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An intersectional breakdown

In Dearborn, Islam clashes with the LGBTQ agenda

The Islamic Center of America mosque in Dearborn, Mich. Associated Press/Photo by Paul Sancya

An intersectional breakdown
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The inevitable clash between Islam and the LGBTQ agenda in the United States is now happening before our eyes, and Christians need to take a closer look.

Last month, a crowd of hundreds of Muslims gathered in Dearborn, Mich., to demonstrate against LGBTQ books circulated and taught in public schools. Muslims began their protest with performing the ritual Islamic prayer, reading a chapter of the Quran, then marched holding signs of protest, denouncing the books used with their children as “too explicit.”

“Stop brainwashing our children,” one sign declared. “Quit grooming students, you sexually perverted animals,” another sign demanded. A protesting woman, wearing an Islamic hijab, held a pride flag marked with a clear X sign in red and a statement, “Keep your twisted mindset to yourself.” When a transgender counter-protester interfered in the demonstration, many Muslims shouted, “Go cry.”

The demonstration attracted large numbers of Muslims—and a few non-Muslims—and moved from Dearborn to the neighboring city of Hamtramck. These two cities are both very important to Muslims. Dearborn has the largest Muslim population per capita in the United States, while Hamtramck is now the first U.S. city with an all-Muslim government. In Hamtramck last month, anti-gay graffiti was drawn outside the City Hall and elected Muslim officials—including the Muslim mayor—opposed the flying of a Pride flag this summer.

This Muslim demonstration shows the unavoidable clash between Islam and the LGBTQ agenda. While liberals in the West have been keen to elevate Islam as an alternative to Christianity in matters of cultural progressiveness, moments like these clearly reflect the naivety common among Western liberals when it comes to comprehending Islam and its core values.

Islamic authoritative texts clearly denounce homosexuality. In all of Islam’s five classical schools of thought, homosexuality is unanimously forbidden and is, according to Islamic law, punishable by death. This is not surprising, as there are many Quranic verses that condemn homosexuality as the detestable sin of the people of Lot. And it’s not just the Quran as the highest authoritative Islamic text that advances the same judgment, but also Muhammad’s own statements. He reportedly instructed his followers: “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Lot, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.”

To accept the LGBTQ agenda or the dictates of the sexual revolution, Muslims would have to violate explicit statements in their own sacred texts.

These commands are crucial in forming the Islamic worldview concerning male homosexuality in particular, and the larger world of LGBTQ matters in general. For Muslims, Muhammad’s statements and Quranic verses take a higher priority in their mind and heart over any social requirements or political priority. To accept the LGBTQ agenda or the dictates of the sexual revolution, Muslims would have to violate explicit statements in their own sacred texts. For now, most Muslims are open about what they believe as evidenced in this demonstration in the most-populated area of Muslims in the United States.

But a severe conflict within the Muslim community is now growing in the West.

Some progressive Muslims, in an attempt to present a version of Islam that appeals to Western liberalism, insist that Islam does not condemn the LGBTQ lifestyle. These progressives flourish mainly in the West, as they are not truly welcome in the heartland of Islam, nor in Muslim-majority countries where Islamic sacred texts are taken seriously. They articulate an “Islam” that decidedly goes along the same wavelength as the dictates of the progressive agenda. When you hear of Western LGBTQ-friendly mosques and openly-gay imams, understand that these are liberal Muslims who must reinterpret, historicize, or totally ignore their own Islamic sources, in order to advance and support LGBTQ rhetoric.

But the Dearborn Muslim protests present bad news for liberals in the West.

Most American Muslims are concerned for their children and do not want them to be indoctrinated by un-Islamic LGBTQ materials in public schools. Devoted Muslims want to adhere to religious commands. They do not buy into a Westernized version of Islam that violates their scriptures or disobeys their prophet. The bad news for liberals is that Islam, as a world religion, will not serve as a cosmopolitan alternative to biblical Christian beliefs. Islam will hardly adopt, let alone carry and advance, their liberal agenda, especially on issues of sexuality.

Indeed, the Muslim condemnation of all homosexual behavior is inconvenient to Western liberals, as this is not the Islam they have sought to emphasize. The clash between the two worldviews cannot be hidden any longer. Look to Dearborn and Hamtramck as signs of the coming conflict.

A.S. Ibrahim

A.S. Ibrahim, born and raised in Egypt, holds two PhDs with an emphasis on Islam and its history. He is a professor of Islamic studies and director of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has taught at several schools in the United States and the Middle East, and authored A Concise Guide to the Life of Muhammad (Baker Academic, 2022), Conversion to Islam (Oxford University Press, 2021), Basics of Arabic (Zondervan 2021), A Concise Guide to the Quran (Baker Academic, 2020), and The Stated Motivations for the Early Islamic Expansion (Peter Lang, 2018), among others.

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