and make us from those who do not look elsewhere when the Truth has been explained to them.

  3. LGBT says:

    A secular society is no guarantee against tyranny. It is true, however, that space to dissent is more firmly established in a secular society than in a theocratic one; but even this is not intrinsically the case -differences between the USA, Britain, France and India are cases in point. What one ought to value is the right to dissent and the signatories are practicing this right just as you, Inayat, are practicing yours. You do acknowledge this to your credit when you say: ‘In a democratic society, they should have every right to air their religious views.’ I also think you have a point with regards the specific ire religious people have toward LGBT people’s sexualities. A simple response from such people may well be to say: the ‘sin’ associated with such practices as are (assumed) to accompany non-heterosexual sexualities is indeed greater in the sights of Allah and his messenger (saw) and thus there is no inconsistency/hypocrisy. Secondly, they may feel equally strongly about those other ‘things’ you mention, albeit there hasn’t arisen any specific incident to press them into action the way they have done so concerning the gay marriage issue. What is more productive and worth pursuing, I think, is the fact the LGBT inclinations present an aporia within the established Islam-narrative adhered to by most mainstream scholars and seminaries. Few religious thinkers and theocrats have honestly attempted to deal with LGBT people and their inclinations on a par with heterosexual inclinations. The latter is deemed natural and the former unnatural – the result of shaytan’s interference and that of LGBT people’s own evil ‘nafs’. Yet few can explain the ubiquity of LGBT people’s claim that they have had their feelings from the earliest age. A so called perversion felt from childhood before they could perhaps even comprehend the fullness of their feelings. So ingrained and so established that it lurks invisible with them forever like the very shadow that their body casts. To have the child ‘tested’ so early seems capricious if we are to assume the mainstream Islam-narrative. Then, as the child grows up, the social set up promoted by that self-same narrative, thrusts these now young adults in the direction of that sex/gender whom they have a latent attraction toward, in a benign heterosexual assumption in the virtue of segregation of sexes. Finally, that self-same narrative acknowledges the power of the sexual drive and recommends marriage as solution – for the heterosexual man, the possibility of four marriages and thus four sexual partners (not to mention, those whom your right hand possesses). For people who have LGBT inclinations however, celibacy is peddled as one possible answer – even though, that self-same narrative presents celibacy as neither desirable nor practicable for heterosexuals. This aporia leads to yet another – given that no individual is asked whether they wish to be tested, their being brought into existence, saddled with desires that make them possible prey for a predator who has also been created to deceive man and womankind and then told they have to prove themselves worthy to deserve eternal bliss or else suffer eternal damnation, makes the whole notion of existence baffling. Were I to not exist – something our imagination cannot even conceive, for that is how we have been designed – I would not disappoint my Creator; yet it is he who brings me into existence with the potential to disappoint. And for LGBT people in particular, we even have the inclination placed in us – or is it in everyone? Do you heterosexual men see men, and heterosexual women see women, and recognize a feeling of sexual desire for them? Do you feel it and then ignore it? Is it in everyone, but the LGBT are not ignoring it as you are? Or is it, that LGBT people have such a feeling specifically, in which case it has been placed in us – albeit dormant, waiting for shaytan’s was’wasa no doubt – but there nonetheless it is. And so then, while the heterosexuals’ desire (similarly there from the start presumably) is catered for through the mainstream Islam-narrative (marriage), that of the LGBT person is not.
    I submit therefore that LGBT identities present an important aporia within the mainstream Islam-narrative and this is partly the unsaid, invisible, unconscious drive for the specific ire you Inayat note in your remark: ‘I am not convinced that this is actually true. Muslim teachers can still preach that they believe that gay sex is sinful as is gay marriage – if they wish to do so. Even though abortion and sex before marriage between adults is lawful, those whose religious beliefs instruct them otherwise can still entertain those beliefs and teach them to their children in the privacy of their own homes. [my emphasis]’

    • Abdullah says:

      All praise to Allah who gave us a Religion as a criterion to distinguish between the truth and falsehood. And may peace and salutations be upon His beloved Messenger, who did not leave any good except he guided this nation towards it, nor did he leave any evil, except that he warned this nation against it.

      • LGBT says:

        Allah is the greatest – you and I believe this. You insist I’m a hypocrite (because presumably you do not believe I am telling the truth regarding many LGBT people having their feelings from a young age). I insist I am telling you the truth. You insist I am deluded. I insist I have struggled for years. You say, continue to struggle. I say you are two faced – you perform your piety (above) to silence me. but really, your piety and advice to ‘forbear and to struggle’ allows you to forget, turn your back and get on with your life. This is why you choose not to engage what I say; instead you utter a pronouncement of piety. That utterance maintains the structures of your belief in the picture of the world with which you are most familiar. Another form of hypocrisy is to be forked tongue.

