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How the West was won: An analysis of the Gay Rights Movement Part 2

Queer and Everywhere

The past two decades have seen wave after wave of the gay movement’s visibility and‘victories’ in many forms. Perhaps ‘revolution’ is more apt when describing this change in attitudesrather than ‘movement’. There has not been just one method or medium of acquiring rights, instead the movement is like the hydra-headed snake; each head achieving the aim of furthering the cause within a society more susceptible to accepting this message. While this summary may seem to  imply  a shadowy master plan to further the gay cause, that doesn’t have to be the case. We must remember that  homosexuality isintrinsically reprehensible to the soul and the fitrah. Those that further its cause may not always be in step ( though they often are), but rather their outward projections are a result of an internal conspiracy with their own nafs and with the aid of shayaateen.

In that sense, this is what clearly marks out the gay movement, from the right to an education regardless of being African-American in America, or the right not be abused by your husband’s family in rural India. It is a movement based on al-fawaahishthat tries desperately to be counted as a victim of unjustified prejudice. Lets viewThe no-nonsense Guide to Sexual Diversity,a typical modern-day survey of homosexuality, doubling as a manifesto for gay politics. In its chapter, ‘Homophobia – roots and shoots’, it classes opposition to homosexuality as combining Young-Bruehl’s classification of ‘primary prejudices’ – ‘sexism, racism and anti-semitism’ – with ‘obsessional prejudices’ which are ‘hysterical’ and ‘narcissistic’.[1] The author goes on to cite ‘anecdotal evidence’ that those opposing homosexuality are ‘repressing their own sexuality.’[2]

Defining the opposition according to your own terms serves the dual purpose of both demonising them and strengthening the identity of your own movement. That opposition is often faith-based, but the gay movement’s relationship with religion has been more subtle than simple enmity. In 1994, Nelson Mandela used his inaugural Presidential Address to declare support for gay rights.[3] Thereafter, the post-apartheid South African state has done so consistently.[4] One of the main reasons cited for this, apart from the ANC leaders influenced by their exile in the west, has been the very “progressive” nature of the Anglican Church in South Africa.[5] In 1960s America, Michael Itkin in was just one of a number attempting to find a “gay spirituality” within Christianity with greater links to the pacifism and civil rights movement.[6]

The clear example of the punishment of Soddom has been reinterpreted by liberal priests as a tale of deviant hospitality rather than homosexuality, with slanderous claims against Prophet Lutused to undermine the true moral of the story.[7] The Catholic church, which has been traditionally more opposed to homosexuality, has often been rebuffed as abuses by their own priests are pointed out, making it difficult for them to articulate an opposition to homosexuality in the public sphere.[8] Progressive whittling away of Christianity’s essence has meant that now the debate has shifted away from homosexuality being a ‘sin’ to the surreal prospect of ‘actively’ gay bishops, something that the gay rights movement sees as a ‘key battleground’.[9] Conservatives (small ‘c’ or otherwise) cannot oppose homosexuality because that is now “bigotry”, instead the debate against gay marriage is based on arguments such as whether marriage can be consummated, due to the requirement in law of “emission of seed”.[10] Gay supporters recognize such attempts as ‘the traditional reactionary tack of nit picking over technicalities’[11] because ‘fortunately, we are now at a point where homosexuals do –for virtually all practical purposes – enjoy equal treatment under the law.’[12]

Interestingly the attempt to manipulate religion from the inside has now turned to Islam. Here the No- Nonsense Guide lays out the task:

The Qur’an is being re-examined by feminist and gay, or gay friendly, theologians and believers in order to break the monopoly of male homophobic interpretation.[13]

The gay movement’s relationship with feminist organizations such as Women Living under Islamic Law is a close one; they form a nexus in which the fight for gay rights is a proxy for a liberalization of traditional conservative attitudes in Muslim countries and undermining the basis of the Religion. Therefore the insistence from one “Muslim” activist that ‘Islam should be viewed as a vibrant faith which did not cease to evolve upon the death of the Prophet’[14]sallallahualaihiwasalam (my prayer not theirs), goes hand in hand with the astute observation from gay activists that the ‘basic circumstances [for gay rights] are best created from inside the religion itself.’[15]

