“I Was Homophobic, But Now I Know Allah Loves Equality”

sara ahmed con il cartello allah loves equality
Sara Ahmed con il cartello di "Allah Loves Equality"

I was homophobic, but I am no longer. I thought that admitting the existence of homosexual Muslin was blasphemy. I rejected homosexual Muslim, turned my head and invoked “astaghfirullah” (Allah’s forgiveness) when crossing path with transsexuals or men holding hands. I am ashamed to say, I use to think that homosexuality was an illness from which there was hope to get better. I was convinced: “It’s a sin”, “They are perverse”, “Islam forbid it”, “Islam condemn it.”

One day, on Facebook there was a post from a gay-Muslim-Pakistani man (Wajahat Abbas) defending his rights to be accepted as gay Muslim, and I’ve spent hours on his profile. I’ve started questioning how could the religion I loved so profoundly and in which I based my principles and values, could ban so violently, one of his followers.

All my convictions collapsed in front of Wajahat’s sign: “Allah love Equality”. Wajahat saw benevolence and mercy in Allah, something I couldn’t see because blinded by ignorance, fear and trust of being on the right side of Islam.

I’m aware many readers will think I am a person who wants to ignore and renew the “true Islam teaching”. But I read the Quran and before each verse I utter: “Bismillah Allah al rahman el rahim” (Allah is gracious and merciful) while thinking Allah compassion and mercy exceeds any discrimination carried out in his name.

A few days ago, a friend told me a gay Italian man was praying in the Mosque of Rome, and she was astonished: “He was praying just like we do, invoking Allah Akbar (Allah is the greatest), he was holding and reading the Quran, He converted to Islam!”

That man who “prayed like us” dwelled in my university library and he was openly gay. I had noticed him because of his bright color scarves and because he always played the Lebanese singer Fayrouz loudly. “Last year, he was listening to Fayrouz; today, he reads the Quran while wearing a colorful scarf” I keep repeating to myself. We both kneel before Allah at each prayer, the only difference is that I wear a veil instead of a scarf, nothing more.

raccolta fondiI was homophobic, but I am no longer. This is the reason I stand by Il Grande Colibrì’s project: “Allah Loves Equality” [to take part to the fundraising campaign follow: Produzioni dal Basso]. This project will serve to reinforce the understanding that God’s creatures are equal, and nobody should be afflicted by discrimination in his name. The documentary will be shot in Pakistan, and it will be the first step toward reconciliation, the first step toward annihilation of LGBTQI discrimination, and the eradication of prejudice toward any person identify themselves as gay-Muslim.

 

Sara Ahmed
©2017 Il Grande Colibrì

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