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Thursday 17 April  
Gay and Muslim
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Hilversum, Netherlands
Hilversum, Netherlands

Muslim and gay: 'Allah made me this way'

Published on : 10 June 2011 - 12:52am | By Tim Fisher (photo: flickr/anemoneprojector)
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Love Matters

Love Matters

An RNW website about love, sex, relationships and everything in between.

Here you'll find loads of blush-free information to help you improve your sex life and stay healthy and happy.

“If Allah didn’t want me this way, he wouldn’t have made me this way,” says Omeed.

He’s a 27-year-old Dutch guy who believes he’s basically a good person and, therefore, a good Muslim too. But he’s also openly and unashamedly homosexual. How does he fit the two together?

Omeed (not his real name) was born here in the Netherlands, but his parents are first generation immigrants from Pakistan. He describes his family life not so much as strictly Islamic, but certainly ‘traditional’ with strong Muslim values. He did all most of ‘normal’ Islamic things, like observing Ramadan and studying the Qur’an.

Given this background, he was more than a bit worried when he first realised in his early teens that he was attracted to boys: “I thought […], oh no, I’m from a Muslim family – what’s going to happen?”

Not a real problem
But those concerns were more about his family’s reactions [see the item on Omeed and his family] than those of his religion. In fact, Omeed says being Muslim and gay is something he’s never regarded as a real problem: “I was and am still a believer but I also knew that Allah made me this way. If Allah didn’t want me this way, he wouldn’t have made me this way.”

He also came to these conclusions quite quickly: “I knew very early on that this wasn’t a matter of choice on my part. After all, I would never have chosen to be gay and Muslim, because that would be such a difficult path to choose for yourself.”

As a result, he concluded quite simply that this is the way he’s ‘meant to be’. After all, coming from a traditional, ‘heterosexual’ Muslim family, clearly... “There’s no choice or ‘learned behaviour’ involved. I am as I am, I think I’m a nice and a good person. I don’t do any harm to anybody – at least I try not to do so deliberately – and that’s more important than my sexual inclination”.

Exception
Omeed acknowledges he is an exception in the Dutch Muslim community, where homosexual men and women seldom come out 100 percent as most of their ethnic Dutch counterparts do. However, he says more and more gays and lesbians from a Muslim background are coming out partially – i.e. carefully, to a very select circle of friends and – in some cases – family members.

But basically, Omeed says he believes Allah wills and makes us to be the way we are, and if you can accept that then you can accept your own sexuality too.

Don't make it a problem
His advice to other young Muslims – and, come to that, anyone from a conservative-religious community - facing up to their homosexual feelings is not to make a problem out of their religion or let the religious interpretation of ‘others’ stop you being who you are.

Nonetheless he recommends that young gay Muslims be cautious about who they come out to, but not let this prevent them seeking support, either from friends or professionals. Although he’s never been a victim of real aggression, he knows it’s out there and that in the larger Muslim community homosexuality remains taboo.


Photo: anenomeprojectors on flickr.com - all further use subject to this CC licence

Discussion

Anonymous 9 June 2013 - 11:22pm

"Allah made me this way",maybe allah made you that way for a reason maybe because he want to put u through a test ,a situation that gives you time to decide what is right ,it just depends on yourself and making the right choices ,allah made me that way and I'm struggling on whether I should carry on bieng muslim and gay !sorry for commenting late,just though of giving my opinion !

Kris 11 February 2012 - 1:30am / The Netherlands

With much interest, I've read all these past comments... If a person is religious or non-religious, is up to him or her. I believe that every person has his or her own path in life, and therefore we cannot state much about somebody else. Some may be inspired by a higher power, some may be inspired by science. But love, and therefore sexuality, is not a topic that you can learn and understand by rationalizing every part of it. Life holds so much mystery, and love is one of the greatest mysteries of all. I believe that how much we may differ in shape and colour, we seek for the same peace inside ourselfs. How we will find this peace, is one big question, and stimulates to find our own path. I will try to not judge on religious or non-religious people, on gay or straight people, because in the core they are and want the same. Hopefully, in the near future, people can look beyond their differences and see their similarities. This discussion is not only about sexual orientation, but also about religion, psychology, biology...etc. If we look, and really see, on a more equal and human level, we may find a glimpse of the real truth. We may all have different truths in our heads, but the deeper truth that lies in our souls and hearts is pretty much the same. That is the truth of the universe, or the truth of God, if you want to call it so.

Lahkesis 31 January 2012 - 10:27pm

Well live a lie ... Living a lie is better than confronting ! At least for awhile till ur completely independent Cheers

Icha 20 November 2011 - 4:29pm

Well doh hiram, blue eyes, albino, baby born with defection, ADHD, are also products of Allah. And yes, gayness is also a product of Allah. No men in right mind want to choose to like another men. Everyman surely will choose to be an alpha male.