The campaign for gay rights that is directed towards, and from within, Muslim countries is far more than a group of individuals continuing a sinful act in a clandestine waywhilst acknowledging it to be deviated from natural sexual conduct. It is a move to import the western view of a “lifestyle” to the religious world, where homosexuality exists but is largely an act not a state of being.[16] However, international organizations can use the internet to aid a “planetary minority”[17], making solidarity and group organisation far easier in poorer countries where gay rights movements are primitive and precarious.[18] The disparity in attitudes can be seen when countries come together on the international stage. In 2003 at a UN assembly, Brazil brought a motion to ban discrimination based on sexuality, which was blocked, mostly by Muslim nations and the Vatican.[19] This may become increasingly harder; in 2006 Norway and 54 states read a statement condemning human rights violations against people based on sexual orientation.[20]

The Science of Justifying Desires

The question of whether homosexuals are ‘born this way’ has been a central part of the gay narrative and has varied according to need and strategy.[21] From the 19th century, early writers on the issue of homosexuality used the medical terminology of science. In 1864 Karl Ulrichs, a gay academic, published Researches on The Riddle of ‘man-manly love’, attempting to use embryological facts, such as the undifferentiated states of male and female embryos in early development, as an explanation for sexual orientation.[22] This research was used by British doctor Havelock Ellis in 1897, who used it to coin the phrase ‘sexual inversion’, describing an inborn gender abnormality, in his synonymous study.[23] It informed the view of homosexuality as an abnormality which was perverse, criminal and deficient. The same arguments that could be used to plead sympathy for a minority could be used against them as the gay co-author of Sexual Inversion realized after publication.[24]

In the 1960s, radical activists fought against this idea ‘on the basis that it was a choice made by rational adults in a free society.’[25]  This informed their view of  the gay campaign as not just about acceptance, but about fundamentally widening the view of relationships as more than just between man and a woman, and creating the platform for ‘experimentation’. From the 1980s onwards, scientific interest and research in homosexuality grew, mostly from homosexuals and their sympathasizers. The search for a ‘gay gene’ has been central to this research and linked to the now necessary part of the gay narrative arsenal – that homosexuality was just as intrinsic as heterosexuality.[26] The search continued out to the animal kingdom where supposed homosexual behavior amongst animals has been used to show the “naturalness” of homosexuality. In 2007 The Natural History Museum of Oslo hosted an exhibition showing such homosexual activity in its ‘Against Nature?’ exhibition.[27]

Things have come full circle today. When Sex and the City actor Cynthia Nixon suggested that she had chosen to be a lesbian[28] some gay rights activists were in uproar; but that anger which would have been necessary a few years ago now seems rather dated. Many gays do not care whether someone chooses to be gay or not so long as they have the ‘freedom for consenting, rational adults, to live their lives as they see fit’… unrestricted by the state’.[29]They do not have to care; there is no longer the need for the solidarity that insistence on being ‘born gay’ gave to homosexuals. In fact, as Peter Tatchell – perhaps Britain’s most prominent gay rights activist – puts it, moving away from the “born gay” consensus is an opportunity for a more ‘enlightened, gay affirming society where more people might be inclined to explore same sex desire.’[30]

Queer Apocalypse

NowEvery ‘rights’ movement has to contend with the post-victory. Most often elements within the movement that emphasize greater goals die off when a period of comfort sets in. One could ask, if the ultimate goal of every nation is to return to Allah then has the American Civil Rights movement, for example, achieved ‘moral rights’ for African Americans after ‘civil rights’? This question can only be based upon the founding principles of any movement and applies to opposition as well as movement. When we analyse how dramatically things have changed in terms of attitudes in this country, we should only be surprised if we think that those principles were clear, stable and honoured to begin with. Now that gays have won equal rights so easily, there is plenty of interest and energy to carry on and change society with their own goals; the further pursuit of desires. Consider how much things have changed since 1924: In the debate to amend the Sexual Offences bill to include “any act of gross indecency between female persons” as well as men, The Earl of Malmesbury apologized for raising the subject because it was “a discussion upon what must be, to all of us, a most disgusting and polluting subject.”[31]

