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Dear Pat Condell… why this homo-Islamic masochist rejects your anti-Muslim crusade

Dear Pat Condell:

I was recently linked to your ‘How gay is Islam?’ video by a fan of yours quite desperate to persuade me (as a queer left wing atheist blogger) that I need to spend more time attacking Muslims, intent as you say they are on killing me.

The reason you haven’t heard from me till now is not that I was stumped; it’s that the sheer amount of wrong in what you say is so extreme that it’s taken me a week to lay it out.

I’ve even divided my response in two: an extended, detailed examination of what polls on British Muslims actually say, contrary to your assertions, can be found here. (It grew long in the tooth, again, because there’s so much in your statements to correct.) For this post, I thought I’d go through your transcript point by point.

As you know, I don’t like to criticise anyone, but surely the most comically deluded people on this planet, outside creationists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientologists, are idealistic left-wing gay people who think they share a common cause with Muslims as two oppressed minorities when opinion polls tell us that most Muslims are disgusted by homosexuality and think it’s completely unacceptable.

No, opinion polls don’t tell us that, and the single poll you cite contradicts several key claims you make. You’d know this if, in fact, you’d read it.

What is true is that according to the BBC, the ‘Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks’ hotline recorded 632 incidents of harassment between last February and this March (more than a baker’s dozen a week on average), and a further 212 including 17 violent attacks between Lee Rigby’s murder in Woolwich and the start of June; that Woolwich was followed by attacks on mosques with bombs and knives in Essex, Kent and Lincolnshire, and the burning down of a Muslim community centre in north London; that by May 28, ten mosques had been attacked; that others were vandalised with racist and far-right slogans; that women’s headscarves were reportedly torn off by strangers as they walked the streets, a disturbingly familiar phenomenon today.

I have no idea what it’s like to live through this as a Muslim, and I wouldn’t presume to guess, but I do know what it’s like to feel unsafe in public – to fear going outside for homophobic catcalls from across the road, having objects thrown at me, being spat on, hit and kicked, having possessions grabbed, stolen or destroyed. I know what it’s like to be afraid all the time, and that no one – no onewhoever they are, whatever they think of me – should ever live in fear. I won’t be complicit in that.

What do you know about being queer, or about being a Muslim? (Not about Islam, in principle – about being a Muslim?) And what, in particular, about being a queer Muslim, doubly trodden on and ignored, including by you?

I expect this understanding to be returned, and that other people stepped on, pushed to the margins, know not to do this to me or other queer people. That they sometimes – often – don’t know this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t . Yes, negative views of people who aren’t straight are widespread in the so-called Muslim community; no, this doesn’t legitimise attacking, harassing or demonising Muslims, and it doesn’t free people who know what that treatment feels like from needing to resist it. I’m keeping my end of the bargain.

Among UK Muslims, disapproval is 100%. Admittedly, that’s from a sample of only 500 people who all happened to agree unanimously, but that’s hardly representative. After all, not all Muslims were included, so we can’t reasonably extrapolate anything from it without being racist. That’s a relief. I thought we might have to face an unpleasant truth there for a second, didn’t you?

Note the downsizing on several fronts: from disgust to disapproval, ‘most Muslims’ to 500 in Britain. Note too the treatment of British Muslims as archetypes of opinion in Islam, while citing a poll which shows them as far more conservative than those in Germany or France.

Gay people who look for common ground with Islam are a bit like left-wing Jews who want to boycott Israel. They’ve let their twisted “progressive” politics trump their common sense.

Excuse me: how did we get from ‘a common cause with Muslims as two oppressed minorities’ to ‘look[ing] for common ground with Islam’?

If you want to make comparisons, and your views on Israel speak volumes, I needn’t believe in God, the validity of zionism or the prudence of building a fence around the Torah to think synagogues shouldn’t be smashed, Jews targeted with ethnic slurs or societies and legal systems segregated – I certainly needn’t support the slicing of infants’ genitals, or the herding of children into proselytising schools. I needn’t think any of the above are even remotely good ideas – I don’t. I need only think people have rights.

From your claim – again, against the polls – that Muslims think otherwise and therefore should be shunned, I gather you agree. I can find Islam absurd, while also thinking mosques shouldn’t be banned or bombed, as easily as finding UKIP laughable, deranged and incoherent while not wishing to assault or expatriate its voters. (Come to think of it, I’ve met some sensible Muslims…)

It’s hard to know if they really believe in their fantasy gay/Islamic alliance, or if their “look-at-me-how-tolerant-I-am” Guardianista political correctness hasn’t just mutated into a kind of homo-Islamic masochism.

