Religion and Homosexuality

Homosexuals around the world face bias and discrimination from the mainstream, they are labelled outcasts and sinners. However, it is not a place of a human being to dub anyone as a ‘sinner’ or an ‘infidel’ just on the basis of his/her orientation and choices. Everyone is entitled to their own choice and way of living. Having said that, this post I am about to make is going to address the very basic question (or may I say allegation) that rises from the ranks of those who claim to be homosexuals. I am not a religious scholar, nor I am a psychiatrist but I would like to take on this claim and try to explain my point of view on this sensitive issue. I would like to emphasize that I am not judging anyone on the basis of their lifestyle and that this post must be read only as an argument towards a claim, I would appreciate if anyone can counter this.

The claim is that homosexuality is not a choice, rather God intended to create (the homosexuals) that way. I for once completely disagree with this statement, it is not because I am straight, it is not because I am religious, but because the claim does not make any sense. Let me explain.

I would like to believe there are many religious individuals among the ranks of homosexuals, I therefore understand these individuals with religious values must believe in God (of whatever religion). Here, I will be using references from the Abrahamic religions (mainly Islam). The mainstream (who hold religious values) use the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah to scare off the homosexuals, for those who are unaware, Sodom and Gomorrah (mainly referred to as the people of Lot) were two towns where people practiced homosexuality openly. However, these people met a tragic end since they failed to repent despite the constant warning of Prophet Lot. The incident has been reported both in the Holy Qura’an and Bible with very harsh wordings (used for the town dwellers).

In the Holy Qura’an, God reiterates the purpose for creating human kind (while mentioning this incident), so that they will multiply and we need no rocket science to conclude that same-sex relationships cannot reproduce. Therefore, the claim that homosexuality is not a choice is baseless. Those who think my conclusion is far-fetched, should consider the fact that the same claim can be made by a pedophile, or certain others who claim to be attracted towards animals.

God is perfect and He has created the perfect beings and these beings are capable of thinking and making choices of their own, adapting to lifestyles and choosing their own paths of life. God has laid down a set of rules (in the form of holy scriptures), in order to guide his creation, educate them on what’s right and wrong and it is up to the human kind, whether or not to take this guidance.

Now that we have established the fact that God in no possible way intends to create homosexuals, the question is why do people choose to be in homosexual relationships. Again, I do not claim to be a psychiatrist but the answer to this question lie in the past of the individual in question. It is conceivable that the individual have had a traumatic experience in which the villain is someone who is a close relative and of the opposite sex. Another possibility is the lack of trust in the opposite gender due to rumors or sexist statements, for example many men claim that women are dumb and the women claim the same about women. It is possible that people who turn to their own gender for comfort may take these statements as facts and develop a certain hatred or fear of being with the opposite sex (in a long-term relationship).

There may be many cases which may lead to an individual to ‘come out of the closet’, one thing is clear, that God is perfect and so is everything that He has created. We humans though, we are misguided, we make mistakes but it is not because God intends us to, but because we do not understand God’s intention.

Blunt hypocrisy

Ban on FB by LHCThe Lahore High Court, on the 19th ordered the ministry of information technology to block access to all websites spreading religious hatred. It seems like a flashback from not so long ago, when the same institution banned Facebook and Google along with various other websites, claiming it was spreading religious intolerance. The infamous competition of drawing pictures of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is provided as an argument for the ban.

One might understand the judgement since it was directed towards protecting the feelings and emotions of the majority in Pakistan. But the simple facts are these:
The majority of Pakistan is illiterate, out of the minority that is literate, majority don’t have (or can’t afford) computers, out of those who have personal computers, majority don’t even care about
the stupid competition.

Besides, since when did Pakistan became the world leader in religious tolerance? Just a few days earlier, Pakistan was counted among the top 10 countries / regimes, which failed to protect religious freedom. Go further back this month, innocent people were killed and injured in the name of ‘protecting religious emotions’. In a country, where there are many laws, tailored purely to discriminate and suppress minorities that belong to other religions, Justice Azmat Saeed of the Lahore High Court deemed some websites on the internet (which aren’t made for this purpose) harmful and intolerant.

