Green Books for an Inclusive Islam
against homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia, transphobia
CALEM's INIMuslim network editing | HM2F's publishing
Green Books - download (click here)
Intellectual supports and Prefaces (click here)
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INTELLECTUAL SUPPORTS & PREFACE
Thanks to CALEM's INIMuslim networking & program
ABDENNUR PRADO - Spain 
Bismillahi ar-Rahman ar-Rahim
We can analyze the verses about the people of Lot , to show that the Quran does not condemn homosexuality (love between same sex individuals), but mass rape and rejection of foreigners. We can analyze the transmission chains of some alleged misogynistic hadeeth, to prove they are false. We can analyze the condemnation of sexual relations between same sex people in traditional Islamic jurisprudence, to demonstrate that it has no basis whatsoever in the Quran or the Sunnah of the Prophet . We can finally analyze the homophobic laws in force in most Muslim countries, to attest that they have no basis in Islam. But, having done this exegetical work, we feel a void.
What arguments can be put forward to someone who thinks that homosexuality is a sin, something against nature, which should be prosecuted and convicted? What can we say to address the plight of our Muslim gay brothers and lesbian sisters? What can we say to such obvious lack of the most basic feelings and values of Islam, such as compassion, respect for others and a sense of right and wrong?
It's time to say that this issue is not a matter of divergent interpretations: it is a basic issue for the survival of Islam as a way of life based on transcendent values, rooted in the depths of the human heart. In this sense, the Green Book that we present goes beyond the foregoing issues, to address the issue from the very heart of Islamic spirituality.
I thank Allah for giving us the opportunity to participate in this struggle; against the single thought, towards a more spiritual life, stripped of lies, prejudices and invented precepts, toward a life of fulfillment based on the precedence of rahma  and the eternal values of Islam. I ask Allah to heal the hearts of those who justify discrimination against homosexuals in the name of Islam. I ask Allah to make them reconsider their views and make love prevail over hate, inclusion over exclusion and acceptance over rejection, insha Allah. BACK TOP PAGE
MATTHEW SIMONDS – United States of America 
“Religion,” some conservative Muslims say to their queer brothers and sisters, “is not a fashion that it should change with the seasons to suit one’s ‘lifestyle’”; or, “there are some things in Islam that cannot be changed, and accepting homosexuality is one of them.” Some even claim that Islam has never changed in 1400 years and will remain unchanged forever. But a faith without change would be a dead faith, not a living, breathing one, for any living thing that fails to change and grow will die. The challenge facing Islam in the 21st century is whether it will continue to grow and mature and be in the spiritual vanguard as it was when it was first revealed to our beloved Prophet Muhammad , or whether it will stagnate and become degraded? Will it adapt to changing circumstances and respond to new problems, becoming more egalitarian and more just; or will it continue to be monopolized by often oppressive, homophobic and misogynistic interpretations of what it means to be a Muslim.
This question and others are addressed in this Green Book which shows the importance for us as Muslims of reclaiming the spirit of our foundational texts and using the resources of our Islamic heritage such as ijtihad, tajdid, and good or praiseworthy innovations  to make it once more a “middle nation” rather than one in which it is increasingly considered by some that “every innovation is misguidance.” We can, by that means, open marriage to same-sex couples, and empower women and others who have been oppressed. Moreover, although we are called upon by God in the Qur’an to reflect upon our differences , the concept of tawheed also requires of us that we look past our differences and our diversity and be cognizant of our common humanity and dignity and our basic equality in the face of our Creator.
As the testimonies in this Green Book show, without reform, many LGBT Muslims will continue to live double lives or have compartmentalized lives in which their sexuality is separated from their faith; or they will leave their faith altogether or even in some tragic cases commit suicide, not being able to bear the heavy burden placed upon them by their families and their faith. And yet, no LGBT Muslim should ever feel that they must bear such a crushing burden. As the Qur’an says, “On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear" . Islam is for all people, including LGBT people. As one young gay Muslim said in the testimonies in this Green Book, “He’s my God too.”