In my opinion, gayness is made by Allah, as Allah also creates human with certain 'defections' just like those born certain talents/gifts. The purpose? To put more challenge (i assume). A blind man who manages to reach his destination surely will be more rewarded than an athletic-type of guy who does the same.

Icha 20 November 2011 - 4:28pm

Well doh hiram, blue eyes, albino, baby born with defection, ADHD, are also products of Allah. And yes, gayness is also a product of Allah. No men in right mind want to choose to like another men. Everyman surely will choose to be an alpha male.

In my opinion, gayness is made by Allah, as Allah also creates human with certain 'defections' just like those born certain talents/gifts. The purpose? To put more challenge (i assume). A blind man who manages to reach his destination surely will be more rewarded than an athletic-type of guy who does the same.

Johan Olij &‎ John Hofman 27 June 2011 - 6:43pm / Netherlands

If there is no God at all you will be free at yourself Thousands of religious ideas are possible and often unreal!
humanitarian behavior that is all that counts!!! Free on fear and torture and without making profit by the priests.!

BabooSahab India 17 June 2011 - 5:18pm / India

It is nice to put every blame on Allah's shoulders by saying 'Allah made me this way'. It is good that the Al-Qaida supremo is dead, thanks to US Marines otherwise he would have the same contention,'Allah made me this way' to put speechless us all here.

Anon 13 June 2011 - 11:55pm

"I am this way because Allah made me this way." If this is so, why does Allah say homosexuals should be thrown off tall buildings? Just curious .... I have nothing against gays.

Anonymous 30 October 2011 - 1:15pm / Aus

I don't think He did. I think a mortal man decided, back when the will of Allah was being interpreted by other medieval mortal men, that they did not like Homosexuals. Thus they applied their mortally imperfect will to the word of Allah in order to express their small minded persecutory hatred on the world. The Bible and the Quran are merely mortal interpretations on what they believe to be the will of a God, and even if it could be proven that a supreme being actually communicates with humans, who in this world is morally and ethically equipped to interpret the telepathic thoughts of an otherworldly all powerful god? I would suggest that no living person today could provide adequate references for that sort of job. Long story short, believe what you want to believe and don't force it on anyone else, obey the law as agreed upon by all, and treat others as you would have them treat you. Look at it this way, would you follow rules made by those centuries ago who have no idea of the context in which they are being used now, or would you go by what seems right according to a progressive set of laws created by modern man who have a much higher set of morals and rules than is found in either the Bible or the Quran.

Rainbow Defender 7 August 2011 - 6:11am / USA

Because Allah only pretends to be a loving god. Allah truly seeks to torture some. Or another explanation things were very different in the 7th century, and Allah has made some gays now since the world is getting over populated, so all his people will be able to live in peace next to one another. Personally I feel a god that likes to torture people is less than great, and those he inspires to do the torturing are the absolute most fun to torture. If they like it so much they can live in their own hell on earth and enjoy torturing each other because us real humans one day soon will round them up and toss them all in the same hell so we can live our lives in peace and happiness! If you want to worship an Allah that will hurt loving humans go to hell with the others like you. If you want to worship a loving Allah welcome to the world of real humans!

Leucipus 13 June 2011 - 10:22pm

I forgot to mention another significant biological error related to sexuality: Hermaphrodism. Ancient Greeks explained this abnormality as the offsprings of Hermes and Aphrodite for having been born with the sexual organs of both parents.
Anything unfit to the continuation or propagation of the species tends to disappear with time. Be it anatomical
or behavioral.

Leucipus 13 June 2011 - 8:10pm

Allah, Jehovah, Dios, God or whatever they want to name this product of human imagination does not interact with human affairs or anything in the natural world. Biology is the only key to understand living organisms, from the simplest amoebas to man. When a person points to a God as the cause or explanation of something unknown, he is in effect admitting his inability or lack of willingness to seek reasonable explanations.
Life is a slow chemical reaction and the ability to think, with all the emotions that this process involves, is 100% dependent on interactions between neurons and between neurons with the environment as a stimulant.
Nobody can deny the profound effect that certain chemicals have in the machine that we call brain. Euphoria, fear, aggression, confusion, are a few of them. Many mental dysfunctions or disorders can be effectively treated with drugs and not with prayers or "divine' interventions.
Homosexuality is primarily dictated by the genetic code and in the same way that our sexual organs develop before we learn how to think and make choices, the sexual preferences of every man and woman in this planet respond to similar general laws of nature, which are beyond our control. In this context, homosexuality can be interpreted as a biological error, whether some of us like it or not.
Marriage is defined as the legal union between a man and a woman, and the vast majority of human population in every culture agrees with this ancestral practice and finds homosexual activities anti-natural or offensive to the values of society.

