Muslim Youth Leadership Council Statement on Affirming LGBTQ+ Muslims

The Muslim Youth Leadership Council, a project of Advocates for Youth, is a group of young Muslims fighting for LGBTQ and Muslim rights, and supporting Queer/Trans Muslims. 

While we are disturbed and disheartened by the recent open-letter “Navigating Differences” published on May 23, 2023, we are incredibly proud of the community response to it; numerous publications, organizations and individuals have been rallying against the sexist, queerphobic ideology preached in the original publication, as well as the declaration of the authors and signatories that they are the sole authority on what “Islam” says, supports or stands for. 

One of the most holy, beautiful components of our shared faith is the diversity of our community and our beliefs. We have no single interpretation of our faith; we have varied schools, different sects and hundreds of cultures represented. To speak for Allah swt and the entirety of Muslims, as if this homophobic rhetoric is universally accepted as the sole interpretation of Qur’an and Islamic belief, is beyond arrogant. 

Our very presence affirms the variety of opinions and beliefs held by the Muslim community & Islamic scholarship. Queer and Trans/gender-diverse Muslims have existed since the time of the Prophet, pbuh, who respected and accepted those members of his society. We maintain our right to live, love and practice, authentically, and reject the idea that the signatories of this paper have the exclusive and unanimous right to proclaim what Islam is. 

We know and appreciate the diverse work being done by Queer Muslims & our allies, from Imams to scholars to artists to worshippers to organizers. As such, we have attached links and references to various projects, organizations and resources for LGBTQ Muslims and allies. And to those who may be questioning where they belong, if our faith has room for them, or if there are others like them, we support you. You belong. Your faith is valid. We have been where you are, and we hope that through community and advocacy, we are all able to find space where we feel affirmed as LGBTQ and Muslim. Alhamdulillah. The Muslim youth Leadership Council has also signed onto the Reclaimingislam.org statement.