On May 13, 2012, a video of a shameful sermon by Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church surfaced and went viral. Worley's words oozed with paternalism as he flamboyantly declared, “I'm gonna preach the hell out of them.” The “them” in this case is “lesbians, gays and queers,” whom Worley suggested should be rounded up and placed in “150 mile long fences.” He preached that since this segment of our population can't reproduce, eventually the issue will be solved. What makes this story so scary is not that Pastor Worley expressed his beliefs on the topic, nor even that he suggests a “150 mile fence” within which all the “lesbians” should be housed and the second fenced area for the “gays and queers.” It is that he is hiding behind his congregation as criticism builds and that they are supporting him! Of course, to Worley's credit he did state that we should drop food into these areas from time to time by “airlift.”

Now I might be going to go out on a limb here, but I have to say that advocating for even the most “nutritional” of concentration camps is disgusting, repulsive and intrinsically un-American. That said, we American Muslims find ourselves in difficult position. We are a civil rights community, one that has also faced calls for internment, and are also a group whose faith categorically rejects homosexual activity as immoral. Long before this sermon, activists from our community have been attempting to reconcile this very issue. It seems that the choices available were either to ignore our faith's teaching, attempt to reinterpret our theology, or ignore/reject the efforts and outreach from the LGBT communities.

I believe there is a way to stand against discrimination and remain true to our faith on this issue. To get there, let's explore who “we” are, the public debate on gay marriage and what might be a just role for our collective voice.

As individuals who happen to be “Muslim,” we can choose to advocate for any cause, but if anyone expects the American Muslim community to collectively advocate on an issue, it should be sound with regards to a majority of Islamic thought, scholarly rulings and, of course, something that is constitutional. Muslims are not a racial group or a group whose identities are based on our collective sexuality. Therefore, our communal voice should speak to primarily to issues of religious liberty and be presented as coming from a community of faith.

It should also be recognized that communities of faith rarely can collectively agree on specific issues; therefore, we should not be expected to advocate for another community's cause simply because we may be seen as having a similar or even the same opponents. Principled leadership does not indulge quid pro quo or expect it.

With regard to the public debate, good examples of what to avoid are abundant in the pastor's video clip. For instance, Worley displays an obvious need to subjugate others to his standards. His terrible rhetoric is another great example because it will only serve to make people who believe that marriage is an institution ordained by God to be seen as a hateful. Deconstructing this view is important as it holds marriage as the base of society because the intention and function of a marriage goes beyond the committed couple's relationship itself but extends to the possibility raising a family from the offspring of the couple. The defining of marriage is where all sides of the debate feel “limited” by their opposition.

The public conversation tends to either degenerate into conflict or be framed in several incomplete ways like: marriage is a purely legal issue, or America has both freedom of and freedom from religion. A rarely considered angle is that either side is actually imposing their values on the other. By calling marriage a “civil right,” proponents of gay marriage are engaging in the tyranny of the minority. Similarly, by telling two adults that their relationship cannot be sanctioned by a willing religious body or by the government, opponents of gay marriage are limiting the freedoms of conscience, choice and will of a minority population, not to mention that they are also limiting their ability to receive equal treatment before the law.

I emphasize with the “tyranny of the minority” line of thought, not because the LGBT community is pursuing equal protections, benefits and legal rights. In fact, from the LGBT stance, the demand to use the exact same terminology for what are in fact different types of committed relationships makes sense. The logic is that unless the term “marriage” is used for everyone, true equality cannot be had. However, those that advance this line of thinking are missing the point of view that many people of faith hold. Without indulging the slippery slope arguments, moral traditionalists at a minimum see this tactic as trying to impose a foreign and offensive moral standard on them. Simply put, the exact opposite of the pursuit of equality, but instead the use of law and civics to legislate moral relativity and even religious doctrine.

I believe that as American Muslims our duty to others is to advocate for equal legal rights, benefits and protections for all groups of people. This means standing against violence, intimidation, subjugation, oppression and of course the internment of people because of their “classification.”

The tricky thing with gay marriage is that it is a real intersection of religion and government in that marriage is both a state matter and a matter of faith.

American Muslims should understand that due to our nation's religious freedom, any legally recognized “faith” community can decide what they want to define as a “marriage” according to their moral code or lack thereof. This is important as there are already theologians from many well established faith communities that have or are in the process of accepting gay marriage as acceptable to their creed. Because America's system of law functions to protect those that need protection AND to set standards the challenge for American Muslims, it is one of balance.

The real issue that should concern us as a community of faith is the idea of moral equivalency. Moral equivalency is at the root of the previously mentioned “tyranny of the minority” concept. A primary reason for the push and insistence on the term “marriage” is that proponents of gay marriage ultimately do want their relationships to be considered morally equal to a “traditional” marriage or what the vast majority of Muslims believe to be decreed by God. Simply, put just like Pastor Worley, it is not enough to agree to disagree.

In my mind, the best position as a people of faith is to leave the gay marriage issue to the states so that the each state's population can have the best chance of advocating for the policy that they desire. The federal government should buffer this stance by mandating that regardless of what is decided by an individual state's voters that each state must provide an option that requires LGBT communities who are not afforded a “marriage” still receive the same legal rights and benefits as other committed relationships. This means that in some states the LGBT community would have to settle for a title like a “civil union” and in others they will have a “marriage.” In short, while might does not equal right, demographics do matter.

Some moral conservatives argue that because all states are supposed to recognize marriages of other states that this position is too weak. Yet, morality in a society founded on pluralism is not something that can be legislated. However that does not mean that we should advocate for or even stay silent on what we consider immoral. People of faith's proper role in America is do the work that our faiths call us to, namely to spread our beliefs in the free market of ideas.

In closing, I want emphasize that group or identity politics and coalitions should NOT lead us to quid pro quo support for a cause. If our participation in social justice movements has led us to think in terms of coalition building at the cost of our own principles then that is unacceptable.

153 Responses

  1. yasmine h

    What a shame that people who don’t have the truth (Islam) hate what displeases and Allah hates. I’m baffled how brother Iesa is so passionate about this issue as if it even deserved our attention. Fear Allah Subhana Wa ta’Ala. This is why we are the most humiliated and most dishonored people, because we seek honor outside Islam. May Allah have mercy on us and guide us ameen.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    • Iesa Galloway

      Asalaam Alaikum Sister Yasmine, Ameen to your du’ahs.

      Do yourself a favor and actually read the article before commenting, clearly you are not getting my purpose for writing.

      Anyone that is paying attention or who has access to Shaykh Google would clearly see that American Muslims are regularly confronted with issues related to the social justice and other communities… and I think you (in particular) would be very distressed at the way many if not most of our activists are responding/leaning… Allah knows best.

      That is of course If the subject “deserves” your attention, if not then do enjoy other articles on our site!

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      Reply
      • musilmaa

        You are so typical of here Iesa, cannot take criticism based on the Quran and sunna without spewing back disrepectful, rude, arrogant comments. Your writing is beautiful but its content is all garbage. American Islam is what you want to come up with, most likely you will get followers- the ignorant ones. We Muslims don’t find an easy way out, we do the right thing under whatever circumstance. Budhism has some excellent teachings and I agree with them, does that mean that I have become Budhist or follow their relgion?
        I don’t condone that pastor’s rant and hatetful words but We don’t just tag along some group just becuase we find something in common with them. Go find yourself a humanitarian group-whatever, but don’t try to hijack Islam with your little mind and narrow education.

        Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • Iesa Galloway

        Asalaam Alaikum Muslimaa,

        This is basically my article in one sentence: “I don’t condone that pastor’s rant and hateful words but We don’t just tag along some group just because we find something in common with them.” See the last two lines of the piece… In fact read it before commenting.

        O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. Qur’an 5:8

        “Your writing is beautiful but its content is all garbage. American Islam is what you want to come up with” & ” Go find yourself a humanitarian group-whatever, but don’t try to hijack Islam with your little mind and narrow education.”

        Now who is spewing rude, arrogant comments?

        Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      • Gibran Mahmud

        Assalamualaikum
        Iesa, it’s not arrogance it’s anger. You don’t mention what you think we should do as Muslims(who know that Allah if watching us and will call us into account on the day of judgement)

        You simply talk about a bunch of things like pragmatism, logic, what we reasonably can do and skip out on the ayat of the Quran, the fact that we HAVE TO enjoin right and forbid wrong, make our stance clear the the world that we are, and always will be against these practices, and that what matters is what Allah and His Messenger salalahualayhiwasalam want us to do.

        You can keep responding to every rebuttel and say “It seems like you didn’t read the article” but the fact is we did. No one is really accusing you of condoning gay marriage. We’d then know, you would be a munafiq.

        We disagree with your attitude and approach. Your “pragmatism” is utterly irrelevent. Is it pragmatic to preach Islam to Arabs who would kill you and take your belongings the first chance they get? No of course not.

        But it’s not about that. It’s about “We hear, and obey”.

        But right now it’s seems we are following the Jews and Christians into the same hole.

        And I honestly don’t know any solution to this except to pay attention when reciting Al-Fatihah in prayer.

        And to say “We hear and obey” and go ahead and do

        Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. Stanley James

    Ifr your Mulim – American or visitor, remember that this kind of guy is a republican .
    Our party that has used fear and hated to demonize Muslim people in America. He and his kind are really close to being the same as the extremists who did 9-11, eg we have our own set of nut cases. Mostly the southern christian folks who in
    the past gave us slavery, and segregation

    too many people here totally forget that Islam btw has apparently totally obliterated the color of skin line. You can be proud of that.

    just as you can be proud of eg your contribution to Mathematics ,eg Algebra (I think thats an arabic word and is the basis of all modern math and the other wonderful things we have from engineering

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    Reply
    • Burqa Barbie

      ” Mostly the southern christian folks who in
      the past gave us slavery, and segregation”

      Yeah, and Mauritania only banned slavery in 1980. Muslims also had the largest and longest slave trades in the world. Religious segregation is largely practiced in Muslim majority countries. In Egypt Christians and Jews cannot be president (or women). We all know the persecution these religious minorities face as well. Also the slave laws that the conquistadors used on the native Americans came from the Moors before them. At least Jesus never had slaves and one can say that he wouldnt have approved. Slavery was practiced by Muhammed (PBUH).

      “too many people here totally forget that Islam btw has apparently totally obliterated the color of skin line”

      Oh yeah, thats what they definately find in Darfur. Take some humility.

      “just as you can be proud of eg your contribution to Mathematics ,eg Algebra (I think thats an arabic word and is the basis of all modern math and the other wonderful things we have from engineering”

      Actually, you can thank the Greeks for that! The word came from arabic, not the entire mathematical discovery. It had later contributions from Indians and Italians. You make Muslims come off as arrogant.

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

      Reply
  3. Marco Luxe

    There is never a tyranny of the politically weaker minority. Gay people do not seek to influence moral beliefs or religious doctrine of any group by pursuing marriage equality. They seek equality under the law. That is what the Constitution promises and demands.
    If your religious morals can be blown to and fro by the state extending the fundamental promise of legal equality, your morals are not based on anything substantial. Maybe that is your real problem with gays.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    • Mehdi Hasan Sheikh

      If the issue is so clear that this is what the constitution demands then why is there such a great amount of opposition to it by such a huge section of the population? This is essentially a matter of legal interpretation and one what does not involve us as Muslims, and just because you are an American Citizen does not mean that you have to agree with everything the law ordains.

      Whether the state ultimately agrees to make gay marriage legal has no bearing on our morals. Its just a sort of immoral thing that we have to accept that has been made into the norm, just like the idea that a “corporation” is a person, and many other ridiculous laws that we have to accept.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • Burqa Barbie

        ” then why is there such a great amount of opposition to it by such a huge section of the population?”
        There is also huge opposition to Muslims as well. It does not mean there is any legitimacy to it at all times. A majority of Americans today actually support same-sex marriage.

        Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. David_in_Houston

    “By calling marriage a “civil right,” proponents of gay marriage are engaging in the tyranny of the minority.”

    This doesn’t ring true. Marriage is a civil right. The Supreme Court has said so numerous times. They felt so strongly about that, that even (straight) murderers serving life-sentences in prison have the right to marry. One has to wonder how our society can support marriage for murderers, and not gay Americans.

    “The logic is that unless the term “marriage” is used for everyone, true equality cannot be had. However, those that advance this line of thinking are missing the point of view that many people of faith hold.”

    People of faith need to acknowledge that non-religious straight couples are permitted to marry in our country. If those couples are allowed to marry without having a belief in religion, then how can you possibly use religious beliefs to justify banning gay couples from marrying?

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  5. Ninz

    Agree that faith groups and coalitions shouldn’t necessarily lead us to “quid pro quo support” for a cause- i.e. Muslims shouldn’t feel obligated to support the Pastor’s ideas just because Islam rejects homosexual activity, as you put it. But neither should it lead to Muslims eschewing traditional beliefs in order to separate ourselves from the diatribe reflective of the Pastors sermon, which is what I feel you’ve done here.

    Br. Iesa, you might have wanted to strike a balance between upholding our religious beliefs and taking a stand against discrimination, but I think you’ve missed the mark and fallen on the apologetic end on the spectrum of possible Muslim responses. It’s one think to call the pastor out on his vile ‘internment camp’ idea, but to tell Muslims that the “the best position as a people of faith is to leave the gay marriage issue to the states”, I think is ignoring the very fact that Islam has an active position on homosexuality, not a passive one.

