Even if he's trying to stay within Islam, at least he's helping Muslims in the long run to slowly become more open-minded about gays. That has got to absolutely help gays everywhere, especially those who live in countries like Iran and Uganda that believe in executing folks merely for nothing more than the crime of being gay.

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2401755

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Replies to This Discussion

He would do better to reject Islam. Poor guy.
Why is it that being highly educated isn't enough to in one become less religious, if not nontheist? Instead, the various parts of one's identities become compartmentalized from each other, so that the level of thinking that might affect one part of oneself doesn't affect the other parts of oneself. Maybe that was an evolutionary defense mechanism for some reason, and if so, what could that reason have been? Any ideas?
I don't know Eric, but it sure does happen a lot. I've know a great many smart and sucessful people who still believed ridiculous, unprovable things. I don't know why that is.
Interestingly enough, pari passu with the scientific enlightenment which characterized mediaeval Islam (later to be expunged) , was what appears to be a somewhat very tolerant attitude to same-sex relationships particularly in the "mystical" branch of Islam, called Sufism. The poetry of Sufi "mystics" abounds with reference to the love of "youths" by their older "mystical gurus".
Yes, I've heard that same thing. Also, Islam was apparently getting pretty liberal mid 20th C, until the rise of fundamentalism.
Islam was apparently getting pretty liberal mid 20th C

That's the first time I've ever heard that.
Well, I can't reference anything right off the top of my head, but I have run across several references over the years. In the 70s, Iran was pretty liberal. Women wore western clothes, went dancing, etc.
Eric,

Thanks for sharing a useful, interesting, thoughtful story.

As this scholar reinterprets the Quran, maybe he will come to disbelieve it. Many ex-Xtian Atheists became so by reading the Christian bible. And maybe he wont. Certainly, many gay christians are apologists, stating that the bible is not really homophobic. Sort of like saying bullshit isnt fecal matter expelled by male bovines.

If providing an alternative interpretation of Quran passages puts even the smallest crack in fundamentalist Islam, that would be something indeed.
This story reminded me of a fascinating film I saw several years ago, "Trembling Before G-d", about orthodox and Hasidic Jews who are struggling to reconcile their religious backgrounds with their gayness. I was stunned at the attachment some of the people featured in this documentary had to remaining religious. I looked at the wikipedia page about this film http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trembling_Before_G-d and discovered that its director had followed up on it by co-producing another documentary, "A Jihad for Love", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Jihad_for_Love , about gay Muslims. I guess the young man whose plight is discussed in this article is far from unique.
I saw A Jihad for Love. It was really sad how confused and troubled some of these people were. Islam had really brainwashed them into hating themselves.
I knew about Trembling Before G-d but haven't seen it yet. Didn't know about the other one. Maybe one day I'll see both movies.

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