Vol 1. No 7. April, 1998
In Search of Sulayman X
Sulayman X has a lot to say about Islam and homosexuality, and the provocative stand taken by this Bangkok-based writer at his web site "Queer Spirits," located at http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Heights/8977, has outraged Muslims worldwide.
This is evident from the "Comments" section of the site, which contains hundreds of messages, most from Muslims who condemn the notion that any Muslim could be gay or lesbian. Some are violently profane; some are lengthy rebuttals; some are death threats; and a few - precious few - are messages of support and encouragement.
His site is filled with articles and stories about being both gay and Muslim, and he actively encourages other gay Muslims to post their own.
Pink Ink asked Sulayman X why he's doing what he's doing, and he replied: "It needs to be done. There's a billion or more Muslims all over the world. If even just 5 percent of them are gay or lesbian, that's about 50 million people. That's greater than the population of some countries."
He adds, "The religion of Islam is so oppressive against homosexuals that you could be killed for 'coming out of the closet' and that's why few do. But that doesn't mean we don't exist. People have sent me messages saying that the Prophet Muhammed supposedly said all homosexual people were to be thrown off the tops of high buildings, or made to burn each other to death. Although I doubt he ever said such things, his followers believe it wholeheartedly. Just the other day there was a story in the paper about Islamic fundamentalists killing homosexuals by collapsing a wall on top of them, crushing them to death. In a country like Saudi Arabia, you could be beheaded. Imagine growing up gay or lesbian in these sorts of environments..."
Does he get discouraged by all the hate mail he receives? "Not really. Newcomers to the Web site who look at all those comments - all those awful, terrible comments about how I'm not even human, how I should be killed, how I'm unworthy of even common human courtesy - all of it has a profound effect that actually works to my benefit. When you can see all that hatred just sitting there, it makes you stop and think. And it might make heterosexual people stop and think about whether or not they really agree with all that, and whether anyone deserves to be treated in such a fashion."
He explains that the Muslim holy book, the Koran, carries the story of the Prophet Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah, much like its Old Testament counterpart, and that the discrimination against homosexuals is based on that story. Aside from that, the Koran does not speak about the issue, he says.
What does the future hold for Sulayman X? "I'm going to continue with the Web site. I'm constantly working on it, adding to it, trying to get others to share their experiences, to write their life stories so they can posted and read."
He's currently at work on an in-depth look at the issues surrounding Islam and homosexuality. He can be reached via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page last updated 18 May, 1999
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