Saturday, June 24, 2006

Muslim Gays Seek Lesbians For Wives

Social Pressures Push Some Into Sexless Marriage

On a Web site for gay South Asians, 27-year-old Syed Mansoor uploaded the following message last summer:

"Hi, I am looking for a lesbian girl for marriage. I am gay but I would like to get married because of pressure from parents and society. I would like this marriage to be a 'normal' marriage except for the sex part, please don't expect any sexual relationship from me.

"Being an Indian gay person, I believe it is so much worth it to give up sex and have a nice otherwise normal family. We can be good friends and don't have to repent all our life for being gay/lesbian."

Across the globe and especially in America, hundreds of other gay Muslims have started to pursue marriages of convenience--or MOC, as they are known-- in which gay Muslims seek out lesbian Muslims, and vice versa, for appearances' sake.

...

"Marriages of convenience are the result of gay Muslims wanting to avoid emotional and physical harm to themselves," says Muhammed Ali, a board member of Homan, a Los Angeles-based support group for gay Iranians.

Homosexuality is a crime punishable by death in much of the Islamic world. In Iran last year, two gay teenagers were publicly executed, while in Afghanistan, the Taliban government would torture homosexuals by collapsing walls on them.

Though gay Muslims in America don't have such fears, they still seek out marriages of convenience as a way of staying in the closet. Many of them worry about being ostracized from their families if their secret is revealed.

...

Muslim authorities around the world have repeatedly emphasized that homosexuality is not permissible. Muzammil Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of North America said there is no flexibility on this topic.

"Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and corruption... No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born a thief, a liar or murderer," he said. "People acquire these evil habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education."


What a senseless waste. Because of some thousands-year-old book that says homosexuality is an abomination, people in America in 2006 have to lead lives of secrecy and keeping up appearances. At least America's better than most of the Muslim world and the rule of the Bible -- we don't kill people simply for loving people of the "wrong" gender.

I'm sure this happens among "ultra-Orthodox" Jews as well.

32 comments:

asher said...

JA.

What about that silly "documentary" called "Trembling before G-d" where ultra orthodox gays and lesbians talk about their problems with their community.??? I call it silly since it was very loaded...i.e. giving only one point of view..We used to call that propaganda.

jewish philosopher said...

First of all, homosexuals are about 10 to 20 times more likely to molest children than heterosexuals. Second of all, homosexuals spread a fatal disease called HIV. Communities with no homosexuals have no HIV, communities with many have a lot of HIV.

Therefore, I think the Jewish prohibition of homosexuality if perfectly reasonable.

Jewish Atheist said...

jewish philosopher:

Those are hateful misrepresentations.

First of all, homosexuals are about 10 to 20 times more likely to molest children than heterosexuals.

This is not true according to any reputable scientist, e.g.:

The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual

(source.)

In other words, being homosexual (i.e. being attracted primarily to adult members of your own gender) is not statistically related to molesting children of either gender. Adult men who molest young boys are not likely to be otherwise homosexual.

Communities with no homosexuals have no HIV, communities with many have a lot of HIV.

While the rate of HIV transmission in the American gay community was huge in the early years, HIV is now spread fastest among heterosexuals in Africa.

Moreover, "forbidding" homosexuality is counterproductive to both ends. For molestation, we see how well that worked for the Catholic church, who have always forbidden homosexuality yet have a well-known molestation problem. For HIV, black men on the "down low" because homosexuality is culturally forbidden are at much greater risk of HIV transmission than are out, accepted homosexuals who are more likely to practice safe sex.

As you don't believe in evolution, though, I'm sure you'll find the Christianist websites that argue your points more convincing then the well-documented statistics used by scientists. Go on believing what you want.

Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof said...

I look at it this way: the guy made his own decision. If he feels that what he is doing is appropriate for his way of life then so be it. He is entitled to make his own choice. Is he not at least allowed the right to be wrong, in your eyes?
To be honest I really don’t care, its his issue, and how he chooses to deal with it is his business. Using this as a point to say religion is bad because of this is absurd, he could leave his religion if he so chose and have all the homosexual sex he desires. Instead he is choosing this. I think this raises a larger question, that of “why?”. Why has he chosen this? Is it social pressure, if so then is it not people he is more afraid of than a Supreme Being? Is he not compelled more by his peers than by his faith?

