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The most well-known, “A Jihad for Love,” spans 12 countries in nine languages to share the stories of LGBT Muslims.
The only Muslims in the House of Representatives, Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., have both advocated for gay rights.I was like, I didn't know there could be a place like this.” Sixty-three percent of the 2.75 million Muslims living in the U. are first-generation immigrants, according to the Pew Research Center, many of them coming from countries where same-sex relationships are punishable by law, and in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Sudan, even by death.For its LGBT congregants, the Light of Reform Mosque is a rare safe space. Many are just Muslims looking for a mosque that accepts all kinds.“They had contacted a number of imams, and no one would go and provide him his janazah services,” he said, referring to the Muslim body cleaning ritual. “I believe every person, no matter if I disagree with you or not, you have the right as a Muslim to have the proper spiritual [rites] and rituals provided for you.And whoever judges you, that will be Allah's decision, not me.” It’s one of the mantras he lives by in his work, even as others condemn him."We're actually out there doing something, making a difference in people's lives," he said. "Being an openly gay imam and having been identified as such, I do get a lot of feedback and also kickback, but that's OK,” he said.
“I think that when people are unfamiliar with things, they tend to have an emotional knee-jerk reaction to it." But Abdullah is firm in his belief that there has never been “one monolithic, isolated” formulation of Islam. It's just like reform and revival within Islam, about every 100, 150 years there have been these discussions and there have been people who have opposed the status quo on these issues,” he said.
"We do not limit people by their gender or their sexual orientation, or their particular aspect of being Muslim or non-Muslim,” he told America Tonight.
“They're there to worship." The mosque’s congregants are diverse and represent a wide range of cultures, religious upbringings and sexual orientations.
“The beautiful thing about God is that when you change your attitude, and say, 'God, I need some help,' and mean it sincerely, God is always there for you,” Abdullah told congregants one night during a regular sermon, known as a khutbah, at the Light of Reform Mosque in Washington, D. He serves as the imam and educational director of the mosque, which he helped form more than two years ago to be a safe space for values and practices that other mosques may eschew.
During his service, women and men kneel side-by-side and women are allowed to lead prayers – actions that have sparked controversy even among American Muslims.
And the coming independent film “Naz Maalik” follows two closeted American Muslim teens as they grapple with FBI surveillance. Last year, a gay-friendly mosque opened in Paris – Europe’s first.