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What will Islam do for Homosexuals?

A conversation about homosexuality this week with a class of A-Level Psychology students led me to write Just how many Homosexuals are there really? for this Blog.

However, as my thoughts developed, it seemed to me there is an issue our kingdom is going to face in the not-too-distant future which CHE-UK really will have to address so that we have something to offer when the issue starts to become pressing.

Put simply: Muslims are the fastest growing ethnic group in our population. Islam condemns homosexuality as sinful – eg: Sura 7:80-81, 26:165. As Muslims become more and more a sizeable percentage of our population and political parties are obliged to compete for their vote, how will that fare with liberal policies on social moral issues such as homosexuality?

Now, when I talk about Muslims, I don’t mean the relatively small number of fanatical fundamentalist jihadists who aim to bring terror to our kingdom as a precursor to an Islamic caliphate. I mean the ordinary men and women who want little more than decent jobs (usually for the men), a good education for their kids, effective health care, some reasonable leisure opportunities…and the freedom to pursue their religion. They’re not particularly out to convert anyone but they’ll gladly welcome someone who wants to convert.

They’re a bit like many British Christians were in the 1930s and 1940s. Their religion was there, a key part of their life – eg: regular Sunday worship and maybe attendance at a mid-week service – but it wasn’t all there was to life. And they’d do a bit of sinning every now and again: getting drunk on a Sunday or having a flutter on the horses. Just like many Muslims today are partial to a drop of alcohol and will eat non-halal meat on occasion. All followed the next day by some degree of guilt!

These Muslims may not necessarily want Sharia law to become the central legal code of our kingdom but, on issues like homosexuality, they are likely to want an end to its status as legitimate in the UK, the end of its portrayal as normal and even desirable in the media and possibly even prosecution of practising homosexuals.

This – and not just on homosexuality but other issues to do with sex and morality – are likely to become big issues in elections over the next 10-20 years. And CHE-UK needs to have some design solutions ready to implement before the issue exacerbates already-existing ethnic tensions in various parts of the country.

BLUE vs GREEN
If we go back to those ‘Christian’ 1930s and 1940s, practising homosexual activity was a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment and often mandatory ‘psychiatric treatment’.

What the Gravesian approach calls the BLUE way of thinking dominated culturally in many aspects of policy making in those days which means, in this instance, Christianity’s condemnation of homosexual activity –  eg: Leviticus 20:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – was enforced in law.

Come the 1960s and GREEN liberalism starts to penetrate social and political thinking, putting forward increasingly the idea that anything which liberates the human spirit is OK. Thus, the decriminalisation of homosexual activity between consenting adults in 1968, reflected 5 years later in the American Psychiatric Association delisting homosexuality as a psychiatric condition.

While GREEN liberalism has by no means totally dominated culturally throughout Britain over the last 40 years, it has, if anything, increased its hold over social moral policy making, with civic partnerships and many accompanying legal rights available as marriage-in-all-but-name to gay and lesbian couples.

The very BLUE strictures of Islam – one right way and punish sin – do not recognise the validity of this approach to homosexuality. In Islamic states in the Middle and Far East, practising homosexuals are likely to find themselves imprisoned or even executed if they get caught. While I’m not necessarily suggesting British Muslims are of such a mind, it’s clear that adherents to Islam in this country are most likely going to find British laws on homosexuality offensive and want to change them as their electoral power grows.

I’ve heard Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck bemoan the relative absence of BLUE in the British churches several times in respect of the breakdown of family values and morality in much of this kingdom. We may well find ourselves with a resurgence of BLUE as a cultural force in the not too distant future…but coming from the mosques rather than the churches.

It could be hoped, of course, that the thinking of many Muslims might upgrade to ORANGE as they integrate more into the Western way of life. But, with our economic outlook bleak in the short-to-medium term (as the Tories have been pointing out at their conference all week), the opportunities for self-advancement which should stimulate the emergence of ORANGE are likely to be in short supply. Cue a hunkering down into BLUE certainties, exacerbated by PURPLE’s marking of ethnic fault lines.

GREEN liberalism will come under pressure from BLUE Puritanism.

We’ve got what we’ve got
The British National Party’s racist ship-‘em-back policies are simply unacceptable to the majority of the British electorate. (After all, how do you ship back someone who’s born and bred in this country…back to where exactly?!?) Which is not to say that there aren’t significant and growing numbers of BNP voters – but it is inconceivable (in any terms most people accept) that the BNP could ever form even a minority government.

