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Saturday, 16 August 2008

And some good news . . .

Being Muslim and being gay just don't sit comfortably together, as we know. In fact, some people have been known to be hanged just for being gay. Even if you're young, handsome and confident and in a Western-style kind of job, you have to keep one foot inside the closet, it seems.

I'm glad to read some good news – with that above reservation – from South Africa. It's in The Times (SA) and concerns a Muslim web designer who's decided to come out. And he feels happier for it. Good for him, say I.

The paper tells us:

Naufal Khan, 27 of Sandton – the brains behind the Gay Desi section of the Indian lifestyle website – said his decision had been prompted by “overwhelming support” for gay and lesbian people worldwide.

Despite coming out of the closet, Khan says he hasn’t been able to utter the words “I am gay” to his parents.

“I think it would be too much for them to handle. Rather let it be unofficial, like every other Indian family. My mom knows I am gay, but my dad is not very accepting, nor are any of my family members,” he said.

Not surprising, really, is it, when all a belief system has to go on is desiccated old scriptures written at a time when such proscriptions may – may – have made some kind of social or economic sense (as perhaps – perhaps – may have been the case in Leviticus)?

“Being Indian was the first hurdle," says Khan. "The second was being Muslim. I really did not want the mullah factory on my heels, trying to make me see the light that my ‘affliction’ was curable [. . .] My cousin nearly choked on his meal when I told him I’m gay.”

He said his cousin’s response was, “I don’t agree with it, and Islam doesn’t as well.”

Well it's time Islam learned that it's here, it's staying, it's natural and bloody Islam had just better get used to it.

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