Second of all JA you don’t strike me as the type who lives under a rock but your statement about Americans having to hide their sexuality is absurd? Where have you been the past 20-30 years? Dude its pride week in NYC, South Beach Fl. and San Francisco CA as well as Greenwich Village NYC are all known for having large homosexual populations. There are many people “out of the closet” in the U.S. I really must disagree with your statement about that.

Peace

Jewish Atheist said...

I look at it this way: the guy made his own decision. If he feels that what he is doing is appropriate for his way of life then so be it. He is entitled to make his own choice. Is he not at least allowed the right to be wrong, in your eyes?

Oh, of course it's his right to do it. I just think it's a shame that he feels he has to.

Using this as a point to say religion is bad because of this is absurd, he could leave his religion if he so chose and have all the homosexual sex he desires.

According to the article, people like him fear being ostracized from their families. If not for religion (or similar closed-minded belief systems like totalitarian communism or whatever) they wouldn't have to choose between their own happiness and the continued love and support of their families.

Second of all JA you don’t strike me as the type who lives under a rock but your statement about Americans having to hide their sexuality is absurd?

Of course most Americans don't have to hide it. Frankly, it's probably one of the better times and places in history to be gay. However, if you grow up in a closed-minded community and you happen to be gay, you're often faced with a difficult choice -- being honest about who you are or keeping the love and support of your family and community. Of course a Hasid could leave the fold and move to the Village or San Francisco, but it's a damn shame that his family will likely as not never talk to him again and his former community will shun him.

My point is that it's a shame people have to choose.

asher said...

Today, June 25, 2006 is the date of the Gay Pride Parade in New York City. Can anyone tell me what the point of the parade is?

Also, if you've ever attended this parade, or one like it, IN PERSON, are you really getting a sense of what it's like to gay?

Flippy said...

You know what's it like to be gay? It's having to constantly read about abominations and child molestations and all the crap that Jewish Philosopher probably spews on a daily basis. But, in fact, our everyday lives are just like everyone else's, except we're forever having to decide, "Is it safe to be out here, in this situation, with these people, in this city?"

The Pride parade started when gay people had to hide in back rooms and gay bars. Now, it's mostly a celebration of not having to hide. At least not there, surrounded by a million plus other people. But often, people are out at the parade, then have to go back into the closet when they leave because they're scared or in danger if they're out where they live or work.

David said...

Asher, I didn't get that impression from "Trembling Before God". What point of view did you think was missing? I thought it was very well-done.

Leigh-Ann said...

if you've ever attended this parade, or one like it, IN PERSON, are you really getting a sense of what it's like to gay?

Not unless you think that Mardi Gras gives you a sense of what it's like to be a heterosexual. As Flippy wrote, Pride parades may have started for a particular purpose, but these days it's mostly just a big party for both gay people and straight people. For some attendees, it's a rare chance to be "out" in public (perhaps holding hands with a partner on the street for the first time), but for others, it's just a fun time on a nice summer day.

If you ever have a chance to attend a parade, don't worry that you'll be the only straight person there. You most definitely won't be.

An aside to "Jewish Philosopher" -- a person who molests children is called a pedophile. They are neither specifically heterosexual nor homosexual, and studies show that pedophiles can rarely be "converted" to a heterosexual or homosexual orientation. In other words, they're attracted to children and not to adults, and the gender is irrelevant.

jewish philosopher said...

About homosexuality and child molesting, check this:
http://www.familyresearchinst.org/FRI_EduPamphlet2.html

And there is no question that if there would be no homosexuality, there would be no AIDS problem.

Jewish Atheist said...

Leigh-Ann, that's a great answer about the parade.


jewish philosopher:

The Family Research Institute is a hateful joke. Read the entry about them in wikipedia:

"The Family Research Institute is an organization based in Colorado Springs, Colorado which makes negative comments to homosexuality. Its current chairman is Paul Cameron, who supported Virginia Anti-Gay Adoption Bill. Cameron and other key figures in the Family Research Institute have publicly advocated the arrest, and imprisonment of homosexuals. Paul Cameron once suggested that homosexuals be branded on their faces so that they could be easily recognized.

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists this organization as a hate group.
"


And there is no question that if there would be no homosexuality, there would be no AIDS problem.

Whether or not this is true, and I doubt it is, the issue under debate is not whether homosexuality should exist or not, but, given that it does exist, what should be done about it?

jewish philosopher said...

“The Family Research Institute is a hateful joke.”

But are they wrong?

The Torah actually has some recommendations regarding what should be done about it. I would advise anyone interested to read it.

