Thursday, June 23, 2016

After #Pulse, is it worse to be Muslim or gay?

That I love gay people, to an extent where I actually find them more fun and interesting than heterosexuals, is no secret; that I also at the very least don't mind Muslims, since I date them and all, this argument should be as unbiased as possible. I am neither gay nor Muslim, yet I've seen lots of people hate on them. I personally understand homophobia less than Islamophobia, but who cares, they're both totally senseless in a progressive society. While the overwhelming majority of my Muslim friends indeed don't share my enthusiasm for the LGBT community, I am astonished by the hate that is coming towards the Middle and Far East's favorite religion from the likes of, hmm, some orange buffoon that wants to be President of the Segregated States, I mean, United States. Like they weren't hated enough already by the uninformed Western masses, Muslims are now earning hate for the hate the LGBT community received last week. So what actually sucks more: being gay or being Muslim?

Only yesterday I was chatting to a Syrian refugee who explained how "gays are not human beings", that they are "sick" and that he would never talk to one. Thankfully, this kind of rhetoric is illegal in Germany, meaning that if this guy wants to have this pathetic opinion he will have to keep it to himself. Also, we must acknowledge that not everyone who comes to Germany from his direction shares his views, nor that he was religious, just from Syria where that stance is perfectly acceptable. As a minority that experiences quite a lot of hate in Germany I was especially appalled by this behavior, though. If everybody in Germany had treated him like he suggests to be treating a gay person, he would quite frankly be dead, and only a week after the Orlando Shooting he needs to learn that this is not how things are done around here. Yes, we do have homophobia, but at least it is already largely illegal, although of course we're far away from reaching equal rights for everyone.

Islamophobia, at the same time, is fine with the German Constitution. Well, of course hate crimes fueled by any hate aren't cool (and illegal), but hating Muslims seems to be rather trending than declining. We can never know for sure, but it seems there are more refugee homes ablaze than gay people beaten up, and even if we take violence out of the equation, being mindful of Muslims isn't nearly as frowned upon as openly expressing not to want to associate with gay people. After Pulse, Muslims now have to accept the blame from American presidential candidates because one homophobic asshole claimed to be a member of their faith, legitimizing the West to conduct an anti-Muslim rhetoric as an answer to a religious hate crime against LGBT people. Funnily enough the LGBT community around the world receives hate from non-Muslims, too. Not one of them would blame Islam alone for their fear to be themselves...

Gay people are being hated for what they are, Muslims for what they believe (or, as I like to put it, to what they were raised to believe). All of the Muslim people I met are not terrorists, yet they usually have ideas and values we in the West do not agree with, and their rejection of homosexuality is, of course, horrible, yet completely normal in their circles. I hate that, but I understand, too. The comparison I like to make is that the American Founding Fathers, largely regarded as racists today, lived in times in which racism was a lot more nonchalant than today. To judge them on our 21st century culture would be wrong. The same goes for Muslims. I have very little patience for homophobia; to turn away from a Muslim (or homophobe, not automatically the same thing), alienate, judge and stop the conversation, due to their convictions towards the LGBT community, doesn't solve our problem. So what is happening right now doesn't help them becoming more tolerant and therefore does little to improve the world.

In the West, we just make the choice too often: either someone accepts our values which we fought hard for, or they're not with us. If this is the notion we continue to live by, Muslims will not be part of our society. Most of them oppose homosexuality, we love freedom, so we believe we can't have both freedom and homophobia at the same time. And when I consider this reasoning I have to ask myself where all them Christian people from Greensboro Baptist Church are at. Too many LGBTQ+ whatever are still in the closet out of fear, and what keeps them in there probably isn't the fear of being gunned down by an Islamic terrorist. Funnily enough, most gay people are scared of the religious in our own countries, and they are most likely those who oppose a Muslim influx. It's become hard for bigots after Orlando to decide on who to oppose more; it seems the term "unrighteous" has its own meaning in the West.

My opinion of justice is distorted by the rejection of religious bias on the one hand and the love for individuality on the other. I lived among Muslims and haven't perceived Islam as a religion any less prejudiced than the likes of Christianity. These doctrines against homosexuality are what drove me away from my religion, and I believe it made me a better person. Without Jesus, Mohammed or any other figure that seems to be standing for "only men and women" to some people, I am able to focus on their principal message: love each other! If I really listen to these guys, I will love and let love, and I will accept that some people are raised to not agree with that. This is what I, personally, consider the best and fairest truth, and in that sense I will have to be Team LGBT. The faster we can get to sit on one table, stop blaming Muslims for the action of a couple madmen and actually have a talk with them that they are wrong, the better. Even liberal Scotland didn't love gays as much as they do now 50 years ago, but with conversation comes a solution, and being Muslim and gay, even at the same time, won't be as much of a problem in the future... 

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