Independent if you don’t mind. Tribune on the side.

How else do you explain the willingness of otherwise intelligent people to indulge a religion that wants them dead?

Islam doesn’t want me dead. Islam doesn’t want anything. Saying religions want things is like saying homeopathy feels sad or Thatcherism likes watching Countdown.

Almost no British Muslims – one or two percent – support execution for homosexuality. The only other measure of what Islam ‘wants’, it having no single catechism or analogue to the Holy See, is what its texts say, and scripture on its own is a remarkably bad predictor of beliefs or practices within religions. (The cutting of more than one human in ten’s penis, unlike the female version a near-universal practice, would surely rank among Islam’s most undesirable manifestations, but is demanded next to nowhere – indeed, very arguably proscribed – in the Qur’an. Every religion’s texts, conversely, bear long-forgotten commandments.) I’m not interested in what scripture mandates, most of the time, but in what believers in the real world think and do, and British Muslims don’t think what you say.

And not dead in a symbolic or theoretical way, but in an actual string-them-up-in-public sort of way, as they do in the Islamic Republic of Iran where they regard death as too good for homosexuals.

Post-revolutionary, theocratic Iran and its governments being, of course, an oasis of democratic transparency and rule by popular consent, whose public have no history at all of protest or dissent. (This sentence isn’t even coherent. One either regards death as too good for someone or kills them. Both are not possible.)

If they could find a way to kill them twice over they know it would please Allah more than a Tel Aviv school bus suicide bomb, but what can they do? They’ll just have to wait for Islamic science to find a way, and pick up that long overdue Nobel Prize.

There is absolutely no reason – except to make Muslims sound particularly foreign – to refer to the god of Islam as Allah. ‘Allah’ is the Arabic word for God, and nothing more specific; it’s what Arabic-speaking Muslims, Christians, Jews and members of other faiths all call their god. (Among Muslims, heavy use of Arabic is often an Islamist strategy to frame Islam as un-Western and culturally distinct. This kind of racialising discourse, including when non-Muslims adopt it, makes leaving Islam harder for atheists.)

Surely it’s obvious even to the most PC-crippled among us that if any one group of people on this earth should be opposing the spread of Islam with everything they’ve got, it’s gay people. Nothing is a more serious threat to them.

Please don’t use words like ‘crippled’.

Please don’t assume you’ve thought at greater length about the consequences of my sexuality and other people’s beliefs than I, a queer atheist blogger, have.

And once again, the data contradicts this.

Islam will never be remotely gay-friendly. There will never be a pink crescent moon, unless you count gay bloodstains, and good luck finding an Islamic “scholar” who’s prepared to deny that.

Daayiee Abdullah; Junaid Bin Jahangir; Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle; Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed; Ziauddin Sardar.

That’s five, as many minutes after a Google search. Oh yes – and about what the data says

It’s true that not all “scholars” feel the same way about gays. Some think they should be stoned to death. Others favour throwing them off a mountain. Maybe on a good day you could even get to choose. In Iran they’ve settled the matter by hanging them from cranes in public. In Mauritania they use the more traditional method, stoning to death. In Saudi Arabia they prefer beheading, as they do for many things in that country, including witchcraft.

British Muslims are overwhelmingly opposed to punishments like these. If you’re determined to homogenise Islam, whose stance is the ‘official’ one: theirs, or the current Iranian, Saudi or Mauritanian governments’? (Mauritania, on a point of fact, hasn’t actually executed anyone since 1990.)

In countries that don’t impose the death penalty for being gay it’s still punishable by flogging and imprisonment.

States whose official religion is Islam (generically or one particular denomination), and/or with a Muslim majority…

…with laws against homosexuality: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Comoros, Gambia, Guinea, Iran, Kuwait (men only), Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian territories (Gaza – men only), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone (men only), Somalia, Somaliland, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan (men only), United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan (men only), Western Sahara, Yemen. (Total: 26.5 28.5)

…without laws against homosexuality: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Jordan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait (women only), Lebanon, Mali, Mayotte, Niger, Palestinian territories (Gaza – women only), Palestinian territories (West Bank), Sierra Leone (women only), Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan (women only), Uzbekistan (women only). (Total: 21.5)

Other countries with laws against homosexuality: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize (men only), Bhutan, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cook Islands (men only), Dominica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada (men only), Guyana, Jamaica (men only), Kenya, Kiribati (men only), Lesotho (men only), Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius (men only), Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru (men only), Nigeria, Palau (men only), Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis (men only), Saint Lucia (men only), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles (men only), Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland (men only), Tanzania, Togo, Tonga (men only), Trinidad and Tobago, TR North Cyprus (men only), Tuvalu (men only), Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe (men only). (Total: 40.5 38.5)

(All data: Wikipedia)

And it was announced recently that several Islamic countries are trying to find a medical test to detect gay people and stop them at the border, so disgusted are they by homosexuality.

Not just gay people, actually, but LGBT (including transgender) people. This is alarming and a major human rights concern – much like refusing people entry to Britain, in fact, for being Muslims or coming from a ‘Muslim country’. (If you lived in the ones above, wouldn’t you want to leave?)

If you care so much about human rights abuses, by the way, you should probably stop voting for a party that wants to scrap the Human Rights Act.

They even forced the United Nations to remove sexual orientation from a resolution condemning arbitrary execution, because Islamic countries want the right to arbitrarily execute gay people without being condemned for it, and the United Nations went along with that, which tells us something about the United Nations, but nothing we didn’t already know.

Yes, the six nations of the GCC and 73 other member states of the UN voted for this amendment. Of those 79, less than half (38) were ‘Islamic countries’ by the criteria above.

The concept of human rights is alien to Islam, as we know. The concept of gay rights is an insulting and vile obscenity to Islam, without putting too fine a point on it. Islam does not regard homosexuality as a different lifestyle, but as a disgusting form of sexual perversion on a par with paedophilia or bestiality, that should be severely punished.

Islam doesn’t regard anything as anything. Islam doesn’t have opinions independent of its followers’. (It has holy texts of course, but texts mean nothing without a reader, and again, they’re terrible predictors of what religious groups will think or do.)

While it’s certainly true the kind of Islamist states that have tended to develop in the last 50 years have notoriously poor human rights records, they’re far from unique in this, including among religious states more broadly. Of the non-Islamic countries above that criminalise homosexuality, almost all (41) are majority-Christian.

Further, polling of British Muslims shows high levels of support for secular legal infrastructure, human and LGBT rights and the respectful treatment of gay people.

Islamic preachers often conflate homosexuality and paedophilia, and are not challenged on it because the people they’re talking to generally agree with them.

Yes, it’s generally true that people who go to see people preach agree with them. (Hence the expression ‘preaching to the choir’.) How often do your regular viewers challenge you?

We know that the more Islam there is in a society the more physically dangerous it’s likely to be for gay people.

We don’t. You might, but you need a citation for this if you do.

There’s very little data available about correlation between religion and violent attacks on gay people, or about religious support specifically for these. (Anecdotally, speaking from experience among queer and human rights activists, the countries most infamous for this are generally Jamaica, Russia and Brazil.)

What we do know – from the survey, actually, which you cite to smear Muslims – is that those in Britain, Germany and France overwhelmingly oppose all forms of violence; that homosexuality is legal in almost as many ‘Muslim countries’ as it is against the law, and that substantially fewer states criminalising it are Muslim countries as defined above than are predominantly Christian.

In parts of Europe with high Muslim immigrant populations we know that openly gay men are far more likely to be attacked and beaten up on the street for being gay.

Citation desperately needed, once again.

I found none in the description to your video. I’m also impressed you seem so confident of this, since having been out as queer for the past ten years and a writer, researcher and activist on various queer issues (violence included) as well as religion for a good many of those, I’ve never been able to find a comprehensive study of homophobic assault levels by country. If you know more than I do about this, which you might (but I’d be surprised), why not share your data?

It’s a non-sequitur in any case that if homophobic violence occurs in places with high Muslim migrant populations, Muslims must be the perpetrators – rather like your claim that since 5 percent of Sweden’s populace are Muslims, they must be responsible for its rape statistics.

And there’s a good reason why they don’t hold gay pride marches down Brick Lane.

Actually, assuming by Brick Lane you mean Tower Hamlets and London’s East End, they do.

