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30.11.07

South Africa's MJC Issues a Hukum (Judgement) against "Gay Justifiers." We are now Murtads (Apostates)

It is official. The powerful Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) of South Africa has issued a hukum or judgement, much like a fatwa, calling people like myself and Muhsin murtads, or apostates. The sin of apostasy carries the death penalty in many schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Muhsin has just told me that as he attended Friday prayers at a local mosque in Cape Town, the entire Khutbah (or Friday sermon) was against the film and him, in particular. Muhsin is a hero for so many of us: to sit and listen to a sermon that denounces you is an act of courage that has few parallels. Muhsin sat through the entire sermon and did his prayers, as he always does. I reproduce below the Report from The Voice of the Cape Website posted on the 26th of November, 2007 about the rising controversy in South Africa. I request that you all post comments here so that we can compile them and send them to the MJC and invite those who pass judgment to come and see the film in large numbers when we screen theatrically in South Africa in 2008.

Support for murtad hukum on gay justifiers
Posted on: 26/11/2007 09:13:41
Following a hukum read out on Friday in most Western Cape mosques by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), 80% of those polled by VOC agreed that people who justified homosexuality as being acceptable were out of the fold of Islam. 7% agreed to some extent while 13% disagreed with this ruling. The hukum followed after the MJC liaised with other ulema in the country to reach consensus on the issue.

In the statement, the MJC declared that any Muslim who �rejects the clear injunction of Islam on the homosexuality and believes it to be right, acceptable or correct, is regarded as out of the fold of Islam and such a person is decreed to be at murtad (an apostate). In conformity with centuries of unambiguous and clear evidence from the Glorious Quran, the Sunnah and the consensus of the scholars of Islam, the MJC condemns the practise of homosexuality, the inclination towards it and its lifestyle. The meeting unanimously reaffirmed the decision of its Fatwa Committee that the practise of homosexuality is haraam (forbidden and abominable).

The announcement comes after a gay Muslim documentary film,Parvez Sharma's Jihad for love showed earlier this month at the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival drew a wide response. The outrage was irked on especially after VOC raised it on air 10 days ago to question whether films of this nature helped the Muslim community to deal with the repercussions of homosexuality.

It was the second time this year that VOC looked at homosexuality and comes after a debate on VOCs Pichara where the focus was on what the Quran and hadith said on homosexuality. The point that most outraged Muslims was a claim made Imam Muhsin Hendricks of the local gay lobby group, Inner-Circle, one of the gay Muslims featured in the documentary, who said that the traditional texts had to be reinterpreted in terms of homosexuality.

According to the MJC who had distanced itself from the Open Line @ 9 show on 16 November, it had been flooded with complaints from the public after the broadcast. But the broadcast had also provided the ulema body with an opportunity to address the prevalence of homosexuality in its midst. While the South Africa's liberal constitution assured homosexuals the right to exist and even marry, the ulema body said it was still within its right to offer Muslims guidance on the Shariah perspective on the matter.

However, not everyone agreed the hukum. It is a very, very dangerous thing to do to issue a hukum of murtad on someone. We must take care not to cast people with whom we differ from the fold of Islam. We are only now beginning to learn how to debate with dignity, thanks in part to the issues that our media like VOC are raising. If we are not careful, we run the risk of returning to the bad old days when we were too quick to call someone who held different views a mushriq or kafir,� one concerned member of the public said.

But comments have also come from other side of the fence. "I would like to commend VOC as a community radio station for living up to its name - being a platform for debate to the community. Yes, LGBTQ people are a part of this community. I ask of my fellow Muslims what is it that makes them so uncomfortable about this topic that they want to resort to violence and threats. I would also like to know what is so offensive about the documentary that it can evoke this type of a response from my fellow Muslims. I am a gay Muslim woman and have been living this lifestyle for the past 28 years. I have experienced the pain of being a gay Muslim and I have seen the pain of others trying to deal with their sexual orientation homophobia from family, friends and the community.

