Muslim homophobia (but none dare call it so)
On 10th December in the House of Commons Rehman Chishti MP, the son of an imam, asked the Equalities Minister , Maria Miller, how Muslims had responded to the Government’s proposal to redefine marriage. Mrs Miller stumbled to her feet and swallowed hard. "They have voiced some concern,’ she spluttered.
The Muslim Council of Britain has now articulated a little more of that concern, appropriating the status of the Established Church to their cause (for in New Labour’s New Britain, all religions were rendered equal, and in David Cameron’s Broken Britain, morality and truth have become a little more relative). The problem is that the prohibition on the Church of England (and Church in Wales) from hosting same-sex weddings is manifestly discriminatory in an age of equal rights for all.
Farooq Murad, the Secretary General of the MCB said, “We find it incredible that while introducing the Bill in the House, Culture Secretary Maria Miller could keep a straight face when offering exemption for the Established Church while in the same breath claiming, ‘fairness' to be at the heart of her proposals.”
Mr Murad added, “It is not just the Church of England and Church in Wales who explicitly stated 'strong opposition' as Mrs Miller says. The Muslim Council of Britain along with most other faith groups also made equally strong representation.” He continued: “No one in their right mind should accept such a discriminatory law. It should be amended to give exactly the same exemption to all the religions."
And so the MCB is now seeking an urgent meeting with the Culture Secretary to express the ‘concern’ of the Muslim community, along with tjeir 500 affiliated mosques, charities and schools.
Muslim leaders are understandably aggrieved, but (pace Rehman Chisti) you haven’t heard a word about it in Parliament. In this age of relativism and ubiquitous equality, it’s hard for the Equalities Minister to defend the proposition that Anglican Christianity is more equal than Islam, and that Muslims simply don’t merit the same legal exemptions as the Church of England.
Of course, it isn’t only Canon Law of the Church of England that defines marriage as being a union of man and a woman: it has been so defined in all cultures throughout all ages, and is seen to exist in nature. Muslims are as mindful as Christians of the unique procreative potential intrinsic to marriage.
Mrs Miller’s ‘quadruple lock’ guarantees that religious organisations would not have to marry same-sex couples against their wishes. But what of two (brave) gay Muslims who find a (very brave) gay friendly imam? Such cases are most likely to end up in the courts, and so we arrive at the ultimate clash in the hierarchy of competing rights, long foretold by His Grace. And the courts are likely to nudge us all along the chosen path of the Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Judaism, for after Blair and the Heir-to-Blair, sexuality will eventually trump religious liberty at every turn.
Of course, homophobia within the Muslim communities is taboo: everyone knows that Islam isn’t particularly gay-friendly, but our predominantly white, PC, liberal political class won’t even talk about it. Peter Tatchell and his disciples are more than happy to storm the pulpit of Canterbury Cathedral or picket outside Westminster Cathedral, but you tend not to see him knocking on the doors of Finsbury Park Mosque or railing against Muslim homophobia in Leicester, Bradford or Tower Hamlets.
To do so, of course, might be deemed ‘racist’, and white liberals don’t want to be tarnished with that particular brush. So only Rehman Chisti and others of his melanin hue are permitted to raise the subject, and only he and his co-religionists may challenge the Government without the risk of being called homophobic. For surely, in any civilised society, one minority will respect the views of another.
Issues of race, identity and sexuality tend to rouse the passions. When liberalism confronts cultural tradition and religious conformity, political conflict is inevitable. The Church of England will eventually be crushed, and dissenting Christians will be vilified for their bigotry and intolerance (as His Grace endures frequently). But militant gayers and rabid homosexualists ignore the immutable orthodoxy of the Mosque of England at their peril. The MCB is not as benign as the CofE. There is no tolerance of gays or lesbians in any mainstream Muslim community: persecution and torture are rife.
If theological opposition to same-sex marriage renders some churches virulently homophobic, then the mosques are even more so. But their ‘concerns’, of course, are entirely rational, and their morality a divine duty for the common good. The hypocrisy and inequality are sickening.