        • Abdullah says:

          I did not call you a hypocrite, in Islam a hypocrite is someone who ascribes to Islam outwardly but does not practice upon it or believe in his heart, thus deciding who is a hypocrite is not up to anyone but Allah, but Allah has commanded us to judge between ourselves with His religion.
          I did not praise myself with piety in my comment nor did I seek praise, all I said is that which has been said by the Muslims since the beginning of the message of Islam.
          If I have the feeling of committing adultery, and find it hard to suppress, then I alsi need to be patient and stop myself from doing so, no matter how much struggle it requires from me, it will never become permissible.
          So if you feel these urges,

          • Abdullah says:

            I did not call you a hypocrite, in Islam a hypocrite is someone who ascribes to Islam outwardly but does not practice upon it or believe in his heart, thus deciding who is a hypocrite is not up to anyone but Allah, but Allah has commanded us to judge between ourselves with His religion.
            I did not praise myself with piety in my comment nor did I seek praise, all I said is that which has been said by the Muslims since the beginning of the message of Islam.
            If I have the feeling of committing adultery, and find it hard to suppress, then I alsi need to be patient and stop myself from doing so, no matter how much struggle it requires from me, it will never become permissible.
            So if you feel these urges, and realise that they are wrong in Islam and Allah does not accept it, then I am your brother in Islam, and would advise you to be patient against these feelings and Allah will assist you if you are sincere. If you are upon this way (ie you believe homosexuality is forbidden but you stil practice it) then I make duaa that Allah assists you in giving this up and I would commend you for your struggle, but the problem as Muslims we have is when someone tries to legalise homosexuality in Islam.
            I hope you understand what I am saying so that is of benefit to you.
            May Allah bless you and increase us in patience.

            • LGBT says:

              But Abdullah that is not the point. I respect your approach – it is at least well mannered unlike so many elsewhere. You haven’t called me a hypocrite of course, but nor have you addressed the double-binds my comments highlight. I will take up only one of them here and express more clearly (hopefully) the overall thrust of my argument.

              The urge for adultery does not occur in pre-pubescent children, nor indeed the urge to alcohol (re: br Sherman Jackson [http://youtu.be/HisIwWhyU34]). What is more, both cause considerable harm in society that is visible – the breakdown of families and emotional pain of cheated partners (in the case of adultery), and issues of social discord and dangerous actions (in the case of alcohol). Lining up homosexuality with these is an incorrect comparison. That is the first thing. You cannot also get away from the fact that the way we conceive of sexuality in the Islam-narrative with which most (traditional) Sunni Muslims have grown up, presents heterosexuality as normative and innate. So once again those who claim to have had an ‘other’ sexuality innately (re: from a young age) must ipso facto be telling an untruth – from the traditional Sunni Muslim Islam-narrative perspective. To call me a liar (or other cognate terms) is one way to dismiss my claim and although you do NOT call me a liar, I cannot see what other ‘move’ you have open to you?

              The thrust of my argument is that it is not Islam that says homosexuality is a sin but the Islam-narrative we have. This narrative is one that each age produces afresh. We do not arrive at Islam directly but through numerous mediating films or foils – our own minds; scholars and their minds; selective cannons of authorized texts; familial traditions involving body and mind and many others still. There are consistencies of course – tawheed is one – but the narrative through which these consistencies are received also contain many historically conditioned socio-cultural elements which it is fine to hold and practice but these are not necessarily Islamic. When the Muslim who died before Muhammad (saw), the Muslim who died before the Medina period, the Muslim who was born and died after the Prophet (saw), the Muslim who died during the Ummayad dynasty, the Muslim who died during the Mughal era, the Muslim who died in Al-Andalus, the Muslim who died in the Ottoman era, the Muslim who died in 20th century Morocco, and the Muslim who died in 21st century Britain are resurrected they will have much in common and much in the way of difference. We cannot determine these differences a priori anymore than we can state their similarities beyond that which would make them Muslim (belief in one God). For instance: did they all believe that the Qu’ran was the divine word of God or did they see it as His creation? Now remember, the belief you and I hold in the divine nature of the Qu’ran is one that we have received via the Islam-narrative you and I have found ourselves born into and the research we have then conducted from that position. Nor is it “truer” if you were born in another tradition and through active research opted into this one (the “correct” one). The truth remains partial and unstable, carrying its shadow much in the way we carry our shadow all the time. The truth lies with Allah and His messengers but in the absence of the latter we are left with textual traditions underpinned by socio-cultural and literary hermeneutics. Homosexuality poses an aporia to the narrative we currently hold. In the past this aporia was dealt with either through some kind of accommodation of homosexuality (and uncovering LGBT histories in the Islamicate world is an ongoing task), OR, more commonly, through outright persecution and stigmatization of those who were deemed homosexual. In many Muslim dominant states homosexuality is not seen as an aporia because an older way of dealing with it is still practiced. But the pressures of technological globalization is pressing the topic even in these places. However, it is here, in the West, where the issue is writ large. For that reason it is deemed a western problem, when really, this is a problem in the very fabric of the Islam-narrative we have inherited. Homosexuality is an aporia; it indicates a point of ‘undecidability, which locates the site at which the text most obviously undermines its own rhetorical structure, dismantles, or deconstructs itself’. My earlier comment tries to trace this deconstruction that the aporia afflicts on our current Islam-narrative.

