Fornicating Falafels--by LA Jamison
I had suspected early on that the mass shooting that took place at a gay bar in Orlando called "Pulse" would become less about ISIS or any other group and more about a man with unresolved issues around his own sexuality and mental illness. If you have been watching the news, you have learned that this man had visited this bar for years. Not months but years. He was on gay sexual hook-up apps and most recently his wife has come out saying she doubted his sexuality for some time. The reason I had a small jump on this is because I am part Middle Eastern myself and as a single guy I like to keep an eye out for a good man of similar nationality. It is not a requirement by any stretch of the means but I do like Middle Eastern men. This has led to a sad experience of encountering very fearful men. Men who are literally afraid for themselves and my own life should their community discover "us" connecting in any shape or form.
One man I met recently would not even enter a cafe or the mall or even just take a walk. We had to sit in his car and talk. Another wouldn't even introduce me to family or even try to explain me as merely a friend for fear something might be uncovered. We met once and he was too afraid to meet again. Yet, he is still on a site that is clearly for meeting up for sex. He was sure his family back from his homeland may try to kill us both if they ever got word or suspected I was gay. Yet here these men are. Sexually active, in both examples, but living in communities that would deny them freedom and their very lives for making adult choices.
A change, an opening...for God's sake, even a damn crack in the wall--if not an astounding revelation needs to happen in the Arab and Muslim community which has only just begun for the Christian and Jewish community. If you want to try to understand why gays have a reputation of being underground fornicators, you have a living example right in the Arab community (which is only mildly alleviated in the rest of the community at this point). Like the rest of us, years ago, gays in the Arab community largely only sees quick sex as option. A relationship that involves communication, commitment and more carries too much of a risk of being discovered and "outted". My fellow Arabs and Muslims who abide in "laws" against homosexual relationships (I speak of committed relationships) are pushing these men and women to fornicate. You have given them no other option. Your own "laws" are creating the "sin" you speak so strongly against. This was no different in America decades ago when the Church did not have crack in its religious bedrock either. But it is truly your own religious law that doesn't let these people show you that love can exist between two people of the same sex. It keeps these people acting in the very way you condemn them for.
Why not allow them to be adults and love who they choose to love, build relationships and create a healthy life for themselves? Religious and traditional oppression must stop. We are not the priests and citizens of 1000 or so years ago who had to abide these laws simply because they did not have the proper sanitation or because temple prostitution existed. We know now looking back at history that homosexual relationships have existed, and some gays are great inventors and artists that we all stand on the shoulders of today. We use their technology and read their literature.
Look at this man who committed this shooting in Orlando. A tormented man who tormented his wife and family because of this ungodly law against homosexuality that is espoused. Now so many lives are broken and destroyed because there was no room for him to live as Allah created him to live in the Arab community. No help. No compassion. The choice is clear my fellow Arab friends. We can either have men destroying themselves and others in rage because your religion and tradition deny how God created people to bee--gays included--or you can allow other people to live out their faith in Allah the way they see fit so that they too can have relationships and live healthy lives that don't harm others. No longer let yourselves be the wolves in the 'clothing who espouse parts of religious law in a way that oppresses people and brings them to live the very lives they never wanted to live, and in turn, hurt so many others. We do not choose to be gay anymore than we choose our native genes from the middle east. And, who would want to? Who should have to? If Allah created us, than who should stand against us? Therefore, we should not stand against each other.