    There has to be a tactful, balanced and well-represented way of addressing the issue and still staying true to our beliefs. I don’t know what that is, or how to word it, but I’m thankful to Br. Iesa for touching on the topic, because dialogue, particularly among Muslim leaders and academics is much needed.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  6. umm dujaanah

    “AMERICAN islam” seems to be a whole new religion! Not a single hadith or Quranic ayat or rulings from the scholars, just full of liberal garbage and your own sinful opinion.
    Have you forgotten about the punishment given to the people of Lot?
    Seeing as you are unable to look up the Quranic ayat on this, or the sayings of scholars, I thought I would do this for you.
    “And (remember) Loot (Lot), when he said to his people: ‘Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed in the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinn)? Verily, you practise your lusts on men instead of women. Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds (by committing great sins)’
    [al-A’raaf 7:80-81]

    Ibn al-Qayyim said:
    Both of them – fornication and homosexuality – involve immorality that goes against the wisdom of Allaah’s creation and commandment. For homosexuality involves innumerable evil and harms, and the one to whom it is done would be better off being killed than having this done to him, because after that he will become so evil and so corrupt that there can be no hope of his being reformed, and all good is lost for him, and he will no longer feel any shame before Allaah or before His creation.The semen of the one who did that to him will act as a poison on his body and soul. The scholars differed as to whether the one to whom it is done will ever enter Paradise. There are two opinions which I heard Shaykh al-Islam (may Allaah have mercy on him) narrate.” (al-Jawaab al-Kaafi, p. 115).

    So brother, take down this disgusting piece that you have written, we are not an Ummah of apologetics, we are the Ummah of Muhammad PBUH, the rulings on sodomy are clear for all to see and let me warn you clearly that if you do not remove this, I will come on Yawm Al Qiyamah and inshAllah I will stand before Allah and point at you and relate this incident. Allah will judge between us

    This is not a question of morality, legality, or equal rights, this is a question of Eman. Fear Allah, lest you lead people astray.

    As for everyone else, read the story of the People of Lot in the Qur’an, and see for yourself what Allah Azza Wajjal has said about this vile disgraceful act.

    http://islamqa.info/en/ref/10050

    May Allah guide us all and keep us and our progeny away from homosexuality,

    It was narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him): “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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 hadeeth was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 1552).

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    Reply
    • Iesa Galloway

      Asalaam Alaikum Umm Dujaanah,

      I hope you feel better after that (self-righteous?) rant.

      For the record there is only one Islam … this idea of “American Islam” that you describe would be something to stand against. However Muslims (in this case Americans) practicing Islam according to time and location informed and guided by students of knowledge is something entirely different.

      There are no Ayat or Hadith in this piece precisely because it is an opinion piece, which by the way is NOT about Islam’s ruling on homosexuality. Ironically, it is about how Muslims can and should stand up for our faith with an emphasis on NOT accepting/legitimizing anything that Islam forbids… something that takes both manners and patience.

      Allah Azza Wajjal is Al-Basir. I don’t apologize for Islam, and you would do well to watch the implications in your language. May Allah’s Mercy be granted to both of us as well as all the Ummah from now until the last day.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • umm dujaanah

        Wa alaykum asalaam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

        Surely as muslims, “opinions” are and should be entirely based on Islam, on the Qur’an and Sunnah. Therefore your piece, which was essentially a green light to homosexuality was an “opinion” outside of Islam. Make this clear to your readers.

        Have a disclaimer: “Only representative of me and my warped desires” otherwise get off writing on a site like MM or better still, take the “Muslim” out of MM.

        I am and will willingly stand by my words and their “implication” when it matters most, in front of Allah. And we’ll see how you defend this anti-Islamic article.

        Why no mention of the punishment for active sodomy in Islam? Why no mention of the punishment meted out to the people of Lut? Why no mention of ISLAM? If you say the shahadah and submit yourself to Allah, there is no room for “opinions” outside of Islam.

        Ameen to your dua if you repent for this piece. We are muslims with pride, inheritors of this perfected religion. Do NOT water it down to suit your American masters.

        My final question, will you defend this on the day of Reckoning?

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • sameer

        It is quite clear from your language that you feel passionately about this topic. However, I’d suggest you re-read the article and analyze it to find out exactly what Br. Iesa’s premise is. Instead of spewing this kind of language on a forum that is intended to enlighten us on issues we are unfamiliar with, which you clearly are, it is better to remain silent.
        The people of Lut a.s. COMMITTED abominable acts and were punished because of that:
        Will ye COMMIT abomination such as no creature ever did before you? [7:80]they used to COMMIT abominations [11:78]And Lot! when he said unto his folk: Will ye COMMIT abomination knowingly? [27:54]For come ye not in unto males, and cut ye not the road (for travellers), and COMMIT ye not abomination in your meetings? [29:29]
        No doubt, I will stand with my burdens on the Day of Judgement next to you and your burdens. If you think, based on your deeds, you will be proud enough to point out inequities of brother Iesa or anyone else for that matter, I’m afraid you misunderstood what that Day will really be for all of us. Neither you nor I will be in any position to “defend” ourselves that Day. May Allah protect us from its trials.
        And even the Prophet pbuh had “opinions outside of Islam”; for instance in the incident of Bareera. The sahabah as well as the 4 imams have all used their opinion to deal with matters where no ayaat, ahadeeth or ijmaa were found. If you searched through islamqa, you should be well aware of this fact.
        As far as the author’s opinion goes, he is entitled to it, as are you. The only difference is, he has done some research and given logical argumants before giving it, as opposed to fatwa shopping at islamqa.
        For the record, I am against giving them marital status, since the status implies acceptance of the act as a society and that is something we should oppose simply of the hadeeth:
        “Whoever among you sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]
        Alhamdulilah we can still speak out against the act so we should. But again the key word is ACT. NOT the actor.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Burqa Barbie

      “For homosexuality involves innumerable evil and harms, and the one to whom it is done would be better off being killed than having this done to him”
      And another teenager commits suicide. You have a sadistic view on homosexuality.

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • umm dujaanah

        Lol burqa BLONDE barbie, that was a quote by Ibn Al Qayyim Al Jawziyya, compare yourself to him and you will find you are not even worth a grain of sand that touched his foot (same with me infact)

        So I say, keep quiet barbie.

        For you just called the words of Ibn Al Qayyim “sadistic”. Go repent.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      • Burqa Barbie

        “not even worth a grain of sand that touched his foot (same with me infact)”
        Wow, how humble you are. Also what is your issue with blondes? I’m a brunette. Your post explains why Saudi Arabia still in the 21st century is the only country that still believes in witchcraft.

        Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • Burqa Barbie

        Um, no. Welcome to the 21st century-err 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Sadia

      “resident trash talker”? “MunafiqMatters”?

      Subhannallah for being so religious, you have no ADHAB. Remember that
      phrase? You have no respect for your fellow Muslim. Eesa clearly has
      been thinking about this topic long and hard. It is a difficult topic
      but his giving his opinion for discussion, not a fatwa.

      You are a Taliban-style Muslim. No room for other opinions, ways of
      thinking and so on. The prophet (pbuh) was compassionate and kind in his
      speech even with the greatest of enemies and disbelievers. And you
      can’t even show your own Muslim brother in Islam some respect? You are
      the sinner here for your hard heart.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • umm dujaanah

        I am a sinner, more than yourself and brother Iesa, and I hope that Allah SWT in His infinite mercy forgives. I may have gotten angry, but this is because I hate to see a clear cut evil such as sodomy given tacit approval.

        I am a muslim with no influence, whilst brother Iesa has influence, people who may be led astray by his words. I feel obligated to correct him. He did not respond to my straightforward question, would he rdefend this piece on Yawm Al Qiyamah?

        Finally your “insult” waa in fact a compliment for me. I love the mujahideen for the sake of Allah. They are the best amongst us.

        May Allah forgive our sins and enter us into Jannat. May brother Iesa repent and retract this piece for the laws of Allah are clear.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Sadia

        You really have no tact or charisma or kindness in your speech, this reply of yours still sounds judgmental and self-serving.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • siraaj

      I happen to receive all the comments in my inbox, and I noticed you were sending many comments through, but as you can imagine, I can’t read all of them, but I do skim them occasionally.

      I don’t think anyone disagrees with Ibnul-Qayyim about the severity of the sin in question – the discussion is about what is the best strategic move for the Muslim community within the United States in dealing with this issue.

      What ‘Iesa has done is suggest one path forward, according to his understanding, of how the Muslim community should best deal with this issue, given the challenges for the Muslim community in the United States. He’s open to disagreement and suggesting a better path forward, if you have an alternative perspective to offer.

      Unfortunately, what value you could have added to the discussion has been marred by the presumption that you will be called on on the Day of Judgment to point fingers at others at specific individuals as though they are intentionally posting something against the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, by the name-calling that has occurred throughout this discussion (you know a munafiq is a disbeliever), and more (what really is wrong with being blonde, Allah created blondes too, we have blonde converts as well).

      A man came to the Prophet (SAW) asking to commit zina, knowing that Zina is a major sin, and the Prophet (SAW)’s response was kindness. When the head of the munafiqeen died, the Prophet (SAW) prayed for his mercy until he was forbidden this because they had died in disbelief. In the Qur’aan, Allah even tells Musa to speak with Firawn gently. As one person historically said, you are neither as good as Firawn, nor is the person in question (‘iesa) as bad as all these people.

      If you wish to follow the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, then my suggestion is that before you advise people to follow it, you learn what the Qur’aan and the Sunnah states about HOW to call people to the truth, both you and that forum fond of dropping the word munafiq like they have a special list at hand to call out people.

      The Companions were too worried that they were munafiqs and anxious of being on the Prophet’s list, whereas I see others here and elsewhere have reversed this priority, and I would advise that if one is truly a follower of the Salaf-us-Saaleh, they correct this.

      Siraaj

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • Sadia

        Thank you for saying what many of us are thinking. May Allah bless you and increase you.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • umm dujaanah

        Asalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

        You mentioned me calling “burqa barbie” blonde, well you must have then seen how she called what Ibn Al Qayyim said, “sadistic”. Calling her blonde was being kind.

        I think MunafiqMatters would be befitting for this site, after their treatment towards brother Tarek Mehanna…every single comment where I wrote that has been deleted. Let’s see if this one passes through “moderation”

        What Iesa has done is say:

        “a group whose faith categorically rejects homosexual activity
        as immoral.”

        Is Inactivity moral? I could at this point bring proof as to what the
        scholars say about homosexual inactivity but because Iesa seems to have superior
        knowledge, I have asked him to find me the rulings where Homosexual inactivity is moral? Because
        this is essentially what is being suggested.

        He then says:

        “As individuals who happen to be “Muslim,” we can choose to advocate for any
        cause,”

        Can we though? Do we just “happen” to be Muslim? Is it an accident? I for
        one, have chosen to be a Muslim, and thus I can NOT advocate for any cause, I
        can only advocate what is within the boundaries of Islam

        and then:

        “it should be sound with regards to a majority of Islamic thought, scholarly
        rulings and, of course, something that is constitutional.”

        So where are the scholarly rulings? He has been asked many times and has
        ignored all requests. What is the majority of Islamic thought? He is making
        vague statements such as these, to try to bring some substance to this piece, he is alluding to Islam, but not bothering to bring anything from Islam into
        this.

        These are the 3, and the only 3 points that have any mention of Islam. You would not talk of an alcohol ban, without mentioning Islam’s ruling on alcohol. You would not talk of a riba’ ban, without mentioning Islam ruling on interest. This was simply not addressed, he did not at any point make it clear what Islam’s ruling on Homosexuality is.

        someone earlier made a very silly comment about the People Of Loot being punished for active homosexuality. This was true but what they were suggesting was that those who LGBT who want to marry are somehow “inactive” this is ridiculous. But even then, Islam has a position on homosexual inactivity.

        If you did not like my manner then fair enough. I did apologize for this earlier, I am sinful, more so than anyone here. But Alhamdulillah, I will correct what I see as wrong, and I will not stop doing this because people disagree with me.

        You talk of the Quran and Sunnah, but brother why has Iesa not mentioned the Islamic stance on homosexuality? Why has he not brought Ayat or Hadith? Why has he not mentioned the rulings and sayings of the scholars?

        You talk about akhlaq, and in the same comment insult “That forum”. There is a word to describe that sort of behaviour.

        I asked whether brother Iesa could and would defend this piece on Yawm Al Qiyamah. He has yet to respond, this for me reveals a lot. If you or others can not see this, and wish to blindly follow MunaafiqMatters then be my guest, however I as I mentioned before, feel obligated to correct what I see is outright wrong. There are some people who come to this site (unfortunately) who may be led astray.

        p.s. Munafiqeen is the plural of Munafiq, no such thing as Munafiqs.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

        My dear sister in Islam,
        Wa-Alaikum Assalam Wa Rehmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu:

        If you felt that calling the statement by Ibn Al Qayyim as sadistic was inappropriate (which it was) you could have availed the Comment Flagging mechanism we have on the site to alert the moderators that something is not right. However, you chose to correct one wrong by another.