  4. adeel says:

    Hi inayat. Thank you – you have some interesting posts. Can I ask do you believe 2 homosexual brothers should be allowed to marry? If yes should they also be allowed to adopt kids? If you don’t think they should be allowed to marry can u explain why secular society should not allow it? Is it possible the gay marriage bill is a slippery slope?

      • Abdullah says:

        You believe they should have the right to marry. Answer this and do not avoid it:
        Did the Messenger of Allah, or any of his companions, or those that followed them from the rightly guided early generations, believe that a man can fulfill his sexual desires with another man, or that a woman can fulfill her sexual desires with a woman? We can bring countless evidence to oppose that, if you would like.
        Islam is a religion of tolerance, but also justice, and if the Creator does not tolerate homosexuality and will punish its people, then who are me and you and the rest of the creation to defy the Creator because it doesn’t go along with man-made laws. I’m not saying non-Muslim countries should adopt the laws of Islam, but the point I am making, is from a Muslim brother to a fellow Muslim brother – to think about his religion and his Creator before anything else.

        • I really do not know what the Prophet believed about homosexuality as I mistrust many ahadith as later fabrications. In any case, I think it is better to allow gay people to lead their lives as all other people and to be allowed to marry if they wish to do so. If God does not like it, then He will deal with it on the Day of Judgement or earlier if He chooses. I just don’t like the idea of human beings – who are often lying, hypocritical, and selfish – deciding to discriminate against others just because of their sexual orientation.

          • Abdullah says:

            You clearly do not represent the views of Islam, and you are ready to read and accept the theories of those that disbelieve in Allah, yet when it comes to the great work of the scholars of Hadeeth, verifying it and classifying it, you don’t seem to mind disregarding their work, and feel that you have the right to say what you want about the Deen. Answer me this: how would you feel if I took a statement from Darwin and interpreted in a manner to justify something Darwin did not stand for at all? You, being a big fan of Darwin would never stay silent on that, you would feel the need to clarify that person’s clear errors, since you have read and fully understood Darwin’s theory, whereas this person has just used Darwin to justify his own views, and thus took him out of context completely.
            So, now imagine, a Muslim, who submits his will, his beliefs and way of life to the way of Islam as ordained by Allah and shown by His Messenger; how would this Muslim feel when someone comes along and speaks about Allah and His Religion when he has no knowledge of it nor is he willing to be attentive when he is reminded of the statements of Allah and His Messenger?
            Please do us a favour and be just, clarify to the people, that you do not represent the views of Islam, and that this from your own views and opinions, free from what Allah and His Messenger have come with.

  5. adeel says:

    Hi inayat. Thanks for being honest about your view that gay brothers should be allowed to marry. I don’t know if you have children but would you be happy if your 2 sons got married (assuming you had sons)? Please be honest. Would your wife be happy? Would feeling a sense of distaste be intolerance in your view? listen I get that cultural norms are sometimes untrustworthy criterion for legislating – but should one place zero value on human instinct to determine right from wrong? Thanks for engaging me (pardon the pun) LOL

    • Yes, I would respect their wishes. I am not sure that ‘human instinct’ is any kind of guide. Men have a ‘human instinct’ to spread their genes everywhere. Perhaps I should act on that, eh?! Would be fun at least…

  6. Another 'brother' says:

    Abdullah, I think I am a “brother” too (but by the end of this post I may not be). I find your views offensive and incredibly arrogant (this faux-humility does not wash!) and demonstrative of heightened ignorance and dillusion. Your constant references to the “book of Allah and His Messenger” confirms you either live in an authoritarian dictatorship (where no counter arguments (and believe me there are innumerable) are permitted) or in a backwater in a western country and subjected to serious brainwash by the ‘Imams’! I live in a country where varying interpretations of the “book of Allah and His Messenger” (all sides claiming legitimacy with their own sources) has resulted in death, suffering and pain! If you experienced any of this, you would harbour the common-sense and civilised opinion of tolerance to others and not castigation and marginalisation. My advice (if you are sincere in your pursuit of ‘Truth’), go out a bit more, try an understand “religion”, “society” in its pluralist sense and may be you might understand Islam a bit better (or you can just reply to this post by asking me for quotations from the “book of Allah and His Messenger”).

