Muslims, The Far-Right And Gay Rights

Gay Muslims
Smashing Moronic Stereotypes

The distinctive difference between the European and American far-right is this: European fascism is often secular in nature, while the US variety fanatically adheres to fundamentalist Christianity. This allows European fascism to paint itself as “modern”, and so in contrast show that “foreign” cultures are backward. This method worked in demonising Jews in Nazi Germany, and is being deployed today against Muslims.

This difference shows itself most strongly when it comes to issues surrounding gay rights; the American right is viciously homophobic. No hurricane or earthquake can pass without some moron calling it God’s retribution for tolerating homosexuality. The American right rallies “in defence of marriage” – a coded term for rejecting same-sex unions. Meanwhile, European fascists loudly parade European “tolerance” of homosexuality as a stick with which to beat Muslims. They claim that intolerant Muslim immigrants are poisoning “our culture of tolerance”.

This is a straw-man argument. Europe’s supposed tolerance of gay rights is extremely recent, and far from universal (11 of the 27 EU members don’t recognise gay marriage). The Nazis’ slaughter of homosexuals in concentration camps is almost certainly the greatest attack on gays in history (since Sodom, anyway). Although homosexuality was legalised here in the UK in 1967, gays were still afraid to openly walk the streets until perhaps the late-90s, when public acceptance had finally reached tipping point.

The far-right method is simple: point out the barbaric treatment of gays in Iran and Saudi Arabia, where executions take place; then blur the line between these two states and the 50+ other Muslim-majority countries. All this is done while ignoring attacks on gay rights in the non-Muslim world, including in the US. While some of the worst abuses of homosexuals have come from Christian-majority African and Caribbean states like Uganda and Jamaica, these are ignored – especially when US evangelicals are found to be backing Uganda’s attempts to introduce the death penalty for homosexuality.

The fascist method is to create simple myths about whole groups of people. The idea that there is a single “Muslim culture” is laughable to anyone who has travelled extensively. The cultures of Muslim Arabia and Muslim West Africa, for example, couldn’t be more different.

As for the idea that Muslims are somehow less tolerant than Jews, Hindus or Christians? Reality flatly disputes this. A poll of British Muslims and Christians last year found that Muslims were marginally more proud than Christians of Britain’s tolerance towards homosexuals; when asked if they agreed with the statement: “I am proud of how Britain treats gay people”, 47% of Muslims agreed (contrasting with 46.5% of Christians). And how about the French Imam who blessed a gay union earlier this year? Reality undermines the myth that somehow Muslim immigrants are reducing European tolerance.

Conservative religion worldwide is guilty of extreme homophobia; American evangelical leaders, the mullahs of Iran and Saudi Arabia, and leaders in many African countries – Muslim and Christian alike – attack homosexuality as an evil. Amusingly, some non-white homophobes often refer to homosexuality as a “white disease“, showing much in common with the fascists who label homophobia a Muslim import.

My own experience agrees with the poll quoted above. Most Muslims I know are accepting towards homosexuality; and a night I spent in a very gay (but mixed) nightclub in the Moroccan city of Agadir showed me that these attitudes are widespread outside Europe too. Fascists, of course, deliberately ignore all these subtleties. Their job is to convince morons that Muslims are damaging “our culture”, and that requires simple, black and white stories to be disseminated.

34 thoughts on “Muslims, The Far-Right And Gay Rights”

  1. great analysis of something that has set off my “not quite right ” alarm several times recently. As a pedant though I have to point out the crime of sodom was lack of hospitality and greed πŸ™‚

    1. As a fellow pedant I thank you for the accuracy check. I now sentence myself to death by stoning for the crime of inaccuracy.

  2. Good piece.
    Two points though, Jews were sent to death camps and systematically murdered – gay men were sent to concentration camps, though often worked to death.
    Both are atrocities, but it’s clear which is the far greater crime.
    As news editor at Gay Times for many years I could never find any evidence that men in Iran were executed “just for being gay”, they all turned out to be for rape – though this is such a treasured misconception (and useful proaganda tool for the right) it’s now almost impossible to counter.

    yours unmoronically etc

    Richard

  3. It’s a good point- but you seem to be falling into the same trap as the right-wing extremists. What ff the Dutch Leader, Pim Fortuyn, whom you would no doubt have banded a ‘far-right extremist’ – or his spiritual successor Geert Wilders, -In Holland, both support that country’s tolerant attitude towards homosexuality, yet the former was assassinated by a Dutchman who accused him before the word was current of basically ‘Islamophobia’ and the tater goes under armed guard for fear of a small minority of extremists. You might be on stronger ground with the US example, but to describe European nationalists as either a monolithic bloc or ‘far-right’ is equally simplistic.