        With regards to the matter of Tarek Mehanna, it amazes me how something which MM has officially retracted and apologized as a mistake keeps coming back to be bashed upon. I was not on the MM team then so I have little knowledge but why the issue is being mentioned here is beyond my understanding (I must be a blonde I guess!)

        Your objections to Iesa’s article stand and had they been put in a mild manner all of us would be discussing the issue rather than name-calling and hurting each other.

        I do not know about brother Iesa and whether he could defend this piece on Yawm Al Qiyamah, but I do know that each of us should look at the type of comments we are posting here and see whether we will be able to defend our words on that Day.

        I personally forgive you for your harsh words and attitude and for calling me and my fellow team members Munafiqeen for I know that on the Day when the matter will be decided if I am the one wronged I will not be able to forgive you. And if I am wrong and that comment is something we deserve I still forgive you so that I do not carry the pain these comments have caused me.

        Let me end this by saying that you and others out there could benefit the team of MM greatly by giving us suggestions if we ever fall in error. We just ask that you do it in a manner that is in a manner that Islam promotes and which we can accept.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Iesa Galloway

        Asalaam Alaikum Ahki Aly,

        I appreciate the effort with this sister. I choose not to engage with her precisely because her comments demonstrate a behavior more fitting of an angry child than someone that can dialogue, she has so far ignored answers and explanations only to keep indulging diatribes and attacks. In my mind it was fitting enough to let her expose own behavior after my first reply to her in which I gave her salaam and directly answered a few of her accusations/comments.

        That said I feel like I should address a few things given your exchange with her.

        Sister, the only thing my ignoring your comments should “reveal” to you is that I don’t value your words and opinions enough to reply nor do I want to empower you by a response. I value my time and choose how I spend it.

        However, you continue to make false statements. For example your incredible question about me and the Day of Judgement! A simple understanding of Al Asma wa Al Sifat should have let you see that in my initial response to you I did in fact reply to this — if you do not know what Allah’s name Al-Basir there is always Shaykh Google. How this is an answer? Well, I for one do not intend to argue or debate with the Lord of the Worlds. I hope that we and all the Muslims will have the tawfiq to rely on Allah’s Mercy on that day as Allah knows my intentions better than I do.

        Next, I emphasized homosexual “activity” to distinguish it from urges and desires. I do not know what homosexual inactivity is…? However, since the people trolling my article seem to trust http://www.islamqa.com read the following ayat & hadith as well as commentary found here: http://islamqa.info/en/ref/84066

        Which is as follows:

        Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

        “Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope”

        [al-Baqarah 2:286]

        It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has forgiven my ummah for whatever crosses their mind so long as they do not speak of it or act upon it.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2528) and Muslim (127).

        Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said commenting on this hadeeth:

        Whatever crosses a person’s mind, so long as he does not dwell on it or continue to think of it, he is forgiven for it, according to scholarly consensus, because it does not happen voluntarily and he has no way of avoiding it.

        Al-Adhkaar (p. 345).

        Next you question this line: “As individuals who happen to be “Muslim,” we can choose to advocate for any cause,” – My response/clarification: unlike takfiris, I will not declare a person who I believe to be in error outside of Islam. People in a free society can advocate for anything they please, there are no thought police and even if there position is clearly unIslamic there is really nothing to do except hope they are not doing it in the name of Islam (hence the language “happen to be Muslim”) and if they claim that it is Islamic then we have to tell the people that it is not. In any case we can not know what is in their hearts. The sad reality and the purpose for why I wrote this piece is because while you agree with me that as a Muslim, “I can only advocate what is within the boundaries of Islam” many people are promoting things that are unIslamic and trying to change our faith.

        I know what is coming so let me save you the effort: I do not believe that saying people who are not Muslim should have equal protection under a non-Islamic legal system is necessarily against Islam. Especially when it is already happening and beyond the Muslim communities ability to influence. My main point is that what is in our ability to influence is how and if we accept that what they do of their own freewill will be made equal in a MORAL status to a traditional marriage.

        Furthermore, if you cared so much you would have read my bio or other writing. Then you would know that I am a convert and wouldn’t lecture at me about “chosen to be Muslim.”

        Next is this line: “it should be sound with regards to a majority of Islamic thought, scholarly rulings and, of course, something that is constitutional.” which is self-evident and to try an question that any position that is reflective of the majority of Islamic thought and scholarly ruling can be anything but against homosexual activity is ridiculous, especially given the context of the article and it demonstrates the person would suggest otherwise as having a agenda either to personally attack me or MuslimMatters.

        Now about labeling people munafiq:

        Volume 8, Book 73, Number 71:Narrated Abu Dhar: That he heard the Prophet saying, “If somebody accuses another of Fusuq (by calling him ‘Fasiq’ i.e. a wicked person) or accuses him of Kufr, such an accusation will revert to him (i.e. the accuser) if his companion (the accused) is innocent.” ( Sahih Bukhari) Sahih Muslim Book 001, Number 0116:It is reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar that the Apostle (may peace and blessings be upon him) observed: When a man calls his brother an unbeliever, it returns (at least) to one of them.

        This is yet another reason why I did not continue to engage with you. Why would I put myself in this type of situation, when clearly there is no good to come from it?

        Sister, you have told me to fear Allah multiple times… please see that it is out of my fear of Allah that I choose not to engage with you.

        I ask Allah to increase us both in knowledge and action, to purify our intentions and grant us tawfiq. May Allah bless us and all the believers with what is best in this world and the next.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • siraaj

        Salaam alaykum Umm Dujaanah,

        So are you saying that all the authors on MuslimMatters are munafiqs (sorry, I’ve heard scholars use this term, and by the way, scroll higher in my previous post and you’ll see I’ve used the word munafiqeen)?

        That’s an astounding accusation for a non-scholar to make. Even if ‘Iesa is dead wrong in what he’s written, and even if the piece MM wrote about Tarek Mehanna was wrong (and was also apologized for, btw), calling out the all authors on this site, both those who were there when it happened as well as those who are here now (many new authors) and had nothing to do with it is dangerous. Are you calling us all disbelievers?

        Is there any fear that you are overstepping your boundaries in throwing the word munafiq so flagrantly? Do you feel so confident that on the Day you are questioned for this, you’ll be able to stand on the reasoning presented?

        If you’re so confident, please present me the ayaat, ahadeeth, and rulings from scholars that afford you such confidence because so far I have seen none from you, nor have I seen a ruling from a reputable scholar which states this everyone on this site is deserving of the term munafiq, nor have I known it from the manners of the Prophet (SAW) that he corrected people by calling them ugly names.

        About your questions, I’ve already stated, you have valid points and questions, and they should be addressed, particularly questions related to how brother ‘Iesa came to his conclusions, which scholars he consulted with before writing his piece, and perhaps even sharing your understanding of “homosexual inactivity” (I have no idea what is meant by this, btw) and what you’ve learned about it.

        But sister, remember that Allah states in the Qur’aan to the Prophet (SAW) that had he been harsh towards the disbelievers (and he was known for good manners and gentle ways), they would not have listened to him at all. If you want people to benefit from all your posts, then please discontinue all these counterproductive behaviors. Who cares if Burqa Barbie dissed Ibnul Qayyim, what does that have to do with using “blond” as an insult? Make a good point, share your concerns, give good naseeha with the best of manners as well as support from the Qur’aan and Sunnah based on the understanding of the scholars who have something relevant to say regarding this discussion, and whether it’s accepted or rejected, khalas, you’ve done your part.

        Finally, I’m not sure what I’ve said about that forum that was insulting? I try to keep myself to only stating what can be factually verified. I made a correction in my previous post because it appeared I was saying everyone on that forum engages in that behavior, but it is more appropriate to say that there are some who do, some who don’t. But that is a statement of fact – there are a number of individuals on that forum who have no problem dropping that word with ease when talking about MM. I’m not sure why that makes you defensive. Even if it were an insult to say there are some who use that word often, don’t you think it pales in comparison to calling someone, or some group of people munafiqeen?

        Siraaj

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Hassan Ahmed

    Ahh….finally. There’s the MuslimMatters we all know and love (but not in a gay way) has sunk to a new low there if that were possible …intrinsically un-American… we American Muslims find ourselves in difficult position… the American Muslim community… America has both freedom of and freedom from religion… opponents of gay marriage are limiting the freedoms of conscience, choice and will of a minority population… as American Muslims our duty to others is to advocate for equal legal rights, benefits and protections for all groups of people… American Muslims should understand that due to our nation’s religious freedom… 1) Your nation is the Ummah not USA. 2) Just because you live in a certain country, doesn’t mean you have to adhere to their values. 3) You said “American Muslims” five times, “Muslims” twice. Shows you al Wala wal Bara right there, doesnt it?? And Ustadh Yasir Qadhi, the shuyookh who you studied under must be so pround at what uve produced no? Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen is probably crying in his grave if he knows what Salafiyyah American version looks like…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Hassan Ahmed

      And here are the worst parts

      In my mind, the best position as a people of faith is to leave the gay marriage issue to the states so that the each state’s population can have the best chance of advocating for the policy that they desire. The federal government should buffer this stance by mandating that regardless of what is decided by an individual state’s voters that each state must provide an option that requires LGBT communities who are not afforded a “marriage” still receive the same legal rights and benefits as other committed relationships. This means that in some states the LGBT community would have to settle for a title like a “civil union” and in others they will have a “marriage.” In short, while might does not equal right, demographics do matter.

      Some moral conservatives argue that because all states are supposed to recognize marriages of other states that this position is too weak. Yet, morality in a society founded on pluralism is not something that can be legislated

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    • Burqa Barbie

      Why would you even move to a country if you dont respect its values? One is supposed to be loyal to the country not to a myopic version of a fundamentalist religion. The latter is simply theocratic. Why not just call yourself Bush and get it over with? How are people supposed to trust Muslims when you talk like that?

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  8. Osamalicious Rex

    Great piece Br Iesa! I think many of our Muslim brothers and sisters will fall into the same mistake of applying personal religious restrictions on an issue, excluding phraseology, that is primarily under a secular system of governance as no one is coercing Muslims to recognize “gay marriages” in Islam. That being said, a few months ago, there was a message on our MSA page at A&M by the President of the LGBTA about raising awareness of discrimination on campus. (How about that for relevancy?) I dont know if anyone of the MSA officers contacted the individual back but I was personally wondering how to go about the dilemma since many within the Executive Committee of the Mosque would and have seen collaboration with LGBTA on any front as tantamount to condoning homosexuality. How would you have handled the situation?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Iesa Galloway

      I can tell you about a more difficult situation in NJ where the LGBT campus group “received” a letter that said “Allah will destroy you” and alerted the press, campus police and the administration. Funny thing was that within a week the founder of “Al-Fatiha Foundation”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Fatiha_Foundation was scheduled to speak… and of course they wanted the local MSA to be a part of that event….

      I tend to encourage leaders to meet and discuss concerns or ideas. I believe that Muslim communities need to have our own anti-bullying programs lead by our scholars and our community’s mental health professionals. Programs like that should address and stress that there are multiple “frequently” targeted populations but that depending on circumstances any person could be a victim.

      I get suspicious anytime a group asks Muslims to support an agenda if there is not a broader coalition involved or the agenda is very narrowly applied to specific demographics.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • Kashif

        I’m curious as to which students of knowledge you have checked this with and who agree with this position that you’re now advocating?

        And also can you cite some of these “scholarly rulings” that you refer to in your post?

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. anon

    Thank you Br. Iesa for touching on this topic and starting this dialogue. If we discuss these taboo topics, we can reach a sound Islamic conclusion on how to handle issues that we are confronted with in our societies.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  10. taiba

    Islam is Islam, based on the Quran and Sunnah. MuslimMatters, seriously?!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  11. jj

    Asalaamalaikum Warahmat ALLAH,

    Interesting how this piece is all about opinion, not Islam in any way..yet we are advised here in the article to leave this issue of gay marriage to the states…yet (AGAIN) we are told that..
    “by telling two adults that their relationship cannot be sanctioned by a willing religious body or by the government, opponents of gay marriage are limiting the freedoms of conscience, choice and will of a minority population, not to mention that they are also limiting their ability to receive equal treatment before the law.”
    Here’s the thing, Islam opposes Gay Marriages because Islam opposes homosexual activity or inactivity for that matter.

    So is this why MuslimMatters remained silent on Obama’s words about gay marriages recently?

    May Allah help our Ummah, we are in a mess because we choose donia, desires, acceptance from others over the pleasure of Allah.

    The End.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Burqa Barbie

      “Here’s the thing, Islam opposes Gay Marriages because Islam opposes homosexual activity or inactivity for that matter”
      But polygamy, paedophilia and 1st cousin incest is fine?

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Reply
      • Sadia

        You are really not adding to the discussion. Go spam another website.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Anon

        Lol, 1st cousin incest – nice attempt at trying to invent a scare term there BB…You may as well have said 4th cousin incest, husband-and-wife incest

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Mohamed

    “I believe that as American Muslims our duty to others is to advocate for equal legal rights, benefits and protections for all groups of people. ”

    I stopped reading there. In Islam we are told to enjoin in good and forbid evil. Giving gays/lesbians equal right, benefits, and protection , makes us take Homosexuality lightly or we are promoting that what they are doing is alright. It isn’t alright. You have not mentioned anything from the book of Allah Subhana wata Ala, nor did you quote any hadiths.

