Is Green a Part of the Rainbow? Sharia, Homosexuality and LGBT Rights in the Muslim World
49 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2012 Last revised: 7 Jun 2014
Date Written: October 10, 2012
This article discusses the legitimacy of the claims for the criminalization of homosexuality under Sharia law. It submits that discrimination against LGBT individuals and repression of homosexuality are incompatible not only with human rights law, but also with the Sharia and the essence of the Islamic religious scriptures. In the view of the authors, a more thoughtful reading of the Qur’an and the Sunna affirms the compatibility of religion and sexual diversity, and the Qur’an, contrary to common belief, recognizes gender identities, and embraces sexual diversity. A contemporary approach to Sharia should complement international law standards on sexual minorities’ rights in order to achieve a sustainable change in Islamic state practices. In this respect, the paper suggests that the recent initiatives within the UN, including Resolution 17/19 on sexual orientation (14 July 2011), represent positive, though insufficient, steps for the implementation of LGBT rights in the Muslim world. An approach to LGBT rights, which takes into consideration the compatibility of religion and sexual diversity is necessary, not only for the Muslim states to comply with international human rights law, but also for the international community to promote the idea of human dignity and equal respect for human beings and cultures.
Keywords: LGBT rights, gay rights, homosexuality, Islam, Sharia law, Islamic law, OIC and human rights, sexual discrimination, UN HRC resolution 17/19, sexual and gender diversity
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