Today, at the beginning of the Islamic New Year, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organisation, released a guide to help LGBT Muslims who are seeking to reconnect with their faith and build more inclusive communities.
Coming Home to Islam and To Self features the inspirational personal journeys of American Muslims, including a transgender woman who has maintained her Muslim identity and relationship with God; a lesbian seeking a path back from spiritual disillusionment; and two gay friends working patiently with their families to become more accepting and affirming.
The guide also provides advice and resources to help U.S. Muslims looking to engage with a faith that upholds, through traditional interpretations, the rejection of LGBTQ people, which encourages a culture of silence.
“The Qur’an teaches to embrace and celebrate the diversity of humanity, just as it teaches to fight for the rights of the oppressed,” said Rep. Keith Ellison, (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, and a contributor to the guide. “Our faith should inform the work we do to advance human rights and build a more just world. When Muslims around the world fight for civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people, they do it because of their faith – not in spite of it.
“Coming Home to Islam and To Self will be an excellent resource for LGBTQ Muslims. I’m proud to be a part of it,” Ellison said.
“This resource seeks to begin erasing the line drawn by jurists who deny LGBTQ faithful their rightful place in the mosaic of Islam’s pluralism,” said Michael Toumayan of the HRC Foundation’s Religion and Faith Program. “The New Year commemorates the Hijrah–Prophet Muhammad’s escape from persecution in Mecca to safety in Medina–a movement from oppression to freedom that resonates profoundly with the LGBTQ faithful.”
The Muslim guide is the third in a series of HRC “coming home” faith guides — a Catholic guide and general faith guide were released earlier; a guide for Jewish LGBTQ faithful will be issued in coming months. Coming Home to Islam and To Self contains myriad resources for the LGBT faithful and encourages them to join the conversation on Twitter at #welcomeushome and #LGBTMuslims.
More resources for LGBT Muslims and their allies can be found here.