Some thoughts on homosexuality in the Muslim world

September 25, 2006 at 9:22 pm (Culture, Homosexuality, Islamism, Religion, South Asia)

This is an issue that is perplexing to a very large degree.

You see, homosexuality is banned in Islam. There is no ambiguity about this. Homosexuals found guilty of homosexualling are to be executed. It’s the sharī‛ah.

On the other hand – and this is what’s most puzzling – homosexuality has a very rich history in the Muslim world. A number of caliphs openly chose favorites and paraded them around. One of them would make history. Captured and kept as ransom were the future Prince Vlad III Dracula (also known as Vlad III Ţepeş (tsepesh) or Vlad III the Impaler) and his brother Radu; they were kept as security for the obedience of Prince Vlad II Dracul to the Ottoman sultan. While captured, Vlad witnessed the, um, violation of his brother – who would later be known as Radu the Handsome. He was the Caliph’s favorite, and led the Caliph’s armies against his rebellious brother, Vlad.

In some societies during some areas, homosexuality was practically the norm, if not just tolerated or accepted. Of course, seeing the Muslim world’s traditional view of (or, rather, against) women – breeders to kept out of sight and hearing – this is not so surprising.

And although most areas where homosexuality was prevalent no longer are so, it still flourishes, really, in some areas. Most notorious are among the ultra-religious in South Asia – the all-men networks of madrasas (Islamic schools), Islamist groups, Islamist gangs, the Taliban. Indeed, the northwest of South Asia (what today is the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan, the tribal areas across Pakistan and Afghanistan, and areas of eastern Afghanistan) seem to feel no shame whatsoever in its perverse obsession with young males – what with their sexual attraction to and activity with prepubescent, peripubescent, pubescent, and just postpubescent young men. Some are active in this activity by choice, sought after by wealthy and influential old(er) men and seeking the best patron, as it were. And oftentimes – especially within the madrasas – this is without consent. The rape of boys is not uncommon at all.

And this is perverse – which even gay people would (or should) recognize. There is no equality, there is often no choice, there is no normalcy in these relations. It is almost as if these people are so misogynistic that they would even rather have sex just with men, copulating with women only to have children or to fulfill any heterosexual desires. Of course, a man’s wife has no say whatsoever regarding whom her husband fools around with.

The men retain their traditional roles of bread-winner, husband, father, sire of children, master of his household, and so on. But add to this their chasing after young men who have yet to grow beards. Though once the beard has arrived, one becomes a chaser and does not remain a chasee.

These relationships are not relationships at all. There is no love, no romance.

And yet this same area prides itself in its strict adherence to Islam, to its valiant struggle against infidel forces. Could it be that the Greeks came through – as they did under Alexander the lover of Hephaestion – and left this anomaly in that region?

I can understand the prevalence of homosexuality in the Taliban. This is not so rare in an all-male environment. Considering this occurs quite rampantly in the madrasas as well, and considering Taliban are basically students who became terrorist warriors, it is almost to be expected. But for it to be so rampant even among non-students, this is puzzling.

This really has puzzled me to no end. Of course, when the Americans came in and kicked the Taliban’s rear (what if they liked it? maybe they liked being kicked in the rear by well-built American soldiers?), the Americans could not have missed this. And it seems they did not – they too mocked this perversity of the northwest South Asians.

And I am puzzled why this would be. Is it homosexuality or a result of absolutely perverted misogyny? Is it because they like men or hate women? Is it because they objectify men or because they believe women are less than cattle?

I don’t know. But, as far as I’m concerned, these terrorist soldiers have no right whatsoever to lecture The West how to behave while they rape 9 year-old boys, see women as chattel, and violate women without second thought.

Update: Dicentra makes excellent points again, which adds some perspective and helps to explain this situation:

I have heard it said that there is a correlation between rampant homosexuality and mysogyny, especially the kind you’re talking about. Most of the gays I know in the US aren’t mysogynists–quite the opposite, they admire women and identify with them–and their same-sex attraction is deeply emotional. So I think this is a different brand of homosexuality.

I guess when otherwise hetero men are taught to despise women, they decide they don’t want to deal with a woman’s emotional demands, so they leave off having sex with that admittedly complicated being and opt for the simplicity of sodomy with “feminine” (not yet sexualized) males. They’re not interested in relationships, just in getting off.