    • Abdullah says:

      Alhamdulillah, I have no intention of changing the way you think or believe, that is in the hands of Allah. I intend to only clarify that which is seen to clearly oppose the Qur’aan and Sunnah from the understanding of the pious predecessors. And I intend to clarify it to those Muslims who may read this and be deviated from the revelationof Allah by falling for your rhetoric which seems to always refer to the systems placed by those who deny Allah and His Messenger. The only points which are worthy of replying are two:
      1) you claim that I maybe under some authoritarian dictatorship, if you mean by that submitting my will, beliefs and way of life to Allah in accordance to the Messenger of Allah, then Alhamdulillah, that’s what it means to be a Muslim
      2) you say that there are countless arguments against what I say; firstly like you and Inayat pointed out, I only quoted Allah and His Messenger, I did so believing that my words are not worth mentioning when we have the revelation from the Creator between us.
      Lastly, I am shocked that a Muslim is not sufficed by the words of Allah and His Messenger as if there is better texts out there in your ‘pluralistic’ world. Alhamdulillah, in this world of confusion, Allah has given us the true guidance to follow and has not left us to our whims and desires.

  7. Ahmed says:

    You say: “Muslim teachers can still preach that they believe that gay sex is sinful as is gay marriage”

    The recent case where a Christian teacher was sacked for doing just that sets quite a different precedent: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2013/apr/12/homophobic-teacher-loses-ban-appeal

    The comments by the judge are most telling:

    “The judge said Deptford Green had a policy that made it clear teachers were expected to present positive information on lesbians, gay and bisexual people “to enable students to challenge derogatory stereotypes and prejudice”.”

    I’m sure most schools and places of work will have similar policies, either genuinely or out of a fear of being labelled homophobic. Doesn’t bode well for free speech…

    • My apologies – I meant Muslim teachers in the sense of da’wah workers, not actual teachers in schools. That link you posted concerned a Christian teacher who had allegedly said that homosexuality was ‘disgusting and a sin’ and “anyone who worships on Sunday is basically worshipping the devil”. Those are certainly very inappropriate comments for a school teacher to make to children.

      Muslim da’wah workers can still preach that they believe that gay sex is sinful – if they wish to do so. Their freedom of speech is not in question.

      However, it is surely right that school teachers do not make derogatory remarks about homosexuals, or people who favour the right of a woman to have an abortion, or authors who write ‘blasphemous’ books etc. That is not the job they are paid to do which is to teach the national curriculum, not espouse their private beliefs to children.

      • Abu Mus'ab says:

        inayat, do you believe in “separation of church and state”?

        And do you believe islaam is a way of life or a belief in the heart?

  8. adeel says:

    hi inayat,
    I was of course referring to ‘human moral instinct’ as opposed to ‘human sexual urges’. I sense from your answer ‘I would respect their wishes’ really means you would be deeply unhappy about it but would not dis-own them. The reason you, and indeed anyone would feel this way is that humans have moral instincts.

    The only way around this is to believe our moral make-up is ‘entirely’ socially constructed and thus of no value. However this then leads us to another problem. If this is so, then we should also believe that our rational thought process is like-wise ‘entirely’ socially constructed and thus similarly of no a-priori value. I believe they are part intrinsic and innate to our being and in part socially constructed.

    I guess my point is this:

    premise 1. humans live together in society and are both ‘morally instictive’ and ‘rational thinking’ beings and neither element should be ignored. (sidenote: I believe Islam as a faith guides us to the right path in a world where it is easy for one element to usurp another and in a world where the socially constructed aspect may dominate if not kept in check)

    premise 2. None of us live in a bubble – our actions impact on one another. Society has a responsibility to keep its moral fabric in place. Over-emphasising individual freedoms overlooks this point.

    Result: The moral code should be determined using both faculties of reason and moral instincts with great caution not to give assumed legitimacy to the socially constructed elements.

    Both moral instincts and rational reasoning have both been abused historically to create all manner of injustices. Worth noting that Dawkins is deeply Islamophobic yet is held up as a bastion of rational thought. I can give references to this if you want – but I know your better informed than me of current affairs so you probably don’t need them.

