by Timothy D. Lusch (July 2016)
One could be forgiven for being mystified by the response of the LGBT community following Omar Mateen’s history making massacre in June. The response, of course, inhered in the usual pledges of solidarity and cyber support, calls for cross cultural unity, and the ever popular accusations of homophobia (accusations that ring hollow after evidence emerged that Mateen may have been gay). Admittedly, one would expect more from a group that so vehemently directed its vitriol toward cake bakers when some members of the bakery community refused to do business with gay customers following the spike of gay weddings after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. But in a country and an era where gay rights have been discovered in the Constitution and asserted in the public square to great effect—such that Gay Pride Month passes with as much oppositional fanfare as Black History Month—the mainstreaming of the gay community has done little to confront the towering bastion of intolerance that is Islam.
In comparison, LGBT attacks on the Catholic Church are so common now that even the most vicious insults rarely make news. And this is despite the softening of the Church’s pastoral stance toward gays. Not so with Islam. In both religions, homosexual activity remains forbidden. But so does premarital sex, blasphemy, and so forth. The Catholic Church for its part is trying to resolve the practical difficulty of adhering to doctrine while being pastorally flexible. Thus, it is possible to be “out” and an active member of a Catholic parish. This is not true for gay Muslims.
The most obvious reason for this consists in the proscriptive jurisprudence of Islam. Sharia strictly prohibits homosexuality and mandates severe punishments. Islamic legal scholars generally agree on the death penalty though there is disagreement as to how it should be carried out (stoning, burning, throwing the homosexual from a high building, rolling the offender down a mountain). The Catholic Church has no such penalties. The juxtaposition of Islam and Catholicism on the issue of homosexuality highlights the dissonance in the LGBT response to Mateen’s massacre and the institutional intolerance of Islam.
The most persuasive explanation for the LGBT community’s muted murmurings is that the LGBT community is a creature from the lagoon of multiculturalism. LGBT rights are asserted, and total acceptance is demanded, pursuant to the pernicious framework of multiculturalism. That is, no cultural group or set of beliefs is superior to another. All must be weighed equally, preferences and accommodations—no matter how bizarre or outrageous—must be respected and given the protection of law (the lone exception being that anything smacking of the West or Christianity is not worthy of protection). The multicultural ethos of the progressive academic and political set, especially under President Obama, allowed the LGBT community to make much sought after gains in acceptance and accommodation. The downside, of course, is that LGBT’s must return the favor to other minority groups sanctioned by multicultural elites.
Muslims, to the multiculturalist mind, are a minority group. American Muslims, represented by such groups as the Hamas-linked CAIR, ISNA and others, have seized upon “Islamophobia” as a brand label that achieves for them politically what Rainbows and Pride did for LGBT’s. The madness of multiculturalism inexorably leads to a situation we are witness to today. After Orlando, the LGBT community members faced a choice: rise up in anger at Islam or blame something or somebody else for the massacre. The former is unthinkable since it would require LGBT’s to violate the dictates of multiculturalism by invalidating Islamic claims to kill homosexuals. So, most of what made it into print and online consisted of the latter.
For example, ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio took to Twitter to blame conservative Christians for the massacre. “You know what is gross — your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created this anti-queer climate.” Bilal Qureshi, writing in the New York Times, overpromised and under delivered in an op-ed entitled “The Muslim Silence on Gay Rights.” Qureshi throws much at the wall of sorrow, hoping something will stick. He argues the massacre was “fueled by hatred and perpetrated by a man from a group already scarred by a generation of suspicion and surveillance.” He bangs on about Muslims all over the internet trying to get in front of the next wave of non-existent Islamophobia by offering their condolences, while at the same time bemoaning a Muslim ambivalence in America about LGBT rights. A Muslim gunman murders dozens in a gay nightclub, in fealty to ISIS and for the glory of Allah, and this is all we get from an op-ed in in one of the most prominent newspapers in the world?
Not to be outdone, Huw Lemmey over at the London Review of Books Blog posted, “Gay Pride After Orlando,” in which he observes, “After a year of dehumanising anti-trans rhetoric from US lawmakers, however, followed by an act of obscene violence this weekend, it’s clear that some sort of political message beyond grief will emerge during this year’s Pride marches. And that political message may well be the reassertion that violence and abuse are a part of the daily life of LGBT people, not just the reserve of spree killings.” Lemmey obviously got Obama & Company’s multicultural memo that this has nothing to do with Islam.
Even an American Catholic bishop got in on the act. In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Robert Lynch, bishop of St. Petersburg, blamed guns first and religion second for cultivating this kind of violence. “Sadly,” he says, “it is religion, including our own that targets, mostly verbally, and often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence.” It is precisely this type of willful blindness that led American Catholic bishops to avoid dealing with the nasty truth of child sex abuse by hundreds of priests.
The willful blindness of Strangio, Qureshi, Lemmey, Bishop Lynch, and all the others pointing the finger at everything else except Islam, is the product of a malignant multiculturalism. This compromising and contradictory muck is impotent before the uncompromising teachings of Islam. In 2010, Dr. Awadh Binhazim, Vanderbilt University’s Muslim chaplain, affirmed what LGBT’s ignore. Asked whether he accepted that death was the penalty under Islamic law for homosexuality, he responded, “I don’t have a choice as a Muslim to accept or reject teachings. I go with what Islam teaches.” He admitted after further questioning that death indeed is the penalty for homosexuality.
If past is prologue, LGBT’s will continue to misdirect their anger, while Islamic supremacists enforce Sharia by means of violence. The points of contact between these two products of the multicultural milieu, as Orlando proves, will be brutal and bloody. And, what’s more, the violence on this new front will only metastasize in the face of the ineffectiveness of indirect opposition. Toeing the multicultural line, LGBT’s effectively give Islam the field. For all the radical and assertive pride of the LGBT community, LGBT’s are playing this one straight.
Timothy D. Lusch is an attorney and writer. His work has appeared in Saint Austin Review, Crisis, New Oxford Review, and New English Review. He blogs at www.pityitspithy.com.
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