    What’s more is that Islam is not based on Opinion, its based on knowledge from the Quran and Sunnah, and Scholars that have spent their life researching. They (The Scholars) have the right to give opinions in Islam (Issued Fatwas) on matters that are not clear. You, however, do not have any right to give fatwas, nor give orders to the ummah to take these people lightly.

    The giving of opinions on religious verdicts(while ignoring the Quran and Sunnah) is why there are so many sects emerging. Everyone is following their own whims and desires.

    You, being a native, born texan may have grew up with the Americanized rulings that claim to give equality and freedom to all races, sexual orientation, and so on. However, we are muslims, and we follow the perfect rulings of the Quran and Sunnah. And as a muslim, you should as well.

    Do not take lightly, cases in which Allah has obliterated entire nations because of Transgression. Do not help these people in transgression by supporting their protection and equality. Because by doing that, you are enjoining in evil and not forbidding it.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Burqa Barbie

      “You, being a native, born texan may have grew up with the Americanized rulings that claim to give equality and freedom to all races, sexual orientation, and so on”
      Someones clearly never been to Texas.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    • L.I.

      “Americanized rulings that claim to give equality and freedom to all races,”

      You have some sort of problem with equality and freedom given to all races? You believe that this is against Islam? Sickening.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • Burqa Barbie

        The reference was to Texas and their views regarding equality. Islam depends on the interpretations, but def not to gender and sexual orientation.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Gibran Mahmud

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
      Allah has rewarded you(JazzakAllah)
      I think you summed it up pretty nicely.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  13. Mehdi Hasan Sheikh

    I think you have overreached yourself a bit here Br. Iesa. I can understand that a Muslim (what on earth is an American Muslim.?) needs to stand against any form or oppression at all times, either by their hands, or tongue or with their hearts, but there are certain issued where we cannot accept this idea of equality that you have. We can be against the idea of gay people being bullied, discriminate against in the workplace or such situations but we cannot relent on the issue of Marriage because this is something that is defined by Allaah. A Kafir man’s marriage to a Muslim woman can be approved by the US govt, but under no circumstances is this marriage recognized in Islaam, and the issue of Gay Marriage is no different.

    And if you are so willing to be vocal about the oppression against gay people then you must equally be vocal about our stance against homosexuality as well who have no shame in what they do but in fact are not only proud of their abomination but go so far as to declare that it is Allaah who created them in that way. So we protest the oppression upon them but we are silent about their oppression of Allaah? Lets get our priorities straight.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Burqa Barbie

      Priorities straight? Paedophilia, slavery, 1st cousin incest and polygamy are fine, but two adult people of same gender who are having a relationship is bad? I just want others to know there are liberal Muslims out there that DONT have this opinion.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Reply
      • Omar

        Well Burqa I suggest you relax and call things by their name.

        Islam recognizes marriage at puberty at least, or an older age set by social norms … this makes perfect biological sense. In rural farming societies, it makes no sense to wait till 18 because some guy in LA or New York said so.

        Even Charles Darwin married his first cousin, this is a common practice worldwide and causes genetic problems only when practiced on a very large scale (e.g. Pakistanis in UK).

        Slavery was only tolerated and reformed by Islamic law and freeing slaves is a recurring Quranic theme, 99.9% of Muslims today reject slavery.

        Polygamy is practiced probably by less than 2% of Muslims, and has a biological basis.

        As for homosexuality, it is simply unnatural. The sphincter was not made for this.

        At the end of the day, there is an huge gulf that is almost impossible to bridge between the religious and secular views of morality …

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Burqa Barbie

        “As for homosexuality, it is simply unnatural. The sphincter was not made for this”
        60% of heterosexuals have practiced this sexual act. Not to mention, but what does this have to do with lesbians?

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • blonde killa

        Burqa Barbie: your sphincter calculated the 60% statistic? It has grossly exaggerated the numbers.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Burqa Barbie

        Oh ha ha! Pamela Geller is reicht-wing, like you! She’s a total homophobe. I’m not siding with the hard place over the rock.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Burqa Barbie

        ……also, arent you actually Pamela Geller?You exploit hate to trash a minority who are guilty of nothing other than loving someone of their same gender. Youre the Bush Jr., not me! Some Muslims are liberal. They have no issue with homosexuality, abortion rights, or secularism. Some Christians are liberal as well. You dont often feature liberal comments on this blog. Not all Muslims are homophobic monsters that go around saying it’s better for a homosexual to die than live as a gay person like umm did above.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Sadia

        Or maybe you are just a jerk and no one wants to talk to you because they feel it is useless like speaking to a brick wall.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Sadia

        “resident trash talker”? “MunafiqMatters”?

        Subhannallah for being so religious, you have no ADHAB. Remember that phrase? You have no respect for your fellow Muslim. Eesa clearly has been thinking about this topic long and hard. It is a difficult topic but his giving his opinion for discussion, not a fatwa.

        You are a Taliban-style Muslim. No room for other opinions, ways of thinking and so on. The prophet (pbuh) was compassionate and kind in his speech even with the greatest of enemies and disbelievers. And you can’t even show your own Muslim brother in Islam some respect? You are the sinner here for your hard heart.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Iesa Galloway

      Asalaam Alaikum Mehdi Hasan Sheikh and jazakAllahu Khair for a intelligent and critical comment.

      What drew you to the conclusion that we disagree on gay marriage or that I have an idea of it being equal to an Islamic marriage?

      To the stuff you asked/commented about:

      1) An American Muslim is a person who is culturally American and whose religion is Islam… which is what differentiates them/us from other Americans. Here is a post about the topic: http://muslimmatters.org/2011/04/19/muslim-american-or-american-muslims-here-is-why-it-matters/

      2) Getting our priorities straight: First no one can “oppress” Allah, people sin against their own soles. Only Allah guides the hearts of people, call me crazy but I am pretty sure that condemning people or protesting them while they are being threatened by another religious group is not going to help either them or the cause of Islam.

      BTW – a false dichotomy is a common flaw of logic. If we had to stand against everything we oppose at the same time we would never have a clear message let alone do the more important work of letting people know what we are for.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    • Sadia

      Well in case you didn’t know an American Muslim is a Muslim who lives in America. Simple right? But if it were up to me, it would be Muslim American. Muslim should come first.

      And…oh yeah! Stop asking stupid questions.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • Safia

        Mehdi Hasan Sheikh and others: please, first read the article before jumping to wild conclusions and making false accusations. The comfort of anonymity allows us to throw around words we would never dare say to the persons face.

        Again, please actually read the article thoroughly before commenting.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Mehdi Hasan Sheikh

        While some accusations here are without merit the article is not above criticism. As Muslims our stance on issues should be clear, there should not be any vagueness in either our words or actions. This article is very vague and leaves a lot of room for interpretation. The whole thing could have been summed up in much concise but clearer words, but started to delve into very uncomfortable territory.

        In my mind, the best position as a people of faith is to leave the gay
        marriage issue to the states so that the each state’s population can
        have the best chance of advocating for the policy that they desire.

        I mean if that is his advise what is the point of the article? This is what Muslims are already doing. I have not seen any major Muslim voices involved in this fight at all. If its a hands-off approach Iesa is advocating then we are already hands-off. Nobody needs or even asked Muslims to stand up and declare a brotherly stance with the gay-community because we are both a classified minority. Their right not to be discriminated against in jobs, at school, etc are already established in law. There is still discrimination but there are definite laws agaisnt it, the only issue left now is the whole marriage issue, and we need to do absolutely nothing about it except make it clear that it is something that as Muslims we do not agree with.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Name

        Br. Iesa is right on states deciding any issues (not just gay marriage), simply because it is lawful, constitutional, and pragmatic. If I am not mistaken, a few years ago, under the Bush Presidency, some members of Congress tried to pass a bill that would define marriage between a man and a woman; the bill massively failed to pass. Maybe if the U.S was a country with more religious orthodoxy it would have been possible to pass such bills, but the reality is that it is not. North Carolina recently voted NO on a gay marriage amendment bill. So, yes, states rights is our ultimate bet.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Name

        Br. Iesa is right on states deciding any issues (not just gay marriage), simply because it is lawful, constitutional, and pragmatic. If I am not mistaken, a few years ago, under the Bush Presidency, some members of Congress tried to pass a bill that would define marriage between a man and a woman; the bill massively failed to pass. Maybe if the U.S was a country with more religious orthodoxy it would have been possible to pass such bills, but the reality is that it is not. North Carolina recently voted NO on a gay marriage amendment bill. So, yes, states rights is our ultimate bet.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Name

        Br. Iesa is right on states deciding any issues (not just gay marriage), simply because it is lawful, constitutional, and pragmatic. If I am not mistaken, a few years ago, under the Bush Presidency, some members of Congress tried to pass a bill that would define marriage between a man and a woman; the bill massively failed to pass. Maybe if the U.S was a country with more religious orthodoxy it would have been possible to pass such bills, but the reality is that it is not. North Carolina recently voted NO on a gay marriage amendment bill. So, yes, states rights is our ultimate bet.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. AJA

    Jazaki Allahu khairan Umm Dujaanah.. I nearly threw up after reading this “opinion”. Anyways, this is nothing surprising coming from MuslimsDontMatter.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Sadia

      whatever you do then, don’t watch tv or read the news! your brain might explode from all the haram.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • Gibran Mahmud

        Assalamualaikum

        I am surprised. I used to like this site until they started posting things like this….this is like Bani Israel. A party started to develop hateful ideals and the other party failed to enjoin on what is right and forbid what is wrong.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. AJA

    Jazaki Allahu khairan Umm Dujaanah for your comment, I nearly threw up after reading this “opinion”. Although not surprised since it’s on MuslimsDontMatter.com

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Sadia

      I really think people like you live in a cave. We have to deal with non-Muslims if we want our rights and opinions heard. We have to find the middle ground or you people might as well move out of the west because it is not the place for you.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • umm dujaanah

        Lol whats the diff between you and a racist screaming “go home”??

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Sadia

        Easy. I am a Muslim like you and do not hate you. But I also will not stand by while you hate others.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. One

    I think what Iesa was trying to say was, because our religion teaches us to respect the laws of whatever country we’re in, to leave the US government and it’s people to decide for themselves what they want.

    Canada allows gay marriage, does that mean I’m a supporter of gay marriage? No. And if my own country of Pakistan ever attempted to legalize gay marriage, I would be very passionately against it. But here, we cannot force them to see gay marriage as a sin when they don’t even believe there’s a God.

    My own opinion on the matter. May Allah forgive me if I’ve said anything that could anger Him.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • L.I.

      SOME don’t believe that there is a God. There are, of course atheists and believers everywhere.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • One

        You’re absolutely right. My apologies.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Burqa Barbie

        Also, some religions arent against homosexuality and you also have liberal forms of religions. Most Catholics for example support same-sex marriage.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Name

        It’s not the “religion” itself that supports it; it is rather individuals who identify themselves as Catholic. I have read many polls on such issues, and I believe it is not *most* Catholics, but possibly less than half, or almost half.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Burqa Barbie

      “But here, we cannot force them to see gay marriage as a sin when they don’t even believe there’s a God”
      90% identify as Christian. Most do believe in a God. They just dont believe in dogma surplanting humanity.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • achmed

        Your idea of God is definitely not the same as what Muslims believe. Also, your stat about american beliefs sheds some light on how decadent American society is. For instance, bearing your stat in mind, did you know that about 90% of Americans have engaged in immoral act of pre-marital sex. Between 06-10 did you know about 40% americans were born out of wedlock !! You are becoming a nation of bastards who believe in God but also like to act like animals.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. L.I.

    Thank you for this piece. There are certain parts I don’t agree with, but overall, it rings true and is a very important issue for both the ummah as a whole and for the American Muslim community to address. We should be in the business of spreading ideas and listening to everyone’s opinions, not raging and censoring whenever we don’t like something. We’re Muslims, not people who deal in ignorance.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  18. Ify

    I was listening to Rep. John Lewis today explain why he and many others as people of faith and civil rights activists believe gay marriage is a civil right and I agreed with many of his sentiments. He said he had “fought too long and too hard against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up and fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation.” And that equality based in love and a sense of justice and fairness must be for all and not just for some.

    Theologically, people may differ but I don’t think theological arguments should be given much consideration in civil law. I disagree with the tyranny of the minority argument as proponents are, as in all civil rights issues, petitioning their government to uphold the values of the Constitution, which doesn’t require anything from those who disagree.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Gibran Mahmud

      “Theologically, people may differ but I don’t think theological arguments should be given much consideration in civil law.”

      “Theologically”? You mean as a Muslim? You are a Muslim who supports gay marriage? You think it’s a civil right?

      You know, that’s probably the most despicable comment on this thread apart from Burqa Barbie.

      I’m not sure how one can both call oneself Muslim and agree with “many” of Jown Lewis’s sentiments.