Believe me, this is not a life anyone would want to choose. I have come to terms with who I am but I have always prayed to be normal, but you know this was not meant for me. I know of people who thought they had a choice; their choice was to hide their sexual persuasion, live a life of deceit. As far as the community is concerned they probably made the right choice. I ask right for who? We are not asking for the world to be gay; we are only asking for our human rights and to be allowed to practice our religion as we are all spiritual beings. Shukran to VOC for starting this debate. I feel as community we can only grow by listening and debating dissenting views. We are not strangers we are your family and sisters and brothers in Islam"
she concluded. VOC

Karan Singh from Montreal writes in on FaceBook:
"Hi Parvez,
I was at a screening of your film in Montreal...I just wanted to say what a great effort it was.....it was both courageous and inspiring.
Best with this and all your future efforts.
karan."

CR Davies writes in here:
"Is Islam really so fragile that things like homosexuality and "provocatively" named teddy bears threaten to destroy the religion's very core? Whatever happened to the tradition of debate and reasoned inquiry, not to mention the concept of compassion and the appreciation of all God's creatures? Condemnations fly from every direction, and one could scarcely be blamed nowadays for thinking Islam is the religion of the intolerant. Congratulations, Mr. Sharma, on making a courageous, beautiful, and necessary film. My prayers and support are with you, with Muhsin Hendricks, and with all the subjects in your film, as you chip away at the walls of ignorance, hatred, and bigotry. "

And the last word belongs to Faheem from Cape Town :
"Hello to all and Salam to all Muslim people. I would like to express my disgust in the growth of this sinful and demoralising activity - homosexuality.
I have read the interview by Hassan Mirza to yourself Parvez and although this conversation is intelectually and homosexually appetizing to all your gay readers and fans, its definitely not applaud-able to any sensible muslim or non-muslim.
You claim to be the first person to break the walls of silence in defense of gays when the gay issue has not been silent at all. The stench of its gaping hole has long been opposed in the Holy Quran. When you say that you dont have a choice to be muslim, you actually have made a concious choice not to obey Islam publically. Islam means to submit to Allahs laws and will.
Just rememebr that our Prophet muhammad SAW has left for us a complete religion and what you are doing is nothing but distorting and corrupting the minds of many young people who choose to be misguided by you willingly or through their vulnerability.
You should take some time off and really make a conscious decision as to what you really want to happen to you once the two Angels appear in your grave.
Allah is Most Forgiving and he forgives all sins except Shirk (making partners with Him). I dont know if these words wil ever reach your heart but please take not of the following...
If gays assume that Islam has a place for homosexuality then why do the laws of Mahram and non-Mahram apply to women and men relationships? If you have to cover your Auwrah (portion of your body between navel and knees) from other strange women and males, and women in turn have to cover their whole body except hands and face from strange men, then how would these laws apply to gay or lesbian people? If the Quran or hadeeth does not advise us on these issues then who will be brave/ignorant enough to add to the pure wording and guidance from the Quran?
If gay people say that people shouldnt assume that they have anal intercourse, then what is it that they desire in same gender relationships, as all humans have the natural tendencies of carnal desires. So what leads to Haraam is Haraam and inhibiting or encouraging homosexuality will only encourage anal sexual intercourse isnt it? This type of intercourse is strictly forbidden in Islam between unmarried / married heterosexual couples. Needless to say that if this is Haraam for heterosexuals, then what is there left for gay 'muslims' to deny/justify?
You need to make ghusl, and then make Toubah (return to Allah in forgiveness) and say your Kalimah again and start immediately promoting the correct beliefs which Allah has instructed us with.
No man or woman is born gay/lesbian. It is a conscious decision you have made and do not blame Allah for your shortcomings.
Allah knows best. May He guide and protect us from our infallibility."

