“Voor mij persoonlijk is het zo dat ik door de jaren heen veel bewuster ben geworden van de geschiedenis waaruit Pride is ontstaan. De vele worstelingen, verkrachtingen, mishandelingen, moorden en zelfmoorden die gepaard zijn gegaan met het behalen van die successen. Daarom probeer ik zoveel mogelijk inhoudelijk bezig te zijn tijdens de week van Pride: ik doe mee aan panels en organiseer zelf ook een workshop voor biculturele lesbische, bi- en transvrouwen.”
The acceptance of queer people is often overrated. Not only they face violence because of their identities and expression, but they also are forced to fit in the binary heteronormative standards. And when the person is queer and Muslim, they also have to deal with racism, xenophobia and islamophobia. How can policymakers and organizations improve this locally.
Our board member Gazi was yesterday a part of the panel of Pride Amersfoort. And this morning he was a guest at the provincial radio of RTV Utrecht.
Maruf was present at Roze Kwaku Festival. The Kwaku Festival is a traditional multicultural gathering focused on bringing people and cultures together for a vibrant combination of food, drink, dance and sport. Its origins lie in celebrating the abolition of slavery in Suriname and the Dutch Antilles on 1 July 1863, and its name is derived from a statue erected to commemorate the momentous event.
Maruf is represented at Madrid Pride together with KifKif members from Spain. We proudly presented our stickers "Allah loves us all. Yes, all of us!"
Sa’diyya Shaikh and Lana Sirri at our Maruf Messages about Feministan: Gender & Sexuality within Islam and Sufism.
Our chairperson Dounia Jari gave a workshop about the intersectionality of queer Muslims to a group of volunteers and social workers. What do queer Muslims experience and how to recognize the often unseen struggles.
Our board member Gazi during the Midzomergracht panel about how to create more efficient tools and strategies to an inclusive future.
After years of pressure from right wing politicians the Dutch House of Representatives, the most important legislative institution of The Netherlands, eventually moved forward with a bill that will incriminate civilians who cover their faces in order to "protect public safety".
While those in favor of the bill alledge that it is not in fact a ban on the niqaab or burka, it is very clear that this bill will predominatly limit and target women of faith in their expression of their religious identity.
Stop policing women’s bodies!
Welcome to another edition of Maruf Messages!
This edition's theme is Feministan!
Feministan is the universe where feminism en feminine are celebrated.
Sa'diyya Shaikh & Lana Sirri
19:30 - Opening
19:45 - Sa'diyya Shaikh "Rethinking Gender with Ibn Arabi"
20:45 - Pause
21:00 - Lana Sirri "Queer Muslim women in Berlin"
22:00 - Closure
Sa'diyya Shaikh - Rethinking Gender with Ibn Arabi: Feminist Friendships and Spiritual Refinement
Sa’diyya Shaikh is Associate Professor and Head of Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town. Her study of Islam began with an abiding interest in existential questions and their connections to issues of social justice – effectively, a curiosity about the relationship between the spirtual and the political. Her book Sufi Narratives of Intimacy: Ibn Arabi, Gender and Sexuality (UNC Press, 2012) was part of an ongoing journey of grappling with these formative concerns that still animate much of her work. This book presents a contemporary reading of the work of the 13th century Andalusian Sufi polymath Muhyi al-Din Ibn Arabi, to address questions of human purpose, the nature of reality, and the ethics of gender relationships. In 2013 the book was shortlisted for the American Academy of Religion Book Awards for Excellence in the category of Constructive-Reflective Studies; in 2015 it won the University of Cape Town Book Prize; and in 2016 it was longlisted for the Humanities Book Award of the Academy of Science of South Africa. Sa’diyya has also published research articles on gender-sensitive readings of hadith and Quran; theoretical debates on Islam and feminism, Sufism and Islamic Law, religion and gender-based violence; and empirical work on South African Muslim Women. In 2007, she co-edited (with Dan Maguire) and contributed to a book entitled Violence Against women in Contemporary World Religion: Roots and Cures (Pilgrim Press). Her current book project is focussed on “Gender Justice and Sufi Ethics.” Sa’diyya is married to Ashraf Kagee, a novelist and an academic, and enjoys their feisty and opinionated teenage daughter, Nuriyya, and gentle, funny younger son, Ismael.