Ultimately, dogmatic, heterosexual Muslims owe it to themselves to transcend homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia and transphobia and acquire their own authentic, personal and intimate relationship with the Divine, one that recognizes that their own worth is not based on being better that someone else, but exists because of their being in relationship with God. That is far superior for them than to believe that they are better than others or that their sexuality is better than that of others, for that is the sin of pride, the sin of Shaitan who said, “I am better than him."  BACK TOP PAGE
ANAS GILGAMESH - Iraq 
First thing I did is to login to CALEM website to read more, and although that the Arabic pages are not fully completed but I can have more answers at the English ones. I am really so proud that there is now a Islamic networks for LGBTQ groups, when I read about both operational & strategic goals of CALEM I just feel that I am part of it.
As for me, I am LGBTQ Rights Activist that is mostly working in hidden as you know how the situations for LGBTQs community & activists inside Iraq. In many of Arab communities it is very difficult to organize around issues of sexuality and gender identity and gender expression, and the models from other regions for this kind of organizing may not make sense in my own contexts, and thus I need think to establish my own model that is culturally appropriate with societies of the Arab Word.
I used to work on this as hidden person, not using my real name and actual info especially that it is still dangerous here in Iraq comparing within the other Arab countries. All of my work in LGBTQ rights are volunteering since that I believe that this is my rights and I must living for it not living by it, so that I am involving in some of activities most of it are web-based like Facebook, Twitter, e-mail groups, etc.
I shall be so interesting to have this valuable chance to be part of your vision, this will helps me a lot to know what are the steps that you walked on it so that you reach the nowadays.
Yours respectfully, Anas Gilgamesh. BACK TOP PAGE
NEVIN ÖZTOP - Turkey 
Nevin is offering us a unique perspective on their engagement against homophobia: “Why Regional? Creating the Regional Network Against Homophobia aims to provide a solidarity shelter for all the individuals suffering from hate based on homophobia, transphobia and sexism in and around Turkey. We live in a region popular for its border problems and religious clashes; however when it comes to different kinds of hate forms, there seems to be no borders or clashes. We as the LGBTs in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Tunisia, Algeria, Israel, Serbia, Lebanon, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania, we do not stand only against heterosexism but also against nationalism and militarism that go hand in hand with it. Our regional network aims to create a ground to stand up for each other as we share similar political patterns and break mental and physical borders that separate us. We want to live with each other; we want to live for each other.” BACK TOP PAGE
MARWAN BENSAID - Morocco 
Homosexuality in the Arab world
This is so that among the third world countries, especially in the Arab-Muslim world, the subject of homosexuality continues to be a taboo which we do not talk about, because some believe that talking about topics related to sexuality in general - and homosexuality in particular - is contrary to decency; that the issue of homosexuality is set and its legal status, under Islamic law, is obvious.
They base this on the history of the people of Lot, which is recounted in the holy Qur'an. Besides other voices, in order to deny the existence of such practices within the society, stressed the fact that homosexuality is a Western lifestyle, which is not compatible with Arab societies.
To date Arab LGBT community is still far behind, and we find ourselves as Arab LGBTs facing a battle against ignorance, first, before even we can fight homophobia, since the major part of the Moroccan people still see homosexuality as a deviance and contrary to human nature, striking against the wall all the research and studies showing otherwise.
With regard to the marginalization and stress we feel as a gay, as result of the rejection by the society, we are also exposed everyday to various forms of verbal and physical violence and discrimination in the Street, the place of our studies and the workplace...
In the Arab-Muslim countries, where all problems are classified in these societies vis-à-vis the lawful issue of licit - halal - and illicit - haram -, Islamic law is seen as the weapon and primary justification for rejection of all forms of violence faced by homosexuals, by society, law, family...
Furthermore, although there are several schools of Islamic jurisprudence, which virtually never agreed on almost all religious issues, yet these schools are all agreed on the fact that homosexuality is illicit; the only element of jurisprudence on which Muslim scholars diverge, about this subject, is how to execute homosexuals who would be found, without any possible doubt, engaged in sexual practices of this type.