There is always a difference between how Muslims who see the film respond, and those who condemn the film's very existence without seeing it. Seiraj from Cape Town writes:
"Hello
Saw the film in Johannesburg, what an achievement - Parvez, Sandi, Muhsin and everyone else involved: thankyou for an important film that will divide opinion but generate much-needed debate.
My mom is in Cape Town and would like to see the film. I see I've missed the Out in Africa film festival dates in CT, will the film be shown again soon in CT?
best wishes
Sieraaj"

And then this from Rashid, who I am not sure has seen the film:

Dear "Faheem from Cape Town":
As a gay man, (yes, openly proud, too) I take very strong offense to your statement that being gay is a conscious, morally outrageous decision, and that no one is born gay or lesbian. As if anyone would choose to receive such condemnation as you provide! If you're not gay yourself, how dare you get into the minds of and speak on behalf of those who are? How would you know anything about what it is to be gay? Furthermore, if, as you say so confidently, "Allah knows best," then STOP usurping His authority and making judgments on His behalf. Are you not being blasphemous yourself by assuming His role here on Earth as His designated spokesperson? For shame!

5 comments:

C.R. Davies said...

Is Islam really so fragile that things like homosexuality and "provocatively" named teddy bears threaten to destroy the religion's very core? Whatever happened to the tradition of debate and reasoned inquiry, not to mention the concept of compassion and the appreciation of all God's creatures? Condemnations fly from every direction, and one could scarcely be blamed nowadays for thinking Islam is the religion of the intolerant. Congratulations, Mr. Sharma, on making a courageous, beautiful, and necessary film. My prayers and support are with you, with Muhsin Hendricks, and with all the subjects in your film, as you chip away at the walls of ignorance, hatred, and bigotry.

Rashid said...

Dear "Faheem from Cape Town":

As a gay man, (yes, openly proud, too) I take very strong offense to your statement that being gay is a conscious, morally outrageous decision, and that no one is born gay or lesbian. As if anyone would choose to receive such condemnation as you provide! If you're not gay yourself, how dare you get into the minds of and speak on behalf of those who are? How would you know anything about what it is to be gay? Furthermore, if, as you say so confidently, "Allah knows best," then STOP usurping His authority and making judgments on His behalf. Are you not being blasphemous yourself by assuming His role here on Earth as His designated spokesperson? For shame!

Lynn said...

This is great info to know.

Anonymous said...

TAL says: I was seriously disgusted at the program, there is no room in Islam for homosexuality, Gay Muslims as they call themselves should be killed - no, upon considering this, they would ludicrously count this as martyrdom, they should be left to run naked in a field with a pack of cayotes (unfed for days) chasing at them, hunting them down, mutilating and devouring them in front of their families, for this is the punishment that is adequate for their liking. God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, so any men on men or women on women activity is a psychological illness that has been brought into existence through satanic influences and whispers.

Anonymous said...

TAL also says: and Parvez Sharma is going to die such a bad death, one that will startle those that dared to support him. Watch out paddy! every Devout Muslim from here to Azerbaijan will be hot on your trails trying to rid you from the face of this earth, we know what you look like so I guess thats a start. If ever I see you and your homo-herd in public I'm going to beat the shit out of you all, I'm going to tie a noose around your bits collectively, tie the other end to the tow bar of my car and drive off leaving you with out your pistols.

Followers

This JIHAD IS ON FIRE

September 2007 is when I started (with a finished film, my first) and now some 49 countries and 8 million people later, the whole world is talking. The movement around this work has begun worldwide. We will be screening next year around the world and yes in Muslim countries as well.

For more updates email me at parvezsharmaATgmailDOTcom and post your comments here as well.


Imam Muhsin Hendricks and his website for the Inner Circle

Director/Producer Parvez Sharma

Director/Producer Parvez Sharma
All the Breaking News around 'A Jihad for Love' is at this blog address. You can email Parvez directly at parvezsharmaATgmailDOTcom

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