|By Dr. Nadia El-Awady
IslamOnline’s Health & Science Editor
Discussing the issue of homosexuality has been taboo in most societies for ages. Being considered an act of sin by most cultures and religions, there had not seemed to be much that required discussion. In recent years, however, gay lobbies have cropped up in the West, and talk of “coming out of the closet” has become common place. The pressure formed by these lobbies on political and legal institutions, the media, and society in general has resulted in a different definition and concept of homosexuality in the mindset of the common Westerner. Not only this, but the approach to homosexuality by scientists and psychiatrists has completely changed.
In November 2001, human rights groups severely criticized the Egyptian government for arresting a group of suspected homosexuals, which resulted in raising the issue of Islam’s stance on homosexuality. Groups of gay Muslims have also become more vocal and have been organizing in an effort to convince themselves and others that there is no contradiction between being a Muslim and being a proclaimed homosexual.
Ignoring the issue and not properly discussing it only makes the issue more confusing for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Below is an attempt to commence such a discussion and to further understand this issue in an Islamic and a scientific light.