Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Just watched this BBC special about gay Muslims living in the UK. It's heart-breaking and completely baffling.
When people start criticizing Islam, there's usually a lot of backtalk about moderate Muslims and unfair generalizations. I tend to be more sympathetic to this argument than some of the more ardent irreligionists out there in the blogosphere. That's because I'm a humanist; I disagree with religious concepts that cast humanity as sinners who are naturally bad. I like to think humans are fundamentally good and it is ignorance that twists and turns individuals to do evil.
Granted, I'm only looking at a small slice, so it may not be appropriate to make generalizations, but it's programs like this BBC special which shake my confidence in the human character. THIS IS THE UNITED KINGDOM we're talking about and still these poor Muslim gays and lesbians are tormented and ostracized by their communities, by their religion and even by their own families. Where's the moderation? Where's the mercy? Where's the kindness in a religion that produces such cruel acts?
Ignorance is largely to blame. Not once do the reporters or the subjects of this documentary appeal to the very well established science of human sexuality. Facts are stubborn things, as John Adams famously said. If only science was a part of the discussion, imagine the shackles of ignorance and oppression that might be lifted!
But it seems as if these Muslims, who are so entranced by their holy book, who have submitted so completely to its promises and teachings (Islam translates to submission, I've heard), it seems like science and simple facts are never even considered. How do you soften the hearts and minds of a people so set in their ways that they'd sooner plug their ears, poke out their eyes, and cut off their tongues before letting go of a little piece of some 7th century mythology?