Attraction & Love
Gender Identity & Reassignment
Rights Affirmation/Common Cause/Islamic Orthodoxy (RACCIO)
The RACCIO position holds that Muslims in the U.S. should affirm and advocate for many (but not necessarily all) LGBTQ rights not because of a quid pro quo they-stood-by-us-so-we-have-to-stand-by-them logic but rather because Muslims in the U.S. and LGBTQ groups seek protection for the same rights and, ironically, arguably have a common vision for the country’s future…Muslims should advocate for these rights while strenuously affirming that many aspects of LGBTQ lifestyles are indisputably religiously prohibited in Islam.
According to the RACCIO position, American Muslims should support the right of gay marriage under U.S. law not because we condone homosexual behaviors...
Herein lies the main drawback of the theory. Any type of advocacy under any political or legal structure involves a form of legislation. Legislation, as is well known, cannot be for anything prohibited. We may not be obligated in certain contexts to advocate for the Sacred Law, but we most definitely are prohibited from advocating anything that contradicts it. “Whosoever does not legislate by what Allah judged, these are the oppressors” (Qur’an 5:45). And we cannot even support such legislation: "Help one another do what is right and good; do not support one another towards sin and rebellion. Be mindful of God, for His punishment is severe" (Qur'an 5:2). And, “The curse of Allah is on whosoever aids a deviant” (Bukhari & Muslim). This is known as īwā’, to support something prohibited.
The Common Cause Argument
Muslims and LGBTQ groups have the same goal, namely a notion of marriage in which laws are not influenced by Western-European/Christian cultural mores.
Same-sex marriage is unacceptable to conservative Christianity and Judaism, as it is to Islam. But from the perspective of mainstream, conservative Christian culture, gay marriage and Muslim marriage occupy the same space in that they are both repugnant.
Long before Christians were concerned about gay marriage they were busy condemning what was viewed as an inconceivable barbarism: polygamy. Remember, the Republican Party was founded not just to combat slavery, but to end the “twin barbarisms” of slavery and polygamy (specifically Mormon polygamy). And we have to remember that Muslim marriages (i.e., nikahs conducted according to the shariah) were, well into the 20th century, considered reprehensible and legally invalid if conducted in Britain and the U.S. simply because they were “potentially polygamous.”
Muslims and their marriages are just as repugnant to many conservative Christians in this country as LGBTQ folk are. Make no mistake about it: we are all monsters in the eyes of many American conservative Christians.
Alito: Suppose we rule in your favor in this case, and then after that a group of two men and two women apply for a marriage license, would there be any ground for denying them?
Bonauto: I believe so, Your Honor…the States would rush in and say that when you’re talking about multiple people joining into a relationship, that that is not the same thing we’ve had in marriage, which is on the mutual support and consent of two people…And I would assume the States would come in and say that there are concerns about consent and coercion.
The solution is to collectively advocate for a legal understanding of marriage that allows for the maximal flexibility of individuals to enter with one another into those contractual relationships that facilitate sharing property, child-rearing duties, access to insurance, rights of survivorship, etc.
Restrictions on Muslims’ rights, constant pressure from the security state, and the long-running and increasingly severe Islamophobia in American society (now ensconced in the White House) seem to me to have resulted in a situation more analogous to being stuck in a lifeboat than anything else. Muslims, LGBTQ activists, Latino American activists, and numerous other minorities find themselves under common attack and in need, once again and perhaps more than ever, of solidarity and coalition.
Even as they partner with and support LGBTQ groups, Muslims should affirm amongst themselves, and explicitly state when asked by others, that Islam prohibits same-sex acts and same-sex nikah (Muslim religious marriage), and places major restrictions on the subjective definition of gender identity.
Rejectionists have warned for some time that LGBTQ groups will not abide such affirmations of Islamic orthodoxy and will, sooner or later oblige Muslims to morally condone LGBTQ lifestyles. If this is true, then it’s a demand to which Muslims cannot and should not accede.
…since when does affirming one another’s rights require affirming the moral or religious validity of their actions or beliefs?
…supporting some things, or some things in certain ways, does not entail supporting all things, or all things in all ways.
Finally, I believe the RACCIO position is correct because it doesn't just stress what Muslims in the U.S. are against, but also what we’re for.
One of the most intense and long-running debates in American history is whether the United States is a White (Protestant) Christian country in which religious and racial minorities are welcome as long as they know their place, or if it’s a country in which there is no ruling racial or religious majority but only a common framework of rights and a vision of equal liberty in which all are welcome provided they affirm the rights and liberties of others. The first vision has never been able to, and still cannot, accept real demographic, religious or moral diversity. The second embraces this diversity and makes it a strength. It’s also a vision not too different from the one that Muslims held for many centuries.
It seems like the vision that Muslim Americans should fight for now.