    1. Wilders is the perfect incarnation of the modern far-right. Liberal on the surface, pure fascist beneath. I’m not sure what point you’re making regarding Fortuyn – again, I’d put him on the far-right. The fact that so many “liberals” are swallowing far- right propaganda about Muslims or immigrants doesn’t make the far-right any less fascist in nature.

      1. Nor does that make the Extremely intolerant minorities in Iran or Saudi Arabia ( Or Sudan or parts of Indonesia) any less fascist. You seem to have an almost Charlie Brownish view on the European right. As you make the point, there’s more than one perspective in Islam. -there’s also a myriad viewpoint in the Nationalist camp. Although I know you’re an EU supporter so this may be a nuance too far for you.

        1. You’re missing the point. Iran, Indonesia have large sections of society that are very intolerant to homosexuality. So do Russia, Israel, China, America, Mexico, India, Angola… there’s no correlation with Islam – that’s the dishonesty of the Muslim-bashing right. The struggle for gay rights is global and has many enemies in ALL religious groups.

      2. I’d be very pleased furthermore if you list the Islamic States that allow gay marriage. I’m pretty sure Morocco doesn’t -not sure about Turkey but I know Saudi Arabia, Somaliland, Mali, Iran, Egypt, and Iran, amongst others don’t so your point about the EU is pretty tenuous.

        1. I don’t think any Muslim country allows gay marriage, nor was that my point. I was pointing out the dishonesty of those who try to paint Europe as vastly more civilised than other cultures. It simply isn’t.

        2. …and as I pointed out, some of the most violent homophobia is coming out of Uganda and Jamaica – that can’t be pinned on Islam. I’ve no interest in “defending Islam”, but I certainly won’t allow Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism off the hook either.

  4. Fascists are just pretending to be concerned about the treatment of homosexuals by Islam.
    Really they hate gays as much as Muslims. Nobody takes them seriously.

    1. Well, that’s a strange attitude for them to have, given the number of gay men who have been high-profile activists within the British far right, at least as far back as Martin Webster’s leadership of the National Front.

  5. Interesting piece.To make it simple, all of the Abrahamic Religions are homophobic, which means they do not accept homosexuality. But to point out treatments of Gays in Muslim countries is indeed laughable. Yes religion does not accept it, but this does not mean that Gays are executed in all Muslim countries. Homosexuality is frowned upon in many religions and cultures, to point that one is more barbaric than the other is like, which cheese is the cheesiest.

  6. Another “off topic” reply, but worth having a look at. It seems both Christian and Muslim morons are seeing Sandy as “divine retribution”. Which I suppose goes to demonstrate that Muslims can be as moronic as Christians.

    I love the offer from the Iranian Red Crescent to help in the wake of Sandy: can’t see it being taken up though!

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/muslim-clerics-say-superstorm-sandy-is-gods-punishment-for-film-that-mocked-prophet-mohammad-8276747.html

  7. One point which your post doesn’t address: the tacit acceptance of Islamists as authorised spokespeople for British Muslims as a group by elements of the authoritarian far left (most notably the SWP and their various cover organisations), with all that entails regarding attitudes towards homosexuality.

    1. Who thinks Islamists are spokespeople for anyone other than Islamists? I don’t know what the SWP’s stance is – nor do I care. They represent almost nobody – as do British Islamists.

      1. True, the SWP has never been popular in its own right, but it has created various front organisations (Respect and Unite Against Fascism being only the most recent) designed to give an impression of broad-based popular support; what’s more, some Labour politicians have been playing a similar game, by courting religious conservatives in the name of ‘community relations’ and ‘equal opportunites’ (read: angling for the votes of a ‘key demographic’).

        If you want to see how the SWP’s attempts to insinuate itself into local politics has helped fan the flames of misunderstanding and intolerance between the Asian Muslim and gay communities, Tower Hamlets (the Whitechapel and Spitalfields areas in particular) is a prime example: there have been numerous incidents over the last few years, of which the infamous ‘Gay Free Zone’ [sic] sticker campaign was merely the most public example.

        1. I believe you. As I’ve blogged a few times, the old “left” has lost its way. Galloway/Respect is the perfect example of how progressive ideas can get polluted with moralistic conservatism.

  8. Lol! What a low IQ article. Muslim culture may be different in every single country. But the ideology is the same. It’s Mohammed’s ideology. And Mohammed’s instructions are for Muslims to hate the Jews, to persecute gays and non-Muslims (which is happening across the globe), to kill apostates.
    And you forgot to mention that Hitler was influenced by Islam. His persecution of Jews comes from being impressed by more than 1000 years of extreme and vicious Jew hate that is still kept alive by Islam. He got full support and military backing from the Islamic community to commit his genocide. Anyone who has lived in the Middle East knows this fact, but probably not those who are tourists and think they know it all.

