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Homosexuality and Islam
Sam Ghandchi
Iranscope@hotmail.com
June 22, 2008

AAA wrote:
I don't quite follow... are you saying that if this is the year 2500, and that we can, thru some genetic test, identify those who are more susceptible to homosexuality, we should just kill them? Let me get more specific. Suppose sometime in the future you find that your own child has the above genetic 'defect'. Do you think he/she should be removed like cancer?

BBB replied:
Being gay is different from practicing homosexuality. If one gets caught doing it, the punishment is death. I may like to do some stuff, that is not the problem. Problem is when and if I do it! If my own child was caught doing the act, it will be a great pain for me and his mother. Would I approve of his death. I am afraid I have no choice. It will be hard......

I think you are doing yourself and your hypothetical son/daughter a disservice by thinking you have no choice. You have limited your choices a lot, even within your religious and ideological framework. Actually within your frame of reference, you could have more choices.

According to Borujerdi's Resaleh, the act of lavat is NOT punished by execution. So at the future time, depending on the Marja-e of the time, the action may not be punished with execution. Moreover, the technology may also be available for gene alteration which can change homosexuality if it is gene-based and if desired. Already some genetic diseases are treated this way (I am not implying homosexuality to be a disease. I do not know enough about the biology of homosexuality to judge it one way or the other).
But the issue of homosexuality is a very complex issue. In the SF BAY where I live, it is a very popular issue and even blown out of proportion. In some other parts of the world, it is the opposite, no one talks about it and it is a taboo. San Francisco is called the Mecca of the gays. In SF BAY, I have seen prejudice from gays towards the straights too, but overall, worldwide, definitely the gays are discriminated against the most.

I knew a woman who went to Santa Cruz University and was always ridiculed by the lesbians, who said that she is afraid to try IT. She could not get it thru their head that it was her personal choice to decide what to try and what not to. I have not tried jumping off the cliff either, but I know I am not interested. We don't and should not gain all our knowledge from direct experience.

I believe homosexuality is like cabbage (or loobiya). If you don't like it or if you prefer not to associate with gays, you should have the right to be who and how you are. Not liking something does not mean that you are prejudiced. I may not like to have friends who are grave-diggers. That does not mean that I don't believe in their right to exist. In fact I think the grave-diggers are necessary in the society, it is just that I am not interested. It is a personal issue. But the prejudices against gays is the cause of the unreal image about their actuality.

Actually homosexuality has always been present in the human society. But it has been very marginal. I would say about 0.05% of humans have been homosexual in all societies, whether free to express it or not (don’t hold me to the figure, I am just trying to show my point).

Homosexuality is not found among the animals (I know only one exception). But in humans, this is a fact. Why? Because sex and pro-creation are not synonymous and the more human societies have developed, the further the separation of sex for pleasure from sex for procreation.

Actually sex for pleasure and not pro-creation is what constitutes the majority of sexual act in ALL human societies, regardless of religious upbringing. Thus if the sexual act is not for procreation, it can find other forms than a woman/man relationship. Most these forms are NOT natural, meaning that in nature, they are not found as such.

As I noted, homosexuality is hardly true for any animal (Among animals only I think a certain species of octopus shows that tendency, I don’t remember exactly. Sometimes I think it is so silly why some people who hate homosexuals name-call the homosexual acts as animal acts! It is almost nonexistent among animals).

Are all forms of sexual pleasure healthy? Well, it depends. The same question can be asked about clothes, food, etc. Wearing clothes is also Un-natural and artificial. I know the medical professionals have different opinion as to whether homosexuality is healthy or not. Thus for me it is just a personal issue. I have the right not to be a gay and the gays have the right to be what they are. For me, it is just like liking loobya or cabbage.

Historically, the more advanced societies and higher classes, such as aristocracy, have shown this tendency more. I think it was because for them the separation of sex for pleasure from sex for procreation was more true, they had the luxury to reach it sooner than other societies and lower classes. Of course I am just talking of homosexuality out of choice. Homosexuality out of lack of choice, like the cases in Saudi Arabia where because of hardships of availability of relations with opposite sex or the cases like prisons or sailors on ships, or army, etc. are not my interest here.

Ancient Greece is one good example. It is not true that because Greeks wanted to reduce the population, they encouraged homosexuality. That really is a myth. The Greeks simply had the luxury of being free to choose their desired form of sexual pleasure and a very small percentage chose homosexuality. Plato definitely had a homosexual tendency (maybe he was bisexual). I know many of our theologians read Plato, but I do not know if they are aware of this fact. Read SYMPOSIUM or other works of his and it is obvious. In Iran, read Golestan-e Saadi and it is obvious in many stories that Saadi has homosexual tendencies. In Ghaboos-nameh, the future king is being advised to treat the gholams and kanizes equally and SLEEP with both of them so that they will not feel abandoned. In Hezar-o-Yek-Shab, there are so many stories of gays and lesbians. So Iranians have had this tendency just like any other nation.
I think homosexuality, if free, will always be something peripheral, because although humans have separated from animal nature per se, but as long as we live and procreate in the body we have, we cannot go that far from the rest of animal kingdom. So homosexuality will remain the issue of rights for a minority.

Killing people for being homosexual is not really fair. It is like killing people for eating loobya. If I hate loobya, I can just desire for loobya-eaters to have their own restaurant and their own TV channel to advertise loobya, but how can I hang them for liking loobya? I really think there are much more creative ways to deal with the issue within the framework of Islam than hanging people.

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