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Dissent Dispatch: volume 5
Unbelief Brief
June 7, 2024
Dissent Dispatch: volume PRIDE

Welcome to this week's newsletter! 🌈

As we celebrate Pride Month, we’re excited to bring you this week’s Unbelief Brief and highlight some of the ways the Qur’an discusses homosexuality. At Ex-Muslims of North America, we proudly stand in support of our LGBTQ+ community members and allies.

This month, we’d also like to invite you, our readers, to share your stories. If you have a story you’d like to share related to Pride, please send it to [email protected] with the subject line “Pride Month.”

Join us in advocating for inclusivity and equal rights for all.

Happy Pride Month!

The Unbelief Brief

This past week, an “anti-Islam” protest in Germany turned violent and tragic—but at the hands of an apparent Islamic extremist. According to a police statement, an assailant wielding a knife attacked a 29-year-old policeman in Mannheim, “stabb[ing him] several times in the area of the head.” The officer was hospitalized but died two days later. The assailant, himself subdued by other officers on the scene and now hospitalized, is reportedly a 25-year-old immigrant from Afghanistan. Though the motive for the attack cannot yet be confirmed, there is little doubt what he was doing at a reported “anti-Islam” rally with far-right activists in attendance. Shortly after the attack, the current Interior Minister of the governing Social Democratic Party issued a statement, arguing that if the motive of this attack was indeed religious, it “show(s) how strongly we must continue to fight Islamist terror.”

In better news, a spokesperson for the United States Department of State has recently publicly reaffirmed the US’s opposition to blasphemy laws “anywhere in the world.” The spokesperson, Vedant Patel, made the remarks in response to the recent mob attack in Pakistan, where Muslims accusing two Christians of blasphemy rioted, killing one of the Christians and injuring the other (who is himself now under investigation by the state for blasphemy). We applaud the US government for taking this position and encourage them to continue to do so at every available opportunity.

Finally: has this ever happened to you? You’re a Muslim, and you want to play the latest video game all your friends have been talking about. But there’s a problem: the game allows players to cast magic spells, meaning its content is blasphemous! Does this jeopardize your standing as a good Muslim? This is no small question: your immortal soul could be in grave danger! Luckily, the Iran-based AhlulBayt News Agency has taken it upon itself to answer this important question with the wisdom of top clerics. The long and short of it is: you do not automatically become an unbeliever if you role-play as a digital wizard, but it is nonetheless still impermissible conduct. If you are a Muslim and have made this dire mistake, it is crucial that you cease and repent as soon as possible!

EXMNA Insights

June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community. However, it’s crucial to recognize the hardships faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in Muslim-majority societies.Islam, much like other conservative religions, is rigidly against homosexuality (1). While the Qur’an is not explicit in its condemnation of homosexuality, many Sahih Hadith portray homosexual acts as sinful and prohibit them.The story of Lut (Lot) in the Qur’an is often cited as an example condemning homosexuality (2). Islamic scholars often interpret the punishment apportioned out to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah for their "immorality (3)" and “ignorance (4)” as code for homosexuality. This traditional Islamic viewpoint is directly reflective of the intense discrimination and violence LGBTQ+ individuals face in the Muslim world. Iran, Northern Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen all currently punish homosexuality with the death penalty. It is also the maximum possible sentence in Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, and UAE (5). In other Muslim-majority countries, homosexual activity can result in imprisonment following a public indecency charge, essentially a de facto punishment for homosexuality. Additionally, there are very few publicly accessible and safe queer spaces in the Muslim world which lead many LGBTQ+ individuals to remain closeted for their entire lives for fear of legal punishment or vigilante violence (6). During Pride Month, it’s important to reflect on the enormous risk that being an LGBTQ+ person poses for people in the Muslim world due to Islam’s outdated and inhumane perception of homosexuality.

Thanks for tuning in for this week’s PRIDE edition! If you enjoyed this, please forward it to a friend. Don’t forget, if you have a story you’d like to share related to Pride Month, please send it to [email protected] with “Pride Month” in the subject line.

Until next week,

The Team at Ex-Muslims of North America

(1) https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Qur%27an,_Hadith_and_Scholars:Homosexuality (2) https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Lut (3) https://quran.com/29/28 (4) https://quran.com/27/55 (5) https://www.humandignitytrust.org/lgbt-the-law/map-of-criminalisation/?type_filter_submitted=&type_filter%5B%5D=death_pen_applies (6) https://apnews.com/article/middle-east-africa-religion-europe-05020d7baa9f0d5f0b3088e80d0797e9

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