by Gay & Lesbian Muslims
Compiled by GayToday
Oakland, California-- The Al-Fatiha Foundation (LGBTQ Muslims & Friends) announced today that it will hold a Friday Prayer Service (Salaat-ul-Jum'ah) at the 12th Creating Change Conference in Oakland, California, USA.
The Creating Change conference is the largest movement activist conference in the United States sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF).
"This is a very exciting and historic moment for our community," said Faisal Alam, Founder of Al-Fatiha, and also a Field Associate at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
"Muslims who identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning have never before been given the space at a public forum like this to hold a Friday prayer service. We are truly grateful to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) for hosting this occasion and supporting the LGBTQ Muslim community."
The Al-Fatiha Foundation is an international organization dedicated to Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, and their friends.
It was formed in October of 1998, when more than forty participants from around the world gathered in Boston, Massachusetts, USA and created the organization in order to address the specific and often complex issues facing the LGBTQ Muslim community.
The Creating Change conference, which takes place in Oakland, California, USA – from November 10-14, 1999 – is the largest and most comprehensive conference that is dedicated to the LGBT activist community in the United States.
This year, more than 2,500 participants will gather from all over the USA at the Marriott City Center Hotel and the Oakland Convention Center to participate in over 150 institutes, workshops, and panel discussions over the course of four days.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning Muslims continue to face extreme hardships and difficulties in the United States and around the world.
The majority of Islamic scholars still agree that homosexuality is a sin. But there are varying degrees of interpretation amongst the various sects of Islam towards same-sex behavior.
The social, cultural, and societal roles of men and women are strictly defined in most Islamic countries. Any form of behavior that does not fit into these traditional moral rules is often viewed as sinful.
In these situations, many LGBTQ Muslims find themselves leaving the faith because they do not see a way to reconcile their sexuality or gender identity with Islam.
"By having this communal prayer service, which constitutes an important part of the practice of Islam, at the largest LGBT activist conference in the country, we hope that LGBTQ Muslims (around the world) will come to understand that they don't have to give up part of their identity to maintain the other," said Faisal Alam in commemorating this event.
The Prayer Service will take place at 1pm on Friday, November 12, 1999 in Room 417 in the Oakland Marriott City Center Hotel in downtown Oakland.
It will be open to all LGBTQ Muslims, as well as non-Muslims, and their friends.
During the remainder of the conference there will be a number of panel discussions and workshops dedicated to organizing and activism within the religious and faith-based lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
Members of Al-Fatiha will be participating in several of these panel discussions, representing the Muslim faith.
After the conference, members of the Al-Fatiha, San Francisco Bay Area chapter will hold a community social gathering on Wednesday, November 18, 1999 at a local restaurant in San Francisco. All LGBTQ Muslims and their friends are invited to attend.
For more information about the prayer service on Friday, November 12 or the community social gathering on Wednesday, November 18, contact Al-Fatiha: firstname.lastname@example.org.