News from the Inclusive Mosque Initiative:
This autumn we’re bringing positive answers to those tough questions on Islam and sexuality to London, Birmingham and Manchester. If you’re tired of being asked how you can “justify” being Muslim and queer, or facing family and friends who struggle to accept you the way you are, this might be the afternoon for you.
In each city there are two opportunities for LGBTQI Muslims to attend:
- For female-identifying lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer or intersex Muslims The morning focus group is an invitation to female-identifying LBTQI Muslims to join us in a safe space facilitated by female-identified queer Muslims. This is a rare opportunity to discuss our specific needs, experiences, what we’d like changed, and how, and have the reality of our lives documented to British policy makers. All voices will be anonymised into a report to advise social and legal service providers on how they can improve in their duty of service towards queer Muslim women.Registration for this is via email: admin[at]inclusivemosqueinitiative.org
- For all genders of Muslims who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or intersex The afternoon trainings will aim to be inclusive safe spaces and are open to all genders of Muslims who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or intersex. Amongst other facilitators we’re fortunate to have a session run by a great ally to the LGBTQI community in the form of Sheikh Michael Mumisa, author of ‘Islamic Law: Theory and Interpretation’ (www.ames.cam.ac.uk/directory/mumisamichael). He will draw upon classical and traditional Islamic intellectual sources to demonstrate that there is truly nothing new under the sun, and that there is a lot we can learn from Islam’s past in addressing today’s challenges and problems.Come along and share your experiences, learn about traditional thinking and theology, and gain theological skills and tools to communicate with your loved ones more effectively. You’ll have opportunities to voice your thoughts and concerns throughout, and ask the Sheikh any burning questions you may have in an inclusive safe space. The workshops are open to Muslims who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or intersex. Apart from Sheikh Michael Mumisa, the other facilitators will all be queer identified Muslims.
There will be breaks, refreshments, lunch (halal and vegetarian options), and the opportunity to pray. The venue is wheelchair accessible and has an induction hearing aid loop system. The cost of running these workshops are heavily subsidised to make Islamic knowledge and skills as accessible as possible. However, spaces are limited and will book up fast so register for you nearest city today!
At the Inclusive Mosque Initiative we believe in creating safe spaces where every Muslim, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, or theological affiliation can participate with others, in learning, discussing and looking for solutions to some of the challenges facing our communities, fostering unity, not divisions.
The Islam & LGBTQI Tour is a collaboration between Inclusive Mosque Initiative, The Safra Project, and Muslim Women’s Network UK.
Reflecting the shared ethos of each of our organisations, this tour proves the need to ally and support each other, and affirms all our ongoing work; to promote everyone’s voices equally, especially valuing the needs of the most marginalised within the ummah.
The Inclusive Mosque Initiative aims to be a place of worship for the promotion and practice of an inclusive Islam. We are a voluntary organisation of Muslims from a variety of backgrounds and understandings of Islamic tradition. We holds regular social and themed events, alongside our fortnightly Jummah prayers and religious services. We provide specialist consultancy around various themes and work hard to promote inclusive Islamic practice. www.inclusivemosqueinitiative.org
The Safra Project is a resource project on issues relating to lesbian, bisexual & transgender women who identify as Muslim religiously and/or culturally. The Safra Project ethos is one of inclusiveness and diversity.
We welcome input from all individuals and groups seeking to combat all forms of prejudice. www.safraproject.org
Muslim Women’s Network UK is a national charity that works to improve social justice and equality for Muslim women and girls and operates a national helpline. We find out about their experiences through research and helpline enquiries and produce resources, deliver campaigns and conduct advocacy work, regularly engaging with government. www.mwnuk.co.uk