The march you mean was postponed and reorganised over concerns it would be used as an EDL front – concerns which came not from Muslim groups, but local LGBT ones, and certainly weren’t accompanied by threats of violence.

In a nutshell, gay people, Islam wants your blood, and if you’re ever stupid enough to go to an Islamic country and let them know you’re gay you’ll find that out the hard way.

I have – several times, in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Turkish Cyprus (if the latter counts). My pulse persists.

It doesn’t give a damn how tolerant or inclusive you are. It just wants you dead for being who and what you are, and it’s no more open to persuasion on the matter than you would be open to persuasion about letting sewer rats run around your house.

Stop saying abstract philosophies want or give a damn about things; stop calling my sexual identity ‘who and what I am'; start reading the data, which indicates decisively that queer-positive versions of Islam can and do exist, and that Muslims by and large (in Britain at least) are unsupportive of violence or oppression targeting LGBT people, whatever their moral view. (Yes, those views themselves do matter; no, not because they’re a threat to the way of life of gay or straight non-Muslims.)

You’ve got more chance of celebrating Christmas in a pub in Saudi Arabia than you have of finding common ground between Islam and homosexuality, and you’ve got absolutely no excuse for pretending otherwise because there’s nothing nuanced about the Islamic position. There is no ambiguity. There is no grey area. There is no common ground. There is no shared struggle. There are no bridges to be built, and there won’t be any until you stop being gay.

Again, what ‘common ground between Islam and homosexuality’ do I advocate by saying people shouldn’t be expatriated, attacked, harassed or slandered for their religion? (Or indeed perceived religion.) This as far as I’m concerned is elementary secularism.

Moreover: attitudes to queer sexuality within Islam are demonstrably varied, often sympathetic and at times explicitly affirmative. Of course gay imams are a fringe, but so were Islamists in 1960. Islam has shown itself to be as malleable and susceptible to evolutionary change as any other religion – there is no reason to assume queer-positive versions are somehow innately unsellable.

Would that option be on the table at all? For the sake of, you know, community cohesion? After all, by being gay you’re being culturally insensitive, disrespectful, divisive, provocative, offensive, Islamophobic and racist. What can I say, people? The bottom line is if you don’t want to be a filthy racist you’re going to have to stop being gay. And when you think about it, it’s really not that much to ask. After all, if you’re not willing to compromise on your sick and sinful gayness, how can you reasonably expect Islam to compromise on wanting you dead? Peace.

Oh, Pat. Stop.

Comments

  1. says

    I get a feeling this Condell guy really doesn’t care about the rights or welfare of either gays or Muslims. And if he can keep those two minorities hating each other, they’ll be less able to unite against their common enemy — right-wing bigots like him.

  2. says

    There is no grey area. There is no common ground. There is no shared struggle.

    Actually, if gays and Muslims can work together against bigots who hate and threaten both in roughly equal measure, then there IS common ground.

  3. Schlumbumbi says

    “Islam doesn’t want me dead. Islam doesn’t want anything. Saying religions want things is like…”
    ^
    Wow.. I can’t begin to imagine the depth of delusion required to say something like that

    Then again, the author used the slur “kufr” (whateveryouwanttospellit) against a prominent atheist in the past, so I guess he’s got a pretty ugly dog in this race.

  4. says

    @Schlumbumbi (#3)

    If you refer to my addressing Richard Dawkins in this post as ‘Kafir’, firstly it’s because I needed a ‘K’, and secondly, I’m entirely willing to give the term up if ex-Muslim colleagues are uncomfortable with it.

  5. says

    Yeah, funny thing, y’know, as a person who’s been an out queer activist for more than 20 years here in Canada, and with having a business whose clients are about 80% Muslims from conservative countries (visiting students), all the times i’ve been beaten and attacked? Not a single one of them involved a Muslim.

    In fact, most of them looked and talked mostly like Pat Condell. Which should say all you’d need to know about the likelihood that this fascist asshole gives a rat’s ass about Muslims or queerfolk. He just really, really wants to divide and conquer with his xenophobic assholeocracy. Fuck you, Condell, and your pearly-white high (hobby)horse into the bargain.

  6. Great American Satan says

    Just reading his excerpts made me feel icky and I’m glad I didn’t watch the video you embedded last time. I watched at least several of his videos some years ago, and my tipping point on that expedition was his astounding willful ignorance about the “ground zero mosque” and more importantly America itself. We have vastly more to worry about from xtians here than we will ever have to fear from islam.