      Well, in any case, you can get rewarded for these beliefs of yours on the Day of Judgement. Go meet Allah agreeing with this sin and tell Him, “oh well in my country we go by a different law so I simply supported the law”.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    • Gibran Mahmud

      al-Tirmidhi (1456), Abu Dawood (4462)and Ibn Maajah (2561) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Loot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.”. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  19. TAK

    Overall, I appreciate you writing the article and the subtly and respect you are trying to maintain in this piece because it is a tough subject – not in regards to homosexuality but how we as Muslims deal with the people, aH. Also, this is a good article
    because it is a big quandary for me. I am not saying I agree or
    disagree, but I am not sure how I am supposed to act and feel in regards
    to the SSM. I know religiously we abhor the act and not the people. How
    can someone support even legal rights
    for an act we abhor. It still is support. I am not for internment camps,
    etc., but I do not agree with allowing ss couples adopts kids or
    allowing them legal rights because wouldnt that be tacit support of
    something Allah abhors? Throw in the mix that the USA laws should not
    be barred simply due to religion but on the people’s choice (which may
    be religion based). I would really like know the Islamic positions on
    these from sheikhs/scholars.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  20. Abdullah

    As a Muslim American, I cannot vote (to the best of my ability) in any way that leads to my tax dollars being directed toward immorality (“civil unions”, but honestly who cares what you call it). I understand the legal complications, but Muslims *should* vote according to their beliefs (same-sex relationships are evil), and everyone else can vote how they wish. Whoever has a majority wins. At least on the day of judgement you can say you never sided with anything God or his messenger prohibited.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  21. Hassan

    Brother Iesa is suggesting one solution to the dilemma faced by muslims living in western countries. I am sure this is not his rigid position, this is what best he could come up based on ground reality and talking to perhaps some scholars he know.

    But this does not mean rest of us would be following the same way. Nor we have to. Personally the whole idea gives me chills to even think that we are equating our right of worship alone and to live in His servitude is being equated with transgressions against Allah. But then to think of it we allow people committing shirk which is worse than committing homosexuality.

    So the whole idea of this post perhaps is to have meaningful discussion on this issue.

    umm dujaanah, how do you reconcile between the fact that in America there are people who associate partners with Allah, and commit all sort of sins, and there are people who deny existence of Allah even, are given rights while you are saying gays and lesbians should not be given equal rights? Is there something unique in their situation? No body disagrees that it is grave sin and evil, just how would you stop rights from certain group?

    Burqa Barbie, in your morality, homosexuals marrying is perfectly fine, while polygamy is not. Would you let consenting adults to go into polygamous marriage, or you believe that should be illegal because its immoral?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • umm dujaanah

      Well, none should be treated “equally” according to Islam they are sinners. however in America, unlike in the UK where I am, both pro and anti gay marriage are vocal and strong.
      If American muslims are hell bent on fitting in, then they can actively take either position. Nobody questions whether those who are anti-gay marriage such as the conservatives are “American”. In disassociating yourself from this one pastor, you can still support the anti gay marriage movement.

      Eesa has equated losing the freedom to sodomise with losing the freedom to worship Allah alone. This would be funny if it was not so sad.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • Burqa Barbie

        So youre for legalizing sexual practices according to your religion? Why not ban sex before marriage and other sexual activities as well? Also what does sodomy (an act 60% of heterosexuals have done) have to do with lesbians?

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. anony

    “I believe that as American Muslims our duty to others is to advocate for equal legal rights, benefits and protections for all groups of people. This means standing against violence, intimidation, subjugation, oppression and of course the internment of people because of their “classification.” ”

    ^ I must say that its a good thing Islam isn’t based on what you believe.
    wow, can’t believe this is on MM.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  23. Iesa Galloway

    Asalaam Alaikum All and jazakAllahu Khair for the comments,

    It seems that there are two categories here:

    The first would be what I am going to call the “Rafiq Santorums”
    and it looks like they are mostly Muslims in the UK and the main commonality of
    these folks is that they lash out with “religiosity” to try control thought and/or
    intimidate… there appears to be no ability to reason with them as they ignore
    what they wish and state other people’s positions inaccurately as it pleases
    them.

    The other category is people whom have expressed a reasonable concern with my suggested of separating the term marriage from the government’s duties to all its citizens. I can see how one could mistake my recommendation as acceptance or even tacit support for gay marriage. I wrote this in a way to provoke dialogue so thank you for your time and thoughts.

    The logic of my recommendation:

    1) America has no state religion.

    2) Religious imperatives are not the basis for lasting laws in our legal system.

    3) Some established faiths in the US have legitimized/accepted gay marriage

    a. Therefore:

    i. It is impossible to speak on behalf of the faith community on this issue.

    ii. The religious angle to this issue is simply not productive or feasible at the federal level.

    NOTE: It is at the state level that the most pushback has happened against gay marriage initiatives in the US.

    FACT: Homosexual relationships are going to happen regardless if we approve of them or if we condemn it constantly.

    FACT: America is a society founded on individual liberty not any one religion’s principles.

    Pushing for the term marriage to be debated at the state level and if it is understood as a religious term allows people of faith the best opportunity to distinguish between what we consider a blessed relationship and a sinful one.

    To do this you have a few options:

    1) Lobby government to get out of the marriage business (I don’t believe this is possible)

    2) Elevate the term marriage to a term with religious/moral significance (My recommendation)

    3) Advocate that American becomes a theocracy… (Rafiq Santorum style)

    Advocating for the creation of a minimum legal standard for “civil unions” at the federal level does not endorse homosexual marriage. It will not support nor normalize homosexual relationships (which in a secular system will happen regardless of legality). In fact the strategy weakens the argument of protecting a minority because all committed relationships will have the same legal status at the federal level.

    To the Rafiq Santorums out there assuming the intentions of others is dangerous ground and not consistent with the proper manners that should be expected between Muslims…

    May Allah guide us all to what is best.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • umm dujaanah

      Spot on there, I am in the UK. but the Ummah is not based on geography, rather we are one body. And at this moment in time, the Americanized Islam, as promoted by Yes-Sir Qadir and Hamza Yusuf is toxic to my brothers and sisters in America, may Allah protect them.

      Anyone with half sense can read your words and see your position on homosexuals. Because this is what the piece is. You can not talk about gay marriage without talking of homosexuality. And then relating ayat, hadith or scholarly words on the position of Islam in regards to this.

      You suggest I took Ibn Al Qayyim’s words out of context. If I am wrong, tell me the context, tell Shaykh Salih Munajjid and othrers who have quoted this, tell us all the “context” that you are so knowledgeable about.

      And give us the names of the “scholars” who support yoir position.

      You obviously ignored my posts above because even you, the author of this piece, cannot defend the indefensible.

      May Allah guide us all to the truth, and keep us strong on the Deen.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • Sadia

        I am against homosexuality as well but you seem a very rude and tyrannical person. I am glad I did not know you when I reverted, you would have scared me form Islam permanently.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • abu takfir

        Sadia, if your beliefs/thoughts about something can influenced by behaviors, that is your weakness, not someone else’s problem. It is your inadequacy.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Sister

        Umm Dujaanah I love you fisabilllaah okhti

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Burqa Barbie

      “Advocate that American becomes a theocracy”
      Are you serious?

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  24. siraaj

    Having read the article, I think the confusion may lie in the beginning which deals with a pastor’s comments about internment and how we should stand against that, and it’s been conflated as standing with homosexuality. I think it should be clear that brother ‘Iesa didn’t say that.

    What he stated simply was that though we (muslims and homosexuals) have a common threat (radical christians), we cannot advocate for their cause (gay marriage) just because they advocate for our cause (not to be oppressed).

    I’m not sure why so many conservative Muslims are so vocally against this article – can you please clarify what it is ‘Iesa said that set you off, quoting from the article?

    Siraaj

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Bilal

      Siraj, I think this paragraph in particular:

      “In my mind, the best position as a people of faith is to leave the
      gay marriage issue to the states so that the each state’s population can
      have the best chance of advocating for the policy that they desire. The
      federal government should buffer this stance by mandating that
      regardless of what is decided by an individual state’s voters that each
      state must provide an option that requires LGBT communities who are not
      afforded a “marriage” still receive the same legal rights and benefits
      as other committed relationships. This means that in some states the
      LGBT community would have to settle for a title like a “civil union” and
      in others they will have a “marriage.” In short, while might does not
      equal right, demographics do matter.”

      I understand that the author advocates Muslim support for equal legal rights for homosexuals, and opposes only their adoption of the term “marriage”. Is that tenable with Islam?

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • siraaj

        Salaam alaykum Bilal,

        I think ‘Iesa’s piece does not advocate that Islam supports same-sex marriage.

        I believe the underlying pre-text in ‘Iesa’s paragraph above is that Muslim organizations should not get involved in the discussion at a national level, for or against. We have our own problems to deal with, and making enemies along the way (as some organizations are doing, as we speak) is not the way to go deal with this issue.

        Advocating they receive the same rights via civil unions that married couples receive (visitation rights in hospitals, filing tax returns jointly, etc) I’m not sure I can say anything about that from an Islamic perspective because I’m not a scholar and none of these are related to Islamic rights in marriage.

        Siraaj

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Gibran Mahmud

        Assalamualaikum

        You don’t need a scholar to point out what is cleaqrly wrong from clearly right. This religion isn’t at the feet of scholars.

        “Advocating they receive the same rights via civil unions that married couples receive (visitation rights in hospitals, filing tax returns jointly, etc) “-is absolutely disgusting.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • siraaj

        But is what is clearly wrong to you clearly wrong to everyone else? While we may all agree that homosexuality is a heinous sin, how we deal with it when we encounter it is another matter. For example, when Ibn Taymiyyah dealt with the Mongols who were Muslim yet openly drunk on the streets, he told the other Muslims to leave them as they were because there was fear they may be doing far worse if corrected, and those were Muslims.

        It is easy to pass a fatwa or cite one in a vacuum, it is something else to come to an understanding of how it should be dealt with given a set of circumstances.

        If someone came to me and asked about men practicing homosexual acts and the ruling in Islam, saying it’s haraam is straightforward. Contracts are something else. For example, if we subtract the relationship out of the discussion and isolate the legal rights given in the contract itself, are they in and of themselves wrong to give to two individuals (gay or straight, in a relationship or not). And how does knowing the intent of the contract impact the ruling.

        I don’t claim to know the answer, and this is what I was referring to.

        Siraaj

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Kashif

      Siraaj, after a second slower read of this post I more or less agree with you.

      Perhaps the article should have been written more clearly, if only because so many people here have read it and understood that the author could be advocating a pro-homo position. Though in fact he is, sort of.

      “In my mind, the best position as a people of faith is to leave the gay marriage issue to the states …The federal government should buffer this stance by mandating that … each state must provide an option that requires LGBT communities who are not afforded a “marriage” still receive the ***same legal rights and benefits as other committed relationships.***”

      Would this include the right to adopt children too?

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • siraaj

        Salaam alaykum Kashif,

        see what I wrote above to Bilal.

        Siraaj

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Iesa Galloway

        I purposefully left out many details (like the issue of adoption, artificial insemination as well as many other related details) as I knew they would come up in the comments and to keep the focus on the more general strategy.

        My point is that we have difficult choices to make:

        The most important choice is are we going to be irrelevant to the situation? By choosing to only state and restate our obvious stances (like sodomy being haram) and to let things progress as if we are not part of society, then we are not truly enjoining what is good and forbidding what is wrong. Our moral objection either typed out online, preached in our masajid or silently held has no effect other than self-gratification.

        If we are going to do more than the “weakest of faith” (i.e. hating it in our hearts) then we have to deal with the realities of the situation.

        In a comment below I map those out, but they revolve around how the US law is not biased on religious morality AND that many religions have accepted gay marriage… that is a one two punch which clearly shows that the ship has sailed and is/was destined to failure anyway see: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/05/31/boston_court_us_gay_marriage_law_unconstitutional/

        The real Islamic objection to gay marriage is if it is called marriage. All this talk about what Islam’s rulings are regarding homosexual activity is a settled matter and bringing it up is a sign of insecurity. Sin is a part of the human condition and Shirk is far worse … the reality is that our morals are not going to change what people of different belief systems do… the choice for us is not whether homosexual relationships are going to happen in our society, but if we are going to allow them to have the same moral status as heterosexual relationships moral status is implied in labels.

        It may be too complex for most people who do not understand the civil systems that have chosen to live in, but equal rights before secular law in our constitutional republic is almost a guarantee and will eventually happen over time and through the petitioning of our legal system.

        My position is that we can only effect the labeling and that is indeed the real issue anyway. By using the constitutional protection of freedom of religion in the way I am proposing we reject that homosexual relationships get the same moral status as heterosexual relationships through employing different naming conventions. This is the same tactic that atheists use successfully to limit the expression of faith in public.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Gibran Mahmud

        Assalamaulaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
        “The real Islamic objection to gay marriage is if it is called marriage. All this talk about what Islam’s rulings are regarding homosexual activity is a settled matter and bringing it up is a sign of insecurity. Sin is a part of the human condition and Shirk is far worse … the reality is that our morals are not going to change what people of different belief systems do… the choice for us is not whether homosexual relationships are going to happen in our society, but if we are going to allow them to have the same moral status as heterosexual relationships moral status is implied in labels. ”
        This is a major point of contention. What you are saying is just wrong.
        1. The real Islamic objection is “gay”
        2. Your simply following the ways of Jews and Cristians who said “lets allow it and call it something else”
        3. “Sin is a part of the human condition and Shirk is far worse”
        You know, it’s always the argument of the people who introduce these matters
        A. Everyone is a sinner
        B. Shirk is far worse(or some equivalent distraction like, why don’t you feed poor people instead of focusing on what people do in their bedroom”
        But the answer to that is that the Prophet salalahualayhiwasalam forbid shirk and he forbid other wrong practices and he fed the poor from what Allah provided him.
        4. “the reality is that our morals are not going to change what people of different belief systems do”
        Try telling that to Allah on judgement day. Do you think the Prophet salalahualayhiwasalam stopped at “my preaching won’t make a difference because only Allah guides to the straight path”?

