Target: Rector of the Grande Mosqueé in Paris, Dalil Boubakeur
Goal: Oppose Islamic leader’s homophobic sentiments regarding LGBQT-friendly mosque in Paris.
Surrounded by controversy in the Islamic community, a new mosque has been opened in the Parisian suburbs in order to give Muslims in the LGBQT community a place to pray in peace. This single prayer room, established by Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, the founder of the organization Homosexual Muslims of France has yet to be recognized in any official capacity. The mosque has been the target of homophobic sentiments by several prominent leaders in the French Islamic community, namely Rector of the Grande Mosqueé in Paris, Dalil Boubakeur and President of the Paris-based Anti-Islamophobia Observatory, Abdallah Zekri. Both have been quoted with negative responses to the opening of the mosque, stating that it goes against Islamic ideals.
As France’s most prominent Muslim leader, Boubakeur’s recognition of the mosque in an official capacity would help this institution be taken seriously as an Islamic place of worship, and it would do wonders for Zekri’s Pro-Islamic agenda. A large portion of Anti-Islamic propaganda is due to its old-fashioned views of sexuality as well as women’s roles in society. This mosque allows people to identify themselves as whichever sexual orientation they choose, and allows women to lead prayers, which is another Islamic taboo. This new mosque would take Islam in a fresh direction, which is angering many of Islamic traditionalists. However, to keep religion relevant in modern day society, especially in forward thinking nations such as France, there is a need for compromise.
In supporting Zahed in his mission for an inclusive Islamic prayer community, Boubakeur would also be working towards his agenda of expanding the presence of mosques in France. According to an article in Islam Today, titled “Rector of Paris Grand Mosque Calls for Doubling the Number of Mosques in France” Boubakeur “believes a sharp increase in facilities for worship is necessary to give Europe’s largest Muslim population a chance to pray in dignity and comfort.” Two years later Boubakeur is refusing LGBQT Muslims the ability to do just that, while also rejecting the opportunity to help officially recognize a potential mosque. Boubakeur would be able to use his influence to achieve a more wide-spread and accepting Muslim demographic in France.
By signing the petition below you will help urge Dalil Boubakeur to support Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed in his efforts to make the Islamic community in France more accepting of the LGBQT populace and their desire for a safe space to pray.
Dear Rector of the Grande Mosqueé in Paris, Dalil Boubakeur,
Please reconsider your position regarding Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed’s mosque and his efforts to make prayer more accessible to the LGBQT community. In showing your support and helping the mosque gain recognition in an official capacity you would be helping Pro-Islamic sentiments while also working towards your own agenda of expanding the presence of Mosques across France.
I am urging you to make an official statement ensuring your support of the mosque, as its sole purpose is to make places of worship more inclusive and welcoming for those who wish to pray in peace. Not only does your current stance ostracize a large demographic within the Islamic community, but it also enforces homophobic sentiments within organized religious institutions as a whole. Your support of Zahed’s mosque would help the Islamic community take a step forward towards Pro-Islamic sentiments, women’s rights, and LGBQT equality.
Please take action to enforce anti-discriminatory sentiments in within religious sectors, as prayer is equally valuable to all those who seek it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: fotopedia.com