Jewish Atheist said...

But are they wrong?

Yes. Ask the real scientists. Next, you're going to quote the Discovery Institute to show that the world's only 10,000 years old.

The Torah actually has some recommendations regarding what should be done about it. I would advise anyone interested to read it.

I would too. Then they'd know why I'm an atheist and you should be too.

Flippy said...

Okay, I'll bite - what exactly does the Torah say should be done with me? And, are we distinguishing between gay men and women? If so, why?

Also, considering the fact that lesbians have less chance of contracting AIDS through sex than heterosexual women, should lesbianism be the ideal for women?

elf said...

Asher said:
What about that silly "documentary" called "Trembling before G-d" ... I call it silly since it was very loaded...i.e. giving only one point of view..We used to call that propaganda.

An interesting response. For every Orthodox Jew I've heard complain about the movie's bias in favor of homosexuality, I've heard a non-Orthodox Jew complain about its bias in favor of Orthodoxy. These people all have one thing in common: they all think that the producer was trying to prove some sort of point. As I see it, the movie's only "point" is that gay Orthodox Jews are human beings and should be allowed to speak for themselves. The people interviewed in the movie are all different, but most have some attachment to Judaism (naturally - it's the religion in which they were raised), and all are uncomfortable with being closeted or remaining in heterosexual relationships. If you find that problematic, then your problem is with reality, not the film.

Flippy said:
Okay, I'll bite - what exactly does the Torah say should be done with me? And, are we distinguishing between gay men and women? If so, why?

According to Leviticus 20:13, a man who has sex with another man is liable for the death penalty. Later Judaism prohibits lesbian sex as well, but the omission of women from the Torah prohibition is glaring. (Contrast Lev. 20:15-16.) The "why" question is impossible to answer for certain, but I addressed one possible explanation here.

Also, considering the fact that lesbians have less chance of contracting AIDS through sex than heterosexual women, should lesbianism be the ideal for women?

Good one.

asher said...

I was just saying that the film "Trembling before G-d" had one point of view...oh these poor poor folks and how they have to deal with life. Generally when you give only one point of view on a topic it does not qualify it as a documentary. It's called propagadanda. For example, the nazi film "The Eternal Jew" doesn't give jews any room to explain themselves.

Flippy said...

elf- According to Leviticus 20:13, a man who has sex with another man is liable for the death penalty.

I'm no religious scholar, but I guessed (but wasn't positive) that we were probably talking about Leviticus. (What gay person hasn't had Leviticus thrown at them ad nauseam?) And, I wanted Jewish Philospher to come right out and say that I, an actual person and not just a random "gay person" out there in the universe, should be put to death. I'm hoping that the population who mix their clothing materials get the death penalty with me. No more of those cotton/poly-blend socks. I suppose everyone can go back to wearing sandals just to be safe.

jewish philosopher said...

Vital Statistics

Worldwide:

Over 22 million people have died from AIDS.
Over 42 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, and 74 percent of these infected people live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Over 19 million women are living with HIV/AIDS.
By the year 2010, five countries (Ethiopia, Nigeria, China, India, and Russia) with 40 percent of the world's population will add 50 to 75 million infected people to the worldwide pool of HIV disease.
There are 14,000 new infections every day (95 percent in developing countries). HIV/AIDS is a "disease of young people" with half of the 5 million new infections each year occurring among people ages 15 to 24.
The UN estimates that, currently, there are 14 million AIDS orphans and that by 2010 there will be 25 million. source:
Until There's A Cure Foundation

Would it have been more humane to execute a few homosexuals, as a deterrent, and have avoided this catastrophe?

JA, that's why I'm a theist and you should be too.

Jewish Atheist said...

What would have been humane is for Reagan to have spoken out and taken action when AIDS was first starting. What would have been humane is for religious groups to demand comprehensive sex ed in the schools. What would have been humane is for religious people to accept homosexuals so they wouldn't be as likely to turn to promiscuity and anonymous sex. What would have been humane is for religious groups to advocate more condoms in Africa instead of convincing the U.S. government to withhold funds.

Your execution plan, besides being something Hitler (may his name be wiped out) tried, is completely stupid. If tens of thousands of deaths by AIDS didn't serve as a deterrent to homosexuality, how could a few government-sponsored executions do it?

elf said...

Flippy said:

And, I wanted Jewish Philospher to come right out and say that I, an actual person and not just a random "gay person" out there in the universe, should be put to death.

