If you champion and embrace professional homophobes, you can fairly expect to attract the support of other bigots. Assuming – and let’s be charitable here – that Ken Livingstone doesn’t actually want to build a coalition of homophobic supporters, he really ought to be a bit more careful.
Here’s the story.
The StraightWay Foundation is a muslim organisation whose mission is to “heal” gay people by rendering them heterosexual. It describes people who call themselves gay muslims as “deviants and liars”. It sums up its position, thus:
Satan wishes to drag us into the Hellfire with him, but we must reject his call. Instead, we ask Allah to “Guide us to the Straight Way”.
StraightWay wrote to Ken Livingstone thanking him for his support for Qaradawi. Instead of challenging or condemning the views of these bigots, as most progressive people would, Ken thanked them for their “support” and “kind comments”. StraightWay, of course, immediately put his short email of thanks up on their website.
In fairness to Ken, StraightWay did their very best to hide the extreme nature of their beliefs, although the letter – and the organisation’s name – contains a few hints which should have alerted Ken Livingstone to their true nature.
“While there are some SSA Muslims who embrace the prevailing paradigm on homosexuality, there are many others who prefer to maintain a sincere approach to their Islamic way of life. That means abstaining from homosexual acts and striving to overcome desires that are considered contrary to God’s wishes for humankind. With this in mind, it should be clear that Ramzi Isalam and his colleagues certainly do not represent the views of all SSA Muslims! The majority do not speak to anyone about their feelings, let alone seek media attention for political agendas, in the manner of OutRage!”
Still, allies are allies, and Ken needs to make them where he can.
Hat Tip: Outrage