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Secret Sexuality

by Ashley Grashaw
Oct 2, 2007

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We all hide parts of our personal identity at various times for various reasons: to fit in with a new group of friends, to impress a potential employer, or to please a demanding mother-in-law. But imagine having to hide your sexual identity because you fear for your life. That's what many homosexuals are forced to do in such countries as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Egypt, where engaging in sexual relations with the same sex or lobbying for gay rights can be met with torture or death. As a result, many gay Muslims seek asylum in other countries. I'm curious to know the degree to which homosexuality within Muslim communities in Western countries is acknowledged and accepted. Does homosexuality enjoy greater visibility in these communities? And what are the personal politics involved in reconciling Islam with homosexuality? The answers are out there, and I will find them. In the meantime, check out Parvez Sharma's documentary A Jihad for Love. It explores the nuanced and complex issues facing homosexuals in the Muslim world today.

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