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Iesa Galloway

        Waikum as Salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

        At last discussion on the issues, JazakAllahu Khairan Gibran.

        Well, except of course this line: “No one is really accusing you of condoning gay marriage. We’d then know, you would be a munafiq.”

        I will respond using your number/letter system.

        1. “The real Islamic objection is “gay””

        RESPONSE: Of course Islam is against homosexual activity. We agree here… The rest of your points are built on a false stream of logic. By focusing only on what we agree on which is that Islam is clearly against homosexuality and ignoring the entire subject of marriage the rest of your points are irrelevant.

        But for grins and giggles let’s just stay focused on Islam
        forbidding homosexuality for the moment and see what comes from that…

        By your logic all we have to do is be vocally anti-homosexuality correct?

        With regards to the movement to normalize homosexuality (which is gaining ground and getting Muslims to support it) we should simply say to
        homosexuals and their advocates that: “Allah forbids you from living like that?”
        Should we also call them sinners? Tell them that they are damned?

        Sir if this is all you have then kindly stop reading my
        articles, because I am interested in people actually effecting the situation. I believe enjoining and forbidding should have an effect… and not be for our own self-satisfaction.

        Back to simply telling everyone what Islam’s stance on
        something is, it is not enough. A good way to see if your logic is sound is to reverse it. Your line of thinking in reverse (NOT WHAT I AM ADVOCATING) would be: because homosexuals are telling us (society at large) that they should be allowed to be married, we should then, be expected by them to agree because of their
        reasoning and morals? This is exactly what you are saying in reverse. Oh but yes, we have the truth on our side… I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it has been really effective so far.

        Now that we are clear that your premise is built on a false foundation and does not impact the situation let’s look at the rest of your comments critically.

        2. Following the ways of the Christians and the Jews…

        RESPONSE: Ok first off they (among all their sects and divisions) have taken EVERY possible route on this issue, from blanket acceptance to blanket opposition. Your sweeping language demonstrates that you really haven’t thought this comment through as any position any Muslim takes this could be said about.

        Next, if by “”lets allow it and call it something else”” you imply that I said that (you used quotes, which tells the reader that these words are not yours and it implies that they are mine) is of course this is a lie against me at worst and at best a misrepresentation of my position,
        either way it is deceitful and shows again that you either do not comprehend my position or there is some other issue.

        B. Yes, the Prophet fed people and forbad wrong practices (including and especially Shirk).

        RESPONSE: However, he also PROMOTED a lot of things as well.

        In fact I am sure you will recall this, but the bulk of his early preaching was designed to build faith. Legislation, especially moral restrictions came far after the early community of believer’s hearts and iman had been built up.

        4. “my preaching won’t make a difference because only
        Allah guides to the straight path”?

        RESPONSE: First off, this is the second time you mis-characterize my position with quotes… Next seem to emphasize that the Prophet was active.
        Well this brings us full circle to your point 1. doesn’t it?

        HOWEVER, you don’t make any recommendations about how to effect the situation. My position, which is to oppose homosexual marriage on moral grounds, and not legislatively at the federal level, gives us by far the best chance to clarify Islam’s stance because each state will then have an active debate on the issue and the local voices of residents will have the most impact and effect on the outcome.

        Let me be clear, my post was not about controlling other people (non-Muslims). My position was a way to create space for Muslims who are active in civil rights and social justice to be able to say to others who are seeking coalitions with Muslims that our common ground is either religious liberty or anti-hate and we will not support any agendas that conflict with Islamic orthodoxy.

        In closing, I have not accused every critic of not reading
        my post but in this case an old saying comes to mind, it goes like this: “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.” Source unknown.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Gibran Mahmud

        Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        1. Perhaps I didn’t clarify my first point. It was a rebuttal to your comment

        “The real Islamic objection to gay marriage is if it is called marriage. ”

        No, the real Islamic objection to gay marriage is the homosexuality of it.
        2. “Back to simply telling everyone what Islam’s stance onsomething is, it is not enough. ”
        Fallacy. I didn’t say that was all that should be done. Your criticizing me for a comment I didn’t make.
        3. “Next, if by “”lets allow it and call it something else”” you imply that I said that (you used quotes, which tells the reader that these words are not yours and it implies that they are mine) is of course this is a lie against me at worst and at best a misrepresentation of my position, either way it is deceitful and shows again that you either do not comprehend my position or there is some other issue.”
        Not at all. Your clearly in favor of letting states vote for civil unions or no right? That’s “allowing it and calling it something else”.
        4.” HOWEVER, you don’t make any recommendations about how to effect the situation.”
        Now, don’t go and attack me for not providing any solutions, the point of my post was to rebut you.
        5. “In closing, I have not accused every critic of not reading
        my post but in this case an old saying comes to mind, it goes like this: “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.” Source unknown.”
        Not at all. You’re advocating something despicable and haram, and you can repeat “you didn’t understand the article, you didn’t understand the article” but I understood a lot of what I disagree with from this: “my mind, the best position as a people of faith is to leave the gay marriage issue to the states so that the each state’s population can have the best chance of advocating for the policy that they desire. The federal government should buffer this stance by mandating that regardless of what is decided by an individual state’s voters that each state must provide an option that requires LGBT communities who are not afforded a “marriage” still receive the same legal rights and benefits as other committed relationships.”No that is not the best position. Would the Prophet salalahualayhiwalam leave it to the states? We don’t base our religion on “effectiveness” we base it on obedience to Allah and His Messenger salalahualayhiwasalam.
        And what you are proposing is on the other side of the spectrum.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Iesa Galloway

        Waikum as Salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

        RESPONSE 1. Yes, again we agree, Islam’s objection to
        gay/homosexual marriage is in the homosexuality of such a union. So this is not a point of contention. However you did continue to show what you are objecting to so let’s deal with that.

        RESPONSE 2. “Fallacy. I didn’t say that was all that should be done. Your criticizing me for a comment I didn’t make.” Thanks for stating this, because it is what I suspected but I did not want to speak for you.

        Here are the options in the US System:

        1) Lobby government to get out of the marriage business. (I don’t believe this is possible, maybe you do?)

        2) Elevate the term marriage to a term with religious/moral significance and take the issue to the states where Muslims can join with others to define marriage in the traditional and Islamic meaning. (My recommendation)

        3) Advocate that American becomes a theocracy… (This will not happen anytime soon and it is against the constitution – the homosexual marriage issue will be long decided before this could happen)

        4) Try to enforce at the federal level a ban on all homosexual relationships regardless of title and exclude those couples from any recognition or rights. (If you read the news you will see that this is not going to happen. If you understand that the US legal and governmental system is not designed to support religious morality you would see that while laws may pass from time to time they eventually get struck down and therefore this is not a solution. If you understand that the US legal and governmental system does not favor any one religion over another AND that some religions have adopted homosexual marriage then you also know this is a doomed tactic.)

        5) Do nothing (This in my view will offer us the least protection the Last Day)

        6) Preach to people. (You indicated that you agree with me that this is not enough so really this shouldn’t be in this list)

        So what is it gonna be 1), 2), 3), 4), or 5)?

        RESPONSE 3. So in your mind a Civil Union and a Marriage is the same thing? So then an American court that performs a marriage by a secular legal judge is equal to an Islamic Nikah done with witnesses, a dowry and an Imam? Perhaps you think the contracts in both are the same…? I am married and I can tell you that in Texas at least the judge didn’t ask me about my dowry or offer any witnesses Muslim or otherwise.

        RESPONSE 4. Then you can only say what you are against but have nothing to offer in terms of solutions… not an attack just a point of clarity as I stated before I am not interested in folks who don’t what to effect things… feel free to enjoy the other articles on this website.

        RESPONSE 5. I stand corrected, it is not that you don’t understand the article; it’s that you may not understand our society or some very basic elements of our faith. To explain, if a court marriage (civil union) is in your view equal to an Islamic one, a Catholic one or any religious marriage, I am sure I cannot help you. If your objection is saying that gay people shouldn’t have the option for a civil union then there are even more issues that I can’t help you with beginning with RESPONSE 2. and then if you are against homosexuals having a civil union because it is sinful and forbidden AND you don’t recognize a civil union as equal to a religious marriage then you may have consistency issues as it might be the case that a court marriage for heterosexual atheists would/could be deemed sinful or as fornication before Allah as well (if you know of a opinion on this I would like to know…). Then there is the issue of holding non-Muslims to Islamic standards, not to mention doing so in a legal system that is not Islamic… all kinds of problems here.

        You are correct we do not base our religion on effectiveness; we base it on obedience to Allah and His Messenger and what they taught us. I believe that the actions I recommend meet the criteria of both speaking out against an injustice and changing it with our hands which is undoubtedly a part of obeying Allah as well as enjoining the good and forbidding what is wrong.

        Lastly the point of my entire article was to get here, recognition that most of us, myself included have a lot of work to do to understand what our place in the larger society should be. I doubt we will come to any agreement on this topic, but I hope I have made all of us think and begin to understand the realities we face as Muslims in the US in a more nuanced way.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. AnonyMouse Al-Majnoonah

    Making a mountain over a molehill, much? What one Christian pastor says about putting gays into interment camps should really have nothing to do with us as “American” or “Western” Muslims standing up for social justice or equal rights.

    There are plenty of other issues which we should be concerning ourselves with; the gay marriage issue is one that Muslims have no need to get into. Our Deen is very clear about it, so why even touch on it?

    Islamophobes make worse comments about Muslims, hardcore Aryans would love to have every non-Aryan on earth killed, and psycho misogynists out there have made it their life’s mission to cause misery to all women. Why do we have to care about someone’s comments against gays?
    It’s completely irrelevant

    Both this article and the responses to it are over the top and, quite frankly, pointless. It’s sad that anyone felt the need to write the article and that everyone else had to waste time ranting about it (and from what I can see, most people didn’t read it very well to begin with).

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Burqa Barbie

      Misogyny has to do with bigotry against homosexuals. Think about it; alot of the time, they talk about how “effeminate” gay men (myopic gender roles) are and fixate on anal intercourse. People who are against homosexual tolerance inferiorize what is traditionally associated with women. Feminism is associated with the homosexual movement. It is called intersectionality.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    • Iesa Galloway

      Living under a rock much? Irshad Manji is on a book tour in Muslim countries trying to change our religion, gay “Imams” are frequently highlighted and celebrated in mainstream news, Muslim activists are being called on to take sides, Muslim college students are as well and as with most issues there is a vacuum of leadership on the topic.

      Furthermore when Muslims are targeted we love to use quotes like injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, so we look like hypocrites when we are silent when others are targeted, especially on issues like internment camps, a issue that we faced as well.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • AnonyMouse Al-Majnoonah

        I don’t deny that homosexuality is an issue that Muslims need to deal with. I simply wonder why we’re paying so much attention to a random Christian pastor’s rants.

        As you said, Irshad Manji is out there in Muslim countries trying to convince Muslims that homosexuality is not haraam and that the Deen was twisted by the greatest scholars of Islam.

        Now THAT, I would focus on. We should be discussing how to respond to these issues, how to help Muslims deal with those problems coming up.

        As for the “we look like hypocrites” thing, there is no reason for us not to be involved in the many, many, many other issues of social justice that face our communities (and other communities as well, whether they be religious or ethnic). Going into whether we should be supporting homosexuals’ equal rights to marriage, however, should not be something we feel obliged to involve ourselves in.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Iesa Galloway

        Let me spell it out for you, random rants in houses of worship are not that random these days and using religion to alienate and attack minorities is on the rise… it is also a key attack leveled at Muslims and Islam… (Ms. Manji uses it all the time to separate Muslims from liberal supporters and paint us as Muslim carbon copies of this pastor)

        No one is stopping you from focusing on Irshad … in my view any attention she gets feeds her… speaking of that no one is forcing people to read my writing BTW :)

        Correct, we should not feel obligated to support same sex marriage, however many, many Muslim leaders and social justice activists do and are supporting it… hence the reason why I addressed the topic.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • AnonyMouse Al-Majnoonah

        Re:many feel obligated to support it and why you addressed it

        Perhaps your article could have simply been reworded to reflect your intended message more clearly – I myself had to read it at least twice before figuring out why (and where) everyone went wrong at assuming you support gay marriage. Most of the article tended to ramble (and used wording that was clearly confusing to most) and it was difficult to identify your conclusive point.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • AnonyMouse Al-Majnoonah

        Re:many feel obligated to support it and why you addressed it

        Perhaps your article could have simply been reworded to reflect your intended message more clearly – I myself had to read it at least twice before figuring out why (and where) everyone went wrong at assuming you support gay marriage. Most of the article tended to ramble (and used wording that was clearly confusing to most) and it was difficult to identify your conclusive point.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • AnonyMouse Al-Majnoonah

        Re:many feel obligated to support it and why you addressed it

        Perhaps your article could have simply been reworded to reflect your intended message more clearly – I myself had to read it at least twice before figuring out why (and where) everyone went wrong at assuming you support gay marriage. Most of the article tended to ramble (and used wording that was clearly confusing to most) and it was difficult to identify your conclusive point.