Rethinking Gender with Ibn Arabi: Feminist Friendships and Spiritual Refinement
This presentation begins by reflecting on an Islamic feminist method and approach to the tradition. I then apply this approach to some ideas of an influential pre-modern Sufi thinker Muhyi al-Din Ibn Arabi (d.1240). In particular, my paper focuses on ways that mystical language and method provide a dynamic model to engage human nature and gender within the Muslim tradition. I argue that Ibn Arabi’s use of paradox, ambiguity and contradiction, demands the believer to engage with fluidity and enables spaces ripe for feminist reflections. I then draw some contemporary feminist theorists into conversation with Ibn Arabi’s gendered use of language, to explore the openings that he provides in our rethinking of gender. I argue that Ibn Arabi's mystical method often pushes the reader to the limits of a binary patriarchal logic, and invites us to think into a more generative space of tension – tensions that creatively interrupt fixed conceptions of gender, and instead encourages a more expansive and inclusive notions of human nature.
Lana Sirri - Queer Muslim women in Berlin
Maruf’s bestuurslid Gazi doet mee aan het debat over of Utrecht een Gay Paradise is. Dit debat is georganiseerd door het Midzomergracht Festival. Andere sprekers zijn Simon Timmerman, Fatima Aliyat, Sophie Schers.
Toegang is gratis, reserveren verplicht.
Submission portal is open now!
Deadline August 1st 2018.
Extra information about ICRA 2018 and submission portal:
Pembe Hayat organized its annual iftar last Thursday, on 31 May 2018. Trans community, sex workers, LGBTI+ university students, Families of LGBTI+ people came together at iftar dinner in Ankara. Although the banning of LGBTI+ events in Ankara by Ankara Governorship continues, approximately 90 people attended the iftar dinner, upon Pembe Hayat's invitation. The iftar organization encouraged people and highlighted the solidarity among LGBTI+ community in Ankara. People also discussed about the upcoming General Elections and Presidential Election, and how to continue LGBTI+ fight for Equality and Justice in this process and afterwards. Ankara Rainbow Families Group's representatives encouraged trans youth and emphasized that they are not alone and they should not feel themselves without a family.
Source: Pembe Hayat LGBTT Solidarity Association
De Groene Amsterdammer organiseert in samenwerking met Pakhuis de Zwijger een groot debat over én met hervormingsfundamentalisten uit de gelijknamige populaire portrettenserie van Mounir Samuel; over hoe de islam in Nederland wordt bevraagd, hoe een nieuwe generatie moslims om gaat met (zelf)kritiek en tegelijk zelfbewust voor zichzelf een plek in de samenleving opeist. Maak je op voor een bruisend samenkomen van kritische denkers, recalcitrante rebellen en gepassioneerde gelovigen die de islam van binnenuit proberen te hervormen, scherp reflecteren op gemeenschap en de samenleving en bruggen weten te slaan daar waar velen slechts kloven zien.
300.000 Amsterdammers voelen zich geregeld eenzaam en 80.000 stadgenoten kampen met ernstige eenzaamheid. LHTBI’s hebben een verhoogde kans op eenzaamheid. Negatieve reacties op hun seksuele geaardheid en onveiligheid worden als mogelijke oorzaken genoemd. Ook het minder vaak hebben van vaste relaties of kinderen. Toch is er over de precieze aantallen en oorzaken van eenzaamheid onder deze doelgroep weinig bekend. Vanavond spreken we erover met wetenschappers, beleidsmakers en mensen uit de praktijk. Wat zijn de oorzaken en hoe kunnen we het verminderen?
Maruf facilitated a training of trainers for Turkish migrant organizations in the Netherlands. How can we, inside-out, talk about gender and sexual orientation, self-determination and human rights in our communities? What are our strengths and capacities? What do we need more in order to create better and safe enviroments for everyone?