And the fact that it’s a total power thing is really disturbing, though. That can’t be healthy at all.

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41 Comments

  1. dicentra said,

    I have heard it said that there is a correlation between rampant homosexuality and mysogyny, especially the kind you’re talking about. Most of the gays I know in the US aren’t mysogynists–quite the opposite, they admire women and identify with them–and their same-sex attraction is deeply emotional. So I think this is a different brand of homosexuality.

    I guess when otherwise hetero men are taught to despise women, they decide they don’t want to deal with a woman’s emotional demands, so they leave off having sex with that admittedly complicated being and opt for the simplicity of sodomy with “feminine” (not yet sexualized) males. They’re not interested in relationships, just in getting off.

    And the fact that it’s a total power thing is really disturbing, though. That can’t be healthy at all.

  2. Wickedpinto said,

    “homosexualling ”

    Thats joining the dictionary.

  3. Brokeback Madrassas? « Think Tankers said,

    […] Who knew?   […]

  4. Jeremayakovka said,

    Regarding contemporary gay and lesbian Muslims, take note of a documentary due out … some time … called of Allah.” The director’s politics are very Liberal/Left (an active Kerry for Prez supporter), but the doc is guaranteed to spark debate and possibly violence.

    Links: http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/2/15/161238.shtml?s=ic
    and, http://www.tremblingbeforeg-d.com/inthenameofallah/invite.html

  5. Jeremayakovka said,

    title: “In the Name of Allah”

  6. John said,

    I seem to recall reading an article I think in the Washington Post earlier this year about homosexual relations being rampant among men in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Most interviewed for the article identified as “straight” but due to religious pressure could not “get off” with women unless they were married so sought the “talents” of teenage boys and young men. Some of these teens and young men received money or gifts for their “services”. It was interesting to read but repulsive at the same time. To let one’s religious fervor so degrade a society as to incite this kind of behavior is simply amazing to me.

  7. John said,

    Interesting, I found the article I recall reading earlier this year but I must have done so online as it from the LA Times and dates from 2002. You can read this article and other items on this subject here:

    http://www.globalgayz.com/g-afghanistan.html

    Behold the power of Google! 🙂

  8. Christopher Taylor said,

    When I was writing my article about this I found a picture I wanted to use so bad but decided to avoid because it would be deliberately inflammatory and disrespectful. But it cracked me up anyway:

  9. Muslihoon said,

    That is a very amusing picture, Christopher, although I can see why you would be hesitant to post it.

  10. Zia Sheikh said,

    Well, homosexuality is prevalent everywhere, Muslim world or non-Muslim world. It just shows that just because Muslims are doing it, it is portrayed by this website and others like it as being worse than if non-muslims are doing it.

    It’s what I have said all along about this site, that it’s just out to show negative stuff about Muslims and nothing positive, although the Taraweeh article is quite good and educational.

    Let’s look at the legality of homosexuality in the Bible and the Quran.
    In the book of Genesis, it says the people of Lot, the vilages of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for homosexuality.
    But nowadays we find many Christian denominations as accepting homosexuality as “normal” even allowing religious leaders who are openly gay.
    In the Quran, the same story is mentioned about Lot and how his village was destroyed.
    Muslims still respect this ruling about homosexuality being forbidden, and it is not tolerated at all. (I can hear you guys now, see, Islam is SO INTOLERANT, yaddi yadda).
    Now the issues you have mentioned, they may be true, but it is behind the scenes, undercover, closeted, call it what you like, unlike in the West, where it is regarded as just “another orientation”, or an “alternative lifestyle” and openly flaunted.

    Summary? At least the religious rulings remain consistent in Islam whereas in Christianity the rules are being made up as people go along.

  11. John said,

    Let’s look at the legality of homosexuality in the Bible and the Quran.
    In the book of Genesis, it says the people of Lot, the vilages of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for homosexuality.

    It may say this in the Qur’an, which isn’t surprising since a la the Book of Mormon it copies and revises stories from the Bible, but that is not what is found in the Old Testament. Certainly it has been interpreted that way, but such is not the story of Sodom nor the lesson intended for people to draw from it. Sodom’s sin was inhospitality, which may not seem like much to us today but in their culture it was very serious indeed. From elsewhere in Scripture it seem sclear that inhospitality involved more than just being rude to a guest, but included treating the poor and needy abysmally:

    “As I live, says the Lord GOD, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them, when I saw it.” – Ezekiel 16:48-50

    But nowadays we find many Christian denominations as accepting homosexuality as “normal” even allowing religious leaders who are openly gay.

