Posted by Agnivo Niyogi
Islam, I often laugh to myself, has become the proverbial ‘Nanda Ghosh’ who is to blame for all ills. Not that the ‘religion of Peace’ is devoid of problems, but to play the same old tune of radical Islam being the root of all evils reached a crescendo after the Orlando shooting.
Like any other religion, Islam needs reforms. There is no doubt about that; those who wish to live in denial are fools themselves. A set of rules, developed in the Middle-East in the middle ages cannot and should not be applied in to-to in the 21st century.
But when it comes to homophobia, are other religions far behind? Isn’t hate for us who love differently ingrained in every faith? The false notion of morality comes into play the day a boy is stopped by his mother from playing with dolls. Effeminate men are ridiculed, manly women are mocked – none of this because Islam said so.
Most Islamophobes cite the example of Middle East. Well, those nations choose to live in the dark ages, that’s their problem. Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, world’s largest Muslim country. India, which houses second largest population of Muslims and is ruled by a Hindu right wing party, has criminalised “unnatural sex” since the British era. But Muslims here do not go about killing gays, because guns are not as easily available in India as they are in America.
Gun laws – the elephant in the room that many people refuse to acknowledge – were the primary reason for the Orlando massacre, as much as homophobia. Only three out of 133 shootings in US of A this year were by Muslims. So, how can Islam be blamed? Even if Omar had not carried out his devious plans, another Christian extremist was planning to attack a pride march the very next day (but was apprehended). A pastor took to Twitter to celebrate the death of gays.
Orlando massacre is as much a failure of the American administration. Despite being under FBI radar, Omar had access to those deadly arms. Many Republican politicians who are attacking Islam after the incident have vocally defended anti-gay laws in the past.
So, my earnest request to all my Islamophobe friends is please do not fight your battles by putting guns on our shoulders. Our fight is as much against the Omar Mateems as much is it against Hindu Ramdevs and the Christian Pastors.
The reality in my country is that MPs of ruling Hindu party blocked and jeered a Bill to decriminalise homosexuality. Reality of my country is that an upper caste Hindu judge of SC recriminalised homosexuality. Reality is that the main petitioner against Naz foundation is a Hindu group.
We are fighting against homophobia. We are fighting against Tamil Brahmin fathers who tie their effeminate sons to trees naked and release red ants on him. Our fight is against middle class families that force their sons to get electric shock to cure them. Our fight is against those where lesbian daughters are raped, our fight is against the society where transgenders cannot get jobs. And NONE of this is due to Islam alone.
So if you cannot help our cause, at least do not derail it by scoring goals against Islam at our cost. Because even as u do so, we face discrimination in workplaces, campuses… we live like criminals in our own country.
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