August 24, 2009

Marraige Equality Jihad

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:17 am by Rev. Thomas Perchlik

A few weeks back I got a form letter from the Islamic Center of Muncie, IN.  It was to invite all religious people to tour their new facility and share in an open house.  They have chosen as their new worship space a building that is very visible on a major shopping artery only a few blocks from our UU church.

The first paragraph of the note gave basic information but the second paragraph read as follows:

“This life is entrusted to us as a gift and we must live to serve the oppressed and the needy because it is our duty. We must learn to create kindness, compassion and love for each other to alleviate mutual distrust and enmity between people of different ethnicities, races and faiths. The Islamic Center of Muncie hopes that you will support us in this effort.”

Reading this I thought, “This could have been written as a mission statement of a UU church.”  I liked their opening in a stance of gratitude, their emphasis on service, on promoting kindness and love and alleviating enmity. I liked their invitation to cooperation and unity.   I know that not all Muslims, even in this center, are of the same mind, but their current leadership has set them on a progressive course.   Of course a UU statement would also include something about the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.  Furthermore I know that Muslims  in general are not thinking of gay or lesbian, bisexual or trans-gender people as among the oppressed.  But they can be our allies in many ways.

For instance there is the Maryland legislator, Saqib Ali, who has considered the oppression of glbt people and has taken a stance in support of gay marriage even though he fully understands and accepts that there can be no gay Muslims [or more accurately, if one is to  submit to Islam one must accept its strict prohibitions against homosexuality]  (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111770008).

As I learned in community organizing, there are no such things as permanent allies, there are no such thing as permanent enemies.  Each may take different paths but the struggle for peace and justice is universal.

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2 Comments »

  1. Saqib Ali said,

    Thanks!

    I would like to slightly correct your paraphrasing of my statement:

    “Even though he fully understands and accepts that there can be no gay Muslims”.

    This is not quite what I said. I said the Islam strictly prohibits homosexuality. I didn’t say there are no gay Muslims. Obviously there are.

    Islam also strictly prohibits lying, cheating, stealing, etc. But I wouldn’t say that there are no Muslims who lie, cheat or steal. There are. They are just going against their religious teachings.

  2. Robin Edgar said,

    Well said Saqib Ali.

    I have in the past gotten a chuckle out of a Muslim I knew who made a point of eating Halal meat and following the other dietary rules of Islam but seemingly having few qualms about stealing my food. . . 😉

    It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who try to display the outward form of their religion while flagrantly disregarding and wantonly violating its core principles. Be assured that plenty of U*Us do the same. . .

    Rev. Perchlik,

    I hope that it is not too premature to wish you and your wife a happy 25th wedding anniversary. If you are wondering how I knew about it, it simply came to my attention via a Google news update on ‘Unitarian’ which directed me to The Muncie Star Press’s announcement about it.

    No inordinate “cyber-stalking” involved. 😉

    Best Wishes,

    Robin Edgar

    P.S. You have a typo in your blog post title that you may wish to correct.


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