    So I gather that are you saying that homosexuality is not normal? Define “normal”. If this is not something of a person’s choosing and is part of how they were created, how can you claim it is not “normal”? Do you know the mind of God and are able to speak for Him? Mind you, I’m speaking solely of the orientation itself. You words make God into a capricious and sadistic fellow who deliberately creates people with a certain orientation that He condemns and others blame them for. Pure Calvinistic predestination at its “finest” I’d say. At least some Christians like the Catholic Church recognize that a homosexual orientation itself is not sinful nor are homosexuals to blame for it, but the acting on it is. I dispute that, but it’s a tad more realistic than the approach you seem to take, condemning people for having an orientation not of their choosing nor one they are able to change.

    Muslims still respect this ruling about homosexuality being forbidden, and it is not tolerated at all. (I can hear you guys now, see, Islam is SO INTOLERANT, yaddi yadda).

    In general that’s fine whether I or others agree with you or not, until it involves this kind of barbarism. Depending upon what kind of intolerance you mean, this only makes Pope Benedict XVI’s recent speech that Muslim extremists went nuts over all the more relevant:

    “In the seventh conversation edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that sura 2, 256 reads: ‘There is no compulsion in religion’. According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the ‘Book’ and the ‘infidels’, he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: ‘Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached’. The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. ‘God’, he says, ‘is not pleased by blood — and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…

    The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: ‘For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality.’ Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Muslim R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practice idolatry.”

    Now the issues you have mentioned, they may be true, but it is behind the scenes, undercover, closeted, call it what you like, unlike in the West, where it is regarded as just “another orientation”, or an “alternative lifestyle” and openly flaunted.

    Which makes one question whether Islam truly is a religion of peace, as some have claimed since 9/11, or simply stuck in a bygone era (in the West at least) of human savagery.

    Summary? At least the religious rulings remain consistent in Islam whereas in Christianity the rules are being made up as people go along.

    That’s debatable. Be that as it may, the version of Islam you seem to espouse is antithetical to the idea that God is good. Instead it is one of a god which is a callous brute where ‘love’ and ‘mercy’ are but mere whims and flights of fancy. I trust this is not how all Muslims think lest non-Muslims be given the wrong impression of the faith you boast of.

  12. Christopher Taylor said,

    There are some Muslims around the world who do not have a problem with homosexuality. Look up “Gay Muslim” in google some time and see what you find, it’s hardly unknown. It’s just as heretical for Islam as the churches claiming to be Christian who embrace homosexuality against the word of God.

    Pointing to exceptions and people who betray their teachings as an example of the weakness of those teachings is an error that you, sir, would reject were it done about Muslims. For example, I would guess that you would consider terrorists who blow up families and their homes in the name of Allah to be horrible people who violate the Koran.

    If not, then you are unworthy of any discussion and a ghastly human being deeply in need of repentance and self examination.

  13. Zia Sheikh said,

    I absolutely condemn any terrorism done in the name of Islam, or any other religion for that matter. I have said it a million times already, and will say it a million times again.

    Going back to the subject matter of this group.
    How can you say that the people of Lot were punished for not being generous/inhospitable? Do you even read the Bible?
    Look at the book of Genesis, 19. They even wanted to have sex with the angels that had come in human form!!
    I trust you also know that the word “sodomy” comes from the city of Sodom that was destroyed for the sin of sodomy, NOT for being stingy!
    And again it’s not “normal” to be gay. If one has these unnatural feelings, they must control them.

  14. John said,

    How can you say that the people of Lot were punished for not being generous/inhospitable? Do you even read the Bible?

    Yes. Do you? The Prophet Ezekiel gave God’s explanation of why Sodom was destroyed. Besides that if you were raised as a Muslim than you should have some inkling of the Near East tradition of hospitality and protection of guests, which I understand survives in some form today .

    Look at the book of Genesis, 19. They even wanted to have sex with the angels that had come in human form!!

