But to me, that sounds the same as people who claim Islam but still drink or don’t practice it properly,” Zara told me. But I still couldn’t get past Zara’s dismissal of interpretation.Why shouldn’t interpretation of one’s religion be acceptable?They symbolize a progressive interpretation of Islam, one that fosters equality for all regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation.Unisex group prayers and sermons are often led by female Imams, something that is far too uncommon.She has lived her life openly and proudly for the past nine years.But whatever made Zara feel like she wasn’t allowed to practice her religion struck sadness in her she has never been able to shake.We offer an inclusive spiritual space where straight, gay and trans Muslims are welcome.It is important that LGBTQ Muslims feel a part of the larger community.
“There are people out there who think they can be Muslim and gay, and that’s great. We dropped the argument and left Starbucks disgruntled but friends just the same.
I spoke with Ani Zonneveld, cofounder of MPV, who kindly took a minute from her busy schedule to break down what MPV represents and what Muslims can do to facilitate a more compassionate, forward, and inclusive future for Islam.
For Muslims questioning their sexuality they are often apprehensive to ask for guidance from their Mosque.
A good friend of mine and I were getting into a heated debate at Starbucks—naturally—over whether or not it’s possible to reconcile Islam with the LGBTQ community.
My friend Zara was outed by her strict Muslim Pakistani family at the age of 19 when they read through her diary while she was away at work one evening. No longer able to see a place for herself in Islam, she broke ties with her beloved religion—and with her family.
What are some avenues they can turn to for support?