    1. Why say “anyone who has lived in the Middle East”? Most Muslim countries aren’t in the Middle East, so you’re looking at Arab culture and calling it “Muslim culture”. Yes, I’ve been to Arab countries and I’ve been to Muslim West Africa, and as I’ve said, these are VERY different cultures. So your point is… pointless.

      1. Again, you demonstrate how limited your reasoning is. The SEAT of Islam is in the Middle East. That is why we refer to the Middle East. That is the HQ that decides how Muslims around the rest of the world should interpret the Koran because the ME gives the final yes on Islamic law and provides the educational materials.

        It doesn’t matter if you are then a Muslim in Africa, Indonesia, India etc. The core principles and ideology of the foundation of Islam comes from the Middle East. You cannot question Islam, you cannot criticize it, you can never say you don’t believe in it, you cannot leave it.

        That’s 20 years of experience in Muslim countries from around the world talking to some leftist delusion who has “been to” different countries. And considering 80% of us are Muslims who work on these issues that you call a part of your ‘moronwatch’ I really think we have the experience here to tell the truth.

        Keep pandering and defending Islam and it’s 1400 years of jew hate, sodomy of infants, rape of women, beheadings, slavery, cutting of limbs, the stoning, burning alive or throwing from the roof of a building of gays and so on. These are not crimes that ‘some’ isolated groups of Muslims commit. This is Islamic LAW which is above any other law, whether they live anywhere else in the world or not. In public most will pretend they follow your laws. In private they adhere to this law alone. Which is one of the reasons honor killings are on dramatic rise in the U.S. and has sky rocketed in the UK, why religious hate crimes have a drastic spike as well (90% committed by Muslim immigrants), why indoctrination in prisons are on the rise that teach pure hate ideologies.

        Keep dreaming. Islam is REAL. The criticism of Islam is valid and a fact. Otherwise we wouldn’t be warning people about it. But there will always be some village fool ranting away, who actually knows squat about it, but who refute it. If you want to be the laughing stock, go ahead.

        1. You talk about Jew hate but I’m Jewish and I know my history. Europe has been the home of Jew hate for 2000 years. Muslim state gave Jews shelter when we were repeatedly persecuted in Europe. Iran still has a thriving Jewish community. Your rants fail to mask your ignorant bigotry. What is your direct experience of Muslims?

  9. “I was pointing out the dishonesty of those who try to paint Europe as vastly more civilised than other cultures. It simply isn’t.”

    What utter bollox. Europe is by far the best and most tolerant place in the world for anyone, gays, straights, anyone at all, to live in.

    Islam is overwhelmingly, just like US evangelical Christianity, a raving mad superstition packed to the brim with ignorance, stupidity, intolerance and homophobia.

    You should drop the “watch” part from “moronwatch” in your blogs adress.

    1. If Western culture is inherently more tolerant towards gays than Islam, why did European gays travel on holidays from intolerant Europe to tolerant Morocco in the 1960s? When do you think Western culture started?

      1. Europe is one of the most gay friendly places in the world, as long as a person is not openly gay in one of the Muslim areas springing up all over Europe nowadays. Then it can be dangerous.

        I don’t thing I’d like to risk being seen as gay in a Muslim country these days. Not even in a muslim area in Amsterdam.

        1. Really? I’ve been to a gay club in Morocco. Was a lot of fun. Where do you get your information from?

          1. I’ve seen the Muslim gangs in Amsterdam looking for gays to beat up, I’ve had it confirmed by reading the media. If you feel safe going gay in Muslim lands, then good luck, it’s your life to risk if you want to.

          2. How did you know they were looking for gays? Did you ask them? I’ve seen groups of Moroccan teens in Amsterdam. Or “gangs” as groups of brown kids are known these days. The most disturbing thing about the Netherlands these days is the deep racism of the natives.

  10. In some places in Amsterdam it isn’t safe to be seen as gay because of the gay bashing Muslim gangs:

    “According to an “offender study” by the University of Amsterdam, there were 201 reports of anti-gay violence in that city in 2007 – and researchers believe for every reported case there are as many as 25 unreported ones. Two thirds of the predators are Muslim youths”:

    http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/ezra_levant/2010/10/08/15630946.html

    As for Morocco, well, those who say it is gay friendly are living dangerously:

    “Islamic fundamentalists have also become noticeably more aggressive towards gay men in recent years, no doubt also due to the increase in prostitution. Blackmail and arrests are on the increase again correspondingly. Even the mere suspicion that one may have had sex can be enough. In addition, young native men may be followed by the police, who will then beat information on the goings-on in hotel rooms or private holiday apartments out of them. We can therefore only advise you to proceed with caution!”

    http://www.spartacusworld.com/en/saunas/africa/morocco

    “While Morocco is considered to be more tolerant than its neighboring Islamic countries, same-sex relationships are unlawful in the country, with offenders spending six months to three years in jail, according to the International Business Times.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/02/gay-cruise-ship-morocco-prohibited_n_1643375.html

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