    You mean as Genesis recounts in Ch. 6:1-4?

    “When men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose… The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.”

    Apparently this desire for “strange flesh” (Jude) was not unique to Sodom & Gomorrah but was known beforehand as well and probably afterwards as well. Furthermore, while you wish to limit the Sodom story to gay males there are 2 interesting points about this:

    1. The Hebrew word used for men is “enowsh” which literally means “mortal”, so is not restricted to males specifically. Add to this that the story speaks of all “enowsh” both young and old from every quarter of the city coming to assault the angels.

    2. This wasn’t about sex but rape, which I dare say is one of the most eggregious forms of inhospitality. Rape is rarely ever about sex but instead about domination and power over its victims. Even if we assume that this story only involved males seeking to assault the angels, it wasn’t about sex itself but rape along with the violation and domination over God’s angels.

    I trust you also know that the word “sodomy” comes from the city of Sodom that was destroyed for the sin of sodomy, NOT for being stingy!

    Regarding the former, yes this word was coined when an interpretation arose later identifying the sin of Sodom with gay sex. So what? As for the latter, you’ll have to take that up with Ezekiel since that’s what he quotes God as saying. For that matter, discuss it with Jesus Christ who likewsie alludes to Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin being inhospitality in Matthew 10:5-15.

    And again it’s not “normal” to be gay.

    Why? Because you say so? Not good enough.

    If one has these unnatural feelings, they must control them.

    How exactly? You cannot change a homosexual into a heterosexual whether through prayer, therapy, drugs, electrical shock treatment, etc. It is something which is a part of who they are and not something they choose to be. Mind you, we are not even speaking of same-sex relations but the orientation itself. It matters not whether homosexuality is genetic, environmental, or a mixture of both because the fact remains that this orientation is not one of the person’s choosing nor something they can be “cured” of. The most you’ll get through continuing to persecute homosexuals with this crap is celibacy, though many already are or at least have been for long periods of their lives while in the closet, or in some cases a sham marriage to a woman. Tell me though, would you want your sister or daughter to marry a man who has little or no interest in them romantically? Seems rather cruel to the woman, but those who have oppressed gays for so long have forced this upon many to avoid being killed because of who they are. Even when we are celibate religious bigots have sought our blood and treated us as inferior human beings. Sorry, but that’s hardly in keeping with Jesus’ command to judge not and love others regardless of whether you believe Him to be the Son of God or merely a great prophet. Like it or not, homosexuals are “made in the image of God” just as much as heterosexuals are and there is nothing you can say or do to change that.

  15. Christopher Taylor said,

    I absolutely condemn any terrorism done in the name of Islam, or any other religion for that matter. I have said it a million times already, and will say it a million times again.

    Excellent, then my point stands on aberrant peoples doing things in the name of that religion.

    Going back to the subject matter of this group.
    How can you say that the people of Lot were punished for not being generous/inhospitable? Do you even read the Bible?
    Look at the book of Genesis, 19. They even wanted to have sex with the angels that had come in human form!!

    Demanding someone throw guests out in the street to be raped is pretty inhospitable, you have to admit. I think rampant homosexuality is one of the sins of Sodom, it’s certainly the one that it’s famous for, but God seemed to act like it was wracked with all manner of sin, worse than other places famous for that particular one.

    And I have to say, by definition something that only 1-3% of the population engages in and enjoys is not normal.

  16. John said,

    Demanding someone throw guests out in the street to be raped is pretty inhospitable, you have to admit. I think rampant homosexuality is one of the sins of Sodom, it’s certainly the one that it’s famous for, but God seemed to act like it was wracked with all manner of sin, worse than other places famous for that particular one.

    That’s fine, but is not something one finds Scripture saying about the sin of Sodom. We can dispute whether same-sex relations are permissable according to Scripture giving other verses, but not Genesis 19. That’s a pretty thin and weak case to make against same-sex relations and homosexuality in general, particularly when in Ezekiel and other places their sin was said to be inhospitality.

    And I have to say, by definition something that only 1-3% of the population engages in and enjoys is not normal.

    Depends upon what you mean by “normal”. Uncommon I’ll grant you in comparison to a majority of humanity, but then left-handedness is “normal” among only 8-10% of humans well. An even lesser percentage of humans are born intersexed which is also not common but is this abnormal? Depends upon your meaning of the word and if we are speaking in theological terms one must be very careful because these two examples are clearly genetic and therefore would lead one to say that God made a mistake in their essence.