    Living in a secular society means there will always be a negotiation of how the public space is regulated by those that live there. That negotiation should take place in both realms of instinct and reason. Neither should trump the other. Pure reasoning alone has its flaws.

    You seemed to have abandoned your humanity. To remain logically consistent in your reasoning process you have said you would respect your 2 sons wishes (assuming you had sons) to get married. Just think about that for a second. I suppose you would also think society should accept a Mother marrying her son? Let’s leave any straw men argument about genetics and off-spring (Lets say he was above 18 years and has had the snip and to avoid doubt she is past her menopause). You see inayat your world is more scary than the world of any Islamic state that you fear!

    Like I said humans have moral instincts AND are rational beings. In your world you remove the moral insticts aspect, which means in your world we are no longer fully human. You would have abandoned God’s gift of moral instincts. In your world we are all freaks.

    Please re-think your direction before dying upon this kufr that will lead you to a barren no man’s land in this life never mind the hereafter.

    Regards
    A sincere Well-wisher

    • “I sense from your answer ‘I would respect their wishes’ really means you would be deeply unhappy about it but would not dis-own them. The reason you, and indeed anyone would feel this way is that humans have moral instincts.”

      No – you seem to have read your own thoughts into my answer. I would not be deeply unhappy because I no longer regard homosexuality as morally wrong. It seems from what I have studied that it is not a lifestyle choice, but an actual sexual orientation. So, as long as two adults consent to have gay sex, it is really their own business and nobody elses.

      I have come to increasingly dislike those types of societies that want to interfere in these types of matters between adults. I think the UK is a better and more tolerant place for having gay equality – as well as equalities legislation relating to religion, ethnicity etc enshrined in its legislation.

      As for your preposterous argument that I have ‘abandoned my humanity’ – these days I expect little better from some Muslims unfortunately. There is a really huge problem with bigotry and intolerance amongst some Muslims the world over. It is deeply sad.

      • adeel says:

        So you would be happy for your gay sons (assuming you had them) to have sex with one another? if the answer is yes then I stand by my abandoning humanity statement. if the answer is no then it must be because human moral instinct informs you so!

        • Abdullah says:

          Inayat, brother Adeel seems to have just exposed your true morality, which is far out of the bounds of Islam in every aspect.
          It is no wonder you fear an Islamic state, why? Because Allah forbade a man from having consencual sexual intercourse with his mother, or because it is forbidden in Islam that a father has consensual sex with his daughter?
          High above Allah is from what you believe!
          You try so hard to fight for your freedom of expression and views, this is what it has led to. Whereas we Muslims believe true freedom is with obedience and servitude to Allah, freedom from the shackles of the Shaytan.

  9. KMH says:

    Opposing gay marriage has no grounds for defence. It is an admission of bigotry and nothing to be proud of.

    • Abdullah says:

      All praise to Allah, the One who punished the very first homosexual nation with one of the worst disasters ever, they were the ones who had no defence.
      Rather, supporting homosexuality is bigotry and being arrogant of the Creator.

    • adeel says:

      is opposing consensual homosexual sex between 2 biological brothers bigotry? or between a menopausal mother (ie no chance of offspring) and her biological son? if so your bigotry free society is not one I want to live in.

      • KMH says:

        Adeel, I think your busy imagination has taken you a little off topic.

        • Abdullah says:

          No, rather your ignorance and arrogance of the speech of your Creator has made you blind to the immorality of homosexuality, there is no difference in the example brother Adeel has provided and homosexuality – both are terrible crimes to humanity and morality.

          • I suppose you have no idea about how intolerant you sound. What a scary society you would establish if you held any power. Just compare how minorities are treated in the UK under its equalities legislation with how they are treated in Saudi Arabia.

            • Abdullah says:

              Hah, I wonder who in reality you refer to as being intolerant, us Muslims or the Lord ofthe Universe. Once again you have to compare the laws of Allah with the laws of man and your idea of freedom and democracy. Then you blame those that adhere to the laws of their Creator as intolerant. Alhamdulillah, Allah sent us a complete religion and told us in the Qur’aan about what we see today:
              “O you who have believed, whoever of you should revert from his religion – Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the blame of a critic. That is the favor of Allah ; He bestows it upon whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.”
              Say what you wish, out religion is clear, Alhamdulillah.

              • Abdullah says:

                Pardon me for being blunt but I’m honestly shocked how people can accept that a father has sex with his daughter or a mother has sex with her son! Then if someone disagrees with that they are labelled as being extreme or intolerant! All this is supposed to be moving forward and modernism! I seek refuge in Allah.

