Anti Muslim Bigotry,  Religion

Amanullah De Sondy

I don’t have time to blog this properly, but please do read this profile in the Sunday Times of Amanullah De Sondy, a theologian at Glasgow University, who blogs at Progressive Scottish Muslims.

Here is a chunk of the article, which gives a fair taste of De Sondy’s perspective:

“If you ask them privately, the vast majority of my generation of Muslims are deeply homophobic,” he says. “I think it is particularly entrenched because so many Muslim societies are rooted in traditional ideas of the family and patriarchy. It’s time to challenge all of that.”

De Sondy knows his conservative opponents will use one particular story, which appears in both the Koran and the Bible, to justify oppression. This is when God sends angels to destroy the sinful inhabitants of Sodom.

“It is often said to illustrate God’s disappproval of homosexuality. But on closer inspection it is really about his disapproval of the rape of young boys that was happening in the place. There is a big difference.”

Intolerance is not necessarily part of Muslim tradition, De Sondy argues. Islamic cultures are diverse and, historically, there are examples of people living openly in same-sex relationships. He blames conservative political Islam, spread by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi Wahhabi sect, for creating a puritanism which limits sexual freedom and demands the subjugation of women.

I want to make three points:

1. This is precisely what I mean when I say that no religion is monolithic and that texts are open textured. Understandings of any particular religion changes over time, and from place to place.

2. De Sondy is, no doubt, regarded as a “fake Muslim” by anti-Muslim bigots, Islamists and those who regard reaction and intolerance as the hallmark of “authenticity”.

3. How I wish that the SNP had chosen somebody like de Sondy as their ‘bridge to the Muslim community’, rather that the odious Muslim Brotherhood activist, Osama Saeed.

Here is the fellow in action:

Hat tip: Pickled Politics