By now you’ve probably heard Presidental hopeful Donald Trump‘s professing that he wants to block all Muslims from entry into the United States. This statement, among his other bigoted sentiments, is drawing comparisons to Hitler and, hopefully, some introspection among some of his followers.
Being a queer woman and a Muslim has its complications, just like most other religions. Certain interpretations of the Quran condemn homosexuality, much like the Bible, and LGBT Muslims are left trying to decide which path to follow. More and more, American Muslims are finding that the roads do not have to diverge, and organizations like Muslims for Progressive Values as well as the Islamic Society of North America are supportive of their out members in the community, helping to provide a safer space for practice and personal peace.
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In the past few years, there have been general strides made for queer women who are also Muslim-identified. In 2013, Rehana Kausar and Sobia Kamar were the first Pakistani women to be married after they applied for asylum in the UK, citing the illegality of homosexuality in Islam. Just this past September, Boys of Bangladesh (a gay rights group) introduced Dhee, the first ever lesbian character in a Muslim-based comic book that was to be handed out during public events and seminars.
And while the United States has been a safe refuge for some Muslims, it has become increasingly evident that a large part of Americans are not looking to help make it any easier, and those same people could be LGBT-identified. As a member of a minority group, it’d be easy to assume that we are interested in helping to protect the freedoms of other second-class citizens. But it’s also naive. There are still so many prejudices against Muslims based on long-held myths and unquestioned “facts.” It’s more important now than ever to understand that the world is not under attack by Muslims; that Muslims aren’t coming to the United States to ruin us all. In fact, among them are some of the brightest and best additions a country could ask for, and that, of course, includes queer Muslim women.
Here are just eight of such women, some who were born in the U.S., some who immigrated here from Canada or elsewhere, and are being personally attacked by Donald Trump and the people who think just like him. We think they deserve more support than he ever will.