    This just showed me he’s even worse now. I don’t wanna sound ageist but his lack of google fu makes me want to say something ageist about his ass. What a raging fool.

  7. voidhawk says

    Pat Condell is a lot like those MRA atheists who’ll use religion’s apparent mysoginy to attack Muslims or Christians. He doesn’t really give a damn about LGBT rights beyond what he can use them for as a stick to beat his best foe.

    On the plus side, he does expose the nastiness inherent with UKIP for anyone who thinks they’re just genteel old Tories with an unhealthy fixation on the European Uniion.

  8. cantstandliars says

    Hi,

    I’ve only had time to speed read over your article (it’s late), but I can see two mistakes you’ve made.

    Firstly, you list several countries as non muslim (such as Sudan, Somaliand, Nigeria) when they have a muslim majority (in the case of Sudan & Somaliland they are almost totally muslim countries). You also list Egypt & Iraq as not having laws against homosexuality – when I’m almost certain that’s the case. None the less, appalling abuse and de-facto laws against homosexuals rage in these countries. To label them as somehow OK for gay people is a clear misrepresentation and leads me to think you have a strong bias.

    Secondly, every study (pretty much) shows a level of intolerance of gay people in the muslim community (at least in the UK, but I also suspect internationally) way above that of the rest of the community. White PC clearly jumps the shark when he says “zero tolerance” he does have an overall point – there is huge homophobia in the muslim community – just look at the work of Peter Tatchell in this area. In contrary to one of your commentators, as a gay man the only direct homophobia I’ve ever experienced has been from muslims – but of course anecdotal evidence doesn’t mean that much, we have to look at the surveys which point to a clear problem we need to draw attention to.

    I have several muslim gay friends, and when I raise this subject they very much agree with me.

    You seem to use your anecdotes to justify a position. The gay pride march down brick lane was a non-event, in fact I’ve walked down there a few months ago with a rather more “flamboyent” friend of mine who was called a faggot by a muslim restaurant owner. You say you have been to “Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Turkish Cyprus. My pulse persists.” as if therefore they are accepting of gay people and there isn’t a problem – but have you ever talked to a gay person from these countries? A good friend of mine is a gay Egyptian and he spent much of his life there in a state of fear because of the state backed homophobia which includes extra judicial killings, which has only got worse since the rise of the Islamists.

    Look, Pat Condell takes things too far, exaggerates beyond what is needed. But you seem to almost say that there isn’t a problem, or at least pay lip service to it. There is a huge problem.

    You dismiss muslims intent to repress gay people as laughable with selective statements like:

    “Almost no British Muslims – one or two percent – support execution for homosexuality.”

    First of all, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen studies quoting higher stats than that. But you also fail to mention the percentage of muslims who would like to see homosexuality recriminalised in the UK, which if I remember correctly is around 63% (from a 2008? Policy Exchange survey).

    Pat Condell doesn’t offer an unbiased view, and neither do you. In between the truth lies, but which ever version you read there is a problem we shouldn’t ignore.

  9. says

    @cantstandhawk (#10)

    There certainly is a problem: the point is that it isn’t the one commentators like Condell say it is, and their sensationalist, “Islam is taking over Britain” paranoia obscures the human rights concerns that do need to be addressed in the so-called Muslim community – the impact of sharia courts for instance, the effect of heterosexist religious views themselves on a social level, the hump of fundamentalism active on university campuses and so on. I’m most certainly not dismissive of queer Muslims facing homophobia or repression – a large part of my argument is that these are the people shortchanged by discourse like Condell’s – but what is laughably absurd is the idea the common Muslim position is that Britain should become a sharia state like Iran or Saudi Arabia.

    Well spotted on Somaliland and Sudan – corrected. Nigeria however has just slightly less than a Muslim majority according to Wikipedia, from where I’m sourcing the data, and which lists homosexuality as ‘not specifically outlawed’ in Egypt and legal in Iraq since 2003. Not, of course, a faultless source, and there are nuances and complexities here – non-explicit laws used against queer people in states where homosexuality isn’t itself criminalised, laws against it being de facto ignored in others – but the general point is that the claim ‘the more Islam there is in a society the more physically dangerous it’s likely to be for gay people’ (at least on a legalistic level), as well as the claim ‘Muslim countries’ are by definition set on outlawing and executing gay people, is a clear and obvious departure from the facts.