We are now living in a ‘post-queer world’, where it is almost socially impolite for a gay person to feel like an embittered minority, so blaze are younger generations about the prevalence of gay culture. Things have indeed turned on their head, here is Peter Tatchell demanding equal rights for heterosexuals:

David Cameron mistakenly calculated that we would be satisfied with marriage equality. We won’t. So long as heterosexual couples remain banned from civil partnerships.[32]

There are several facets of this brave new world that are worthy of thought for the future. The fight for gay rights has not been in isolationbut is intertwined with a secularism that seeks to untangle a moral criteria centered on belief. Gay rights activistsrecognise this, so whilst demanding complete equality of marriage rights, they seek to encourage a move away from marriage as the central sexual relationship in society. Gay activists are moving away from the battle for rights to think about influencing society in general, because ‘in a queer friendly society, the difference between homo and hetero loses significance…the movement becomes redundant.’ As one gay activist puts it, ‘we are braver…we have fewer family ties…we can lead the world.’[33] Consider the change of the‘Gay Liberation Front’ slogan from the 1970s, “gay is just as good as straight”,  to the more recent “gay is good.” Politicians have awoken long ago to the idea that gay equality ‘is the one modernising article of faith that can never be recanted…It’s become a lodestar for ‘are you comfortable in the 21st century?’,”[34]Through a mutually beneficial relationship with politicians, the gay movement has aligned itself with the liberal fundamentals of the modern democratic state.

The legal battles for victory have been won – with full publicity. Cultural change has followed and will continue. From ensuring that homosexual education is “introduced in different ways” in the classroom, to ensuring that gay role models enter the national consciousness. More profoundly, like every nation, the gay community has worked hard to develop  their own historical narrative byshowcasing homosexuality in societies across historical periods, including the apparently “flourishing literature of homosexual eroticism” in medieval Islamic culture.[35] This is crucial to gay identity because ‘queer histories help gay and transgender people discover a sense of culture and continuity.’[36]

The gay rights movement is not a ‘rights’ movement anymore than the ‘right’ to disobey God and the natural law He has placed on earth. By clothing itself so successfully in the language of ‘rights’it has helped untwine the moral fabric of society and cause it great, and possibly irreparable, damage.

Post-Script

On the 5th  February 2013, Parliament voted, by a majority of 400 to 175, to enact the Marriage (Same Sex) Couples Bill. Thereby delivering perhaps the final coup of what has been ‘perhaps the fastest, most thorough and relatively painless social revolution in our history.’[37] This, no more than 46 years, after Parliament declared:

A homosexual act in private shall not be an offence provided that the parties consent thereto and have attained the age of sixteen years.[38]
How true Allah, Glory be to Him alone, is in speech:
And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.[39]

Muslims, and those who claim to worship God, should ponder His signs and not deny, or fight against them. He, the Almighty, the ever Wise, Also says:

And fear a trial which will not strike those who have wronged among you exclusively, and know that Allah is severe in penalty. [40]

We ask Allah to keep us on the Straight Path, in belief and action.

We ask him to forgive and protect us and our families, and to raise us amongst the Saaliheen.
Ameen

 

Notes:

Islam21c requests all the readers of this article, and others, to share it on your facebook, twitter, and other platforms to further spread our efforts.
[1] Baird, The No-Nonsense Guide, 81
[2]Ibid
[3] Ibid, 32
[4]Ibid
[5]Ibid
[6]Ibid, 108
[7]Ibid, 109
[8]Ibid, 110
[9]Ibid,
[10]http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/11/gay-marriage-beyond-argument
[11]Ibid
[12]Ibid
[13] Baird, The No-Nonsense Guide, 103
[14]Ibid,
[15]Ibid, 104
[16]Ibid,17-18
[17]Ibid, 23
[18]Ibid, 13
[19]Ibid, 12
[20] Ibid, 12-13
[21]http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/index.php/2012/session_detail/6791
[22] Baird, The No-Nonsense Guide, 25
[23]Ibid, 114-115
[24]Ibid 115
[25]http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/index.php/2012/session_detail/6791
[26] Baird, The No-Nonsense Guide, 121
[27]Ibid, 113
[28]http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/index.php/2012/session_detail/6791
[29]http://www.divamag.co.uk/category/comment/comment-why-cynthias-choice-matters.aspx
[30]http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/jun/28/borngayormadegay
[31]http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/14/raise-glass-gay-marriage-lives-better
[32]http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/02/gay-staight-couples-deserve-equality-now
[33]Session Audio, http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/index.php/2011/session_detail/5733
[34]http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/14/raise-glass-gay-marriage-lives-better
[35] Baird, The No-Nonsense Guide, 49
[36]Ibid, 58
[37]http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/14/raise-glass-gay-marriage-lives-better
[38]Sexual Offences Act 1967
[39] Surah Al Ma’idahAyat 47
[40]Surah Al-Anfal, Ayat 25

