Monday, August 15, 2011
"Sorry, Allah's like that. He just hates gays." (with apologies to "Not The Nine o'clock News")
Another mail to "Kevin" on the topic of homophobia in Islam
No doubt you will argue, as you have in the past more generally, that gays' inclination is a fault of the society in which they find themselves, and that it is simply their misfortune not to be brought up in a society governed by the dictates of Sharia that has led to their “unnatural” desires. This “peccatum contra naturam” argument has been used, of course, by all the monotheistic religions to stigmatise gays and lesbians over the centuries. It has no scientific justification. Scientific study after scientific study have shown that homosexual behaviour is widespread in nature. It is not “unnatural”, but a totally normal part of life. In fact, “no species has been found in which homosexual behaviour has not been shown to exist, with the exception of species that never have sex at all, such as sea urchins and aphis.” About 1 in 10 of any animal population will indulge in same sex sexual activity, sometimes the figure is much higher. I am happy to send you many more references to these studies, should you desire.
To argue, therefore, that it is societal influence that creates an atmosphere where homosexual behaviour is allowed to become widespread is unsustainable. People do not choose to be gay. Sin against nature is the bigoted and ignorant propaganda used by those who follow the teachings of Islam (and those of the more extreme Christian and Jewish fundamentalists) to justify and explain the various vicious ahadith and relevant Qu’ranic and biblical verses.
Many gay children and adolescents commit suicide when they are rejected by their families (Again, ask for studies if you require. An instructive read for you might be Hello cruel world: 101 alternatives to suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws by Kate Bornstein). Islam doesn’t help or cure these individuals. They would be gay wherever they lived. They would simply have to deny their true nature with all the concomitant psychological problems that that entails. They would, quite simply, be more likely to be suicidal in a religious society which denigrates and despises them.
Figures from Islamic countries are hard to come by for sadly obvious reasons, but we do have reports from Muslim communities in the West which paint a depressing but predictable picture. Here is an excerpt from one such report from France...“...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 same report suggests that if you are gay and Muslim you are 13 times more likely to commit suicide than if you are neither of those things. We can’t blame the parents, however. They are simply following the very clear example set by the Prophet. “Turn them out of your houses”, said the loving, caring Prophet. No doubt there is an interpretation of this injunction that I’ve missed. Perhaps you can explain?
Neither is the argument that if we all turned gay “there would be no more children” a reason for denying those who are, their basic rights (yes- the right to a sex life is a right) since such a suggestion is plainly unscientific, as are your arguments regarding paedophobia, and tender friendships between men in Arab countries reducing or even eliminating homosexual behaviour.
There are many, many reasons why I have come to believe Islam is a force for ill in society, but its intolerant teachings on homosexuality would alone be enough to convince me that Islam cannot come from a loving God.
 Apparently Iran has no homosexuals: In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country…we do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you we have it. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad . So you must be right – my apologies. Oh no, the reason is they kill them... “On the first day of the new crackdown, three gay men were beheaded in a city square in Nahavand, and two women accused of lesbianism were stoned to death in Langrood. Justifying these killings, the Iranian Chief Justice, Morteza Moghtadai, declared: “The religious punishment for the despicable act of homosexuality is death for both parties” Iraq seems to be even worse: “Iraq is at the front of the war against gays these days. In a very candid and chilling interview with an Iraqi gay-hunter, Amir Hazizi gladly admits he uses the internet to lure gay men into meeting him for dates which turn out to be meetings with death squads. “It is the easiest way to find those people who are destroying Islam and who want to dirty the reputation we took centuries to build up,” he said. When he finds them, Hamizi arranges for them to be attacked and sometimes killed. “Animals deserve more pity than the dirty people who practise such sexual depraved acts,” he told the Observer. “We make sure they know why they are being held and give them the chance to ask God’s forgiveness before they are killed” The Observer newspaper 2007
 “Evidence of that, (that homosexuality is genetic) said Michael Bailey, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University in Illinois, comes from studies of genetically male infants born with malformed or ambiguous genitals. In many such cases, surgeons would construct a vagina, and instruct parents to raise the child as a girl, with no knowledge of his medical history. As adults, those prenatally male/post-natally female people were virtually all attracted to women, Bailey said."If you can't make a male attracted to other males by cutting off his penis, castrating him and rearing him as a girl, then how likely is any social explanation of male homosexuality?" he said. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/01/homosexuality-genetics-usa
 I’m afraid I don’t really understand your argument relating to paedophobia. I assume you’re not equating sex between consenting adults, who have the necessary maturity to make rational decisions, with paedophilia. Neither do I understand the relevance of public affection between men in Arab countries. This article http://www.glas.org/ahbab/Articles/arabia1.html explains how gay sex between men (and men and boys) is actually wide-spread in Arabia and the Middle East. As long as there is no emotion and it’s behind closed doors, it’s seen as part of everyday life. Do read this article – very interesting.