Bilal Qureshi, a former editor and producer for NPR’s “All Things Considered”, on The Muslim Silence on Gay Rights (be warned that he blames mental illness which is not something I agree with or endorse):
No religion has a monopoly on homophobia. The track record of exclusion and outright abuse of gay men and women in the name of God is a depressing reality across faiths. But we cannot use those analogies to excuse our own shortcomings. Omar Mateen went on a rampage at a gay club out of hatred he attributed to his faith. He shot and massacred Americans for thriving in their safe space, for being among those they love and were loved by, and he did it during both Ramadan and a Pride Month that epitomizes self-love in the face of hate.
Barry Walters at Billboard on LGBT Clubs in American History: Cultural Centers, Safe Spaces & Targets:
Since Stonewall and well before, gay clubs have been our schools, our places of worship. Nightclubs are where we’ve long learned to unlearn hate, and learn to become and love our real selves. They’re our safe spaces; places where music and dancing and the joy of our collective togetherness unlocks our fears and extinguishes our lingering self-loathing. This is why the first important public post-Stonewall gay disco in Manhattan was named Sanctuary; why one of the biggest and longest-running queer dancefloors of London is called Heaven; and why the most beloved current LGBT club in San Francisco is known as Oasis. For many who’ve never known the security of a truly secure and happy home or school or work life, these places are the homes and churches where we celebrate and extinguish despair with our families of choice.
Daayiee Abdullah, the only openly gay imam in the United States, on the sudden interest in LGBT advocacy in mainstream Muslim orgs, via Buzzfeed:
I got a call from CAIR [the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a major Muslim advocacy group] this morning. They’ve never called me. I’ve known those people for the last 20 years, and they’ve never called upon me to participate in anything. So that means there’s progress.
Mahdia Lynn, coordinator of the Transgender Muslim Support Network, also on Buzzfeed, regarding toeing the line between stoking anti-Muslim bigotry and dealing with issues within Muslim communities:
There are people that find strength in Islam, and to see it portrayed as something that’s vile — it’s just horrifying […] but at the same time we’re all coming from experiences of spiritual violence, of deeply rooted homophobia. And homophobia isn’t even the right word — it’s hatred. It’s violence. And if it’s prevalent in Islam it’s because it’s prevalent in the world. So we’re torn between needing to defend the faith that gives us strength, and needing to resist the homophobia and the transphobia and the spiritual violence that are very real parts of our everyday experience as Muslims.
I’m seeing statements from imams and from Muslim organizations, over and over again, decrying the violence, praying for the victims, but never once addressing that these are gay people being murdered, trans people, queer people being murdered. There’s a disconnect between the reality and what’s being spoken, because there’s a reluctance to admit that Islam has a very serious issue with homophobia.
Fellow Orbiter Benny on Multifaceted Causes, and Many Ways to Work Against Violence:
The causes of violence in general, and this attack in particular, are multifaceted. I believe the solutions are too. A major part of the arguments I have seen today have been over what is “the right way” to prevent things like this in the future. I do not believe there is “a right way” but instead that many struggles can lead towards a future with less violence.
Via Gawker, a round-up of evidence that the shooter may have been acting out of a deep, internalized sense of self-loathing: Orlando Shooter Was Reportedly a Regular at Pulse and Had a Profile on Gay Dating App
We are now used to the fact that, every time a criminally misguided Muslim commits an act of violence, the entire religion and all its followers are questioned and placed under suspicion in a way that isn’t replicated with other faiths. We – and this of course includes queer Muslims – have to take extra care walking down the street at night and entering our mosques for fear of Islamophobic attacks. Muslim organizations and activist groups are tasked with the responsibility of releasing public statements, apologizing for the actions of terrorists and reminding the world that Islam promotes peace so innocent Muslims who are just trying to go about their daily lives don’t suffer repercussions.
Clickhole skewers difference-blind logic in 6 Convoluted Ways Of Thinking About The Orlando Shooting If You’d Prefer Not To Acknowledge It As An Anti-Gay Hate Crime:
Feel free to get lost in the weeds with one of these lines of tangled logic if you’re looking to avoid facing uncomfortable truths about anti-gay bigotry in our country.