These problems listed above, on which Muslim scholars publish without any awareness on their part as to the reality of the facts they describe, is equivalent to encouraging the violence by giving carte blanche and invite people to commit violence, to increase homophobia, while making licit these acts of violence against these marginalized minorities.
There is not long ago, the Shiite cleric Ayatollah al-Sistani, has published on its website a statement permitting anyone to kill homosexuals, by applying Islamic law. There was also this statement saying that "homosexuals should be killed in the most brutal way"; a statement which was behind the killing of homosexuals in Iraq, since a large number of homosexuals were executed without any evidence of crime.
One of the survivors reflects the fact that "the killers entered the houses; people were taken from the streets and tortured, before being killed, to obtain the names of other potential victims."
Through internet, television news and social networks, have circulated many photos of some of the homosexuals who were killed because of their homosexuality. As the BBC reports about one of these gay Iraqi, someone would have told his brother: "in these times of chaos, it is possible to kill your gay brother, without incurring any penalty and end this disgrace."
The Arab Spring and the fight for LGBT rights!
The Arab Spring was a watershed in the fight against the barrier of silence and repression, which was supported by the Arab peoples, since it is now enjoying a much greater freedom of expression about our claims in all areas that relate to our society. These revolutions have worn slogans of freedom and rejection of repression, oppression and marginalization, and they have fulfilled their goals by breaking this cycle of tyranny that lasted for years ... And as long as homosexuals will be an integral part of this society, things will change and we will continue to strive for recognition, justice and peace. This movement appears so clear to claim the rights of homosexuals, including on Arab general websites and on social networks in particular...
After this came the Tunisian magazine GAYDAY, who was the first Tunisian e-magazine gay oriented. It was a great success and many Arab media have referred to it as an excellent initiative. Other magazines have been out, like our magazine "Aswat": an electronic magazine produced by young Moroccans. This magazine has a great success, and its first issue in April 2012 has been downloaded more than 22,000 times. This magazine has a wide audience and has followers all over the Arab world... In addition, such groups and organizations actively defend those rights, after the Arab spring, to get rights for all groups, without distinction.
Homophobia in the Arab world! What is the solution?
To date, Arab societies still consider homosexuality superficially, in terms of sexual practices only; a perspective that does not benefit from the full breadth of culture or sex education. Everything they represent is the relationship between a man and a woman, and everything that comes out of this configuration is similar, according to them, to a practice against nature... All of this drives us back to our fight against homophobia.
First, we focus on clarifying the definition and representation of these homosexual tendencies, despite these prejudices implanted by an Arab conservative culture. When people will understand the exact meaning of sexual orientation, only then we will be able to convince people of the legitimacy of our claims, which have nothing to do with the sexual histories about the people of Lot. BACK TOP PAGE
LAURE RODRIGUEZ QUIROGA - Espagne 
Construction of lesbian identity, especially in the case of Muslim women, is a long and painful process. Sometimes it never happens. For a woman to consider herself lesbian the first step to follow is that of awareness of the category "lesbian" to be able to identify to. There is a whole inner struggle between tradition and the deeper feelings that erupt in a patriarchal society built from heterosexual experience.
The majority of lesbians Muslim women question their identity during their lives. First question is: "Who am I?" Which is in general responds according to the gaze of others and which is closely linked to the second question: "How to present myself to others?" It's a constant struggle between identifications felt by the woman and own identifications imposed by the community.
The majority of women interviewed during my research feel identified as lesbians. That is to say they feel emotionally and sexually attracted to other women and most have taken the step towards the interpretation of this attraction as that of lesbian identity. Most, however, keeps this secret to the outside world.
Some believe that homosexuality is not dependent on them and that their sexual identity is linked to the essence of their own existence. For this, lesbo-erotic attractions are seen as inevitable. However, others maintain that their feelings and desires are the work of the Shaytaan and struggle not to fall into the temptation to commit an illegal and perverse act.