Sorry to have interfered. Anyway, the traditional Jewish understanding of the law is that it only applies to Jews, and only when there is a divinely sanctioned religious court authorized to use corporal and capital punishment, and only when the "sinners" have been explicitly warned against their "sin." I'm not suggesting that these qualifications justify the rule, but they would have saved JP from having to state that you, personally, deserve to die. (Then again, after reading his most recent comment, I'm not sure he would have minded making that very statement. What do you say, JP?)

Asher said:

I was just saying that the film "Trembling before G-d" had one point of view...oh these poor poor folks and how they have to deal with life.

What would be the alternative point of view? That gay and lesbian Orthodox Jews don't exist? That their lives are easy? It's true that most of the documentary is devoted to interviews with gay Orthodox Jews (the purpose of the film is to give them a voice), but there are also a few interviews with rabbis who assert unequivocally that homosexual sex is a grave sin. I don't know what more you could reasonably ask for.

The reason I'm harping on this is that you seem unwilling to acknowledge that religion can make some people very miserable. You may believe that the ban on homosexuality serves some higher divine purpose, but not to acknowledge that it causes suffering is to ignore the obvious. (Btw, sorry for confusing you with JP.)

jewish philosopher said...

Saudi Arabia imposes a death penalty on male homosexuality. They have an estimated rate of AIDS of .01% while the US rate is 60 times higher.

How many homosexuals have recently been executed in Saudi Arabia? About 9.

Sounds smart to me.

Random said...

"What would have been humane is for Reagan to have spoken out and taken action when AIDS was first starting."

Yes, Reagan dropped the ball but hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

"What would have been humane is for religious groups to demand comprehensive sex ed in the schools."

Difficult though this may be for you to believe, but religious groups view it as a priority to stop sin, not to make sinning easy and safe.


"What would have been humane is for religious people to accept homosexuals so they wouldn't be as likely to turn to promiscuity and anonymous sex."

Oh come on JA - are you seriously saying that gays indulge in promiscuity and anonymous sex because they are depressed at being snubbed by religious types? Those that do it (and there are plenty who do not, otherwise gay marriage wouldn't be such a big issue) do it because they enjoy it, just as straight swingers do. This is a caricature that resembles precisely none of the gay people I know.

"What would have been humane is for religious groups to advocate more condoms in Africa instead of convincing the U.S. government to withhold funds."

Actually this president, supported by religious groups, has embarked on the biggest expansion of Aids funding in Africa in history.

JP is a poisonous bigot who discredits the cause he claims to support*, but this sort of argument does not do much credit to your side of the argument either.

* For example, he ignores the point already referred to that there is no reliably documented case anywhere in the world of a woman catching Aids from a sexual act with another woman. If the infection rate amongst gay men is a sign of divine displeasure then is this a sign of divine approval for lesbianism? He also ignores the fact that the third world death rates he quotes are overwhelmingly down to heterosexual transmission, so I have not the faintest idea how executing homosexuals is going to make the slightest difference. Oh, and as for official statistics out of Saudi Arabia - I'd hesitate to trust a weather report from that part of the world (hot, sunny...) without confirmation, never mind an Aids death toll.

Jewish Atheist said...

Actually this president, supported by religious groups, has embarked on the biggest expansion of Aids funding in Africa in history.

I know that and I admire him for doing it. However, his record on condoms is less than admirable. Under his watch, the CDC removed content from their website about how to use condoms effectively. He also campaigned to limit the use of condoms in Africa:

The Bush Administration has also promoted unscientific positions on condom use internationally. In December 2002, the U.S. delegation at the Asian and Pacific Population Conference sponsored by the United Nations attempted to delete endorsement of “consistent condom use” as a means of preventing HIV infection. U.S. delegates took this position on the grounds that recommending condom use would promote underage sex. [8] Contrary to these U.S. claims, scientific studies have shown that comprehensive sex education delays the onset of sexual activity.[9] The U.S. opposition to “consistent condom use” was rejected, 32–1.

http://www.democrats.reform.house.gov/features/politics_and_science/example_condoms.htm


Oh come on JA - are you seriously saying that gays indulge in promiscuity and anonymous sex because they are depressed at being snubbed by religious types?

Perhaps I overstated this factor, but certainly people who are ashamed of themselves are known to engage in high-risk behavior. Who do you think is more likely to practice safe sex? A homosexual teen whose parents love, support, and educate him, or a homosexual teen whose parents kick him out or tell him he's a sinner who's going to hell?

