“We affirm our queerness, sexualities and non-normativity as a source of empowerment. Our identities are fully realised through the practice of an expression of Islam that is accepting and loving and where queerness is pivotal to our faith.”
London Queer Muslims challenge the dominant narratives about Queer Muslims, both in LGBTIQA+ communities and in Muslim communities. “LQM” is a place for the discussion and practice of Islam without needing to debate whether it is ok to be Muslim and Queer.
London Queer Muslims was founded by Hasan, Moosa, Qaisar, Nahida & Fadi, in November 2017. LQM is gender and sex egalitarian, run for and by LGBTIQA+ Muslims, yet is welcoming of allies of any sexual orientation, gender, or sex. LQM is governed by a secular unincorporated charitable framework with elected board members, a chair, secretary, treasurer and advisors, and has a full constitution.
When we first came together we all needed a place where we could just be Muslim, a space where we didn’t have to have the same old tired conversations about our queerness and our Islam, where our Islamic identities meant something important and which empowered us, not something that was at odds with our queerness. We found that we were excluded from heteronormative Muslim spaces and simultaneously excluded from homonormative “LGBT” spaces for our Islam.
Shortly after forming, LQM quickly received the support of a Bektashi Muslim Baba in Istanbul who had been looking for a group of Queer Muslims who wanted to deepen their connection to Islam through understanding the inner meaning of its pillars, Haydar Ozan Baba offered us guidance on how to conduct Zikr sessions according to the Bektashi tradition and gave formal permission to our chair Hasan to run Majaalis (Zikr circles). He wrote a letter of affirmation to London Queer Muslims, which can be read here: ozan baba letter
“All our decisions are conducted and planned by consensus and our services are carried out by our regular attendees (aashiqaan), with no single person in authority.”
Our Ijtihad sessions are completely egalitarian and our members take turns leading them. They are every month and cover topics such as Eco-Halal and Ethical Eating, Hijab and Modesty, Justice and Ashura, Friendship and Wilayah, Hajj and Queer belonging etc.. We practice “queering” of Islamic law through ijtihad, a process whereby our queer identities are essential to our understanding of the practice of Islam. Instead of accepting established patriarchal or cis-heteronormative understandings of Islamic practice and law we go back to the Qur’anic and Sunna sources and read into them our queerness. This is a truly empowering process that has given many of our members a new understanding of Islam that enriches their identities and their relationship with faith and queerness.
We invite you join us for our Zikr and ijtihad sessions; you can sign up here: meetup.com
“Islam began as something strange and will return to being something strange, so give blessing to those who are strange: Fa tuba lil ghuraba (Blessings to those who are strange!)”
“When you decide to stand against injustice, expect that you will be cursed then accused of treason, then unbelief. But don’t you dare stay silent about injustice just so you can be described as a person of peace.” Ali Shariati
Hasan and Qaisar
Our Chair and Treasurer
Email for Location