Hiram1 14 June 2011 - 12:13am

"Nothing happens at random; everything happens out of reason and by necessity."..... "Allah, Jehovah, Dios, God or whatever they want to name this product of human imagination does not interact with human affairs or anything in the natural world." Therefore, Allah and company appeared on the scene of mankind for reason and necessity. With life being a slow chemical reaction, do you think Adam and Eve were not the first pyhsical man and woman but the end process of a long, chemical evolution into the first spirtitual man and woman? I wonder why creation develope man into a spiritual being? Is it possible that creation "caused" it to be so and for a necessity? Nothing happens at random!

Leucipus 14 June 2011 - 4:11am / USA

Every emotion experienced by humans, including love and hate, can be explained by the laws of physics in the same fashion than the most elaborate functions of a computer can be explained by a few simple basic laws of electricity. But before engaging in discussions about physics and the laws of nature I would like to ask you this simple question: Why is it that the most religious people on earth are usually the most poor and abandoned. No matter how much they pray to their gods their situation does not improve a bit. When I see millions blindly praying to a big stone I can not feel anything but pity for their ignorance and credulity. Religion is only a sophisticated mean of control over the masses. Paradise and hell are only imaginary constructions of human fear of the unknown.

Hiram1 14 June 2011 - 6:35am

"No matter how much they pray to their gods their situation does not improve a bit."...Good things and bad things happen to religious and non-religious alike. It is a fact of living in a physical universe. As to your statement "Religion is only a sophisticated mean of control over the masses. Paradise and hell are only imaginary constructions of human fear of the unknown." I agree! As to your statement "When I see millions blindly praying to a big stone I can not feel anything but pity for their ignorance and credulity."...Why would you feel pity for those millions of people? Feeling pity as you said can be explained by the "laws of physics". It (feeling pity) is like believing in a Creator. It is a learnt condition from one's interaction with the environment. When I meet a hungry person I don't turn away from him and walk away. I give what I can; whereas, some people walk on by. Why? Because the act of showing pity is one of many "imaginary constructions" that can not be explained by the laws of physics but by the spirit of agape. Until you have expierence the agape of the Creator, you will never get past the laws of phyics as we humans know it. There may multiply universes with realities we will never understand; but, I do know one thing. There is force that created everything and I call Him father. Leucipus, your logic is very good.

geofrey 12 June 2011 - 9:04pm / Glasgow, Edinburgh

Hiram, If you are against gay marriage, dont have ONE! Stop dictating how other people should live just so life fits into some pagan inspired scripture that has been modified through the ages, because you are too weak to face reality!

Hiram1 13 June 2011 - 7:03am

"Stop dictating how other people should live just so life fits into some pagan inspired scripture that has been modified through the ages, because you are too weak to face reality!'....Reality! Is reality a perception of what is real or real? Reality is: One can do as one believes and pleases. Therefore, you brough-up the subject of gay marriages. Just because you may believe or do not believe in gay marriages doesn't mean others have to believe as you do. I do not support the reality of the gay community that a marriage of two men or two women is reality. It is only a reality to those who live such a lifestyle. Now, why has the gay community chosen to force their views of marriage on those who believe that marriages are between a man and woman. My reality tells me that the gay community is "trying to dictate" it's norms on those who do not accept it's new-age definition of marriage. In this article, the indidividual used a "pegan inspired" Allah as his justification for his lifestyle. He stated Allah made him as he was. It was a justification. Now, as I stated before, you and anyone who believes the lifestyle of gay marriages is okay is just fine but don't "dictate" to others on what reality is. You are trying to modify marriages between a man and a woman into man and man and woman and woman. Go for it if makes you happy but those who are unhappy with their gay lifestyle, you know the answer. The answer has always been there but you have tuned Him out. Tune him back in by changing your friends and lifestyle. Now if this message is one of those those "pagan inspired" messages, so be it. It is the reality of Truth. Thanks for bringing-up the subject.

user avatar
knirb 11 June 2011 - 7:15pm

xx

Hiram1 11 June 2011 - 9:04pm

xx or xy, who cares. Could be xyy.

Hiram1 10 June 2011 - 10:36pm

'Allah made me this way'...To make such a statement, one is saying: "It is not my fault I lead this lifestyle but Allah's." "I am this way because Allah made me this way." It is the transferring of one's conduct or "blame" on Allah. Making such a statement negates personal responsibility and transfers it to the Creator. One's "chosen" sexuality at any given time is the sum total of one's interaction with his environment. It starts from birth and continues through a lifetime. To say one's sexuality is not a choice is to deny one's preference or choice. In closing, the statement "Allah made me this way" negates one's actions of conduct and implies "I can not help who I am and my behaviours because Allah made me this way." Allah, doesn't control one's behaviours. A lifetime of interaction with one's environment causes one to make decisions. Anyways, he has a right to believe as does, do as he wants, and transfer blame (implied)as he wants. We all make decisions and choices and we do it from our expierences.