  17. Wacky Hermit said,

    John: “Depends upon your meaning of the word [normal]and if we are speaking in theological terms one must be very careful because these two examples are clearly genetic and therefore would lead one to say that God made a mistake in their essence.”

    I think you are conflating “normal” with “virtuous”. “Normal” is a statistical, not a moral, judgement. You seem to want to define anything God creates to be “normal”, but certainly God is capable of intentionally and benevolently creating things that are outside normalcy. Only a small percentage of human beings are prophets, so clearly prophets are not “normal” yet they are endorsed by God and highly important. Did God make a mistake in creating prophets, since they aren’t like everyone else? Are prophets less virtuous than common men? Most creatures on the earth are insects; would a truly benevolent God have then foregone creating mammals to spare their feelings at being outside of the norm?

    God doesn’t make mistakes, but he does make aberrations from the mean, and any inconsistency on His part that you see in this is a result of your own bias toward thinking that God must have intended all people to be “normal” else they could not all be virtuous. I suspect you have a personal reason for wanting to erode the definition of “normal” so that it will define you as virtuous. But virtue stands on its own; normalcy does not guarantee virtue.

  18. Christopher Taylor said,

    I don’t think normal is all that hard to define. If the great majority of the population is a certain way then by definition, that’s normal. That isn’t an attack, I’m abnormally gifted in art, few people are good with artwork. That doesn’t make me bad, just not normal in that area.

  19. John said,

    I think you are conflating “normal” with “virtuous”. “Normal” is a statistical, not a moral, judgement. You seem to want to define anything God creates to be “normal”, but certainly God is capable of intentionally and benevolently creating things that are outside normalcy.

    Actually, no. I was thinking along the lines of “nature” or “essence” which for Christians may be involved too much in Trinitarian theology, but it still influences our thinking and beliefs. Genesis tells us that our nature was created in the image of God, with sin somehow coming damaging that. Yet if we are speaking of the homosexual orientation itself, the Church teaches that in and of itself it is not sinful. There is no free will involved which is usually where humans fall into sin by choosing to do so through their actions or inactions. My objections to Zia Sheik’s comments didn’t involve the morality of same-sex relations but the orientation itself, which he seemed very clearly to be saying is sinful. How can someone be charged with sin over something they have no control over? Whether one considers the orientation “disordered” or not, itself a whole other topic, the fact remains is that it is a part of the “nature” of homosexuals with virtuosity of it being neither good nor bad.

    God doesn’t make mistakes, but he does make aberrations from the mean, and any inconsistency on His part that you see in this is a result of your own bias toward thinking that God must have intended all people to be “normal” else they could not all be virtuous. I suspect you have a personal reason for wanting to erode the definition of “normal” so that it will define you as virtuous. But virtue stands on its own; normalcy does not guarantee virtue.

    Pretty much in simple form what I’ve been saying. As for you statement about having a “personal reason” involved in this, I’ve hardly made it a secret on this blog or my own that I myself am homosexual. Compared to the stereotype you may be used to undoubtedly a particularly boring one, but nevertheless such is my orientation.

  20. John said,

    I don’t think normal is all that hard to define. If the great majority of the population is a certain way then by definition, that’s normal. That isn’t an attack, I’m abnormally gifted in art, few people are good with artwork. That doesn’t make me bad, just not normal in that area.

    Ok, I had a feeling that might be what you were saying which is why I asked if you mean by “normal” something that is uncommon. In that sense, yes homosexuality is by definition not normal. As I said above though, my thinking of the word “normal” had to do with “nature”. Assuming you are an American (which may be wrong), it’s interesting to see that our common language does not only cause confusion among us and the Brits, but among ourselves as well. 🙂 With many of our words having different meanings depending upon the context in which they are used misunderstandings are quite easy. Mea culpa.

  21. Christopher Taylor said,

    Right, the ethical considerations are another discussion entirely, which Muslihoon isn’t dealing with in this point directly. But I’ve never understood why gays get so upset when someone says they aren’t normal. That’s just how it is, and you never will be unless most people become gay and that’s standard culture – certainly would be rough on our population.,

  22. Rasheed Eldin said,

    I recommend you visit my blog, of which “gay Muslims” and their views and activities are the main subject matter.