            • adeel says:

              Dear inayat and kmh. you have no idea of my concept of how Islam conceptulises a state because I haven’t spoke about it. I have merely questioned your reasoning process and pointed out its logical consequences. Kmh considers logical consequences off topic! I suspect neither of you want to be honest and give honest answers to my questions because it undermines your position otherwise you wouldn’t be wriggling like worms evading clear cut responses. you are being intellectually dishonest. which if you run a blog inviting responses is rather a shame.

              • adeel says:

                BTW terms like intolerance and bigotry are neutral until ideologically loaded. These are ornaments of rhetoric that have been appropriated to take a specific socially constructed meaning.

  10. Abu Haashim says:

    Inayat,

    There is a Hadith from Nawawi’s Forty which is appropriate for the current discussion:
    “Verily, among the words people obtained from the first prophecy are: if you feel no shame, then do as you wish.”

    Not very long ago, practicing Homosexuality was against the law in the UK. Homosexuals were imprisoned.. Then slowly over the years, as the moral code in the UK, which was based on Christian values, was slowly eroded, homosexual and politicians lobbied, until finally it was decriminalized. Then became acceptable in society. Now it’s almost a crime not to be gay. Where to next? Laws are governed in Parliament by mostly corrupt and immoral politicians. To keep their “thrones” , they’ll sell their grandmothers. What if today a group of people lobbied to make it legal to have sex with toddlers? (BTW: It’s already been suggested in Holland) Which is, after all illegal today, just like homosexuality was in the past. How long before we have enough votes in parliament to legalize it. Impossible you say? Why? Which system of moral guidance that you have, will stop that? Muslims have the Quran and Sunnah. What do you have?

    If you feel no shame (because of lack of morals guidance), then you will do as you wish.

  11. KMH says:

    What exactly is it about homosexuality that makes it immoral?

    • adeel says:

      Kmh the same question can be asked about 2 homosexual biological brothers marrying. Inayat thinks its all good – what say you? Or a menopausal mother and her biological son marrying! (Although inayat stayed conspicuously silent on that one and chose to throw labels of intolerance around) Your question presupposes that truth can only be determined by logical deduction. I question that premise on the basis that God made man with an instinctive morality and thus this is also to be considered. Im questioning your epistemology which frankly is a product of now times not considered thought

      • LGBT says:

        You believe in an instinctive morality? What does this consist of? How is it identified from other kinds of moralities? Indeed are there other kinds of moralities? What do you know of epistemology? Do you believe in ‘inherency’ – that some values/ideas are inherent in ‘things’? Do you believe in essences? Why is incest inherently wrong? Why indeed is murder so? Why is lying inherently wrong? Why indeed infanticide? To answer these questions one does not seek inherency – for that is merely a rhetorical gesture and without meaning. Indeed how does meaning arise? Surely meaning is extrinsic and not intrinsic – there is no essence of ‘cat’ in the animal that is signified by the word cat? ‘Inherent’, ‘essence’, ‘foundation’ – these are metaphors not realities. Ref. Semiotics.

        • adeel says:

          Im not offering a complete philosophy and never claimed I was. Just merely pointing out that there is no a-priori reason why one should believe in gay marriage – thus labels of intolerance are meaningless as they are based on modern cultural constructions.Their principles will give rise to other non-desirable (in my view) corrolaries. If they are not non-desirable why don’t you just say that YES you would like to live in a society where 2 biological homosexual brothers can marry or a society where a menopausal mother can marry her biological son. Just say it – then I can declare you a loon and we can part ways. No need to keep up the facade that gay marriage is self evidently acceptable.

        • Abdullah says:

          Morality comes from the Creator and He blessed us with something called Fitrah (natural disposition) which allows us to know right from wrong. Homosexuality opposes this natural disposition, which is why heterosexuals are referred to as being ‘straight’ since its a matter of natural disposition – the result of sexual intercourse is reproduction, which without it you wouldn’t have existed. Yet homosexuals deny the favours of Allah and choose an evil path. Leave all your philosophy and rhetoric and try listen and read the speech of the One who created you.

  12. adeel says:

    LGBT sorry for not answering your questions although I think you have somewhat misunderstood my point. I don’t wish to be side-tracked. I’ve been waiting for some responses to my own questions. Mine require very simple responses. Of course the deafening silence causes one to question who really is running scared eh KMH 🙂

    • KMH says:

      Adeel, you say, “God made man with an instinctive morality” is that it? So gay marriage is immoral as well as 2 biological brothers, menopausal mother & son and while we’re at let’s chuck in 2 biological sisters, vasectomied father & daughter, polyandry, polygamy and child spouses – you just know these are wrong by way of divine moral instincts?