Respectful Disbelief and Non-Support
Honesty Leads to Originality
Avoiding Tunnel Vision
 Al-insān lā yuʿābu bi-mā fī ṭabʿihi innamā yuʿābu idhā faʿala bi-mā fī ṭabʿihi; Abū Nuʿaym al-Iṣbahānī, Ḥilyat al-awliyā’, 10 vols. (Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1996), 10:269.
 Khaled El-Rouayheb, Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World 1500-1800 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), 115-6.
 This maxim on sexual access is found phrased as such by both the Shāfiʿī scholar al-Suyūṭī (d. 1505) and the Ḥanafī scholar Ibn Nujaym (d. 1562). See Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūṭī, al-Ashbāh wa’l- naẓā’ir, ed. Muḥammad al-Muʿtaṣim al-Baghdādī (Beirut: Dār al-Kitāb al-ʿArabī, 1414/1993), 135; Ibn Nujaym, al-Ashbāh wa’l-naẓā’ir, ed. Muḥammad Muṭīʿ al-Ḥāfiẓ (Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1983), 74.
 Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Aḥkām ahl al-dhimma, ed. Yūsuf Aḥmad al-Bakrī and Shākir Tawfīq al-ʿĀrūrī (Dammam: Ramādī li’l-Nashr, 1418/1997), 715.
 Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: kitāb al-salām, bāb manʿ al-mukhannath min al-dukhūl ʿalā al-nisā’; Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-libās, bāb fi qawlihi ghayr ulū al-irba.
 Al-Nawawī, Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, 12 vols. (Damascus: Dār al-Qalam, 2000), 13/14:413-4. For the hadith from Ibn ʿAbbās criticizing tashabbuh, see Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī: kitāb al-libās, bāb ikhrāj al-mutashabbihīn min bi’l-nisā’ min al-buyūt; Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-adab, bāb fī al-ḥukm ʿalā al-mukhannathīn; Jāmiʿ al-Tirmidhī: kitāb al-adab, bāb mā jā’a fī al-mutashabbihāt bi’l-rijāl min al-nisā’. The hadith prohibiting killing such a person is found in the Sunan of Abū Dāwūd: kitāb al-adab, bāb fī al-ḥukm fī al-mukhannathīn, and kitāb al-libās, bāb fī qawlihi ghayr ūli al-irba.
 Ibn Ḥajar, Fatḥ al-Bārī sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, ed. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Bin Bāz and Muḥammad Fu’ād ʿAbd al-Bāqī, 16 vols. (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 1997), 10:408; ʿAbd al-Ra’ūf al-Munāwī, Fayḍ al-qadīr sharḥ al-Jāmiʿ al-ṣaghīr, ed. Ḥamdī al-Damardāsh Muḥammad, 13 vols. (Mecca: Maktabat Nizār Muṣṭafā al-Bāz, 1998), 10:4996-7.
 See Ibn Qudāma al-Maqdisī, Mughnī, ed. ʿAbdallāh al-Turkī and ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ al-Ḥuluw, 12 vols. (Cairo: Hujr, 1986), 7:462. Al-Qurṭubī explains that “al-tābiʿīn ghayr ūli al-irba min al-rijāl” (Qur'an 24:31) has been understood as mentally challenged men with no desire for women, mukhannaths, eunuchs, old men, etc.; al-Qurṭubī, al-Jāmi‘ li-aḥkām al-Qur’ān, ed. Muḥammad Ibrāhīm al-Ḥifnāwī and Maḥmūd Ḥāmid ‘Uthmān, 20 vols in 10. Cairo: Dār al-Ḥadīth, 1994), 6:523-4.
 Jaʿfar Subḥānī, “Taghyīr al-Jins fī al-Sharīʿa al-Islāmiyya,” in Aḥkām Ṣalāt al-Qaḍāʼ: wa-yalīhi Khams Rasāʼil Fiqhīyya (Qom: Mu'assasat al-Imām al-Ṣādiq, 2013).
 See W.E. Beckett, “The Recognition of Polygamous Marriages under English Law,” Oxford Law Quarterly Review 48 (1932): 341-73.
 Al-Ghazālī, Iḥyā’ ʿulūm al-dīn (Beirut: Dār al-Jīl, n.d.), 1:392.
 Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ, Tartīb al-madārik, ed. ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Ṣaḥrāwī (n.p., n.d.), 2:41.
 Jāmiʿ al-Tirmidhī: kitāb ṣifat al-qiyāma, bāb 60.
 Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: kitāb al-birr wa’l-ṣila wa’l-adab, bāb tafsīr al-birr wa’l-ithm.
 Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: kitāb al-dhikr wa’l-duʿā’ wa’l-tawba, bāb faḍl al-ijtimāʿ ʿalā tilāwat al-Qur’ān….