‘Homosexuals’ Need To Educate Conservative SG Muslims

This is a response to the recent posting made by Azman Ivan Tan who asserted that homosexuals are “delusional”.

Sexual identity and religion are sensitive and contradictory issues in Singapore. Only a few are willing to discuss them open-mindedly. Most are likely to say that having a different sexual preference is a perversion of religion and a betrayal of human nature or social norms.

The strict adherence to the varied messages that can be taken from the Quran, and the staunch opposition to homosexuality that exists within the Islamic faith, form the foundation of many of the issues that LGBT Muslims face.

But there are still some in the Muslim community who feel that homosexuality is a “delusion”, a “mental illness” or a “phenomenon”, and who stress an avoidance of one’s homosexual desires in an effort to keep in line with their Islamic beliefs. Fellow Muslim brothers Azman Ivan Tan and Ustaz Noor Deros who started this Wear White Movement have clearly illustrated this in the most unpalatable way.

The notion of being gay and Muslim at the same time is very tough when we see how stereotypical views about gay people are still present in our society. Most people grossly conflate gayness with pedophilia, promiscuity, social pathology and other stigmas.

It is therefore imperative to foster dialogue between religious groups and gay communities to bridge the difference. Instead of renouncing gay people as deviant, religious groups should embrace them and learn how to synchronize their situation with Islam.

Gay people, therefore, need to explain their situations sincerely by either coming out in public when they are ready for it, or feeling comfortable with their personal state before expecting society to understand them.

In fact, two-way communication to bring different perspectives about sexual identity and to convey the message that it is a fluid concept should be encouraged in order to create commonalities among components of society.

The stigma still exists. It will take time to change that.

Azman Ivan Tan Shariff

Authored by Ash lee




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