    Eye on Gay Muslims
    http://www.gaymuslims.org

  23. John said,

    Right, the ethical considerations are another discussion entirely, which Muslihoon isn’t dealing with in this point directly. But I’ve never understood why gays get so upset when someone says they aren’t normal. That’s just how it is, and you never will be unless most people become gay and that’s standard culture – certainly would be rough on our population.

    If I had to guess I’d say some do because they’ve been marginalized for so long that it’s a defensive reaction, as if you are insulting them. For myself, I was thinking in terms of nature and theology.

  24. John said,

    I recommend you visit my blog, of which “gay Muslims” and their views and activities are the main subject matter.

    Interesting, thanks. I’ll take a closer look this week.

  25. Zia Sheikh said,

    Going back to Muslihoon’s post,
    Wouldn’t it be “fair and balanced” (you know where I got THAT from!) for Muslihoon to mention the following in this article?
    1. Christian priests, catholic and otherwise, molesting and abusing young children, just like in the crooked madrassas
    2. Crooked congressmen in the heart of “civilised” Judeo-Christian society preying on young boys.

    If these things are not mentioned, it would be fair to go back to a point I made earlier, that Muslihoon is basically on a witch-hunt against Islam and Muslims, and is not really “fair and balanced” in his articles.

  26. Scott said,

    Sheik,

    You’re right in saying that muslims (by and large) do follow their religion a lot more closely/literally nowadays than do Christians, but we’re talking about executing people for their sexual preference – is it better to just go ahead and kill them because the Bible/Quran says so, or should we think it through a little more and consider that these are human beings not some simple ceremonial arrangement?

    Also when you say “At least the religious rulings remain consistent in Islam whereas in Christianity the rules are being made up as people go along”, what do you do when some new situation or development arises where it’s not 100% clear how the Quran applies to it? Furthermore are you saying there are no inconsistencies in Islam, no revelations, sura or etc that modify or replace earlier ones?

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I had the impression that Islam went through several phases in its early years starting out as a more or less peaceful religion but then changing to allow violence and the voiding of contracts with kuffir – I believe at one time wine was also allowed but later banned. If so, then how do you square that with your “making it up as you go along” comment?

  27. John said,

    Going back to Muslihoon’s post,
    Wouldn’t it be “fair and balanced” (you know where I got THAT from!) for Muslihoon to mention the following in this article?
    1. Christian priests, catholic and otherwise, molesting and abusing young children, just like in the crooked madrassas
    2. Crooked congressmen in the heart of “civilised” Judeo-Christian society preying on young boys.

    Undoubtedly because these have nothing to do with the topic of the post. They are about as relevant in a post about “homosexuality in the Muslim world” as it would be to mention the ritualistic homosexual practices of ancient Samurai. In addition, both items you mention are well known in the West while the topic of this post is not. Your complaints are curious because it leads one to suspect that “fair and balanced” is not what you seek, but distractions to turn attention from the topic of this post. Why is that?

  28. Zia Sheikh said,

    It isn’t the actual subject “homosexuality in the Muslim world” I am questioning. I am questioning the WHOLE THEME of this blog is to criticize Muslims.
    Shouldn’t the emphasis be on EVERYBODY cleaning house for more or less the same problems rather than just use Muslims for target practice?
    THAT’s what I meant to say, and that’s why I mentioned the Catholic molestations etc etc.

  29. Zia Sheikh said,

    Answer to Scott:
    The wine issue was legislated IN THE QURAN in phases. NOW we cannot change the final ruling, that it is prohibited. Neither can we change any other ruling in the Quran that is clear.
    That’s opposed to Christians that basically SEEM to basically “go with the flow”. Meaning whatever the public’s atttitude is, they will change the rulings accordingly.

  30. John said,

    It isn’t the actual subject “homosexuality in the Muslim world” I am questioning. I am questioning the WHOLE THEME of this blog is to criticize Muslims.
    Shouldn’t the emphasis be on EVERYBODY cleaning house for more or less the same problems rather than just use Muslims for target practice?
    THAT’s what I meant to say, and that’s why I mentioned the Catholic molestations etc etc.

