Western: Lecture series explores LGBT Muslims

Carolinas News Notes

by Lainey Millen  Special Assignments  specialassignments@goqnotes.com
Published: February 15, 2013 in Carolinas News Notes

BOONE, N.C. — The Multicultural Student Development’s Diversity Lecture Series at Appalachian State University will screen “Hidden Voices: The Lives of LGBT Muslims” on Feb. 19, 7 p.m., at the Blue Ridge Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union.

The film highlights the challenges and struggles facing gender and sexual minorities within the Muslim world as it examines the complex intersection of Islam, sexuality and gender.

With more than 1.5 billion followers, Islam is considered to be the fastest growing religion in the world today. While aiming to dispel common stereotypes and myths about Islam, this presentation will also explore the history of the queer Muslim movement in the U.S. and the suppression of LGBT rights around the world. Using his own life experience and by exploring the complex history of the Islamic world, Faisal Alam strives to bring new light onto the lives of an often invisible and silent community: Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning.

Alam is a queer-identified Muslim activist of Pakistani descent. At age 19, while trying to reconcile his sexuality with his faith, he organized the first-ever gathering of LGBT Muslims, which led to the founding of Al-Fatiha, an organization dedicated to supporting and empowering LGBTIQ Muslims and their allies. Today, Al-Fatiha has sister organizations around the world including Canada, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Indonesia. Alam is a member of the national advisory committee of the LGBT Program at Human Rights Watch and was invited in 2011 to the White House to attend an Iftaar dinner with President Barack Obama.

info: Gus Pena, penaae@appstate.edu

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