Monday, June 25, 2012
Homosexuality in Islam - part 2: Muslim and Gay
No doubt many Muslims will argue, after reading my previous post, that gays' unnatural inclination is a fault of the society in which the find themselves, and that it is simply the misfortune of their not being brought up in a society governed by the dictates of Sharia that has led to their “unnatural” desires. My Muslim friend certainly does.
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 has 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.” ("1,500 Animal Species Practice Homosexuality". News-medical.net. 2006-10-23. http://www.news-medical.net/?
id=20718.) I am happy to provide many more references to these studies, should Muslim readers desire, but this book should suffice for the timebeing: Bruce Bagemihl,Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, St. Martin's Press, 1999; ISBN 0312192398
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. Unhappy adolescents do not choose to be the way they are. They don’t enjoy the jibes at school. 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 adolescents commit suicide when they are rejected by their families (again, I ask my readers to ask for studies if they require). (Although, of course, Islam's creed of predestination would allow the parents to say that that was their time to die anyway...) 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. 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 ludicrous.
If a greedy, hypocritical, sex-obsessed, ruthless, anti-Semitic, homophobic war lord genuinely thought God wanted us to reject some of our fellow men and women for the simple fact that they were born with sexual inclinations different from the majority, then we should perhaps feel sorry for him – the fact that a billion or more people should choose to worship his God, however, should make any right thinking person weep with despair.