July 13, 2009

Scholar cites evidence for halal homosexuality

by David Masters

A leading Muslim academic has claimed that homosexuality is compatible with the tenets of Islamic faith.

Dr Amanullah De Sondy challenged Islamic orthodoxy, arguing that the same-sex relationships has historically been allowed (halal) in the Muslim tradition.

Conservative Muslims refuse to acknowledge the historical evidence, De Sondy said, because they are “deeply homophobic”.

“Homosexuality is not incompatible with Islam,” De Sondy said in an interview with the Sunday Times.

“The two can and have co-existed. The important thing is to link it with living a good life and creating a good society.”

The 29-year-old, who will shortly take up a new teaching post at Ithaca College in New York State, added: “If you ask them privately, the vast majority of my generation of Muslims are deeply homophobic.

“I think it is particularly entrenched because so many Muslim societies are rooted in traditional ideas of the family and patriarchy.”

De Sondy highlights the case of Sufi saint Shah Hussain, who fell in love with a Hindu boy. “They lived together and are buried in the same tomb,” De Sondy said. “But some people want to rewrite history, saying the boy was in fact a girl.”

Conservative Muslims criticised De Sondy for taking history “out of context”. Bashir Maan, member of Glasgow Central Mosque, said: “Where is [De Sondy] getting his knowledge from? He is quoting the saint out of context.

“He loved that boy but it wasn’t for sexual purposes, he just liked that boy as we all have our likes and dislikes.”

Earlier this year, 1,000 Muslims polled by Gallop all agreed that homosexual acts are morally unacceptable.

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