      Just as an aside, if man does, as you say, possess god given moral instincts then this negates any need for there ever to have been prophets or religious texts, rituals, scholars and clergy.

      Anyway it’s bank holiday w/e and my moral compass is pointing towards The Kings Head, I hope you have a good one.

      • adeel says:

        KMH my position was more nuanced than you have suggested. I believe human’s have instinctive morality and rational/reasoning faculty as a guide for them, that is not to say it is sufficient in every instance, hence the need for God and revelation. As I said I was not placing forth a complete philosophy on how mankind should make decisions – because I don’t believe there is a comprehensive one that can be determined by man alone. The idea that we in the west are living by universal principes of equality etc is laughable.

        I was merely demonstrating that your position on gay marriage is arbitrary and not principled. If it were principled you would have to believe in its corollaries e.g. marriage between menopausal mother and son or marriage between biological gay brothers. Presumably you don’t otherwise you would have said so by now. If you think its all good then just say so and I will commend you for being logically consistent yet consider you a loon who has lossed part of his humanity. If you concur that these things feel so wrong that they can’t be acceptable then welcome to the world of instinctive morality.

        Mines a pint of orange

  13. buzzcut aldren says:

    hello inyat

    really enjoy your blog and the robust discussion and debate

    I’m not a Muslim but I’d be interested in knowing what scriptural basis this discrimination has in your religion i have studied this and in terms of new testament writings there is no credible support for any kind of anti-gay perspective and certainly nothing which can abrogate the fundamental and all encompassing tolerance of the sermon on the mount, needless to say this unequivocal message of tolerance has not stopped fundamentalist bigots from latching onto a few obscure passages in the pauline letters or the old testament to justify their ‘instincts’ — as one of the previous posters put it — i assume the instinct he meant is hate

    anyway thanks for taking the time

    • Abdullah says:

      There is clear evidence of Islam denouncing homosexuality.
      Allah says in the Qur’aan:
      “And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, “Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.””
      The prophet Muhammad said: “There is nothing I fear for my ummah more than the deed of the people of Loot.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1457; Ibn Maajah, 2563. This narration is authentic, see Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 1552).
      Note: It is a consensus of the Arabs before and now that the ‘deed of the people of Lot’ is homosexuality.
      The prophet Muhammad also said: “Whoever you find doing the deed of the people of Loot, kill the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1456; Abu Dawood, 4462; Ibn Maajah, 2561. This narration is authentic, see Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 6589). 
      Note: this law is only for an Islamic state where the Islamic law is established and by no means can be implemented elsewhere or by general people. For example Muslims living in the West cannot take the law in to their own hands and attempt to apply this law – as it is a law that should be established by Muslim government that is in authority.
      The issue is clear and there has been a consensus of the Muslims for 1,400 years that homosexuality is forbidden, it’s only since homosexuality has been legalised elsewhere that homosexual ‘Muslims’ have tried legalising it but there is no evidence for them from Islamis scriptures.

  14. Abu Mus'ab says:

    Inayat and his ilk should beware lest a punishment befalls them like what befell sodom and gomorrah, because they have fallen into the depths of depravity.

    You know, they have actually reached the final stage, where all that remains is for destruction to rain down.

    Allaah mentions the story in the Qur’aan, that after Lut `alayhis Salaam condemned his people for their homosexual acts, they replied, and Allaah mentions this clearly: “But the answer of his people was only that they said, “Evict them from your city! Indeed, they are men who keep themselves pure.””

    Now inayat & co has reached that stage, where they are basically saying: “Evict these anti-gay people from your countries! Indeed, they are a lot of intolerant bigots.”

    Allaah then mentions what happened after that. Allaah saved Lut `alayhis salaam and his family except his wife, then Allaah rained stones down upon them (then smashed their towns to dust).

    inayat is a person who claims to be a muslim, though he has long ago rejected islaam, and chosen atheism, rejected the qur’aan, and followed the books of kenneth miller etc, rejected Allaah and taken darwin as his god, so no matter how much blatant glaring verses we show him from the qur’aan, nothing still penetrates the darkness of the kufr that he’s stuck in.

    May Allaah save us from such a fate.

  15. Abdullah says:

    I came across something that I thought would allow those that do not deem Qur’aan and Sunnah to be an evidence to ponder over:
    Allah says in the Qur’aan:
    “O you who have believed, do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet or be loud to him in speech like the loudness of some of you to others, lest your deeds become worthless while you perceive not.”
    Ibn Qayyim said regarding this ayah:
    “If just raising their voices above the voice of the Messenger of Allah was a reason of making their deeds futile, then what about those who give precedence to their own opinions, intellects, preferences, politics and understanding over and above that which the Prophet came with? Is it not that they are more liable to have their deeds rendered futile?”
    (E’laam al-Mooqi’een 1/41)
    Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzi is a well known renown scholar of Islam of the 12th century.