    He comments on other matters from time to time, but also offers a unique perspective which isn’t heard very often in the West. I don’t see the problem.

  31. John said,

    The wine issue was legislated IN THE QURAN in phases. NOW we cannot change the final ruling, that it is prohibited. Neither can we change any other ruling in the Quran that is clear.

    Well good thing I’m not a Muslim then. It would make the Eucharist a bit more difficult to receive I imagine.

    That’s opposed to Christians that basically SEEM to basically “go with the flow”. Meaning whatever the public’s atttitude is, they will change the rulings accordingly.

    Some do, as I suspect there are Muslim who do likewise. Tip for you on Catholicism though: we do not hold to sola Scriptura and never have. Scripture was not meant to be a rule book with everything laid out in toto. For one thing God cannot be limited by such primitive communication. Makes things interesting to be sure, but more in line I think to allow the Spirit to do His thing.

  32. Scott said,

    Sheik:

    The wine issue was legislated IN THE QURAN in phases. NOW we cannot change the final ruling, that it is prohibited. Neither can we change any other ruling in the Quran that is clear.

    Tell me why wine could have been once allowed but never again? This doesn’t make sense – the Quran documents several changes in law; therefore, how can there ever be a “final” ruling? Isn’t it true that the current legislation on wine consumption would be overturned tomorrow if a mullah received word from Allah (that is how all changes to Islamic law have happened, correct?).

    That’s opposed to Christians that basically SEEM to basically “go with the flow”. Meaning whatever the public’s atttitude is, they will change the rulings accordingly.

    It’s not that simple – Christians submit to secular law for the sake of peaceful coexistence with people from other cultures, recognizing that we all need a neutral, religion-free middleground to control our interactions. Otherwise we get things like the Taliban (or on a smaller scale things like the IRA).

    This also means that Christians who violate the ten commandments cannot effectively be punished by the Church, since all sentencing, restrictions etc are the sole province of the secular state.

  33. Rasheed Eldin said,

    The Qur’an doesn’t DOCUMENT change, it is itself the legislator, as it is the Speech of God. Nothing in it could be overturned, as it declares that it is the decisive word and the completion of revelation.

    Only the Prophets (peace be upon them) received revelation, and only their word can be definitive. Muhammad was the last prophet and messenger of God, and nobody can overrule him after his death. Any Islamic scholar must refer to the Qur’an and the Sunnah (way) of the Prophet.

  34. Scott said,

    Are you saying that Islamic law has not changed in any way since Mohammed’s time? My understanding is that it has (with the allowance and later restriction on wine as one example); even if this is just a matter of Islamic scholars reinterpreting the will of Allah, it does represent a change to the everyday behavior of muslims for all practical purposes.

    I’m going to make this simple – just tell me yes or no whether Islamic law – and the actions it allows and disallows – has changed since Mohammed’s time, or not?

  35. Rasheed Eldin said,

    Wine was gradually prohibited by the QUR’AN itself, and its prohibition has stood since the revelation of chapter 5 verse 90. So basically, no, Islamic law has not changed since the Prophet. However, of course the systems of law have DEVELOPED over time, but always based firmly upon the sources, namely the Qur’an and Sunnah (example of the Prophet). But the answer to your last question is still NO.

  36. Scott said,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions about the Quran; one thing that I think is absent from a lot of the discussion about contemporary Islam is hard facts about what the Quran and other Islamic texts actually say – seems like everyone (on both sides) is too busy spinning or guessing to put that on the table and let it stand on its own.

  37. Zia Sheikh said,

    Been a little bit busy since the beginning of Ramadan, so haven’t been posting as much.
    In response to Scott’s question, things that have been CLEARLY mentioned in the Quran or Hadith cannot be changed.
    Where there is some ambiguity, there is room for interpretation, which resulted in minor differences amongst scholars about the meanings of the verses in question.

    For example, intoxicants have been mentioned clearly in the Quran in the shape of alcohol, but what about drugs? They have not been mentioned.

    But the scholars derive that as the reason for alcohol not being permissible is that it intoxicates, the same reason is present in drugs, therefore they are also prohibited.

  38. Scott said,

    In response to Scott’s question, things that have been CLEARLY mentioned in the Quran or Hadith cannot be changed.