Want to know more about this training and what we could do for your organization?
Send your message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hollanda Büyükelçiliği, 17 Mayıs Uluslararası Homofobi, Bifobi ve Transfobi Karşıtı Gün’de Ankara’da panel ve resepsiyon düzenledi.
Elçiliğin rezidansında yapılan panelde Kaos GL’den Yıldız Tar, Hollanda Maruf’tan Gazi Duran ve Gökkuşağı Aileleri Grubu’ndan Birgül Han konuştu.
Yasaklar ve toplumsal dönüşüm
Ankara’daki süresiz “LGBTİ+ etkinlik yasağının” altıncı ayına girdiğini hatırlatan Tar, bu yasakla LGBTİ+’ların ifade ve örgütlenme özgürlüğü haklarının ihlal edildiğini söyledi. Tar, yasağın ayrımcı olduğunu ve LGBTİ+ları hedef gösterdiğini belirterek, “Bu yasak devam ettiği sürece Ankara’da yaşayan LGBTİ+lar her türlü nefret saldırısına açık hale getiriliyor” dedi. Yasağa karşı dayanışma ve ittifakların önemine değindi, “Toplumsal dönüşüm bir insanla sohbet etmekle başlar. O sohbetler büyüyüp bir dalga yaratır ve o dalga durdurulamaz” ifadelerini kullandı.
Tar sunumunun devamında Kaos GL’nin Medya İzleme Raporu’nu ve medyada nefret söylemi ve ayrımcılığı aktardı.
Medya İzleme Raporu’na ulaşmak için tıklayınız.
İnanç, cinsellik ve cinsiyet kimliği
Tar’ın ardından söz alan Gazi Duran, Maruf olarak Hollanda Müslüman LGBTİ+ların hakları için mücadele ettiklerini söyledi. Duran, hem Müslüman hem de LGBTİ+ kimliklerinden dolayı ayrımcılık ve önyargıyla karşılaştıklarını belirterek, “İnanç ve cinsel yönelim, cinsiyet kimliği birbirlerine zıtmış gibi bir algı var. Bu algıyı yıkmaya çalışıyoruz” dedi.
“Bir aileye ulaşmak…”
Son konuşmacı Birgül Han ise trans erkek olan çocuğunun kendilerine açılması ve bu süreçte yaşadıklarını anlattı. Uzunca süre çocuklarının cinsiyet kimliğini yok saydıklarını ancak başka ailelerle tanıştıkça cinsel yönelim ve cinsiyet kimliğine ilişkin bakışlarının değiştiğini söyledi. “Bir aileye ulaşmak, onların değişmesi hayatı değiştiriyor” dedi.
Yesterday Maruf also participated in the IDAHOBIT reception of the Dutch Embassy in Ankara and talked about the position and challanges of queer Muslims in West-Europe. This event was joined by local queer organisations, activists, parents of queer people and diplomats from different countries.
The rights of queer people in Turkey need to be urgently discussed, because due to some legal restrictions queer people in Ankara are taken away their basic rights to have social gatherings. This has huge effects on their safety and perspective for a better future.
On IDAHOBIT day, Maruf participated in a panel about Religion and LGBTI. This event was organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, joined by diplomats from 21 different countries.
We also presented our [JEFAD] concept, ‘an Universe’ where queer Muslims enjoy Justice, Equality, Freedom, Acceptance and Dignity.
Tonight, before the holy month of Ramadan starts, members of Maruf followed a workshop ‘Ramadan Planner, Practical and Spiritual Guide for queer Muslims’.
This is a special method developed by Maruf to give support and strength to queer Muslims wanting to gain knowledge about islam and Ramadan, but also to create a space where the conversations about obstacles, fears, doubts, emptiness, loneliness, guilt, shame, but also strengths of rituals, power of spirituality and extended families can be discussed.
How to grow spiritually, how to raise conciseness and how (more) to accept yourself?
We hope this method can reach other queer Muslims as well.
Maruf participated in a talk called ‘Religion and LGBTQ+ issues: Opposing or coexisting realities?' at International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague.
