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Islamic Homophobia is Empowered by Leftist Silence

Bangash, Jimmy

Publisher:  Queer Majority
Date Written:  18/03/2021
Year Published:  2021  
Resource Type:  Article

This piece scrutinizes homophobia in the Muslim community and explores the left's reluctance to criticize it in a consistent and productive manner.It argues that the word Islamophobia is a deliberate conflation that blends criticism of an ideology (Islam) with criticism of a people (Muslims). This allows the silencing of any critics of Islam through the accusation of Islamophobia, which carries an inferred accusation of hatred against Muslims – something which would be far better described as Muslimophobia or anti-Muslim bigotry. Due to this conflation, the fear of being accused of Islamophobia makes individuals hesitant to highlight the abhorrent nature of Islamic homophobia, its theological roots, and the corresponding Islamic jurisprudence that results in the ongoing persecution of LGBT people.



a 2015 ICM poll found that 52% of British Muslims felt homosexuality should be illegal, with only 18% stating it should be legal. Equally damning was that 47% felt it was unacceptable for gay people to be allowed to work as teachers.

At an international level, the data around Islamic Homophobia is even more alarming. A 2013 PEW global study on Muslim Attitudes reported an almost unilateral condemnation of homosexuality in Muslim communities around the world. Countries expressing the highest acceptance of homosexuality among their Muslim population were Uganda (12%), Mozambique (11%), and Bangladesh (10%), with the other 37 countries, all Muslim-majority, polled showing less than 10%.

All 8 states or territories that mandate the death penalty for homosexuality are Muslim-majority. Among those that do not, many imprison people for being LGBT instead. All of these punishments are derived from mainstream interpretations of Sharia Law and Islamic Jurisprudence, which positions homosexuality as a major sin often equated to Sodomy and adultery. Where people are executed for the crime of being LGBT, the preferred methods of execution are public hanging or public stoning. Unsurprisingly, this international climate of execution and imprisonment encourages mob violence towards LGBT people.


In the West, honor culture – a community mechanism of social control in which coercive tactics such as shunning, loss of community status, and shaming are utilized to pressure family members to take corrective action against those who do not conform to Islamic rules – often thrives within Muslim communities.


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