News · Overseas

British Muslims launch first ever pride festival.

brit

British Muslims are launching their first ever pride festival at a time when the community is ‘under attack more than ever’. The festival hopes to celebrate what it means to be LGTBQI and Muslim and how they do ‘not have to choose’ between both identities. LGBTQI charity Imaan is putting on the event to mark the 20 years it’s spent supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans Muslims. The show of solidarity follows ongoing anti-LGBT education protests outside primary schools in Birmingham. Some Muslim parents expressed outrage at relationship and sex education (RSE) being taught as part of the national Equality Act. Several parents launched a campaign against the educational materials, claiming it is an affront to their religious beliefs, specifically targeting the ‘No Outsiders’ programme and its creator Andrew Moffat. Lesbian campaigner Anjum Mauj said the ‘furore’ over RSE is bringing out more homophobia in the Muslim community. She told Metro.co.uk: ‘Homophobes are being emboldened by lack of leadership anywhere so Imaan is stepping into that position. Imaan Muslim LGBTQI support group is launching the event (Picture: Getty)‘The current political climate, together with Brexit, migrant crisis, Boris, and Trump has emboldened Islamophobes too. ‘As LGBTQI Muslims we are caught in the middle. ‘On the occasion of our 20th anniversary it’s a very apt time to celebrate with a LGBTQI Muslim festival and celebrate our unique identities and bring some joy into the world.’ Anjum, who is a trustee at Imaan, said it’s absolutely vital to have an LGTBQI voice for Muslims. She said: ‘We have thousands of members at Imaan and many of them are not able to come out. ‘When I was growing, we were just not having conversations about sex and relationships. The solidarity follows ongoing anti-LGBT education protests outside primary schools in Birmingham (Picture: Getty)‘So to then talk about sexual orientation or something else was hugely problematic. ‘I was out to my family from a very young age and when I made the decision to get married to my partner, my mother was very upset about it. ‘She didn’t want to tell the rest of her Muslim community. And she still is in that zone of “what will the community say?” ‘I’ve grown up in a really loving and vibrant and inclusive community so it’s very painful to feel that I need to hide part of myself.’

British Muslims launch first ever pride festival

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s