Homophobia Is Not a Muslim Teaching

Published: November 19, 2013

 This is the second year when columnists at the Calgary Herald have raised alarm at the speakers invited by the Muslim Council of Calgary. Last year concerns were raised about the homophobia espoused by Dr. Bilal Philips and this year it is Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick, who is scheduled to speak on the November 29 weekend at the University of Calgary.

The objectives of the Muslim Council include providing leadership and guidance to Muslims of Calgary. However, it is not clear whether their choice of speakers is helping to combat Muslim stereotypes or to build bridges with other communities.
It is also not clear whether the Council speaks for all Muslim traditionalists or only those who ascribe to their viewpoints on Islam. 
Does the Council represent other groups if they deem them Muslim enough, such as Shias, Ismailis, Ahmadiyya, apart from progressive, leftist, liberal, secular, feminist, LGBTIQ and Universalist Muslim groups? 
Muslim preachers like Philips and Quick have been noted to fuel hatred against the minority LGBTIQ community. However, some conservative Muslims have defended them by equating the promotion of homophobia with freedom of religious expression.
Sidelining the concern of the LGBTIQ community that the invitation to homophobic speakers exposes them to contempt, these conservative Muslims have expressed concerns about Muslim civil liberties and have accused the Calgary Herald columnists of promoting Islamophobia. 
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms grants conservative Muslims the freedom to abide by their personal moral laws, but it does not grant them the right to expose another minority group to contempt. 
Should it surprise us that this behaviour of taking but not giving of some conservative Muslims ends up perpetuating the stereotype of the "Muslim supremacist"? Does not such moral stinginess lead to a vicious cycle of hate, where homophobia leads to Islamophobia? 
Borrowing from the octogenarian Muslim scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, it seems that such conservative Muslims adopt a negative approach by blaming others for their predicament, instead of working positively through a "merciless introspection."
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