The (ostensibly) non-racist English Defence League make many valid points about the Islamisation of parts of the UK – but shouting “No more mosques!” and kicking members of Unite Against Fascism is a bit like King Canute commanding the waves to halt as they washed over his feet. It’s unrealistic. Unless you are actually prepared to go to the fascistic lengths the BNP say they would, we have what we have: a significant and rapidly-growing Muslim population, many of whom are opposed to liberal public policies on issues like homosexuality.

With the Gravesian approach we are able to understand BLUE vs GREEN conflicts like these. Our next step needs to be designing natural solutions that balance out competing needs and interests for the benefit of the whole. And those solutions need to be on the workbench before the issues become too pressing.

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8 Responses

  1. Keith E Rice says

    Hi, Mr Pedestrian

    Thank you for such a detailed commentary. If you’re not in the know, it’s often a problem picking up that kind of detail such as Jews and Christians being offered the option to be tried by their own religious laws. Reporting in the ‘Western’ media by non-Muslims almost inevitably misses some of the balancing detail in its desire to get eye-catching headlines.

    What I’m really driving at is a values mismatch between GREEN’s liberalism and BLUE’s one-right-way. It’s pretty much the same values conflict which is tearing the Anglican Church apart over the ordination of gay bishops.

    However, I do think there is a strong likelihood of a growing values conflict between Islam and the liberal policy making that has dominated many aspect of social policy in this country over the past 40+ years. Nor do I see the assertion of BLUE, with Islam as its memetic carrier, necessarily as a bad thing.

    I admit to being influenced greatly by a conversation I had with an Asian acquaintance shortly after the first Bradfort riots in the late 1980s. When I asked him what had really been behind it, he told me they wanted to burn the pimps, the whores and the drugs pushers out of their homes and drive them out of the area. When I queried the methodology, he said: “Now our women can walk the street safely on their own after 9 PM. Yours can’t.”

    Burned into my brain! There are many benefits to the assertion of BLUE order values – they just have to be restrained from excess!

    As to there being less hoo-hah about adulterers being punished than homosexuals, I suspect that may be due to gay pressure groups being better organised these days than the feminists who seem to have lost a fair bit of steam over the past decade or so. But, if you think about the fuss over Karzai’s Personal status law – on this blog at http://www.integratedsociopsychology.net/2009/afghanistan-sex-or-starve-whats-the-issue/ – women’s issues can still grab headlines.

    I’ve made a number of posts on this blog attempting to understand the Muslim perspective on Iraq, Afghanistan and terrorism. (Yes, I know there are multiple Muslim perspectives…!) If you have the time and inclination, Mr Pedestrian, I’d appreciate your comments on those.

  2. Mr Pedestrian says

    Going a bit deeper – the increasing Muslim population will not endanger the homosexual and the liberties extended to the community. It might endanger the number of people joining the community – but I doubt Shariah courts will be handing out death sentences to homosexuals left, right and centre. In a minority condition – as I understand, both parties have to agree to abide by the rulings of the Shariah court – first of all.

    2ndly, to convict and punish someone for homosexuality is nearly impossible according to Islamic Jurisprudence (Shariah). For a person to be convicted and punished for homosexuality – there have to be 4 eye-witnesses to the actual act of penetration (just as in the case of adultery – in fact the conviction for the homosexual act comes under the ruling for adultery), and then the 4 eye-witnesses have to be of reliable character, along with other conditions on the narration of the incident by the witnesses. But, if you think about it – won’t the persons involved in the act be caught for public indecency by the secular court in the first place anyway? If there were FOUR witnesses, it’s practically an open act of sex in the public, no? Either way, the act would be considered a crime both according to secular courts as well as the Shariah court – albeit the punishments given would be different. But, being a minority population – I’m guessing the secular courts would apply first to the crime. So – other than the punishment meted out – there really isn’t a difference between the ruling of the Shariah court or the secular court – the act would be a crime.

    In fact, there is no law in Shariah that punishes a homosexual just for being a homosexual. The punishment is only for the observable sexual act. I would go a little deeper in explaining the social aspect of this topic – but this is turning out longer than I expected. Just a last point – even where Islamic Jurisprudence was law of the State (in that regard – none of the current Muslim nations use or abide by Islamic Shariah. Some, like Saudi Arabia abide by SOME Shariah laws – but since they are not applied within the context of the whole legal dynamic, the application of those laws become flawed) the minorities were always offered the choice to be judged by their own religious law. Jews or Christians were never (for the most part) tried according to Shariah – but according to their own religious laws. It is a different story that many opted to be judged by Shariah law. Anyhow – my point with this last statement is that even when Shariah was the legal system of the state, it was not imposed on the minority communities living under the land. So, as a legal system of a minority community, I doubt you have much to fear about Shariah taking over and being imposed on everyone in Britain, never mind the gay community.

