During the Marriage Law Postal Survey, the left viewed their most homophobic opponents as being the Australia Christian community and reserved their most vicious abuse for the head of the Australia Christian Lobby Lyle Shelton which was one of the leading organisations in the Coalition for Marriage campaign.
However, when the survey results were released it highlighted that most of the opposition to same sex marriage came from the predominantly multicultural areas of Western Sydney, some of which had a high Muslim population. It was an unpleasant fact for the left as it demonstrated that their twin goals of a multicultural Australia and LGBT freedoms could not coexist.
Of course, Islam just doesn’t preach that homosexuality is immoral, it persecutes and commits acts of violence against homosexuals. This was highlighted yet again in an ABC 7.30 story which featured a Gay Imam who wanted to open Australia’s first LGBT friendly mosque.
Nur Warsame lost everything when he came out as gay in 2010 and in Islam repenting for sin like homosexuality means death ‘I mean you are talking about an ideology that believes in your repentance is to be killed as a gay person. Your repentance is to be killed.’
7.30 visited a support group for gay Muslims called Sydney Queer Muslims which included one member who the President described as ‘he is so scared that the parents would be able to track him down to this story, and kill him’.
7.30 also interviewed another gay Muslim Hussain Hawli who described what happened to him after he came out as gay to his family ‘I was physically beaten by extended family members and it was the most depressing part, time of my life. When you’re physically hurt by people in your family and it’s beating the gay out of you’.
The story also featured an interview with Islamic community leader Kuranda Seyit who defended Islam’s position on homosexuality ‘Firstly, there is nothing wrong with sticking by your principles. As a Muslim, my faith teaches me that homosexuality is not permissible, and we stand by that. The Muslim community stands by that position’.
Although he did condemn violence against gay Muslims ‘If somebody is threatening to kill that person or to beat them, it’s just as bad and so I think you can’t justify a sin with a sin, you know.
The story finished by going back to Nur Warsame’s dangerous new life where he now steers clear of all mosques for his own safety and he offers spiritual services to other gay Muslims out of cafes and restaurants where he must always have security.
He also took 7.30 to a location in Melbourne’s inner south east where he wants to open Australia’s first LGBT friendly mosque which will double as a safe house for LGBT Muslims who face immediate violence if they come out to their families.
Warsame’s experience is similar to that of other gay Muslims. In the United Kingdom the first Muslim man to wed in a same sex marriage received death threats and other forms of abuse from fellow Muslims. Police in Saudi Arabia have just arrested everyone involved in a video which depicted a gay wedding scene. Saudi Arabia is governed by sharia law which has the death penalty for homosexuality.
LGBT rights advocates in Australia would do their best to steer their resources to helping LGBT Muslims escape the persecution and violence they face from their families and Islamic communities. They may also want to call out the homophobia in the Islamic community which is far worse than that allegedly coming from the Christian community. The safety of gay Muslims depends on their willingness to confront this unpleasant truth.