Difficult though this may be for you to believe, but religious groups view it as a priority to stop sin, not to make sinning easy and safe.

Their belief in, and prioritization in preventing, victimless "sin" costs lives. In my book, *that's* a sin.

I agree about JP. I also find it deeply ironic that an Orthodox Jew could look to Saudi Arabia as a place to emulate.

Flippy said...

Okay, good, I'm glad we all agree. Lesbianism is the ideal. Jewish Philosopher, will I see you at the next Dyke March holding a sign that says, "Don't sin, but if you're gonna, do it with a lesbian"?

Seriously, I cannot believe that Saudi Arabia is mentioned as a place to emulate.

In addition to what JA says about the reasons for promiscuity (which are factual), we also have to consider what a world of all men would be like. You think that monogamy is going to be the ideal? And frankly, physically, it's a lot easier for men to have anonymous sex. It's hardly optimal for us put our "parts" through a glory hole or whip something out in the park.

And Jewish Philosopher, thanks for wanting to execute me. It makes me feel all warm & fuzzy. Do you have a method in mind too or is murder by any means good enough?

Leigh-Ann said...

Death by stoning, probably, and not the herbal kind ;-)

JA said: certainly people who are ashamed of themselves are known to engage in high-risk behavior.

People who have self-esteem issues are likely to engage in high-risk behaviour, as are people who are just plain ol' in denial. Many of the "sex in the park" types identify as heterosexual because they figure if they're married with kids, but just enjoy having sex with men "as a hobby", they aren't gay. If they aren't gay, they aren't at risk for HIV, and thus they don't use condoms, etc., etc. It's a mistake to assume that only "homosexuals" engage in "homosexual behaviour", let alone "risky behaviour".

Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof said...

JA- Is it possible that perhaps his culture and familial values supersede his sexual ones?

I happen to agree with you that his family shunning him and deriding him is wrong.

I am also astonished that JP would use saudi Arabia, one of the cruelist certainly anti-Jewish regimes on the planet, as an example in any way. Judaic Law makes it exceedingly difficult for somone to be executed. You kind of have to go out of your way for it.

Lastly the Torah condmens the practice of homosexual sex and not the person for having the desire. Listen I'm not a homosexual but I have a close relative who is, and I love them as they are my relative. I'm concerned for their welfare and well-being and they are important to me. Nevertheless I disagree with homosexual sex, but what they do in bed is THEIR BUSINESS and not mine. I don't concern myself with what my heterosexual friends/relatives do in their beds and I won't with homosexual ones either. I guess my point is that somone can indeed be a practicing believer and not conform to the stereotype of pushing people away because of how they may live.(I also don't belive sexuality is something to be paraded but that is my perogative.) My beliefs are not so insecure.

Peace

jewish philosopher said...

If any statistics supporting the Torah's anti-homosexual policies are automatically discredited because they are anti-homosexual, I guess there isn't much I can say, is there? I'm glad everyone is so rational and unbiased.

Leigh-Ann said...

If any statistics supporting the Torah's anti-homosexual policies are automatically discredited because they are anti-homosexual, I guess there isn't much I can say, is there?

The statistics weren't discredited for being anti-homosexual, they were discredited for being from questionable sources. If you have stats from a respected, non-biased research institution (the NIH, the CDC, or WHO, for example), I'd be much more apt to consider them. The "Family Research Council" has no credibility whatsoever -- you'd might as well be quoting stats given to you by Fred Phelps.

Flippy said...

Put it this way, JP, it's as if you're using the Klan's statistics on Jews.

I'm glad everyone is so rational and unbiased.

I would think that us even speaking to you, and politely yet, after you've advocated the death penalty for us is pretty darned rational.

jewish philosopher said...

My most recent comment was based on statistics from the CIA World Factbook and an apparently pro-gay website called http://www.sodomylaws.org/. Does anyone have evidence they are wrong?

Just incidentally, it is my sincerely held religious belief that the Torah is of divine origin. The Torah absolutely prohibits male homosexuality. I don't feel any need to apologize for that or for any of my other beliefs.

Flippy said...

So, what does the Torah say about you using a computer to post on the internet? What, nothing? But, as you know, life's little "rule book" never changes and is the infallible divine truth...about everything.

jewish philosopher said...

The Torah encourages the spread of truth and goodness through any means possible. That would include the Internet.