    Going a bit deeper – the increasing Muslim population will not endanger the homosexual and the liberties extended to the community. It might endanger the number of people joining the community – but I doubt Shariah courts will be handing out death sentences to homosexuals left, right and centre. In a minority condition – as I understand, both parties have to agree to abide by the rulings of the Shariah court – first of all.

    2ndly, to convict and punish someone for homosexuality is nearly impossible according to Islamic Jurisprudence (Shariah). For a person to be convicted and punished for homosexuality – there have to be 4 eye-witnesses to the actual act of penetration (just as in the case of adultery – in fact the conviction for the homosexual act comes under the ruling for adultery), and then the 4 eye-witnesses have to be of reliable character, along with other conditions on the narration of the incident by the witnesses. But, if you think about it – won’t the persons involved in the act be caught for public indecency by the secular court in the first place anyway? If there were FOUR witnesses, it’s practically an open act of sex in the public, no? Either way, the act would be considered a crime both according to secular courts as well as the Shariah court – albeit the punishments given would be different. But, being a minority population – I’m guessing the secular courts would apply first to the crime. So – other than the punishment meted out – there really isn’t a difference between the ruling of the Shariah court or the secular court – the act would be a crime.

    In fact, there is no law in Shariah that punishes a homosexual just for being a homosexual. The punishment is only for the observable sexual act. I would go a little deeper in explaining the social aspect of this topic – but this is turning out longer than I expected. Just a last point – even where Islamic Jurisprudence was law of the State (in that regard – none of the current Muslim nations use or abide by Islamic Shariah. Some, like Saudi Arabia abide by SOME Shariah laws – but since they are not applied within the context of the whole legal dynamic, the application of those laws become flawed) the minorities were always offered the choice to be judged by their own religious law. Jews or Christians were never (for the most part) tried according to Shariah – but according to their own religious laws. It is a different story that many opted to be judged by Shariah law. Anyhow – my point with this last statement is that even when Shariah was the legal system of the state, it was not imposed on the minority communities living under the land. So, as a legal system of a minority community, I doubt you have much to fear about Shariah taking over and being imposed on everyone in Britain, never mind the gay community.

  3. Mr Pedestrian says

    Hello Keith,

    Found it an interesting read. I just happened upon this blog while searching some stuff on google.

    However, I would like to raise some points, as a muslim myself. From my understanding – liberalism has made a mountain out of a molehill regarding homosexuality, Islam and Islamic Jurisprudence (Shariah). The only reason this topic has stuck out like a sore thumb is because of the ascribed punishment due for someone caught in the act of homosexuality according to Shariah. Which – is no different from the punishment ascribed for adulterers caught in the act. Yet – homosexuality and its ascribed punishment in Islam is the point to pick on, and not adultery and it’s ascribed punishment. Why is that? I mean – in both circumstances, the sex is between consenting adults, but somehow the liberal will stick up for the homosexual and leave the adulterer out on the street. Ok – I agree the liberal will object to the punishment for both – but adultery is still a crime or looked down upon to the liberal. Why? I think adultery and promiscuity is a BIGGER problem facing British society than the concerns of the gay and homosexual community. Even the gay community faces the problems of promiscuity, ironically.

  4. Albert Klamt says

    Just wanting to add a SPIEGEL interview with German Turkish author and attorney Seyran Ates. Its about a new book just discussed at Frankfurt Book Fair.

    Seyran Ates, 46, moved with her family from Turkey to Germany as a six-year-old girl in 1969. Just before she turned 18, she left her parents’ home, moved in with a German man, studied law and worked in Berlin as an attorney specializing in family law. After numerous attacks and threats, she abandoned her law firm. Her new book, “Islam Needs a Sexual Revolution,” is scheduled to be published in German on Oct. 16. Ates is a single mother with a daughter.

    Islam needs a sexual revolution

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,654704,00.html

    Another interview is from 2007. Done for the portal quantara.de

    The multicultural mistake

    http://www.qantara.de/webcom/show_article.php/_c-478/_nr-694/i.html

    Just wanting to add a SPIEGEL interview with German Turkish author and attorney Seyran Ates. Its about a new book just discussed at Frankfurt Book Fair.

