Norway: First Muslim homosexual (and a bit on antisemitism)

A Christian country, a Muslim homosexual.. makes you wonder what does it have to do with the Jews, doesn't it?

When I first read this article I thought that saying Muslims have an "Old Testament attitude" was quite strange, but I didn't put much into it. It's just a phrase, after all. But then I happened across Melanie Phillip's article about "Old Testament" violence and the BBC (and the BBC's responses) and realized the antisemitic connotations.

In fact, googling for the phrase "Old testament attitude" in Norwegian brought me to exactly two articles: this one, and one about the Old Testament's attitude towards the existence of God.

Nobody denies that The Old Testament has strict attitudes towards homosexuality, but do the Koran or New Testament differ in any way? More to the point, when a Christian or Muslim talk about homosexuality, do they really care what the Old Testament has to say about it? Isn't it more likely that Muslims have "Quranic attitudes" towards homosexuality?

In a politically correct world it might be wrong to imply that Muslims have a violent faith, but Jews get no such protection.


Iraqi-Norwegian Kaltham Lie is not afraid after he has become the first in Norway to officially declared himself a homosexual Muslim. "Why should i be afraid? I did not flee from Iraq in order to be afraid in Norway," says Lie.

Lie had come out both in newspapers and radio and stresses that it relates to his freedom, not on how Islam is practiced. "The imams have nothing to do with me. My tendency is between me and God," he says.

Erik Roen, deputy head of Skeiv verden - a group for homosexuals in Norway with a foreign background - believes Lie's decision to come out is very important. "I think it can have great meaning," he says. Roen compares it with the 1970s when the first Norwegian homosexual came out openly with his tendency. He stresses that some Muslim communities have an old testament attitude to homosexuality.

"We are expecting the reactions from this community," he says.

Kaltham Lie hadn't got any negative reactions to his coming out so far. He would like to see other do so as well, but stresses that Muslim homosexuals shouldn't feel pressed to do so. "It's up to every individual to decide if she or he wants to do it or not," says Lie, but he also has a demand. "We won't hide. There is no reason that we should hide. We exist and they know that we exist," he says.

Source: Aftenposten (Norwegian)

No comments: