When we last signal boosted My Chacha is Gay, we found another example of the unenviable position between white progressivism and Islam that many ex-Muslims find themselves in. Eiynah, a Pakistani-Canadian blogger, wrote the children’s book to address homophobia within Islam. For a brief time it was taken up by Toronto public schoolboards, before both conservative Islamic parents and white liberals complained. While it ought to be recognised by white progressives that we have a delicate balancing act critiquing oppression within an oppressed minority in the North American context, there shouldn’t be any excuse for stifling conversation that comes from said community.
It wasn’t just a blend of extremist Muslims and run-of-the-mill internet shitheads (though of course there were plenty of those). A lot of ordinary Muslim Canadians were mad as well. “In Toronto, a radio show broadcast calls from angry parents, punctuated with a few obligatory calls from people defending the book. Some parents threatened to sue the school board, and predictably, the LGBT-supporting liberal school board backed away from the book. It was never used in an official capacity again.”
Eiynah continues: “The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) published a blog post claiming that the school board was the one bullying parents into teaching their kids about LGBT diversity. I was branded an ‘Islamophobe,’ and that was it. A resource that many children/teachers enjoyed and found useful was no longer available.” And while it’s crazy that acknowledging the existence of gay people was perceived as an attack on a religion, it’s kind of understandable that the Muslim community was hypersensitive to attack …
Read more here.