On May 11, 2019 Mohammed Hijab, a British Muslim scholar and debater, posted on his YouTube channel a video titled “Message to Muslim Westerners on LGBT – California.”
In this video, Mohammed Hijab answered a question from the audience about the Islamic perspective on LGBTQ. “This is a critical assessment on a worrying narrative with attempts to manipulate Muslims and others into agreeing with moral stances which go against Islam. The focus here is on homosexual sex and its permissibility/morality,” the video’s description reads.
The following is Mohammed Hijab’s speech:
I think you made some very valid points and I want to add to something very important, right, and this is I think one of the biggest challenges in this state in particular with the Muslim community, and I have to address it head-on. Obviously we have the same challenging in the U.K. but I believe that we have better mechanisms of dealing with that there. I’m not trying to you know but I think that we have you know more stuff [unintelligible] community in the U. K. only because we have been there much longer and we’ve been able to establish households and our population is much more concentrated. We have much less apostasy rate than in the United States.
However having said that to answer your question directly I think the question of the first and foremost about homosexuality in Islam, yeah, and LGBT activism, and how do we deal with that, because obviously from an Islamic perspective we know that homosexuality, not from an inclination perspective, from a tendency perspective, my feeling perspective, but certainly from an action perspective, is something which is an aberration irreligious against our religion. We’re not gonna change that part of our religion. In fact [homosexuality is] one of the major sins of Islam.
So I feel like this and you can correct me if I’m wrong obviously this is your stay and you can living here, but I feel there’s a pressure to capitulate to this idea that actually we should say that the act itself, I’m not talking about the feeling and I’m not talking about the person, homosexuals, I’m not talking about the feeling, how they feel, I’m talking about homosexual sex to be completely honest with you, right. Penetration, yeah, sorry to be [explicit], there are kids in the room, I’m talking about that. We are under pressure to say that’s legitimate, it is moral and this is fine. But I say and this is, I swear by Allah, if there is anything you gonna leave with today make this be the thing that you leave with, yeah, because it’s something that hopefully will protect your community, on our communities everywhere.
This [LGBTQ] is against every approach. Let me stand up for this, okay. No it’s against every single approach. Let me tell you why. We talked about the intersectional approach, yeah. What if someone who feels gay also believes that that homosexuality is a sin. What if they have two things that they’re doing at one time. They feel homosexual. They feel like they have a homosexual inclination but they also have the belief that what if they act upon that impetus that what they will do is they’ll be something sinful. So on an intersection analysis now have to go back and ask: What we prioritizing analysis, what they believe what they feel, and if that person makes a conscientious decision to say you know what I feel like this, but my identity as a human being should be prioritized in this level, for example in a religious way, therefore I’m going to suppress my sexual you know homosexuality for example, I’m gonna suppress it, then that is as legitimate on intersectional analysis and the liberal analysis as someone who “coming out of the closet”.
Basically there is a presupposition that sexual expressionism should be prioritized over and above suppression. But that does not make any sense. Why is that the case? Can that be proven? So in other words there’s this idea which actually takes us all the way back to [Sigmund] Freud, one guy called [Sigmund] Freud, yeah. Sigmund Freud. He wrote a book called Civilization and Its Discontents, and in it he basically argued… he said that you know when a child is born they have psychosexual stages of development and at one stage, like for example a young boy feels attraction for his mother, like he wants to engage sexually with his mother, right, and then we thought you know controlling those desires and so on, and he argues in his book that basically we should be able to express ourselves as much as possible, and this is incorporated into this liberal ethic.
This liberal ethic of just do it, kind of like you know the knight slogan, yeah, just do it you know, yolo, live once, and so on. So sexual expressionism is prioritized over and above sexual repressionism if you like. So coming out of the closet is seen as the epitome of self expression, yes. Even though, as I made the point in my debate yesterday for those were there, coming of the incest closet was not seen in the same way, meaning someone who sexual inclination for their brother or sister, sorry to be very explicit here, but this is a very important topic, because the truth is this on social liberalism the principle is you can do whatever you want so long as you don’t harm anyone else. That’s what they say, yeah. Do whatever you want so long as you don’t harm anyone else, okay.
