The Islamic position on homosexuality has become one of the most sensitive issues facing Muslims living in the West, particularly in Europe.
The contours of this de facto European culture is in a state of constant flux, shifting according to the topic of the day. The contradiction is a serious one: The moral condemnation of homosexuality remains the majority opinion of all religions, and Islam is no exception. It would be senseless to wish to deny the facts, to contradict the textual sources and to force believers to perform intellectual contortions so that they can prove they are in tune with the times.
But the question is not whether one agrees with the religious texts, the beliefs and the convictions espoused by individuals. It is to determe what is appropriate behavior in the societies in which we live together. For more than twenty years I have been insisting—and drawing sharp criticism from some Muslim groups—that homosexuality is forbidden in Islam, but that we must avoid condemning or rejecting individuals.
This I have continued to affirm, and gone further still: Behavior considered reprehensible under the rules of morality cannot justify excommunication. There is no ambiguity, and ample clarity: European Muslims have the right to express their convictions while at the same time respecting the humanity and rights Islam tolerance homosexuality in japan individuals. If we are to be consistent, we must respect this attitude of faith and openness. Today we are witnessing an upsurge of unhealthy, ideology-driven movements.
Not only is such an attitude doomed to fail the majority trends in both traditional and reformist Islam, as in other religions, will never waver on this question but it also reveals a new dogmatism—and a whiff of colonialism, not to mention xenophobia—at the heart of so-called modern, progressive thought.
At first glance, this open, liberal thought would seem Islam tolerance homosexuality in japan warrant respect; but it reveals a troubling tendency to impose its own dogmas, leaving little or no room for the convictions of traditional philosophical, spiritual or religious world-views.
Betraying the ultimate goal of modernity, which should help us manage freedom and diversity, we are now told that there is only one way to be free and modern.
Both dogmatic and dogmatizing, this trend, in the name of liberal thought, is a dangerous one, and should alarm all women and all men, whether atheists, agnostics, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Christians or Muslims. It Islam tolerance homosexuality in japan at the very heart of our freedom of thought, of the most intimate aspects of our lives, of the ways we strive for social and intellectual emancipation.
Let us not delude ourselves. We, as societies, can choose to exacerbate these sensitive issues and to exploit the natural stresses created by the arrival of new immigrants to demonstrate the impossibility of integrating Muslims, and the danger they are said to represent.
There are political parties that may win elections by playing on these themes. The long term outcome will be to exacerbate social divisions, and will ultimately prove counterproductive. Social cohesion will become impossible, and daily life will be undermined by mistrust and insecurity.
It is time to stop playing this harmful game, and return to a more just and reasonable approach.