        P.S. Disqus is slightly irritating to use, especially once someone’s typed in their comment and then signs in via Twitter, FB, etc.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • AnonyMouse Al-Majnoonah

        Re:many feel obligated to support it and why you addressed it

        Perhaps your article could have simply been reworded to reflect your intended message more clearly – I myself had to read it at least twice before figuring out why (and where) everyone went wrong at assuming you support gay marriage. Most of the article tended to ramble (and used wording that was clearly confusing to most) and it was difficult to identify your conclusive point.

        P.S. Disqus is slightly irritating to use, especially once someone’s typed in their comment and then signs in via Twitter, FB, etc.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Iesa Galloway

        My Sister in Islam, as I have stated many times here, I wrote this piece to spur dialogue.

        I am not going to dumb down the content even though I am aware that most American Muslims (as well as most Muslims living in Europe and North America) are lacking in our knowledge of civics, understanding of political tactics and tend not to think about how to achieve goals in the long term.

        This line from your comment above speaks volumes: ” I myself had to read it at least twice before figuring out why (and where) everyone went wrong at assuming…”

        1) The majority of times when people simply assume it is problematic.

        2) The language “I myself had to read it at least twice” is rather pompous/pseudo-elitist and kinda funny in that at least twice… did you loose count after 2? I apologize now for the dig, it was taken for a purpose though which is to demonstrate the entitlement attitude most of the silly comments on this thread are rooted in.

        Comments from this point are no longer directed at you alone:

        3) Why and how a reader thinks that they are so empowered to control content (let alone the thoughts of others) that is not their own personal website, that they more than likely do not contribute to, but they have enjoyed in the past as a free service to them is a fairly baffling thing…

        4) This is a place for the exchange and debate of ideas if content is so challenging/disturbing debate it, don’t read it, or write a post in response (actually contribute something productive).

        BTW… I tend to agree with you on the Disqus comment, I do like that you can link your comments to fb and Twitter but there is a learning curve.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • AnonyMouse Al-Majnoonah

        Well, we certainly have dialogue right now, don’t we? :)

        I wasn’t saying to dumb down the content – I was saying that it simply needed to be written better and to illustrate your points more clearly. I say this as a fellow (experienced, I hope) blogger and editor who thinks she knows a little bit about how to get a certain message to an audience.

        As for being “pompous/pseudo-elitist,” I said what I did because I consider myself as someone who prefers not to jump to conclusions – hence I do try to read through things a few times before making any kind of comment (despite others who might think I’m just jumping on a bandwagon and being a troll).

        And “entitlement attitude”? I am sure many would agree with me when I point out that many of your comments also have that kind of attitude. I’m not accusing you of anything, just that what you are implying of me and others can equally be applied to you.

        Furthermore, when one writes something and then receives a mass of criticism (fair or unfair), I don’t think the writer should then assume that readers feel they are “empowered to control content.” The whole point of blogging is to write what you want, and then you usually end up getting trashed about it afterwards. You put yourself out there when you wrote about a certain topic in a certain way to a particular audience; you can’t deflect others’ criticism as them trying to tell you what to say or do (well, aside from those who clearly state that they’re telling you what to say or do).
        Again, I say this as an experienced blogger who’s been trashed on many an occasion :)

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • AnonyMouse Al-Majnoonah

        Feeling a bit insecure, are we? Newsflash: Everyone who disagrees with you isn’t a mindless drone or troll (whether from IA or elsewhere!).

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. ZAI

    No doubt the Quran and Sunnah, and therefore Islam, condemn homosexual behavior. That’s obvious to anyone who reads the texts and there isn’t really any room for interpretation here. I’d hope that we as Muslims though, would have humility and mercy in our hearts when dealing with homosexuals themselves. I see no contradiction in that because it is a sin like almost every other sin and all of us are sinners. So to single them out as an easy target, I think is a form of spiritual arrogance and bullying. We are ALL in need of Allah’s mercy. It is possible to hate the sin w/o hating the sinner.
    That being said…
    I don’t see anywhere in the article where Br. Iesa denied that homosexual behavior and anything attached to promoting it is incompatible with Islam. Infact I think he is infact saying the opposite: that despite Muslims own problems with rejection and being mistreated, insulted or even attempts at disenfranchising us that we CANNOT make moral equivilance or analogical arguments to rationalize supporting the gay MARRIAGE movement. Having said that, he goes on to give ways that we can oppose gay marriage, w/o it turning into a type of bullying replete with hyperbolically hateful statements like that which the pastor in question made. One suggestion he seems to be making is that we oppose it on a moral/ethical level rather than a political one due to the secular nature of the United States government.
    What is all the outrage about? Why all the insults?
    Is anything that’s less than all out fire-and-brimstone condemnations and harshness not Islamic? People need to get ahold of themselves.
    Some of the comments here have been absolutely obnoxious and arrogant.
    Simply the attitude is off-putting and a type of self-righteous, condescending, holier-than-thou attitude replete with rude behavior,smugness and insults. Nothing but pure bullying.
    Forgot homosexuals…this type of display, how Br. Iesa is being treated here, should be a HUGE warning sign for every Muslim on Earth. It completely exposes the type of justice, mercy, compassion or judgement you can expect from this attitude. Today it’s homosexuals and Br. Iesa who are on the end of it and the dark day these types would get any type of political power you can look forward to ending up in some gulag because your aqeedah “isn’t right”, “your ankle was showing” or you “insulted the messenger” or “insulted Islam”….and on and on.
    No need to look any further then some of the behavior being directed towards Br. Iesa here to see why so many MUSLIMS themselves have become scared of and flee from anything labeled “Islamic” or “Shariah”. As if insulting and condemning Br. Iesa is not enough….the administrators or the website and Shaykh Yasir are insulted too for simply allowing this article on the site.
    Take a good hard look Muslims. If Shaykh Yasir, Br. Iesa and Muslimsmatters aren’t safe from these types…what do you think is in store for the rest of us regular folks? This is a total disgrace. It’s not an Islam that I recognize or value where we cannot even disagree with civlity.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  27. carldodge

    THANK YOU!! That is the thought that I have been having but I couldn’t seem to articulate it….
    As Muslims we are a civil rights community, but are also a group whose faith categorically rejects homosexual activity as immoral, what are we to do?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  28. Uthman

    What a useless article! I actually lost brain cells reading this garbage. MM has sunk to a new low. How low can you get MM?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Sadia

      What a useless comment! You need to learn some Adhab for your Muslim brother to stuck out his neck and was brave enough to voice his (debateable) opinion.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  29. amadshk

    For anyone wondering where all the hate-mongers have arrived from… a certain site loves to watch us closely, troll us and whenever we go beyond their bubble, link to us, and send their minions to share their love with us.

    The comments here are not representative of the wider community, but a small section of haters whose lives revolve around insulting, refuting and abusing other Muslims. Their way of sharing love. Unfortunately this is their greatest pleasure and we let them revel in it. Slowly but surely, they will drown in their own hate-fest.

    So I suggest to ignore the internet muftis and focus on the message of the article. It is not simplistic so unlike the trolls, you would have to read it to make sense of it. Iesa is mashalah an asset to our community and difficult topics such as this one need careful thought and examination. When you live in a country that has its own laws and constitutions, and when your own community is severely threatened, you have to be wise of how you frame any argument.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Gibran Mahmud

      Assalamualaikum

      Every article on Muslim Matters which receives negative comments isn’t only hated by “hate mongers”. When I see something wrong I try to correct it. This article is not above criticism.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    • Ameer K

      From your tone, you seem to have an equal amount of hatred for the so-called ‘hatemongers’- as fellow muslims don’t they deserve your love?
      Also, what’s with calling anyone who does not agree with you an ‘internet mufti’? You seem to have an opinion on this issue as well – does that make you an ‘internet mufti’?
      I think name-calling and hyperbole exists on both sides – it’s just that we’re too biased to see it when we do it ourselves.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  30. Sameer

    The fact that we are throwing names of scholars like Sh. ibn Uthaymeen rahimullah around in that manner speaks volumes about the weight we give to our Deen. Please leave them out of it. This is an op-ed. He stated his opinion and gave his reasoning. If you don’t agree, do the same. Not sure why people are making personal attacks. By the way, it’s disgusting that we think that watching a youtube video and searching islamqa are qualifications enough to form an opinion on al Walaa wal Baraa, Islamic Legislation and Jurisprudence.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Mehdi Hasan Sheikh

      I think that we allow any kind of opinion to be voiced without proper review is more worrying. I am sure that if Iesa would have allowed a few others to take a look at his “op piece” before posting it it would have been better and less vague. For goodness sakes there are incomplete sentences–> “marriage is an institution ordained by God to be seen as a hateful.”

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  31. Abu Sumaiyah

    What kind of an article is this? Indeed some Muslims will follow the disbelievers even if it is through the head of a needle. What is this talk of American Muslims or un-American? Muslims having perverted ideas such as this makes it clear hijra is mandatory. Alhamduliallaah I left the lands of kuffr already. It is not okay and valid for Muslims to fight the so-called rights of homosexuals. If America takes your rights away, then make hijrah. I am disgusted that the so-called scholars of MM allowed such filth on this site. I ask that this author repent to Allah for his heinous ideas and words.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  32. Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

    It is with a heavy heart that I read the comments on this article. As the Comments Team Lead at MuslimMatters I often have to see comments that are totally against Islamic aadaab or even the looser standards of the dunya. And it takes a toll. This article is one that I myself don’t agree with 100%. Does that mean that I forget the teachings of the one who was sent as a mercy to the creation (SAW)? Does it mean I violate that very basic hadith that each 1 of us no matter how little knowledge of our religion we have knows by heart? “A muslim is one from whose hand and tongue other muslims are safe”. I look at the comments that we have on this article and I see first and foremost total disregard of the earlier hadith. Then I see total disregard of the “make 70 excuses for your brother” hadith.
    Had it not been Brother Iesa’s insistence that I do not heavily moderate comments I doubt that 90% of comments would have passed. Wallahi I was amazed that no one sat down and read this for a second time to see maybe they did not understand Iesa’s statements the first time round. Or that if they did think he was wrong instead of calling each and every member of the staff of this site a “Munafiq”, a meaningful conversation was started that attempted to reach an understanding of why Iesa wrote what he did. Instead all I saw was ugly display of raw emotions without reasoning. I saw tongues doing what Rasulallah (SAW) preached against all his life. Imagine that he (SAW) stopped the Sahaba from violence to a man who urinated in the Masjid-e-Nabwi. Instead of chopping his head off, he explained coolly calmly that this is not the way to conduct oneself. I didn’t see my fellow brothers and sisters in Islam do this. My Islam does not make me ashamed. The acts of my fellow Muslims often makes me ashamed.

    I pray to Allah (SWT) to make us an ummah that seeks to understand each other for then and only then will we rise to once again rule supreme. I ask Allah (SWT) to forgive me for any wrong that I have written and for any hurt that my brethren have taken from my words. I ask Allah (SWT) to guide us to the truth in the manner that He (SWT) meant for us to understand it.

    Wa akhirhu da’wana anil hamdulillahi rabbil aalameen.

    -Aly
    PS: This comment was posted by me in my personal capacity and not as a staff member of MuslimMatters.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  33. Hassan

    Brother Iesa, please allow me to be critical in respectful manner.

    The more I am thinking about this article, the more troubling I find it. This article could be symptom of larger ideological debate. The criticism or disagreement in no way or form means that I am any better person than you or should I doubt your intentions or imaan. Also I am sure you would have thought 10 times, before posting this article and must have consulted scholars. Following are the rough thoughts around this article:

    1. Although the issue is very complicated (due to various factors), so yes the route you suggest cannot be ruled out completely, but I find lack of islamic emotions in article inappropriate. The subsequent points would clarify more on what I am talking about.

    2. Brother, may Allah preserve you and your family, for muslims each aspect is dictated in terms of what Allah and His messenger love and hate. The article comes off as written by a civil right activists who happened to be muslim and trying to find middle ground to go forward, rather than a muslim who is trying to follow his religion and trying to choose lesser of the two or more evils (I am not sure how being against gay marriage would be evil for us, as black churches were and still strongly against it despite being in same shoes that we are in, infact we are much in better shape compared to what they had to go through)

    3. Nowhere in the article I found serious islamic emotions that a time has come for muslims to be in a position that we have to think even supporting gay marriage. I am sure you would not support gay rights in an islamic country, so this “civil right” community is not absolute thing, I mean we do support all rights that Allah has bestowed upon people, and rights have limits.