  16. adeel says:

    An article on the BBC entitled ‘Sex education struggles to keep pace with online porn’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22643072
    ==================================
    Extract below:
    ‘Risky behaviours’

    It can lead to more sexually permissive attitudes, more casual sex, sex at a younger age, and the belief that women are sex objects with males dominant and females submissive, suggests the study.

    There is a correlation between children and young people who use pornography and “risky behaviours” such as anal sex, sex with multiple partners and using alcohol and other drugs during sex, say the authors.
    ====================================
    Why is Anal Sex is referred to as risky behaviour – what do you think guys? One may conclude humans were not designed for it? just a thought!

  17. azhar says:

    Inayat has subscribed to the view of the liberal elite who take an amoral position to all sexual activity. Take the example of the foremost gay right campaigner, Peter Tatchell. This is what he had to say in a letter to the Guardian in 1997
    “The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy. While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful”

    Tatchell also advised the South African Government on LGBT policies post apartheid. He is the pioneer of the Gay rights movement in the west. Most recently he has been advocating .for equal marriage and equal civil partnership for heterosexuals. Why? To destroy the very foundation of society as a heterosexual entity,by introducing an amoral reasoning to sexuality as a whole. This basically means we would be bigots if we thought and stated that having sex between:
    Male & male
    Brother & sister
    Sister & sister
    Mother & son
    Man & dog, horse, donkey (you get the picture)
    etc etc
    is intrinsically and morally wrong and repugnant.

    Their argument – so long as it doesnt hurt anyone.

    This elite club of enlightened secularist includes Dawkins and Professor Kraus – who openly stated that he could not see why incest is intrinsically wrong and why it shouldn’t be allowed. Watch Tzortis vs Krauss at UCL.

    Now lets get back to this western, secularism which Inayat so passionately defends at the expense of his akhira. When the Brits invaded Afghanistan, they came across a village off the Khyber. they were shocked to see what they had found. Married, wealthy old men wooing (with gifts and money over several years) little boys from the age of 6 up. As the Taliban was driven out these men were openly fucking little boys. The plucky Brit with his notion of morality (i.e. Fitra) was horrified and disgusted and forcefully stopped this disgusting behavior and abuse of children. The locals were up in arms,, this was oppression, this was what the Taliban did. Then along comes a particular LGBT organisation which seeks to eradicate diseases associated with gay man sex or in this case man,boy love. They convinced the Brits that this was part of the Afghan culture and it would be wrong to stop it. The plucky Brit gave in.

    Inayat – follow Muhammad Pbuh and not Tatchell. Your arguments on the ambiguity of Muhammad’s views are on homosexuality along with hadiths being fabricated are idiotic. You put yourself out there as intellectually rigorous but you are being incredibly stupid and ignorant on the issues of hadith. This ignorance and stupidity is the reason why you fell for Harun Yahya, Khomeini’s fatwa and so on. It’s not left you.

    May Allah guide you Inayat or show us your disgrace in this world. Ameen.

  18. KMH says:

    Adeel, “Loon” affection form of lunatic? Luna meaning moon, tic meaning pertaining to.

    The moon affords the loon a gloriously unencumbered view of the world while the non-loon has his dog eared old local map with the edges marked ‘There be dragons!’. Fearing the dragons he places a travel restrictions on himself.

    • adeel says:

      Clearly still suffering after effects of the kings head are you mate. LOL. I still note you have evaded answering questions though!

      • KMH says:

        Adeel, as I said before, your questions are off topic. I have to wonder why you are so keen to go off topic? It’s because you want to shift the focus to something that you feel you can justifiably dish out a bit of a kicking while conflating the two separate topics. It’s a cheap trick, not just cheap but dishonest which is surprising given your divinely received morals.

        Back to the topic, opposing gay marriage is the act of the bigot. Where does bigotry come from? Lack of confidence that currently held views can weather a storm perhaps, or maybe fear, or possibly it’s the product of inculcation – I honestly don’t know. Whatever the cause the bigoted person is a less than fully rounded human being, and no I won’t call you a loon (redneck maybe), never the less you have my sympathy, you’re clearly an intelligent fellow and I hope that in time your intelligence will guide you to a more wholly human position.

        Inayat, well done for taking this on.

        Anyhoo, I think I’m done on this topic.

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