The Queer Muslim Project is coming to Bengaluru
Homosexuality is haraam (sin) as per mainstream Islamic idea, but that has not stopped Delhi man Rafiul Alam Rehman to attempt and create a safe space for his Muslim queer friends. Rehman, along with NGO Aneka, will conduct a consultation in Bengaluru in May, where a close-knit group of 30 including transmen/women, lesbians, gays and bisexuals, will meet and just talk, that's it!
Lucknow-based Arif Jafar, Romal Laishram from Bengaluru, and Jamal Siddiqui, a transgender activist from Delhi will also participate in the consultation. Rehman's efforts towards this issue started in 2017, when he opened The Queer Muslim Project on Facebook, which has 2,000 followers already. Here too, people get a chance to openly discuss their experiences as a queer in India and abroad.
Rehman acknowledges that being Muslim and queer is double-whammy, because both concepts are thought to negate each other. "I've seen people saying, 'I'm not a Muslim, I'm queer,'" said Rehman, adding Islamic theologist Aamina Wadud's progressive focus on Quran interpretation has somewhat paved way for this open-talk. "In the end, it's every one's responsibility to create safe and inclusive public spaces," points out Rehman.