It is a very courageous and brave thing to do to come out of the closet and be open about your sexual orientation or gender identity– especially when society may see you as different or other or deviant. Now imagine coming out of the closet to those of your faith or religion! Traditionally, the perception seems to be that persons of Christian, Muslim, Jewish faith are opposed to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals. The perception seems to be that religion has no place for the LGBT community.
Well, this openly gay Imam, or Muslim religious teacher and minister, is challenging that perception and breaking down those harmful stereotypes. He is sending a message and reaching out in online outreach letting LGBT Muslims know that there is a place for them and they have no reason to be ashamed of their cultural heritage or their religious ties or their faith as a Muslim.
More so than that, he is letting non-Muslims see that Islam is not a stereotype breeding ground for intolerance, hatred, bigotry, or terrorism. His view of Islam and his teachings promote acceptance, openness, compassion for others, and love for all of God’s creations. We each have a right to our religious beliefs and cultures and spirituality. We each have a right to be respected with dignity. If we dedicate ourselves to God, we are welcomed to worship and give praise and enjoy the promise of salvation.