All recounted painful stories about the denial of their homosexual orientation and the difficulties to identify their own feelings due to the suffering that implies the choice to live as a lesbian. In general, Muslim women assume they have not chosen their sexual orientation, but if the opportunity to live or not in this orientation.
Take lesbian identity is in most cases a long process that does not always coincide with the beginning of physical contacts or the attraction of the same sex. For that to happen this self-identification as lesbian or bisexual must be taken into account various factors: access to information on LGBT, preconceptions about homosexuality, ability to build an identity consistent with the experience, etc.
There is a widespread feeling of guilt, fear or anxiety when they begin to assume their sexual orientation. There is especially a strong psychological impact on time to act out their sexual identity because they are afraid of failing to honor their family and do something contrary to Islam. BACK TOP PAGE
MUBEEN AL-RASHEEDO - Azaannia 
The Green book about Coming-out and Tawhid is a very engaging book in that it is trying to deal with many issues at the same time. It is trying to deal with the concept of Tawhid which by any measure is probably larger than the universe as we know it in our limited ignorance. At the same time it is trying to engage with coming-out and dealing with the acceptance of the expression of sexuality variation. I am making the assumption that inherent in Creation, sexuality variation already exists, but that it’s the expression that becomes a source of discriminating between the powerful core and the purposefully marginal in society. And finally the last part of the book deals with a colourful mosaic of social narratives of individual people in very different circumstances that have to engage firstly with sexual disparity and then sexual similarity. Language of words cannot adequately describe that pain and yet at the same time, a blessed and conscious way of walking the road to the very Divine Source of Compassion that we abandoned at birth.
My first engagement with the book had me thinking of my own journey and one in which coming out was not an option. And what originally started off as an engulfing neurosis of fear of not wanting anyone to know, took a very different direction. Instead of seeking the affirmation of my earthly difference from other people, without fully understanding what it all meant for me; I went through my journey of coming out to myself first. Earthly difference very quickly became spiritual indifference.
In “The Book of Sufi Healing” by Sheikh Hakim Moinuddin Chisti , the author starts off the last chapter - titled: ‘The Infallible Remedy’ - with a quote by Sheikh Bayazid Bistami (RA):
“Once I saw the Most High God in a dream.
He asked me, “Bayazid, what do you want?”
I replied, “I want what You want.”
The Most High God was pleased and said,
“I am yours and you are Mine.”
So I guess self-definition and coming-out is as overrated to sexuality as snow is to Europe. It becomes irrelevant in the bigger scheme of things, in the larger creation similarity, and difference is of no consequence. Any difference, be it rank of any kind is not the differentiating factor. In Verse 31 of Surah Ali-‘Imran (the family of Mary) Allah reminds us, yet again, that Forgiveness and Mercy are for all those that love and align themselves with the very source from which we all originate : Divine Compassion. It is this divine revelation, complimented by the words of Sheikh Bayazid Bistami, that requests of us to see our troubles - of this earthly existence - as distraction and unnecessary detail to our ultimate journey, i.e. Being at one with that which we are a part off.
There are a few assumptions in that last statement. It assumes that we are comfortable with ourselves; that we have forgiven ourselves of our transgressions and transgressors and are ready to move on. But we all know that is mostly true in a utopian existence. So we all carry with us a saboteur, an inner saboteur that is with us most of the time. This saboteur is afraid of self empowerment and most times (in varying degrees) can be self destructive, or have the need to undermine and exclude others. In my humble opinion, a saboteur struggles with (self) restraint.
So how do we go on track and walk the journey of our “spiritual DNA”, which will take us back to that uncreated Immensity which we have abandoned when we chose to enter this physical existence? In his book “Futuh Al-Ghaib – The Revelation in the Unseen” by Ghaus-Al-Azam Sheikh Muhiuddin Abdul Qadir Gilani he speaks of a roadmap that is essentially instructed by our spiritual DNA. He speaks of three stages, Fana, Baqa and Liqa.