Hiram1 10 June 2011 - 3:35pm

Conditioning is: "A behavioral process whereby a response becomes more frequent or more predictable in a given environment as a result of reinforcement, with reinforcement typically being a stimulus or reward for a desired response.".....Therefore, did Allah make Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, Muammar Gaddafi's personalities? Or, was Mother Teresa's behavioral process and decisions made on her observations (vicarious learning) and interactions with the people of India? Now, if, Allah is responsible for one's chosen lifestyle, then He didn't need to send his Prophet Muhammad to instruct the people on the proper way to live their lives. If you want to live your lifestyle, do it; but, don't blame Allah for who you are as an individual. You acquired your personality over a lifetime of conditioning. Be nice out there. It was just an opinion and Allah made me pontificate my opinion. Why do we always blame Allah for our decisions? Can't we just say "I am who I am and I choose to be who I am."

Anonymous 10 June 2011 - 8:13pm

Hiram1 - please read the article again, more carefully this time. Omeed does not 'blame' Allah. Omeed also did not 'choose' his 'lifestyle'. If he chose to be gay, did you choose to be straight? Was there a moment in your life where you mentally ticked a box for 'Straight'? There are studies out there that prove sexuality is linked to biology. Therefore, it cannot be a choice because it is, literally, part of how one is made. I agree with your point about free will regarding behaviour. We can choose our behaviours. Sexuality, however, is not a choice.

user avatar
knirb 11 June 2011 - 11:52pm

Anonymous,
To give a straight answer to your question, I, as a heterosexual person, do not recall ticking on any box or making any conscious choice about being straight. I simply found myself attracted to the opposite sex.
I have not met any gays who ticked on a “gay” box. For most, I would say that the process of coming to terms with their gayness has been a very painful one, usually beginning with denial and avoidance. Thus, it is my opinion that the only choice becomes whether or not we act upon the feelings we have.

Hiram1 10 June 2011 - 10:56pm

"If he chose to be gay, did you choose to be straight?"...If one is born with the xx chromosome, one is a female. If one is xy, then one is male. You are either male or female. One's perception of one's gender is nothing but a perception. It is not reality. Just because an xx person believes she is a male, doesn't make it so. It is a sexual orientation and it is a choice if one believes she is something which she is not.

user avatar
knirb 11 June 2011 - 6:31am

You are mixing transgender with homosexuality. The question was about choosing to be gay or straight. This does not include the belief that one is of the opposite sex.

Hiram1 11 June 2011 - 6:04pm

"The question was about choosing to be gay or straight. Homosexuality is: "interest in and attraction to members of one’s own sex". When one is born into this world either as an xx or xy person, he or she is born straight. When one interacts with her/his world from birth and is condition by the enviornment, one becomes conditioned. As one continues in life, the learnt behaviours become part of one's persona. Transgender individuals are people who: "identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person's sex at birth." These individuals identify with several tyles of lifestyles and one his homosexuality. Therefore, when one is born, he/she are born "straight". Straight meaning "one is an "xx or xy" individual. One is not a homosexual because Allah mad him or her to be so. Allah made us humans and he gave us, humans, the ability to make choices. If one wants to be Gay, then that person has a right to do so. One "chooses" to become Gay.

user avatar
knirb 11 June 2011 - 7:12pm

As I said. Homosexual men and women do not dispute that they are men or women.

Hiram1 11 June 2011 - 8:51pm

As I stated: Transgender individuals are people who: "identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person's sex at birth." When one "identifies" one's self as a homosexual and then "expresses" one's self as such, then one denies or "disputes" who they are phyically. When others view the person, they normally view either a male or female One's persona is a reflection who one believes he is. A very large percentage of gays "dispute" who they are physically and by doing so they they justify their behaviours. When one says "Allah made me this way", is one talking about his physical body or his acquired persona? We know he is a male therefore he must be expressing his perceived gender identity. If one is comfortable with who they are both physically and mentally, one doesn't need to justify to the world, via RNW, that Allah made him so. This "Allah" justification is a denial of one's dispute within himself. Yes, Knirb, homosexual men and women (not all)do "dispute" the gender of their birth. To say they do not dispute who they are physically, supports my "opinion" that homosexuality is learnt and not a product of Allah.

user avatar
knirb 11 June 2011 - 11:47pm

You're being dense.

Hiram1 12 June 2011 - 12:40am

"You're being dense."...Is that your way of saying "I don't understand." Or, is your way of insulting? I personally think you understood. Have a good day, Knirb.

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