13 April 2016

Panel discussion: Join Quilliam at the Free Word Centre on the 21st of April to discuss aspects of Trevor Phillips’ findings:

 Channel 4’s documentary airing this evening is making waves. ICM’s research polls indicates that 52% of British Muslims would outlaw homosexuality. Polls can be misleading, but these stats are worrying indeed. That 86% of the Muslims polled expressed a strong sense of belonging to Britain, but 52% agreed that homosexuality should be illegal, (LGBT liberation being a corner stone of British values), shows a social and emotional disconnect.

There was a time when it was not like this.

Traditionally, Islam was open to exploring beauty and sexuality, especially when Islamic culture flourished and Europe was in what were known as the Dark Ages. The Prophet Muhammad taught that “God is Beautiful, and loves Beauty.” The chapter of al-Nur (Quran 24:31) specifically recognizes “men who are not in need of women.”

Many of Islam’s greatest poets, polemics and figures have explored the spirit, emotions and sensuality of diverse sexual preferences, from Rumi to Abu Nuwas. Diverse sexuality and colourful interests have contributed immensely to the rich tapestry of Islam and it is with great sadness that this has diminished and we are now confronted by the raw imagery of ISIS’s persecution of these minorities. This is why Quilliam has launched Unbreakable rope.

Unbreakable Rope explores the elaborate modes of creative resistance to the stigma and dogmatic bigotry faced by LGBT British Muslims today. In partnership with leading LGBT activists such as Peter Tatchell and avant garde LGBT Muslim artists such as Aria Alagha and Asifa Lahore, Quilliam will be shining a torch on a neglected yet magnificent part of the Muslim world.

Please join us and collect your tickets here!