Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gay Pride In London? Not

From Bruce Bawer at PJM:
On Sunday, December 10, 1989, the direct-action group ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) mobilized several thousand people outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York to protest the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to AIDS education and the distribution of condoms. Of these thousands of protesters, a few dozen entered the church during Mass, and one of them crumbled a consecrated communion wafer.

ACT-UP’s incursion into St. Patrick’s became legendary, and in the minds of many Americans that one protestor’s act of desecration remained an indelible image, forever defining both gay and AIDS activism. Every gay person I knew was appalled by those protestors who’d entered the church and disrupted the service, not just because they were morally wrong, but also because their action could hardly have been more counterproductive.  The Religious Right depicted gay people as enemies of religion; the disruptive actions by those members of ACT-UP only seemed to confirm that image. (In fact many of the people who acted most outrageously that day later turned out to have been devout gay Catholics motivated not by hatred of religion but — quite the opposite — by a frustration with Church officials’ views that was intense precisely because their love for the Church was so intense.)

In the wake of the assault on St. Patrick’s, gay people sat together shaking their heads in disbelief, calling the organizers of this idiotic stunt every name in the book — even some ACT-UP leaders were appalled. But I don’t remember hearing any gay person call the invaders of the cathedral anti-Catholic or anti-Christian. Indeed, if you went through the annals of the modern gay-rights movement dating back to the Stonewall riots in 1969, I suspect you’d be hard put to find any account of a movement leader accusing another movement leader of being anti-Christian.
I certainly know that when I and other gay writers came along in the 1990s and called similar actions against religious targets ill-advised, the whole organized gay-rights movement came down on us like a ton of bricks, calling us self-hating gays, traitors, and worse. When I gave talks in churches about homosexuality in an effort to build bridges, icons of the gay community such as the late Paul Monette savaged me for “rub[bing] shoulders with … the church supper crowd of the Christian Reich,” which, in his view, amounted to “pandering to creeps … accommodation with the enemy.”

Okay, cut from New York in 1989 to London in 2011. The stakes are higher — much higher.  The mosques in Britain’s capital aren’t just refusing to hand out condoms or instruct gay believers in how to have safe sex. (Imagine!) No; they’re preaching to their ever-growing congregations in that increasingly Muslim city what Islam’s holy books teach about homosexuality — namely, that gays deserve to be executed.
This has been going on for years, of course.  The latest twist — and it will certainly not be the last — is that in February the East End, a neighborhood where many gays live but that is fast becoming a Muslim enclave, began being papered with stickers. They depicted a rainbow flag placed within a black circle and crossed out by a diagonal black line on which were printed the words “Gay free zone.”   And they featured two quotations from the Koran. One of them read: “Arise and warn.” The other: “And fear Allah; verily Allah is severe in punishment.”

Now, this could be dismissed as a nasty prank by some isolated, harmless jerk with too much time on his hands. But to do that would be dangerous. For the sentiments expressed on those stickers are widespread among Muslims in the East End, and indeed among Muslims throughout London, Britain, and Europe generally.
It’s no coincidence that as the East End has become more Muslim, the number of gay-bashings has risen sharply and steadily. Not to respond in some way to this latest provocation, then, would be a show of weakness and of fear, and an invitation to push harder.
Here’s one way to look at it. Let’s say a heavily gay neighborhood in the U.S., like West Hollywood or the Castro in San Francisco or Washington’s Dupont Circle, had experienced a major influx of fundamentalist Christians in recent years. Let’s say the preachers at these churches were known to give rousing sermons about the hellfire awaiting sodomites. (While countless imams in the West openly remind their congregations that their religion calls for the execution of gays, not even the most extreme fundamentalist Christian — not even Fred “God Hates Fags” Phelps — preaches such a message.) And let’s say that stickers declaring the neighborhood gay-free and citing anti-gay Bible quotes suddenly began appearing on lampposts and mailboxes. What would happen?

Here's another view:

Muslims in Britain have zero tolerance of homosexuality, says poll ...


Damien said...


Yet another reason why homosexuals need to stand up to Islamic fanatics before its too late. Also once homosexuals start doing so in large numbers, especially secular liberal homosexuals, it will be hard for leftists to claim that "Islamophobia" is just a result of the religious rights' desire to make the world Christian.

Pastorius said...

It has been my experience that cultures that are built on Honor/Shame are rife with homosexuality.

The other are in which Honor/Shame cultures line up is they have Madonna/Whore complexes.

I don't know what the connection is, but there must be some connection.

ACE(india) said...

Hahaha.. Muslims everywhere have zero tolerance of Homosexuality ..... whats so special about Britain... When we in India were removing the crooked Victorian British laws criminalizing Homosexuality last year ( the law existed , no cases registered...) we faced some opposition from all religions but nothing noteworthy or significant. So strangely no big rufus by muslims.:P
Well I want to correct you ... In India we have been very accepting of homosexuality. If you you read the kamasutra and I mean the translated scholarly edition not the guided " lets have fun tonight" pictorial edition, it contains a vivid description of masturbation and homosexual acts. Due to $hitty krayonic cultural enslavement ( and victorian british crap load :P) we were screwed up .. but we are reverting with better education :D.
But some sense of pride & honor was in India ... but it was very different. For example traditional Hindu women are required to cover up their heads with the free end of sarees like a scarf ( called "ghoonghat") in front of all elders ( men & women) as a sign of dignity and respect.Anyway what I wanted to say was that it also depends on how pride and honor are decided. In india it was the pursuit of kama artha and moksha. in Islam its proportional to the thickness of the woman's hymen :D

Pastorius said...

I don't know much about India, but from what I can see India is not an Honor/Shame culture. Women seem pretty free to express themselves in India. Is that not true?

Anonymous said...


Indian culture, although they have moved away from it a lot, comes from Hinduism. Islam also comes from a culture similar to Hinduism. In fact, the paganism practiced in Mecca and Medina before Mohammed converted it into Islam was very close to Hinduism practiced in India.

So, to come to the point, Indian culture has a lot of shame/honor aspect in it. But Indians are trying to modernize their country unlike Muslims who want to deconstruct any modernism that has taken place.

Pastorius said...

You guys would know more about it than I.

Imu said...
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Imu said...
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Imu said...

I am Muslim and believe the opposite of what they believe. Allah loves all.

It was God who created you; yet some of you refuse to believe, while others have faith. He is aware of all your actions. He created the heavens and the earth to manifest the truth. He fashioned each one of you--and each one of you is beautiful. To God you will all return. He knows all that the heavens and the earth contain. He knows all that you hide and all that you reveal. He knows your deepest thoughts.

-Qur'an, At-Taghabun, Surah 64:2-4