Imaan Launches Emergency Fundraising Appeal

You can change  lives.  When you give to Imaan, your voice unites with many others to say: “I believe in equality for every person, and every family!” You will know that you are supporting the organizations and leaders that are defending the rights and equality of LGBT Muslims in the UK.

Every gift makes a huge difference to the work of Imaan, to the welfare service and other programs. Ninety percent of Imaan’s funding comes from people like you: who care about our community and who want to make it a better, safer place to live now and in the future.

When you choose to give monthly you are choosing to make a regular commitment to Muslim LGBTQ equality in the UK.

“I came to the UK in 2010 from Pakistan because I was forced into a marriage. I was beaten, physically abuse and raped. I approached Imaan in 2011 when I fled my relative’s home and was leaving on the streets. Imaan supported me in accessing housing, food and finally supported me through my asylum claim until I was granted refugee status.” Jamal Aged 25

What can your monthly gift do?
• £3 a month would pay the bus fare for a Imaan member to attend a welfare or immigration appointment
• £20 a month ensures that a support meeting can take place for vulnerable Imaan members.
• £30 a month provides food and a night in a refuge or hostel in an emergency for an Imaan member fleeing violence.

Funds raised by Imaan will be used to continue promoting and providing a safe space for all Imaan members and for fighting discrimination. This includes supporting asylum seekers, victims of forced marriage, and homelessness. we are striving to expand our services further outside London. Contributions are also used to cover the daily operations and maintenance necessary to run this rapidly growing service. Imaan is run and staffed by unpaid volunteers – every penny you donate goes directly to the services we deliver to people in urgent need

Yes, I want to help those in Need

You can donate via paypal; our paypal email is conference@imaan.org.uk

JazakAllah khairan!,

Imaan

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Imaan joins other LGBT groups calling for the cancellation of an LGBT Interfaith delegation to Israel

A number of LGBTQ activist organizations from across the world have called upon three French religious organizations to cancel an upcoming interfaith delegation to Israel because it violates the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions. Asserting itself as a “vanguard of a dialogue among spiritualities for reciprocity and solidarity with local LGBT movements,” Beit HaverimDavid and Jonathan, and HM2F are French LGBT groups of Jews, Christians and Muslims respectively whose tour next week is partly sponsored by the City of Paris.

Arab / Palestinian LGBTQ groups have expressed concerns about the wisdom of such a visit, against a backdrop of claims that the French organisations have not discussed or collaborated effectively with local organisations.

Writing at Pinkwatching Israel, the local activists explain:

The organizations claim that the trip is “non-political,” but a brief look at their program clearly shows the political dimensions of the trip. Meeting with an Israeli MK [Member of the Knesset], an official from the municipality of Tel Aviv, and French Cultural Attaché in Israel to discuss “cultural relations between Israel and France” are political by nature. Violations of BDS guidelines constitute a conscious political choice. Beit Haverim, David and Jonathan, and HM2F are clearly willing to engage only in certain forms of politics which they deem safe, while ignoring questions of their responsibility, as religious tourists, to refrain from legitimizing occupation and apartheid.

This denial is so powerful that none of the material produced by the organizations for the trip mentions the word “occupation” even once. The only West Bank city on their itinerary is Bethlehem, currently surround by the apartheid wall which segregates 15,000 dunums of agricultural land. Ironically, the wall around Bethlehem serves to isolate and annex the very same religious areas that the organizations plan to visit. Around Rachel’s Tomb and the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque, hundreds of Palestinians are isolated between two walls, further strengthening Israeli control of historic, religious, and deeply significant places and strangling the city economically.

In particular, activists questioned the solidarity of HM2F (Homosexuels musulmans de France) with Muslim LGBT people in Palestine.

According to the program, they claim to be in touch with “Muslim LGBT” organization Al-Qaws, when in fact, HM2F only contacted them for a meeting on the 1st of November. This lack of concern is evident not only in their misidentification of alQaws as a Muslim group, but also in their decision to bypass any prior consultation with the Palestinian queer groups they claim to be in solidarity with. In particular, HM2F’s participation comes as a disappointing surprise to the organization’s partners as their involvement directly risks the safety of activists and groups located in Arab societies. HM2F is currently a member of several coalitions along with different Arab and Muslim queer groups, and is planning to join several anticipated coalitions along the same lines. By leading this initiative, HM2F is unfortunately neglecting calls for solidarity and further burning its bridges with these groups, several of whom have criticized them for similar actions in the past. 

Major Palestinian organizations that work on LGBTQ and sexuality issues, and many others, have shared and endorsed the statement.

Imaan shares the concerns of our brothers and sisters and calls upon the organisers of the proposed tour to explain their position more clearly. However, our belief is that a queer group considering an LGBT interfaith tour in Israel is quite troubling. Interfaith LGBT outreach is important and extremely rewarding for LGBT people of faith, but we draw a line at what appears to be a fairly uncritical event inside Israel and inclusive of elements of the Israeli body-politic: a regime that maintains a facade of socially progressive policy as one of the ways in which it seeks to present itself as a normal and benign nation-state. A “tour” of the sort described would add undeserved credence to Israel’s assertion of “normal” statehood and would be a press-bonanza. We do not believe that LGBT groups, let alone those representing Muslims should be seen, even, to be applauding a state for its largely empty platitudes towards queers, when that same state can’t respect the most basic of human rights – such as the right to life – of its citizens and neighbours.

We hope that these three groups will reconsider their plans and enter a constructive dialogue with Palestinian groups working on the ground, about the best way to achieve valuable local interactions that first and foremost respect and maintain solidarity with the Palestinian people