How will these resources help you? 

The mainstream position in Islam, such as that of the Muslim Council of Britain, is that homosexual relationships are sinful. However, these resources present examples of Muslim groups and individuals who accept LGBTQ+ identities within the faith as well as gay, lesbian and queer Muslims who do not necessarily see a contradiction between these parts of their identity. Academic support is also shown, as well as some of the possible consequences of an intolerant approach to LGBTQ+ Muslim identities. These resources will enable fruitful discussions around sexuality and human relationships within religion and worldviews and contribute more widely to discussions around interpreting texts and broader approaches to the relationship between religion and the contemporary world. 

A Muslim scholar's view: Amina Wadud

Gender, sexuality and identity: An interview with Islamic feminist Dr Amina Wadud

by Elizabeth Arif-Fear, published by Voice of Salam, (2018)

Dr Amina Wadud is a prominent Qur’anic scholar and feminist known for leading mixed-gendered prayer in the Claremont Mosque, Cape Town, in 2005. She is LGBTQ+-affirming and this interview outlines the case for accepting diversity within Islam. She specifically addresses what she has coined the ‘Takfiri Factor’, where Muslims with a view on specific issues that are not deemed as orthodoxy will be dismissed by stating that the holder of the view is not Muslim. For Wadud, this mechanism is used to prop up a patriarchal and conservative understanding of Islam as a reaction to imperialism rather than something that is part of the genuine tradition of Islam. She gives a scholar’s emphasis on the diversity of opinions in Islam, which will support students and teachers alike when they encounter views that may differ greatly from what they currently perceive as ‘Islam’. 

Muslim family reactions to homosexuality

My God, I’m Queer

by Matt Mahmood-Ogston and Behind the Facade Films, published by Naz and Matt Foundation, (2020)

This award-winning documentary tells the heart-breaking story behind the setting up of the Naz and Matt Foundation. Matt has chosen to tell his story to allow discussion around the ‘religious’ justifications given for homophobia. The documentary illustrates some of the possible consequences of familial intolerance of LGBTQ+ identities, focusing on the experiences of different Muslims who identify as LGBTQ+. The range of reactions from families and ways that LGBTQ+ people have found peace surrounding their identities offers the opportunity for students to hear voices that may not always be present in resources on this topic in the classroom. 

A Muslim scholar’s view: Scot Siraj al-Haqq Kugle

Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims

by Scott Siraj Al-Haqq Kugle, published by Oneworld Academic, (2010), 9781851687015

 | Dr Kugle has said that writing as an academic on Islam and sexuality and gender identity has caused him to come out twice: first as a gay man within the Muslim faith and second as a practising Muslim within academia. A prominent scholar on the issue of Islam and LGBTQ+ identities since the early 2000s, he states the 9/11 bombings in New York as a historical moment that encouraged him and others to publish on themes around progressive Islam. While his work has been rejected and even boycotted in various Muslim settings where his Qur’anic interpretations are not accepted, it has also been favourably received by many across the globe. Kugle hopes to help LGBTQ+ Muslims reconnect with their faith and contribute to academic support for LGBTQ+-accepting Islam. As a North American Sufi Muslim, Kugle would also be of interest to students as an example of the diversity of experiences within the Islamic tradition. 

Queer Islam in the Western Imagination

Racializing Queer Religiosity: LGBTQ Muslims in the Western Imagination

by Rasturge, published by The University of Vermont, (2019)

This blog post from the University of Vermont sets the diversity of views around LGBTQ+ identities and Islam within a broader context of the need to decolonise discussions of Islam and Muslim worldviews. The article examines the discourse on Islam and LGBTQ+ identities and the experience of people of faith within a secularised worldview of the LGBTQ+ community. With various case studies of Queer Muslim community leaders and unpicked cultural assumptions, this article will be of particular use to teachers when planning curriculum on this topic. 

Audiovisual clip

Queer Britain - Islam and Homosexuality

published by BBC Three, (2017)

A testimony from a Muslim woman planning a marriage of convenience.

Further Materials

A Dutiful Boy: A memoir of secrets, lies and family love by Mohsin Zaidi, published by Penguin, (2021), 9781529112207 Find this book
The Inclusive Mosque Initiative Visit this website
Imam Muhsin Hendricks reflects on homosexuality by Docukanaal, published by YouTube, (2011) Watch this video
Queer Britain: Does God Hate Queers?, published by BBC Three, (2017) Watch this clip
Ruth Marx teaches Religion and Worldviews, is a Consultant for Religious Studies and PSHE, a Farmington Fellowship Scholar and a published blogger on Re:Online.

Text © Ruth Marx, 2023.