Fana is the total subjugation, or rather the prayerful surrender of our whole being to Allah. In the language of the Quran, Fana is referred to as Istiqama. If we could thrive in this, especially when we are blessed with trials and tribulations, then we could experience the state of Baqa.
Baqa is when we operate with restraint: not sabotaging ourselves, violating the rights of others and disturbing a balance that Allah has created in all social forms with uncreated Love. Instead the intoxication of Baqa is about operating from a space of Allah consciousness, no fear nor sorrow and ultimately from a place of self-realisation and alignment with our Divine Source. This can only but lead to the benefit of the people around you, humanity and to the rest of creation. In this way the Quran is extremely astute on the discourses of socio-political rights (class, race, gender etc) and even ecological issues, beyond a legal or constitutional framework.
Liqa is the final part of this journey, where belief, authenticity and devotion then become irrelevant. Instead the experience of engaging with Allah becomes tangible. In such a condition, the experiences of our inner wounded child, societal distortions and judgement becomes totally immaterial to our existence. This all becomes a distraction from the one true secret of all of creation and uncreation: just pure unadulterated Divine Love.
So how and where do we get this spiritual map? I believe that the answer lies in Sura Baqara V.238, where Allah affectionately reminds us: ”Guard the prayers, especially the middle prayer...”. In his book, “The Secrets of Secrets”, Sheikh Muhiuddin Abd Al-Qadir Al-Jilani tells us that the actual salat that we daily offer to Allah is the worship of the material self. There are many movements and actions involving different parts of our body with the recitation of Divine Revelation involving our senses. Hence the word ‘prayers’ in that Surah is in the plural, as prayer is the engagement of different parts of our physical existence. But the middle prayer is about prayer of the heart which is ultimately where the true mosque is built. The congregation is our inner faculties, remembering and meditating on the Names and the Unity of Allah. The leader of this prayer is our irresistible wish to align ourselves to our natural course. And finally the Qiblah  of this prayer is towards the oneness of Allah. Rumi’s challenge to all of us then is his adage: ”Are you just going to admire the jug or are you actually going to drink the water?”
Here is a final argument to consider, Salih of Qazwin  once said: ”Knock and the door will open.” Rabi’a Al-Basri  responded by saying that the door was never closed in the first place. Rumi beautifully closes this triangular engagement about the lover and the Beloved when he exclaimed: ”I knocked and the door opened, but I found that I had been knocking from the inside.”With respect, the title of the book: ”Coming-out and Tawheed or the unconditional love of Diversity”, is effectively irrelevant. So is the discrimination of any form of rank that we engage with almost all the time on a daily basis, sexuality and sexual preferences included. What are ultimately relevant are our engagement with our faith and an alignment with our spiritual home. No passport, no visa, or boarding pass or luggage needed: just our true naked beings!!! By virtue of our creation, we are already reserved on that journey. All we have to do is to show, feel and act out intent. BACK TOP PAGE
LOUIS-GEORGE TIN - France 
Most religions want a world of love, peace and serenity. Yet everywhere there are men who, under the guise of religion, spread hatred, violence and tumult. Most religions invite for dialogue, harmony and justice. And yet men, everywhere, in the name of God, impose ban, exclusion and brutality. Most religions invites to meditation, sharing and openness. Yet everywhere there are "religious" who preach in favor of invective, of selfishness and rejection.
These men do not speak of God: they speak of a fictional character, full of energy, rage and malice, a kind of superhuman psychopath, they have created in their image. A character who looks more like what they would like to be more than what could be the divinity itself.
It is found in Islam, as elsewhere. People who know better than Allah what Allah thinks. People who in the name of respect for their God, insult the men at any time. People talking about that we should not judge, but who condemn every day, and kill.
Gays, lesbians, bi and trans are victims of these fanatics, of course. On the occasion of the World Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, I can only see, say and repeat it. And I can only support CALEM, this confederation that unites you, and that strengthens us.
But religions, it must be remembered, are also victims of these fanatics, who tarnish and debase the divine message and the world of men. Victims of these people who live more in the dogma more than faith, in the certainty more than piety, in the belief more than spirituality.