 

About Naveed Ashraf

8 comments

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  3. Thank you for this article
    Thank you for this article. You are spot on regarding how the gay rights revolution cloaks itself in the ‘rights’ terminology and gets itself accepted. This has effected our own muslim activists, such as one Inayat Bunglawalam, who although does some great things has fallen for this movement. After, many rebuttals of homosexuality as intrinsic, normal etc by many posters – he refused to rebut them apart from insisting that this act will reduce discrimination. Please read the post and the posters comments. http://inayatscorner.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/muslim-mps-were-right-to-vote-in-favour-of-gay-marriage/

  4. Protect our family
    Dear Sirs,
    I write as a fellow defender of faith and religious freedom. Please could I draw your attention to some very helpful legal interpretations on what this bill will mean legally for every man woman and child once SS marriage is legalised. This blog is very insightful and information regarding the arguments contained were submitted to the consultation on 6th March. I hope your faith community may benefit from its insights. http://gentlemind.blogspot.com/?m=1

  5. May Allah reward you Naveed.:) Good research and commentary. As an addendum I’d like to mention that I think you underestimatee the intention of the gay rights lobby.

    Cultural change has followed and will continue. From ensuring that homosexual education is “introduced in different ways” in the classroom, to ensuring that gay role models enter the national consciousness.

    perhaps, you have just presented the least worst case scenario. These expressions exist already to some degree. Minimally, in the medium term I predict they will seek to ensure that there is full consensus (regardless of previous cultural or religious reservations) that homosexuality is acceptable. Those who reject this will find that a range of punitive measures/sanctions will be applied in order to coerce them to accept this alternative ‘religion’. The ‘lakum deenakum walia deen’ approach Western Muslims have adopted is likely to be confronted.

    In the long term, I predict they will not be satisfied with coexistence whilst heterosexuality is predominant. I am confident they will seek eventual hegemony. The best and surest way of ensuring that gay rights are protected is to ensure that homosexuality is more mainstream and predominant than heterosexuality. The greatest challenge to this is belief in Allah and thus religion. In the long run, I predict they will not relent until their greatest historical adversary is defeated completely EVERYWHERE. If this means nullifying freedom of religion and conscience then so be it. This is a long term agenda and struggle. Secularism is a Trojan horse in order to ensure that this modern day ‘religion’ prevails.

    The above is just my human projections, based upon analysis of this ‘religion’. Inshallah my projections won’t prove valid. I also would like to qualify all statements above with Bi’ithnillah.

    Allah knows best

  6. How do we save our children?
    As-salaamu ‘Alaikum,

    What do sound-minded Muslims do to protect their children from this corruption which has entered the secular education system?

    May Allah protect us.

    Jazaakumullah khair!

  7. Jazaak Allahu Khairaa
    BaarakAllah Feek. What a fanastic article series! Theres hope for my Sociology degree.. but on a serious note, these two articles were well researched and referenced and bi’idhnillah will aid the muslims in understanding this movement and how to respond to such a topic if it comes up. May Allah azza wa jal accept this effort from the author and rectify our affairs.ameen

  8. Use simple English terminologies
    Everytime I want to read an article on this site I get the urge to close the page so quickly due to the frustration and anger I feel when I try to understand the content and try to explain terms that not everyone is familiar with.

    No need for so eloquent language in order to prove a point! So far I had to close the site few times because of this frustration, reading The Times or The Financial is far easier!

    The purpose of the site is present an easy content to the reader and attract the masses not speak to Oxford Academics

    Thanks I had to stop reading the article!

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