Not so long ago, in the same province, flyers were distributed calling upon an average Muslim to kill two Christian brothers, then banners put up which suggested it is ‘must’ to kill someone belonging to Ahmadiyya sect, even flyers were distributed citing names of those people in Faisalabad, along with the message ‘liable to be killed’. I wonder how any of these incident went unnoticed by the Lahore High Court or even the Supreme Court of Pakistan. How is banning a few websites, which were used by some mischief creators for their own purposes, an honest decision, when all of the above mentioned ‘crap’ is being done every day under the nose of the court?

Let us for a minute look away from this hypocrisy, Pakistan and India have been the hub of software engineering for over a decade now, the majority of software engineers around the world is desi (from Pakistan and India). Since the arrival of social media portals, innovations have cropped up in this field and many now depend on platforms like Facebook, Google, Orkut etc. for their living. Banning these websites will not provide good results for these people. In-fact, many of these projects have been recalled already.

The sensible thing to do here is to reconsider this matter on a broader scale, not just religiously but also considering the economic effect of these actions. Though in my view, this decision will never be an honest one, considering what has been going on in Pakistan (in terms of religious tolerance) for over five decades.

Evidence of ignorance of Pakistani Muslims

I have been writing about how ignorant the Muslims (especially Muslims of the sub-continent) are. A couple of days ago I saw this program and it jolted me to my very core. It was Front Line with Kamran Shahid recorded on 10th of August 2011. It was as if I was living the period of ignorance (in Arabia) before the advent of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The strangest fact in all this is that, none of the ‘Ulema authority’ (the Jamias or Madrassas or even the Shariat court) condemned this act and as the bureau chief of the locality told, lots of others are involved in these acts while the society lets them do it quietly. The people of Pakistan must wake up and study their religion for their own sake and well being. Otherwise, even a Messiah wouldn’t be able to help them.

Ignoring is the first step towards ignorance

I am a frequent reader of Express tribune blogs, where I come across interesting viewpoints and mindsets. As people who have read my posts may have noticed that most of my posts are pro-Islamic yet anti-clergy. The reason for which is the fact that I believe the clergymen in practice today are steering majority of the nation (who follows them) in a dark ditch of ignorance. Then I came across this post on Express tribune blogs which was in agreement with what I have been telling my fellow Muslims about how these clergymen distort religious texts to gain their own benefits / congregation.

Naturally, I was expecting criticism to this by some hardline rightist, but it was shocking to see yet another viewpoint towards this issue. The author claims, it is better to ignore such things and move on. Many will agree and have taken up this viewpoint towards the distortion of Holy scriptures and religious theories. It is this attitude towards religion that is responsible for where our nation stands today both socially and economically. We allow these self-proclaimed scholars to continue professing ‘what they think is Islam’, these scholars know that no one will challenge their preaching, because as a matter of fact, people either don’t have time to look up their references or, as in this case, people don’t really care.

Today, we speak of accountability, in every aspect of life. Then why should we leave these clergymen unaccountable for what they preach? I can understand if religion is not a priority for many, but as I have said before, religion was the central entity towards development and disaster for every civilization. Take any example, Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs, Greeks or Romans. Their rise and fall revolved around their religious beliefs whatever they may be! Muslims are no different (if you think of Muslims as a civilization).

If we ignore this (what may seem as a small) issue today, we will ignore other issues, that might be of importance tomorrow. In-fact, many did. Hence, it is time we show interest in matters of religion and try to understand, at least the important issues for ourselves, because we aren’t going to reach anywhere by following these self-proclaimed clerics neither are we going to achieve peace by completely ignoring issues related to our belief.

Song of heaven (educated illiterates)

Many of my friends whom ‘recently found their faith’ shared the following video with me (my comments are followed by this video):

This is the famous Tariq Jameel. The very well-known cleric for his ‘magical’ guidance. He allegedly converted Junaid Jamshed, who was a musician prior to meeting this man. This man has influenced many Muslims all over the world, they are impressed by the sheer volume of knowledge (or fairy tales) this guy have. In this video he addressing the ‘educated’ youth of Punjab.

While they were bathing in the spiritual pool of faith (in their imaginations) I was shocked when I heard the claims of this ‘priest’. Listen to the hall uttering ‘SubhanAllah’ (God is great) as if what he spoke was from Qura’an or Hadith. Tariq Jameel claims that those who don’t listen to music in this world will be eligible to listen to the song of heaven, the song of David and get to view God. It was as if this was revealed to him directly from God.