So therefore the homosexual has a right to have sex with another man. But a brother doesn’t have the right to have sexual intercourse with this sister… because deformed babies will come about, okay. Put contraception. The same logic applies. Why is the LGBT rights in this country and not incest rights when both of them are predicated on the same social construct. Idea of a harm principle. So the idea is that a sexual expressionism should be prioritized, meaning over and above a repressionism, but even in certain contexts they’ll be exceptions that are made, like incest for example, some taboo things that they have. Society still has the civil rights movement here for. If there was a in a hundred thousand people had sexual feelings with the sisters and the brothers and they come out hand in hand in the streets and they say look give us our rights, maybe things will change. But why should it be the case that that should be what has to happen in order for society to accept them, right. They have the same, they should have the same rights to sexually expression. Anyway that’s a different question.
The point is as Muslims we say all of these things are go back to our expression as Muslims. We say as Muslims our morality is defined by Allah, Quran and Sunnah, through the Islamic schools of thought and so on, yeah. So if we believe that having sex with a man, if you are a man, is a sexual aberration, is irreligious, is wrong, and you say no that’s an illegitimate believe, then you’ll stopping us from believing what we want to believe. Where is the freedom of expression on that. We are not going to sacrifice our expression just to satisfy your own expression. Don’t ever allow that to happen to your community. You have to fight tooth and nail before that ever happens in this community. Don’t let them win the argument. I swear by Allah, even on their principles there’s no way you can lose this argument. You should be allowed to believe that having sex, two men having sex with each other, is a moral aberration, is irreligious, is not correct, is never going to be correct in my eyes.
That doesn’t mean now that I’m going to be disrespectful to homosexuals. No, we’re gonna have a good relationship with homosexuals, because Allah, the most glorified, the most high, told us ما ارسلناك الا رحمة للناس and وما أرسلناك إلاً كافة للناس We haven’t sent you except as for all of the people, for all of the people, not just for you know one sexuality, no discrimination, I swear by Allah. The Prophet [Mohammad] came for everyone, the homosexual, the heterosexual, the bisexual, the black man, the white man, the green man, the yellow man, everyone. He wasn’t sent for specific people which goes back to the racism point that you have met. There is no advantage for an Arab over a non-Arab. Or non-Arab over an Arab. Or for a black man over a white man. Or a white man over [a black man].
So it’s an inclusive message of Islam. But that should not mean that we’re going to change our morality, because now you’re impinging on our freedom of expression, and you are impinging on our freedom of thought. You’re telling us what to believe. You’re telling us what to believe. It is the equivalent, the moral equivalent of someone who’s a vegetarian who believe that eating meat is wrong, yeah, he’s told: no you can’t have that believe, because we have this you know all these people are eating meat therefore you know, you’re calling them immoral. Even if they believe that is immoral action and eating meat is wrong, shouldn’t they be allowed to believe, right, that eating meat is an immoral action? Is vegetarianism going to be outlawed? Vegaphobia. You are a Vegaphobe. No, don’t go there.
The LGBT community, they have to know full well, and you have to make this case very clearly that we will definitely treat you with respect and definitely allow you to enter our space there more welcomed than in our spaces than we are welcomed in our spaces, because we want them to come into the mosque. We want homosexuals to come to the mosque from Muslim faith and from non-Muslim faith. And yes, though an impossibility to be a Muslim and homosexual you can have those feelings and you can even commit the action, we’re not even going to excommunicate you from Islam, even if you have sex with a thousand men we are not going to excommunicate you from Islam. Sorry to say I’m bit, however we are going to say that action is wrong and if you are, and if we are stopped from doing this, because of this was referred to as the homo-nationalist agenda. Yes, well homosexuals juxtaposed themselves away from the Muslims in order to find some homes in nation states in the western world and so on.
Forget about it. We’re not going to accept that. Muslim communities have to be strong just like Jewish community as well, just like orthodox Jewish community as well, just like Christian community is in the Bible [unintelligible] can say ridiculous things. You’re going to heel you know, out shut up, be quiet redneck. Donald Trump and these guys, be quiet. And they are allowed to do that and they have a gun here and they walk around with guns in threatening behavior and they are ok. But ask Muslims we have to be victimized otherwise objected for homosexuals to, no.
We believe firmly, wholeheartedly, definitely blatantly, obviously, willingly that homosexuality if done in practice is sinful. We will never back down from that. Don’t ever let you, don’t ever let them back down from that position. The moment you back down from that position, I swear by Allah, you back down from Islam. May God reward you [with] goodness.