I recently had the opportunity to read a blogger’s detailed account on homosexuality.
The blogger of course explained it in the light of Islam.
She chose to pick out Freudian principles that she likes and rejected the ones that she doesn’t think align with Islam.
The post eluded to homosexuality being a product of “pornography”, “education without Tarbeeyah”, “homosexuality being completely a western concept and has likely come into our lives because our incomes are earned through illegitimate means”. As is the norm with most of such articles, the sexual orientation of our kids was made to be our moral responsibility.
I dared to ask her, in a sea of yay-sayers, why she has such harsh judgements towards the parents .
I dared to ask her why she thinks pornography’s biggest vice is homosexuality and not pedophilia. I inquired if she would be writing about that. I also commented that I understood why she wouldn’t choose to comment on pedophiles in the Pakistani society because I understand that it may not be easy.
I asked her why she mentioned that homosexuality was a perversion and hasn’t been a recognized phenomenon in Islam.
I further asked her if she knew anything about the Quran mentioning that there will be men who would have no desire for women and whom women would not have to observe pardah for. I asked this because she said that “every child is born on fitrat (nature).
Her response was insulting and demeaning. But I’ll share it with you so you know why Pakistanis have stopped believing in the Mullah culture and why we have started to see them as complex, yay-say livers who can’t explain their own teachings and truths.
1. She told me she’s not being judgmental and if I can’t accept my truth then my perceptions need to be fixed. In her words, she has been kind in offering rehabilitation to homosexuals from their addiction.
2. She said these contributing factors are her own observation. She had nothing to support them besides this statement. No research, no paper. There were many socioeconomic factors behind homosexuality. There was no distinction in her article between the Muslims who come out as gay and choose celibacy versus the ones who practice homosexuality. To her, both need rehabilitation.
3. She then said that she has mentioned “education without tarbeeyah” and not “education without the right upbringing” (this is how I paraphrased it). She schooled me on how these two are so hugely different in meaning. She illustrated her comment with a verse from Allama Iqbal. She didn’t explain the difference between the two. Just made it more complicated for my simple Muslim mind.
4. Then she went on to ask me to write a scholarly article, much like the one she wrote, about pedophilia because “you’re a blogger too and you have that reach”. Trust me! The type of words that I need to reach the Pakistani audience are not possessed by me. Just as an example, her post didn’t have a single dissenting comment. All were various versions of how she saved their souls.
5. She refused to answer my question about a specific type of men who wouldn’t feel attracted to women and their mention in Quran. She said she couldn’t see how my question was connected to her post. Can you, hopefully, see how my question was connected to her article?
6. But here’s the kicker. She refused to answer any questions, called herself a scholar, challenged me to write about pedophilia, called my understanding of her blog insufficient and then DISABLED COMMENTING ON THE POST.
People! If you can understand now why I had to learn about Islam on my own, in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, then you would also understand my angst and agony at approaching our so-called religious scholars who say “This is what Islam says, the most intuitive and scientific religion in the whole world. Accept it and follow it. Don’t ask questions. Don’t dare to deviate from the path that I’m showing you or the big bad wolf will get you. And if you ask me more I’m going to call you vile names and a deviant and a heretic and put a muzzle on your mouth. Shut up and don’t ask questions”.
This has been my lifelong experience with Islamic “scholars”. They preach, demean, shush and assume their tranquil sanctimonious composure after making someone question their intelligence.
I wish she hadn’t stopped people from commenting. I wish she had answered my questions. Her words exactly were “I can’t answer your questions because you won’t be taking teachings from online posts and responses”. But that’s the antithesis of her life as a blogger. She’s actually doing exactly what she thinks is going to be ineffective.
I think I see her bluff. She picks up a topic, prepares a speech, doesn’t prepare herself for the questions that might come with it, throws it out there and then runs. Drop and run blogging, unfortunately, isn’t my thing. But it hurts me because she has left me wondering why Pakistan is still producing rigid scholars and self-important educationists? Haven’t we changed at all?