Monday, June 13, 2016

What Queer Muslims Are Saying About The Orlando Shooting - NPR

Sunday began with one of the deadliest shootings in American history — at least 49 people were killed and more than 50 were injured. The attack took place at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, and the suspect was an American Muslim who pledged allegiance to ISIS the night of the attack.

The shooting is an immense tragedy for all Americans, but not all Americans will be equally affected in the days and weeks moving forward. Queer Muslims in particular are caught in the crossfire, mourning the tragedy even as they fear an anti-Muslim backlash in the wake of the attack. (According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, as of 2014, rates of hate crimes in the U.S. had declined against every group exceptMuslims.)

Since the attack, many queer Muslims have spoken out about living at the intersection of these identities, how it feels to be doubly and triply marginalized, and the ways in which Muslim and queer communities interact. Some begin by simply stating, "We exist."

Samra Habib, who curates Just Me and Allah, a queer Muslim photo project, wroteabout the incident in a piece for The Guardian titled "Queer Muslims exist — and we are in mourning too." She wants people to know that "being a peace-loving Muslim who is just as angered by homophobic attacks as everyone else isn't out of the ordinary." Here's more from Habib's piece:
"We are now used to the fact that, every time a criminally misguided Muslim commits an act of violence, the entire religion and all its followers are questioned and placed under suspicion in a way that isn't replicated with other faiths. We – and this of course includes queer Muslims – have to take extra care walking down the street at night and entering our mosques for fear of Islamophobic attacks. Muslim organizations and activist groups are tasked with the responsibility of releasing public statements, apologizing for the actions of terrorists and reminding the world that Islam promotes peace so innocent Muslims who are just trying to go about their daily lives don't suffer repercussions.

...Our thoughts must for now be with those in Orlando. But over the next few days, as we try to recover from this atrocity and begin to piece together what it all means, it's important to remember that Islam is exploited by religious extremists all over the world, often in attacks committed against other Muslims...this can't be boiled down to us v them. We're all experiencing the same tragedy together."
But some suggested that this tragedy will indeed be experienced differently by different groups. In a stream of tweets, one user expressed just how hard it is to be both queer and Muslim right now: - Read More

What Queer Muslims Are Saying About The Orlando Shooting


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