Queer Muslims face a multitude of challenges, of which one is rejection. This is anchored by the belief that homosexuality is a major sin in Islam and punishable by death under Shariah law. The Inner Circle has documented through engaging with the local Muslim community of Cape Town that most people who react harshly towards queer Muslims do so from a position of fear and ignorance of the challenges facing queer Muslims.

An 18-year-old Iranian is facing imminent execution on charges of homosexuality, even though he has no legal representation. Ebrahim Hamidi, who is not gay, was sentenced to death for lavat, or sodomy, on the basis of "judge's knowledge", a legal loophole that allows for subjective judicial rulings where there is no conclusive evidence. Hamidi had been represented by human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, who has since been forced to flee Iran after bringing to international attention the case of another of his clients, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old Iranian mother of two who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Mostafaei was due to arrive in Norway yesterday to begin a life in exile while continuing his campaigns on behalf of his clients, including Hamidi.

Some British Asian gay Muslims are embracing a new identity, based as much on race and religion as on sexual orientation with a number trying to do it with the help of their local imams. When Khalid Habib decided it was time to come out about his sexuality, the first person he chose to confide in was not anyone in the family but his local imam. "It was really important to me because I am a practising Muslim. It was about my personal relationship with Allah," said the 35-year-old media professional from the north of England.

Last week, 12 Iraqi police officers burst into a house in Karbala, beat up and blindfolded the six occupants and bundled them off in three vans, taking the computers they found with them. The house was then burned down by unknown people. The house was a new "emergency shelter" run by the Iraqi LGBT organisation. Two days later, one of the men turned up in hospital with a throat wound saying he'd been tortured. Iraqi LGBT has ordered those in its other two safe houses to move immediately.

قامت اصوات – نساء فلسطينيّات مثليّات باصدار كتابها الثالث "وقفة بنات: سرد شخصي". اليوم وللمرة الثالثة، تتخذ النساء العربيات قرار عدم التزام الصمت بعد؛ تختار الحديث عن أكثر الأوقات والأمور حميمية وتحديًا لهنّ، يتحدثن عن مسيرات خروجهن إلى العائلة، إلى المجتمع وعلى الأخصّ إلى أنفسهنّ. جائت فكرة كتابة هذه القصص من حاجتنا إلى الكلام والمشاركة وتوثيق تجارب حياتنا كجزء من مسيرة التمكين الذاتي لأنفسنا كأفراد وكمجموعة. قصصنا هذه لا تعرض فقط من منظور ديني، سياسي ، أبوي واجتماعي، بل أيضًا من منظور التجربة الشخصية الداخلية والصراع مع هويّتنا الجندرية وتوجّهنا الجنسي. ليس "وقفة بنات" مجرّد توثيق لنضالنا ولنضال الفئات المهمّشة في المجتمع الأبوي المغاير . بل هو معدّ، أيضًا، لفتح نافذة من الأمل لأولئك الذين يتساءلون حول جنسانيّتهم وميولهم الجنسية وهويّتهم الجندرية. ورسالة لمَن يظنون أنهم وحدهم أو غير طبيعيين في عالم يدين كل ما هو خارج حدود خطّها المجتمع الحديث والديانات التوحيدية الثلاث وتوقّعات الآباء لإتباع المعايير الاجتماعية المقبولة. 

Palestinian Gay Woman is pleased to announce the publication of “Waqfet Banat”. Today, for the third time, Arab women make a decision to no longer remain silent; they choose to speak about their most intimate and challenging times, their coming out journeys, not only to family, friends and society, but specifically to themselves. These stories were written as the need to tell and share them, and document our life experiences became a deep part of our self-empowerment process as individuals and as a community.  We believe we must tell our stories, not only from a religious, political, parental or societal perspective, but also from the vantage point of our inner personal experience and the struggle with our sexual orientation and gender identity. 

في ممرات جامعة القاهرة يشاهد العديد من الطلبة والطالبات الذين يجلسون بجانب بعضهم ولا يندر مشاهدة عدد منهم وهم يمسكون بأيدي بعضهم في الزوايا القصية

الحمل بدون زواج في المجتمع المغربي موسوم بالعار والفضيحة و يعاقب عليه القانون بل أكثر من ذلك يؤدي إلى تهميش الأم الحامل و إقصائها اجتماعيا. فالظاهرة التي نسميها إجرائيا بالأمهات العازبات، تعد جد معقدة و متشابكة العوامل لأنها ترتبط بعدة مجالات من بينها: القانون، الدين و الجنس تؤطرها كلها عقلية ذكورية مازالت تفرض تأثيرها في المجتمع. ترى كيف نشأت ظاهرة الأمهات العازبات ؟ وما العمل لتغيير ثقافة الاحتقار بالمجتمع المغربي؟
ذهنية التحريم…!

I, Kiana Firouz, an Iranian Lesbian, born in 1983 in Tehran/Iran, have sought asylum in the U.K but my application was turned down by the Home Office, despite accepting the fact that I am a lesbian. I accordingly submitted my appeal which was dismissed incredibly by the adjudicator. According to my solicitor’s point of view there is a little chance to grant a permission to appeal against the adjudicator’s decision. It means that I will face with deportation soon.

Hate has no place in the house of God. No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity -- or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds. In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied many of them fundamental human rights. We knew this was wrong. Thankfully, the world supported us in our struggle for freedom and dignity.

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