    4. I do not have personal experience, but I could see and I believe what you state that muslims in america have to take ‘a’ position on the issue. In serious matter like this, it would have been more appropriate that a body like AMJA would make a position/fatwa and you be their civil right consultant. I am surprised that you published it without even mentioning a single scholar of muslimmatters approving it. Brother if it was just muslim community organizing some islamic awareness event, it would be different, this is extremely serious issue, perhaps you did not realize it. Or perhaps the people taking it serious are just wrong?

    5. For the position you are advocating, can you be comfortable in saying that this is what Muhammad PBUH be doing in this situation. Of course I am not saying anyone could be certain, but still there needs to be comfort level.

    6. Allah says in Quran in meaning, that help each other in good and do not cooperate in evil. So we should keep this in mind

    7. Prophet Muhammad PBUH said to something to the effect, stop evil by hand, if not then by tongue or if not then hate in heart and that is lowest level of emaan. So apparently you are advocating us to target lowest level of emaan.

    8. Do you know any examples in seerah of Prophet or Sahabah even, when even they were oppressed that they took position that would be against Allah’s religion? While they were facing much more hardships than we ever could imagine in makkah, because they testified that no one is worthy of worship except Allah, but that did not stop Allah and prophet to condemn social evils like burying female child alive. Here we are advocating something evil instead of being vocally against it, just to get protected ourselves. As I said I am hoping you do not consider homosexuality as an absolute civil right.

    9. Although the people who were lacking adab/manners criticizing you were annoying, but still should be more beloved to you than gays/lesbians and their right to get married. I am hoping this is the case.

    If I can summarize what I said in one sentence it would be any position you advocate (even for and against gay marriage) should be dictated by islam. Because that is the main thing. Take care.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Iesa Galloway

      Asalaam Alaikum Ahki Hassan – JazakAllahu Khairan for your thoughtful approach in articulating your thoughts.

      1) Lack of Islamic emotions: I am not a 100% sure what you mean by this (emotions) so it is hard to really clarify for you, however I do not make a clear distinction for some aspects of life as outside of religion. What I mean is anything I do I try to the best of my ability to be aware of if it is bringing me closer or further from Allah. Simply put I reject the idea that because there is not a bunch of hadiths and ayat quoted that it is therefore unIslamic… in fact we see the opposite regularly, people uses Allah’s words and the example of our Prophet to justify very unIslamic things…

      2) This point really puzzles me as it seems that somehow you think I am for supporting gay marriage??? The article was written in part to give the many activists and lawyers who happen to be Muslim a better way than what I see them doing or leaning toward and that is supporting gay marriage because of a coalition building effort.Being against gay marriage can not be an evil for us and even if it becomes a hardship, we have to still be against it on moral grounds.

      3) I am still unclear about what “Islamic emotions” are… but no Muslims in an Islamic nation would not be a civil rights community as they would be the majority… This of course all depends on how you define things as many Muslim majority nations have laws that are unIslamic and oppressive to peoples practice of Islam. Now again in theory as I am unaware of any “Islamic” countries in actual existence today, however of course all people in an Islamic country would be expected to live in accordance to the Shariah.

      4) Normally when people are asking for who approved something they are looking for more people to blame or drag into an issue. We saw this with the trolls in the comment section. I have a lot to say about this but I will keep it as short as I can. First and most importantly regardless of who I consulted with I authored the piece in my own name alone. If I had co-authored it I would have revealed that in the proper section. I am responsible for my own ideas. Secondly the fact that people are debating this topic means that we are reflecting on what our religion teaches us and how we live by and promote our values in a pluralistic society. That in and of itself is a positive development for our community.

      4b) This is an opinion piece not a fatwa! Opinion pieces are by definition supposed to make people contemplate, discuss, inform and even recommend. Fatwa’s on the other hand a legal rulings… that are meant to be followed.

      4c) The people are not wrong in how serious the issue is…

      5) This of course is a impossible question to answer. I do know that our Prophet Salalahu Alayhi Wa Salaam was at times a realist. Look at the Treaty of Hubaybiyyah it is fully of things that were practical and that upset the Companions. Also and perhaps more instructive to this topic look to how Allah guided the Muslim in terms of moral code, the early revelations were designed to attach peoples hearts to Allah, then the moral laws and commandments followed as the believers where prepared to uplift themselves thorough their strong faith. Lastly, I do not think you understand the positions that I am advocating for because of how you asked this question.

      6) Back to point 2 … I am not supporting gay marriage. I am saying that for non-Muslims in a pluralistic society, legal and governmental system in which they are entitled to legal, secular rights that the only effective option is to raise/increase/elevate the status of marriage by not allowing it as a label or category to be applied to a homosexual relationship.

      7) Actually at the very simplest understanding of my strategy the very least I am advocating for the second level which is to speak out against it. However this is not completely true as taking the issue to the individual states requires mobilization and voting so this is in fact changing it with your hand, your tongue and your heart.

      8) This is a loaded question, clearly it would not be against Allah’s religion if the Prophet did it…! Anyway, the Prophet did tell an adulterous women to go have her baby, then to go raise it, then when she returned the third time he allowed her the punishment she sought out… the key to that story is of course that he did not say return for the punishment and he admonished the companion that cursed her… There is a similar story where a man was attempting to confess a sin to the Prophet and the Prophet kept interrupting the man making excuses for him and trying to prevent him from telling him the whole sin. Further, some scholars have made many things permissible under duress. Of course homosexuality is not a right, homosexual activity is a sin… no sin can be a right.

      9) Seriously…? the question itself implies that you think this is not the case… please read my responses I make du’ah for the person I responded to (as it is recommended as a protection for the heart and to bring believers closer together) AND myself and at time the entire Ummah.

      May Allah bless you, me and all the believers.

      Iesa

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • umm dujaanah

        asalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

        Thank you for responding to my comment (yesterday) as I mentioned, I really do not want to go back and forth with you or anyone else, because to be honest with you, comments such as this one by brother Hassan have phrased it better than I have. And I can tell from your response that you have taken it as though I am personally attacking you, and there are indirect digs at me in your response but khayr.

        My point is, I don’t this it will be constructive to either of us if I respond it detail to your post, although if you want, I can and will respond properly. My main issue here is that this “homosexuality” thing is very dangerous. Today it is not a massive problem for muslim youth, the scholars who allow such a thing are in the small minority (and no-one takes them seriously) however the way I see the situation for the following generations, well homosexuality will be a big issue for MUSLIM youth. So we need to constantly remind everyone of the great sin it is, the great punishment for those who are involved in this, and to warn the youth off this crime.

        Articles such as this, you can argue, are addressing current affairs, but our ultimate aim is to be good muslims, encouraging others to be good muslims, warning against evil and giving da’wah. Being a “constructive member of American society” is not an aim, it something muslims in America should try but it is not the be all or end all. Thus, it is more important that homosexuality is addressed in the context of being immoral and haraam, or if someone wants to address issues such as gay marriage, then the stance of Islam is brought into this.

        As I said, today there may not be many people who claim sodomy is allowed in Islam or any respectable scholars saying this, but who would have thought that men like Yusuf Islam or Sami Yusuf would have crowds full of MUSLIM girls swaying to their music, a generation or 2 ago? We need to keep our stance as Muslim on homosexuality clear, crystal clear for all to see so it is not warped or changed by anyone.

        Wa alaykum asalaam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

        duas

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • umm dujaanah

        and I can see some of my other comments have been deleted for some reason…? Allahu Alam

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Hassan

        Jazak-Allah khyran for your response brother Iesa, I would let your words sink in. Perhaps it will clear out the confusion/disagreement.

        To clarify the islamic emotions point, I agree quoting ayats and hadiths is not what I was even looking for. The way article started and paced through seemed more civil rightish than islamic. And now I can understand as you did not want to charter into territory that you realized you were not qualified for (fatwa/islamic opinion) etc. But I also gave you one example, which is that even a non-scholar myself, when I think about this issue, first thing comes to my mind is the sadness of the fact that I have to even think about this issue. If I was writing this, I would have started with those emotions and then mention all options (I think you did that in comments though) and then expounded the one that I would think is beneficial for muslims in America.

        Thanks.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. Gibran Mahmud

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    For everyone in favor of giving states the choice to give gays civil unions, well
    al-Tirmidhi (1456), Abu Dawood (4462)and Ibn Maajah (2561) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Loot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.”. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

    I suggest that we be as opposed to this as we possible can.
    EVEN if it means losing the support of disbeliever, gay rights organizations who would otherwise be supportive of Muslim civil rights.

    And no, I have nothing to hide from any fellow American citizen. If they want to know the penalty in Islam for this act, I’m not one to conceal it. We are supposed to fear Allah alone, not human beings.

    You can take these human rights organizations as auliyah. But I take Allah as my wali and I don’t need their support.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  35. Gibran Mahmud

    Ahmad (2915) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May Allaah curse the one who does the action of the people of Loot, may Allaah curse the one who does the action of the people of Loot,” three times. This was classed as hasan by Shu’ayb al-Arna’oot in Tahqeeq al-Musnad.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  36. may

    seek spiritual; assistance brother fast..whcih is Knowledge of your Deen……..interfaith dialogues, us army, gay rights- seek Knowledge brother….i dont need to say anything else. and of coarse make sure repent back to Allah.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Gibran Mahmud

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      It seems like the majority of Muslim commentors here strongly disagree with Br. Iesa. Of even the few that are defending him(not really his views, just a reaction to harshness he faces) some have made it clear the don’t completely agree with him.

      And it’s hard to actually defend giving gays any rights and at the same time, calling oneself Muslim.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • Iesa Galloway

        Walaikum Asalaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

        One thing for sure brother you are consistent. I hope that in the future you’ll be consistent in being accurate and not telling people what they believe but instead allowing them to represent themselves…

        Anyone who reads this language (pasted below) accurately and fairly should not come to the conclusion that it supports same-sex marriage or advocates it. I never said that Muslims should advocate for these rights the language is specific “The federal government should.” This is speaking as a person who understands the government that I live under and its duties to all its citizens. I DID say that Muslims should oppose same-sex marriage at the state level and on moral ground as it is the only option that stands a chance for long term success.

        “In my mind, the best position as a people of faith is to leave the gay marriage issue to the states so that the each state’s population can have the best chance of advocating for the policy that they desire. The federal government should buffer this stance by mandating that regardless of what is decided by an individual state’s voters that each state must provide an option that requires LGBT communities who are not afforded a “marriage” still receive the same legal rights and benefits as other committed relationships. This means that in some states the LGBT community would have to settle for a title like a “civil union” and in others they will have a “marriage.” In short, while might does not equal right, demographics do matter.”

        In any case we will be closing the comments on this article soon, may Allah guide us to what is best and what is pleasing to Him alone.

        Iesa

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Abu Fatimah

    The best position for westerners concerning homosexuals is that it is sinful like alcohol, interest, gambling etc therefore homosexuals should be treated the same way we treat non muslims who drink or gamble (i.e. we dont really treat them any differently but still dont agree with what they are doing).

    We have no agenda for installing shariah in non muslim lands as this is not the way of the salaf in abasiniya, so just stay out of it, dont defend gay rights or oppose them, just dont get involve. restrict your political efforts to issues that concern the muslims inshallah

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Gibran Mahmud

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Whats being suggested here is to actually give gays civil rights. Christian pastors apparently have more guts. Despicable.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    • Iesa Galloway

      Asalaam Alaikum,

      I agree with you expect for two things:

      1) It is appropriate to prevent mob violence or persecution of people for their classification. What you stated would mean that is a Muslim could prevent a homosexual person from being beaten up by another citizen because that person is gay, that we should not prevent it, we should not call law enforcement and simply turn a blind eye as the gay person is beaten. There is a base level of humanity that we should defend. I am sure that using your logic you would oppose a random person beating up another person because he is a banker who lives off interest or am I wrong here?

      2) I do believe that it is the duty to oppose same-sex marriages. It is only possible to do this in my view at the state level so that is the essence of the article. I think not opposing it could leave us liable before Allah and could cause our community’s future generations a lot of issues related to morality and Islamic orthodoxy.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  38. Anon

    I’m rather late to the party here (having only discovered this article, and blog for that matter, recently), but I would like to inquire: why the specific focus on gay marriage? Sure, it’s a big issue politically, but not for mainstream Muslims. To be fair, Mr Galloway did not claim that this was the biggest issue.

    However, addressing the actual issues: showing solidarity with gays will only further split the more liberal-minded Muslims from the moderates and conservatives. People who adopt this position should be aware that they are in the minority of Muslims, even in the liberal playground of the west. They will have to provide stunning and remarkable evidence as to why the Muslims should show any special attention to discrimination against gays, rather than other discriminated groups. It should also be kept in mind that discrimination against gays is on the decrease overall.

    Secondly, it sends out a confusing message to, on the one hand, oppose gay marriage, but on the other, oppose discrimination against gays. If people interpret this as the message of Islam, you have even bigger problems, for then you need to reconcile the Islamic rulings on this with your personal stance.

    All in all, the author’s intent with this article is unclear, though, he has clarified it in the comments section. This is not adequate as even blog articles should be more or less complete, and not reliant on the comments section for its basic explanation.

    I think that has a lot to do with the fact that the author himself is unclear where he stands on this issue.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply

Leave a Reply