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"We're actually out there doing something, making a difference in people's lives," he said. "Being an openly gay imam and having been identified as such, I do get a lot of feedback and also kickback, but that's OK,” he said.
“I think that when people are unfamiliar with things, they tend to have an emotional knee-jerk reaction to it." But Abdullah is firm in his belief that there has never been “one monolithic, isolated” formulation of Islam. It's just like reform and revival within Islam, about every 100, 150 years there have been these discussions and there have been people who have opposed the status quo on these issues,” he said.
The most well-known, “A Jihad for Love,” spans 12 countries in nine languages to share the stories of LGBT Muslims.
The film “I Am Gay and Muslim” tracks several gay Moroccan men as they explore their religious and sexual identities.
“I think what we're seeing now not only in the United States, but worldwide really, is a question of going back to sources and rereading these sources,” Rashid added.
Muhsin Hendricks, an openly gay imam in Capetown, South Africa, has for years been leading congregants and preaching that homosexuality and Islam are not incompatible."We do not limit people by their gender or their sexual orientation, or their particular aspect of being Muslim or non-Muslim,” he told America Tonight.“They're there to worship." The mosque’s congregants are diverse and represent a wide range of cultures, religious upbringings and sexual orientations."Being an openly gay imam and having been identified as such, I do get a lot of feedback and also kickback, but that's OK," said Imam Daayiee Abdullah, of Washington, D. "I think that when people are unfamiliar with things, they tend to have an emotional knee-jerk reaction to it."“Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention.And because of the necessity in our community, that's why I came into this particular role,” he told America Tonight about his journey. Performing funeral rites for a gay Muslim who died of AIDS.
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“I think it was even more important once we realized that we were starting to have our own family, was that we wanted to have a mosque where our child would feel included and welcome regardless of who he or she had turned out to be." Imam Daayiee provides other services that are unique for an imam of a Muslim community, like marrying same-sex couples.