    If you want to talk about polls – and be my guest – the companion piece to this post examines in detail a wide swathe of polling on UK Muslims (six studies, to be precise, including those you mention and the Populus/Policy Exchange poll specifically – if you have more, I’m happy to go over them).

    To be very brief, yes, polling by Gallup did show 100 percent of British Muslims to consider homosexual acts morally wrong over morally acceptable, though I’d like to see this research repeated with more precise phrasing and formatting: we can fairly safely conclude the overwhelming majority of British Muslims view queer sexuality as sinful/prohibited in Islam. This doesn’t, however, translate obviously into what we might call ‘intolerance': figures are generally high when it comes to respect for/acceptance of gay people (though of course, there’s likely to be a discrepancy in how this applies those within and outside of the ‘Muslim community’), support for secular British law over sharia is very much in the minority (beside which it’s unclear exactly what sharia law’s supporters en masse understand it or its function to be), and, as this post says, practically zero support is visible for legal punishments like stoning or hanging.

    You accuse me of using anecdotes to justify my stance, before doing exactly that yourself. No, I haven’t conversed recently and to my knowledge with queer people from those countries, and I don’t find it at all hard to take the testimony you reproduce seriously – again, the broader point is just that shouting ‘Muslim countries want to kill gays!’ is strongly contradicted even by broad outlines of global laws. I state I’ve described myself as gay in those countries and survived simply to refute Condell’s claim, which is phenomenally easy to refute because so broad, as well as the underlying assumption people like him know more about these issues than people like me do; likewise, it simply isn’t the case (as he transparently implies) that pride events in the East End have been called off due to fears of Muslim violence – or, if it is, there isn’t any immediate evidence of this in the cases he points to.

  10. m0fa says

    Alex, you are not telling the full story. You quote Muslim countries that have no (written) laws against homosexuality but do not go on to explain what it is actually the situation for gay people, the persecution they face mainly because of the teachings of Islam. Here is a little from Wikipedia (your own source):

    IRAQ
    “Many LGBT people in the country suffer from discrimination, abuse, honor killings, and murder.

    EGYPT
    “the Egyptian government began a public crackdown on Egyptian gay men by raiding private parties, arresting the guests and charging them with various laws, including violating the “Public Order & Public Morals” code, enacted in the 1990s to combat “Satanic” and “lewd” expressions, as well as engaging in prostitution and “violating the teachings of religion and propagating depraved ideas and moral depravity.”

    INDONESIA
    “Homosexuality in Indonesia is generally considered a taboo subject by both Indonesian civil society and the government…. police have sometimes harassed gay or transgender people using vaguely worded public indecency laws”.

    INDONESIA (ACEH)
    “In 2002, the Indonesian Government gave Aceh Province the right to introduce Sharia Law, albeit only to Muslim residents. For example, the city of Palembang introduced jail and fines for homosexual sex..”

    TURKEY
    “LGBT persons in Turkey may face discrimination, harassment and even violence from their relatives, neighbors, co-workers, bosses, employees, teachers, and even members of the Turkish police. Homosexuality is widely a taboo subject in Turkey and the culture of “honour killings” can be observed in Turkish society families murdering members (usually female) who engage in sexual/moral behaviours regarded as inappropriate.”

    And when comparing Muslim countries that have laws against homosexuality and other countries that too have laws against homosexuality you must also compare the penalties associated with those laws in each country. Some countries have laws but they don’t enact them. What I have seen in many Muslim countries is homosexuals being hanged by the neck from cranes, or being beheaded. I don’t see so much of this coming from non Muslim States.

    By just presenting figures and not stating the true state of affairs you are being dishonest in your story telling.

  11. says

    @m0fa (#12)

    I don’t accept that. Of course that section isn’t a full picture of the LGBTQ situation in every country mentioned, but it’s not meant to be that, or in any way a conclusive guide to the discussion – just a refutation of the claim that ‘Muslim countries’ can be reductively and automatically assumed to ‘want the right to arbitrarily execute gay people’ by definition.

  12. smrnda says

    Odd that this guy wants to lecture you on what you should feel is a danger, as if you wouldn’t have been doing this automatically on your own your whole life.

