The Struggles of Lesbian Muslim Women

Published on the Channel 4 website to go with their short documnentary  here on 24th May 2014

Muslim Women’s Network UK has always engaged with Muslim lesbians and included them in its membership.   However, most Muslims will argue that it is not possible to be gay and Muslim because homosexuality is against Islam.  Such attitudes ignore the Quran’s spirit of mercy and justice. There was more tolerance to homosexuals in Islamic history than there is now because they were not cast out of the folds of Islam.

Muslim lesbians are diverse in their dress and religiosity.  Some wear Western clothes and don’t cover their heads, while others wear the hijab, jilbab and even veil their faces.  I have met Muslim lesbians who are more steadfast in their 5 daily prayers than ‘straight’ Muslim women. If having their faith attacked is not bad enough, there is the added trauma of repercussions from families. Muslim lesbians have been beaten, forced into marriage or disowned.  Until mindsets change within Muslim communities gay Muslims will continue to live in turmoil, leading double lives just to please their families.

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