    So, clarifications are made by Islamic scholars – but these are a matter of logic and not divine revelation? When these clarifications are made, are they made to the Quran or to other texts?

  39. Salim Yusuf said,

    I can assure you that many devout Muslims do not practice sodomy and recognize that it is wrong. I am aware that sodomy is practiced by a large number of Muslims who find various excuses for it and that there is and always was an underground gay subculture in the Islamic world.
    1. The Ruling Elite, whether military, religious, or secular, considered themselves above the law and they did as they pleased. They had the spare time to pursue their vices and the power to make their own “law”. This was common to western Eurpope, Japan, China, Byzantium. Etc. The western nobles and higher Church clergy often engaged in sodomy while declaring it illegal. The medieval west was just as gay as the Islamic world.
    2. The peasants often did what their masters told them. Servants were used for sodomy by western nobles and high clergy just as much as in the east. Some poor persons sold their bodies for survival, some still do. Eating was a luxury in those times. Food was scarce.
    3. Sodomy became an underground, but institutionalized way of life in both the east and west.
    Both Christianity and Islam forbid sodomy (Judaism as well). Yet it happened anyway.
    No religion is free from hypocrisy.
    The fanatic Fundamentalist Muslims are well known for sodomy. They will condemn others for it while practicing it themselves.
    1. It is a useful tool for brainwashing the young. Bonding the young jihadi to the group and involving him in a sinful act creating confusion in his mind.
    2. It is used for power and dominance.
    3. Fundamentalist fanatic jihadis are a medieval throwback and their mindset and methods are medieval.
    Non fanatic Muslims in Muslim nations are exposed to homosexuality for many reasons.
    1. The strong gay underground in their nations.
    2. Exposure to western media that emphasizes sex. So both ancient underground tradition and western influences encourage homosexuality.
    By the way, that remark about the Byzantine Emperor Manuel and the present Pope is interesting. Islam is less guilty of spreading “faith by the sword” than either the Byzantines or the Catholics. Islam was not innocent and no religion has a peaceful history. The medieval Christians were worse than the Muslims.
    The Enlightenment improved Christianity greatly, but Islam fell behind about 200 to 300 years ago. Islam has made progress, but the “jihadi” movement has caused regression for some thirty years in many areas.
    Islam simply needs to cast off mecievalism. The homosexuality is an aspect of that mecievalism. I am a Sufi and our sheik warned us to avoid homosexuality and he admitted to us that it was prevalent. Our sect taught that we need to improve ourselves not fight the west. Both sodomy and terrorism are caused by hypocrisy which all religions share. True jihad is to conquer one’s own idol, not conquest on earth. I admit many Muslims do the opposite.

  40. Account said,

    OK. Guys…for example…I am someone who likes to rape people..and I’m sure not the only person who have these urges. So am i doing something wrong if its my nature?. Im sure by raping others just get hurt physically. But cant it be just nature…survival of the fittest..why cant you allow it?…
    OK point is just because u have urges doesnt mean its morally right. everyone have different problems thrown at them from ALLAH or GOD if you will. Its known its morally wrong and unnatural. so isnt it time we learn to restrict it and help in controlling it?.

  41. Bluegameroyon said,

    “This is an issue that is perplexing to a very large degree.”

    sure. but that’s because some people are idiots. they actually let primitive sheets of paper do the thinking for them.

    Homosexuals, heterosexuals, trans-gendered, bisexuals- they are all still human! people shouldn’t tell humans to stop loving each other or to not have sex or just infringe on their lives and abilities to do things as people.

    that’s very obvious.

    also, Account, you are wrong. Homosexuality is natural. it’s well-documented in several species in the wilderness and in zoos. even though it was only online, i have read of several instances of homosexuals who have posted saying that they just don’t feel attracted to the opposite sex. the way they look at people of the same sex is the way heterosexuals look at people of the opposite sex.

    “survival of the fittest” do you know what you’re talking about? homosexual animals can actually be beneficial to a species. i’ve read this one article a few months ago that described these two homosexual penguins that reared in an abandoned penguin chick. if the penguin chick was left alone, it would have probably died.

    however, just for the sake of argument, if homosexuality is unnatural (which, i know, it isn’t) so what? let homosexuals hang around however they like. as long as they’re not hurting anyone, why should we care who they have sex with?

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