    He’s clearly not concerned about homosexuals and just wants to find a way to slam Islam. Uganda is persecuting homosexuals in the name of Christianity, and Russia is doing so as well. Though it’s unlikely to have an effect on laws, there have been American Christians who have openly called for the death penalty for homosexuality. Islam and Muslims aren’t unique in having some anti GLBT members.

  13. mofa says

    smrnda, you presume a lot about me. Your first sentence is extremely odd. I am not lecturing, I am engaging in a discussion and and yes, doing a little criticism at the same time. What I am doing should be encouraged and not put down. The exchange of ideas is a rewarding thing for all involved. Why you should feel that I was “lecturing Alex on what he should feel is a danger” is anyone’s guess. I can only scratch my head. How you can claim that I am not concerned about homosexuals and their treatment in various places around the world is again a puzzle to me (how could you come up with any of this from what I have written above?!). And one last thing, I am a strong critic off all of the Abrahamic religions and can see that they all cause major harm to all societies.

  14. m0fa says

    smrnda, you presume so much about me. I find your first sentence very odd. I was not lecturing. I was engaging in a discussion, yes with a touch of criticism. But this sort of interaction should be encouraged not put down. We can all benefit from the exchange of ideas. Why you thought that I was “lecturing Alex on what (he) should feel is a danger” is anyone’s guess. I can only scratch my head. Any how you formed an opinion on my character, that I am not concerned with homosexuals or their treatment around the world, based on what I have written above, again is a puzzle to me. I am a strong critic of all of the Abrahamic religions. I can see the real harm that they inflict upon all societies. This does not make me a racist. I will ‘slam Islam’ and I will slam Christianity and I will also slam that third one as well.

  15. says

    …my tipping point on that expedition was his astounding willful ignorance about the “ground zero mosque”…

    Really?! He’s STILL banging on about that “ground zero mosque” that isn’t really a mosque and isn’t really at ground zero? That alone puts him at the Sarah Palin level of credibility.

  16. foolish wolf says

    Hey thanks for the write up. Can’t really comment on any of it right now because if I haven’t fully absorbed it all yet. It takes a while because if I think about it too much my blood pressure reaches a stage where diamonds start forming in my veins. It’s not so much what Pat says, it’s the fact that thousands of people listen to him and think he’s right.

    I do feel that if Thatcherism were to watch anything though it would be Countdown.

  17. smrnda says

    Yes, I referred to Condell, sorry that was vague. I will usually @name a person if responding to their comment.

    All said, I recently saw a rather distressing documentary about GLBTQ activism in Uganda, a majority Christian nation whose homophobia is being stokes mostly by American Televangelists who keep making appearances there. Persecution of GLBTQ people happens in majority Muslim nations, in majority Christian nations, and no doubt others. I think there’s a connection between homophobia and fundamentalist religion and that it may even be particularly bad in some Muslim nations, but I think it’s disingenuous to think that Islam is a truly unique threat. It’s more about the level to which religion influences public policy in a country, and we just have more Muslim theocracies right now.

  18. says

    @Enopoletus Harding (#21)

    You refer, I assume, to my listing North Cyprus next to Egypt, Jordan and Turkey? I realise it doesn’t qualify as a ‘Muslim country’ by the definition used above (and have added a caveat to that effect, which I meant to first time around), but the area I visited was predominantly Muslim.

  19. Philip Hansen says

    Hey Alex!

    I just have a small question – I’ve read through most of your brilliant article, and I just wanted to clear this question up before I get to the end and forget it.
    It might be a semantic point, but I would use Allah to describe the Islamic god, rather than just god. Not because it sounds foreign, but because to my mind – even though the abrahamic religions all supposedly have the same god, the god demands different things of different people. Hence, I would use Allah to denote god as understood and described in Islam, God for the christian version (which I know, is ethnocentric of me, but practical) and Yeshua (is it Yeshua?) for the Jewish version.

    To me, this is a fair distinction, but I’m interested in your take on that – whether it’s just borderline racist for Condell to do because of context, or regardless of context?

    Sincerely Thanks

  20. says

    @Philip Hansen (#23)

    Apologies Philip, meant to respond to this when I first saw it but it slipped my mind.

    There is, agreed, a place for saying ‘Allah’ in certain contexts where the God of the Qur’an needs to be distinguished from the God of other Abrahamic texts. The point, I suppose, isn’t to avoid ever< .i> saying ‘Allah’, so much as to question and examine one’s motives in saying it unnecessarily. As you say, it’s about context and intent.

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