Pakistan passed a bill for the protection of the rights of transgender persons and will be signed into law
"Transgender Bill will protect our rights and dignity!"
The National Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill for the protection of rights of transgender persons, empowering them to determine their own gender identity. The ‘Transgender Persons Bill’ was passed in its original form as passed by the Senate. It will be signed into law by the President.
Mehlab Jameel & Maruf | May 8, 2018
“This is huge! The Bill was drafted with collective input from the community, trans activists and feminist allies. It's our collective victory. Laws can only go so far where marginalized communities are concerned, especially communities such as transgender people, who have been persecuted by the law. However, this Bill when it becomes Act will lead towards meaningful change allowing trans persons to live a better life!”, said Mehlab Jameel, Pakistani trans activist.
Mehlab Jameel added: “This was a special rights Bill accompanied by a criminal law amendment to protect rights of transgender people. We started working on this Bill some time last year and the Bill as it has been passed now was drafted by activists and policy experts under a taskforce. The Bill having been passed from the Senate and the National Assembly will be signed into law.”
What are some of the important features of the Bill?
It's a basic anti-discrimination legislation that sets the base for further civil rights work regarding transgender community in Pakistan. The Bill prohibits discrimination against transgender people and addresses fundamental rights, including, but not limited to:
In addition, the other main feature of the Bill is Legal Recognition for all transgender people, which the Bill defines as “a Transgender Man, Transgender Woman, KhawajaSira or any person whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the social norms and cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at the time of their birth.” Legal recognition would include reforming policies regarding:
A long and exhausting fight
The Bill was originally presented by Senator Babar Awan of PPP. However, it drew intense criticism due to lack of feedback from the community and its controversial clauses. It was nearly a copy of the Bill presented in Indian Lok Sabha (which is being protested against by the communities in India). Later NCHR and UNDP presented an alternate draft but that did not gain traction with the community either.
Finally, a draft presented by local activists in collaboration with Feminist Collective was taken up in a National Task Force under Federal Ombudsman Office. Due to overwhelming support for this version, parliamentarians from four political parties presented this draft in the Senate. It was passed in March from Senate. And now it has been passed by National Assembly.
“We were invited to a "consultation" carried out by an NGO partnered with a state body to discuss the Bill and we could see how exclusionary the process of the Bill was. Only activists from a particular socio-cultural background were invited, and their feedback was not properly incorporated either. At this point, we decided to take up this Bill and actually reach out to our grassroots community to get their feedback on the Bill and make them aware of its implications. We ended up re-drafting the entire thing. With support from community activists in various cities, we presented this draft and brought a consensus of stakeholders over the next 8 or 9 months. During this process every single word of this Bill was debated over and over, and we argued our case with parliamentarians, legal and policy experts (including Chief Justice (r.) Raza Khan), representatives of various government departments and policymakers. This Bill went to different parliamentary committees as well as the Council of Islamic Ideology who after directly meeting with us and listening to our case supported us in the parliament. It was a collective effort,” Mehlab Jameel.
Many people worked on this Bill, but we will mention a few of them:
Activists who drafted and lobbied the Bill are Jannat Ali, Mehlab Jameel, Aisha Mughal, Mani AQ (from trans community), Sarah Suhail, Sabahat Rizvi, Nighat Dad, Saleha Rauf and Sonia Qadir (from The Feminist Collective) as well as allies such as Syeda Viquar Hashmi and Nadeem Omar Tarrar. Parliamentarians, particularly, Farhatullah Babar and Rubina Khalid were the driving force behind this Bill.
Mahleb Jameel is part of the team that drafted and presented the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2017 with support of the community from all over Pakistan and since then they have been working at various levels to push for passing of this Bill along with their comrades.
On March 20th 2018, students and other interested people came together in an overcrowded room at Leiden University’s Law Faculty. Here, Dino Suhonic, Director of Maruf (platform for Dutch Queer Muslims), gave a lecture about the relation between Muslims and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community, both in Muslim majority countries as in Muslim minority countries. The lecture was organized by Leiden University Pride (LUP) and Amnesty International Nederland Student Group Leiden.