You who are Muslims, you who are simultaneously homosexuals, you call to fight against homophobia. You call to fight against Islamophobia, too, that plagues Western societies. You call to wear the colors of hope, courage and dignity. You are called to spread this message of peace, which is the essence of Islam, which is also the essence of LGBT activism.
In other words, you are called to become the prophets of that time... BACK TOP PAGE
ARUS PELANGI - Indonésie 
Islam is an important factor in the struggle for our rights; Arus Pelangi does not focus in particular on religion. Rather we focus on human rights issues. I am not Muslim myself, though my colleagues and my life partner are. We are in contact with several progressive Muslim scholars on the issue of homosexuality and gender identity. Some of their writings can be found on our website. Sometimes we invite them to speak in public discussions to highlight the diversity in interpretations of the Quran. Indonesia is often seen as a possible shining example of how Islam and democracy can work together. Sadly, the reality is that we are far from being a gay paradise. We are living under constant threat of attacks by hard-line Muslim groups, while law enforcement hardly makes any effort to stop them. Despite the absence of criminal laws on homosexuality, the government has until now refused to acknowledge the existence of LGBTIs as a legitimate minority with the same rights as other citizens. That is our biggest challenge. BACK TOP PAGE
AMINA WADUD - United States of Amercia 
“I had a retreat with queer Muslims and their allies. Really the sisters and brothers there put more heart and soul into our worship together, I thought, this is what community is all about”. BACK TOP PAGE
1 Former president of Junta islamica catalan (Spanish Islamic council), which organizes a conference about Islamic feminism each year; he says that Islam and homosexuality are not incompatible; President of the International Congress on Islamic Feminism - http://feminismeislamic.org/cast/.
2 May peace be upon him.
4 Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies,
5 bid’ah hasanah or bid’ah mahmudah.
6 Qur’an: 49.13
7 Qur’an: 2:286
9 After the killing of gay - or looking like
« gays » - young Iraqis, Anas
send us a message to certify us he was
safe and sound - https://www.allout.org/en/actions/operation_relocation
; Anas Facebook profile is available
11 Marwan is founder of an LGBT Moroccan organization and editor in chief of the gay magazine ASWAT ("the Voices") - http://aswatmagazine.blogspot.fr/
13 Imaginary country (Azaan - the call - and Nia - the intention) on the other side of the world, where our special contributor is a fifteen years human rights activist.
14 Published by Inner Traditions International, Vermont, 1991. Also known as Gharīb Nawāz "Benefactor of the Poor" (غریب نواز), he was born in 1141 and died in 1230 CE. He is the most famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order of the Indian Subcontinent
15 Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bustami (804-874) was a famous Persian sufí.
16 Islamic Book Service, New Delhi, 1998
17 Annihilation of ego.
18 Born in Iran, Mazandaran, in 1083 and died in 1166; he occupies place in history of sufism.
20 Direction of Mecca towards which Muslims turn their face to pray five times a day.
21 Famous sufi poet (Balk, 1207 - Konya, 1273) that profoundly influenced the representation of the islamic mysticism.
22 Persian sufi.
23 Saint sufi woman (717–801) from Basra, Iraq.
24 Founder of the IDAHO, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia - http://www.idahofrance.org/
25 LGBT Indonisian Federation - http://www.aruspelangi.or.id/ ; statement collected thanks to the organization MOI (homosexual Muslims in Italy) - http://www.ilgrandecolibri.com/p/moi-musulmani-omosessuali-in-italia.html
26 Amina WADUD, the famous university professor, struggling for an Islamic feminism, wrote: “The oppression of sexes is (...) opposed to Islam and it is for those who are aware of the complexity of human existence to create a living reality that challenges the oppression of gender or any other form of oppression based on race, class, ethnicity or sexual orientation” - more information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amina_Wadud
CALEM 2012 main conference is sustained by the European Council
CALEM received the 2012 Pierre Guénin price* against homophobia.
*A price given by SOS homophobia
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