A Letter to the Muslim Community

Dear Muslim Community,

As of 2011, we still suffer from racism in America. Muslims suffer from the ignorance of those who do not understand Islam. It has aimed to keep us silent and submissive. By not voting, engaging and challenging the American society we have allowed these misconceptions to exist and perpetuate.
We have allowed our youth to believe in these racist and Islamophobic falsehoods because we are silent. These falsehoods are exacerbated by the problems that paralyze and ravage the Muslim community. As a teenager I blamed Islam for sexism. I saw how the women in my family were disempowered and oppressed. My Muslim community used Islam to perpetuate the same sexist ideologies. I was not given a decent Islamic education. I was not given a safe space to express my concerns and questions about Islam. So I foolishly bought into the American Islamophobic society’s idea that women are not respected because of Islam.

I would not write this letter if my experience was isolated; it is shared. The Muslim community suffers from sexism, patriarchy, Islamophobia, racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and transphobia. I ask you to reconsider the messages you are sending the Muslim youth about gender and sexuality. These messages are harming Muslim women, gender queer, questioning, transgendered, and men.

Muslim men must acknowledge their privilege and be a part of the gender revolution. They must understand that this system harms all persons including themselves. Muslim women must demand equality from their sons, fathers, brothers, husbands, grandfathers, uncles and acknowledge the problems of Muslim masculinity. Muslim women and men must acknowledge and stand by their fellow queer, questioning, lesbian, transgendered, gay, intersexual, and bisexual Muslims.

We must mobilize with our fellow Muslims to demand an end to intolerance, hate, ignorance, and inequality. I ask you to create supportive networks to start this movement. I ask you to question and challenge ideologies that aim to oppress and marginalize people. We can do this by challenging Islamic religious leaders who provide a male dominated and interpretation of Islamic text. We must challenge our Islamic studies teachers who shut down discourse about sexuality and gender. We must write so that our voices and experiences are acknowledged. the Qur’an says, “…When you speak, speak with justice, even if it is against someone close to you…” (Quran 6:152). We should speak and act with justice by making our voices heard. This speaks to Gloria Anzaldua who once said, “I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent’s tongue – my woman’s voice, my sexual voice, my poet’s voice. I will overcome the tradition of silence.” Our prophet Muhammad (s) has liberated us by breaking down many misconceptions about gender. Muhammad (s) has allowed people to reconnect with their hearts. The Muslim community must reconnect with their hearts to challenge systems of inequality! We must become liberated through our writing and open discourse!

The time has come to dismantle these systems of oppression and inequality! We need to stand up our right to live free lives.

We believe in protecting our fellow Muslims right to a life free of oppression and domination.

We are Sisters Breaking Barriers in hopes of creating a future full of happiness, peace, freedom, equality, strength and solidarity.

Muslim Sexuality

Salam,

Please check out this video. http://huriyahmag.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=33

It discusses the hardship Muslims reconciling their queer or lesbian identity with religion.

Yasmeen

Queer Muslim Revolution

Hey Everyone,

I have one more link for all of you to look at. http://queermuslimrevolution.blogspot.com/

I suggest looking at their bookstore section.

Yasmeen

Huriyah

Hey Everyone,

Check this blog out and let me know what you think!
http://huriyahmag.blogspot.com/2009/08/hijab-unveiling-queer-muslim-lives.html

Yasmeen

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