Asad Dhunna writes for The Independent about Channel 4’s recent survey into British Muslims’ attitudes to living in Britain.
In the survey an overwhelming 86 per cent of the over 1,000 Muslims surveyed said they feel a strong sense of belonging to Britain (higher than the national average of 83 per cent). However 52% do not believe that homosexuality should be legal in Britain.
Of that 52% more questions need to be asked –
- “If homosexuality was made illegal, what should happen to the thousands of LGBT persons in the UK, who are born the way they are?“;
- “Why is it you hold this view?“;
- “Is it culture, community pressure, family pressure or your chosen religion that is causing you to have this view?“.
The survey seemed deliberately divisive.
A positive way forward to is better understand why some people (regardless of what religion they follow) believe that being gay is a choice and should be got rid of. Through understanding we can find a solution.
“However, for those who do speak up, the consequences can be devastating. Naz Mahmood killed himself after his mum found out he was gay. Since then, his partner of 13 years Matthew Mahmood-Ogston set up the Naz and Matt Foundation to make sure religion doesn’t come in the way of unconditional love between parents and their children. This was the first story I ever read in the mainstream press about a gay Muslim – is it any surprise that so many choose to stay silent when they see ‘people like me’ encountering such fatal struggles?” – Asad Dhunna
Matt set up the Naz and Matt Foundation in memory of his soulmate and fiancé, Naz, who passed away two days after being confronted about his sexuality by his religious parents. It was the first time that they knew their son was gay, in a relationship with Matt for 13 years and that they were planning to get married.