Utter nonsense, I did not find any of his claims in any holy books, or even in the references of the clerics of the past. While I was wondering where he got his references, I found myself confronted by my ‘newly faith fond’ friends, who dubbed me as an infidel for asking about the references from either the Qura’an or hadith. The argument they put forward was that this man (Tariq Jameel) have knowledge parallel to none. I merely wanted to know his source of ‘wisdom’.

Such is the menace of the creature called ‘Mullah’. Even as of today, no one has gone forward to challenge this man on his claims and I am sure no one will ever do that in the future. Until we have people present in our society who follow these self-proclaimed clerics blindly, even God wouldn’t save us from their menace.

The ‘only’ way out for Muslims (especially for Pakistani Muslims)

On a tribune blog post I was asked a question:

how do you think ‘taking up religion’ will help our cause when Muslims themselves remain divided on so many aspects of Islam? How does one ‘take up religion’?

here is my response, which I think is the main issue in all of this

The reason ‘Muslims’ stand divided today is because they have left others to decide their religion. For instance, since when did the ‘clergy’ have the power to dub anyone ‘non-Muslim’? They do it and the rest follow blindly. I can give many examples.

What is causing this ‘radicalization’? Why are these who call themselves Muslims hell-bent on taking innocent lives? Even the educated fail to take up issues with the clergy when it comes to belief. For instance, how can you ask a young Muslim man not to wage Jihad? or ask a cleric to stop preaching about it? My question is what according to you is educated and literate?

General Zia, in his ruling period, formed a team of elite ‘scientists’ who were sent to research how to harness the power of djinns. Measure the temperature of hell, find the speed of heaven. Should they be considered literate? Now the other side of the story, a simple man from Jhang, who was educated in this country, goes on to win the Nobel prize in Physics for his famous electro-weak theory (which I doubt many Pakistanis know about) and he is dubbed infidel and thrown out of the country. Why? because he said he found this enlightenment from the Holy Qura’an. Should I consider him illiterate? I am ofcourse talking about Professor Dr. Abdus Salam.

The messed up religious views have created another level of illiterate, they are known as the educated illiterate. Our armed forces personnel are provided with education on science and technology, even they cannot stop this ‘radicalization’ from infiltrating their ranks. Whether you agree or not, even education will not be able to fix this radicalization. I say that because we have examples of ‘western educated’ Muslims turning into radicals. An investigative report suggests that even at this moment this radicalization have penetrated into our Universities.

We have to take up religion personally, take interest, be curious about it. It is not merely fairy tales (like we are made to believe by the clergy), it is the ONLY way out of this.

Religion and hatred Part – 2

Previous

The three Abrahamic religions are at war with each other for ‘world domination’ due to this in bred hatred. The clergy craves a bigger congregation, wider audience and more control, be it Judaism, Christianity or Islam. To achieve their goals, the clergy starts breeding this hatred into their subjects at an early stage.  Christians are told how someone who doesn’t holds the hand of Christ is bound for hell while Muslims tell their young ones, anyone who doesn’t pray like they do will be a hell dweller.

I do not know if they (the clerics) are playing God, sending people through to heaven and hell at their will. It is God who will decide on the day of judgement. Not some funny dressed cleric! Who has given them the right to dub anyone as an infidel? Every cleric has his own criteria of infidelity, which is just insanity. It is the most easiest way to ignite one’s rage towards another one, by dubbing them as infidels but, are they out of this world? Or aliens to earth? They are the same flesh and bones everyone is just because they differ in opinion doesn’t mean we go on a killing spree.

The most worrying phenomenon of this hatred breeding is using it at a later stage. Today, we see Islamic militants, Christian extremists, Jewish radicals spewing hatred constantly for each other. The clergy is the center of this manipulation, they use those seeds of hatred put in at a younger stage, to their own advantage. Their subjects work as a remote-controlled Robot (with flesh and bones) for these clerics. The subject is overwhelmed with so much passion, the pain of death, humiliation or retaliation seems very tiny to them.

Fellow readers, hate is good for nothing. None of the religions were based upon hatred for someone else. The founders of the three Abrahamic religions proved to us that love and friendship is what is required to spread the message of God. The sword might win the battle on ground, but it is love and friendship which will give you control over hearts and minds.

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