    Seyran Ates, 46, moved with her family from Turkey to Germany as a six-year-old girl in 1969. Just before she turned 18, she left her parents’ home, moved in with a German man, studied law and worked in Berlin as an attorney specializing in family law. After numerous attacks and threats, she abandoned her law firm. Her new book, “Islam Needs a Sexual Revolution,” is scheduled to be published in German on Oct. 16. Ates is a single mother with a daughter.

    Islam needs a sexual revolution

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,654704,00.html

    Another interview is from 2007. Done for the portal quantara.de

    The multicultural mistake

    http://www.qantara.de/webcom/show_article.php/_c-478/_nr-694/i.html

  5. jtwigge says

    Ah yes. But I see the whole aim of CHE is to blend the spiral. I know this is a big aim but I also think that it is a natural evolution.

    As I see it, the aim of each level when it first arises is to overcome the problems of the level that it replaces. Now, once the problems are generally overcome the new set of values will tend to ignore the previous values so long as they are relatively healthy.

    From a second tier awareness the aim for me should be to bring about health at all of the levels and thus ensure that they do not negatively impact each other so that the friction between them is low. At each level people can then strive to express the positive sides of their values without the need to fight other values.

    We would see the laws of the land supporting everyones right to be, encouraging cooperation and discouraging competition between and within values and vmemes.

    In a structured overarching second tier environment that secured everyones rights different valued peoples would lose there intense fear of each other, as threat to each othes cultures and values, and focus on the positives of their own cultures.

    Or so the theory goes…

    In practise, we are a long way from a second tier society and in the mean time we have to build pockets of awareness that will attempt to support the rise of second tier values that will in turn work with the varied first tier values.

    It is fine, and healthy, for a first tier value system to believe that it is right but not ok at all to demand the persecution of others with different values.

    And this is why I believe that the UK CHE has two different tasks. 1) Raise and collect 2nd tier awareness and individuls and 2) Raise the health of 1st tier cultures, groups and individuals.

    I think it is worth remembering that the value sets of the different vmemes arise as a survival response to the life circumstances that they arise in. Currently when different memes of the same vmeme level clash they clash for survival.

    In a 2nd tier led society the life circumstances will begin to change and meme survival will be enhanced by conformance to the 2nd tier multi tolerance rather than first tier conflict even when expressed through first tier values.

  6. Keith E Rice says

    …oh, and a further thought.

    We already have one well-established parallel judicial system in this country: the Jewish Beth Din. Its powers are limited and submission to it is voluntary but once parties have submitted the Beth Din’s decision is binding.

    According to
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2957428/Sharia-law-courts-operating-in-Britain.html, 5 Sharia courts have been operating on a similar basis in the UK since 2007, with their decisions enforeable through the county courts or High Court.

    As someone who was once deeply religious, I think I can understand the desire to be judged by the laws of your faith rather than secular laws. The problem will come when judgements made by the Beth Din or in Sharia courts are taken as precedent and used to challenge precedent in the mainstream secular judicial system.

    A number of lawyers have expressed doubts that religious courts and secular courts can avoid overlapping jurisdictions.

    A potential nightmare scenario: a Muslim man is punished to the maximum for homosexual activity in a Sharia court and then appeals in the secular system…?

    As Don Beck might say, the Spiral Wizards need to be scanning upstream and downstream and sniffing the wind for the changes which may be coming!

  7. Keith E Rice says

    HI, Jon

    You’re right, of course, about how it should be but I’m not at all sure it will play out that way.

    Each 1st Tier level is deluded that it is right – both Maslow and Graves believed the lower levels were deluded in this respect. So BLUE won’t accept anything other than its perceived ‘one right way’ while GREEN will oppose BLUE’s restrictions on self-expression.

    Put into that frame those politicians and media barons who are driven by self-serving RED and they will court whichever view is likely to give them the most votes. Meanwhile the ORANGE of the likes of Murdoch will exploit such conflicts for all they’re worth to sell papers and bump up Sky News’ ratings.

    As for how many people in this country in this country are Muslim, I read recently that Mohammed is now the single most popular name on birth certificates. Personally I don’t have a problem with that but maybe it’s a sign of the times…?

    Best

    Keith

  8. jtwigge says

    Hi Keith,

    thanks for a really thought provoking post !

    Personally I feel that we need to respect all cultures. However, the law of the land should reflect the highest wisdom and no one group should be able to demand removal of freedoms from others. Unless the great majority of people in this country became Muslim, wich is very unlikely any time in the near future, the laws should not reflect the restrictive views of even a substantial minority.

    In order to maintain the rule of law we simply have to make sure that any culture within Britain accepts that on fundamental rights the law of the country is British law and not a law to suit each of us individually