Lessons From A Muslim Lesbian
The outstanding life of Irshad Manji and what we can learn.
Irshad Manji, born in 1968 and raised in Canada, is one of the strongest voices of the LGBTQI Muslim community. She refers to herself as a faithful Muslim and has been at the forefront of advocacy for a more inclusive and progressive interpretation of many aspects of the Islamic Faith.
In her book, ‘Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom’, Manji calls for individuals to ‘challenge conformity within our own tribes – be they religious, cultural, ideological, or professional – and to do so for a more universal good’. The notion of tribal ideology has equally proven itself to be at the centre of cultural fatigue, as well as the foundation for cultural reform. Manji has received death threats for spreading this message of tolerance and for challenging what has been ingrained in religious ideology.
Manji holds the view that engaging in discourse concerning deeply held religious belief is an emotional risk, as it deals with something that is beyond intellectual capacity, and moves in to the arena of re-thinking how one executes their faith. Challenging tradition moves in to realms of asking individuals and communities to consider aspects of themselves and their religion that perhaps require an alignment with the core message of their faith.
A central point in many of Manji’s books and public interviews encourages dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims alike, in order to tackle religious taboos and to challenge comfortable traditions. Of course, not everyone will agree or even identify with Manji’s perspective of Islamic reform, particularly with reference to the Muslim faith and it’s acceptance of the LGBTQI community, however, this offers a foundation of discourse and tolerance for those who choose to engage in this discussion.
For more information: http://irshadmanji.com/