Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Let's Love Everyone, and Let Allah Sort It Out

If you are born a Muslim in Malaysia, chances are you grew up being told that homosexuality is evil and gay people should be punished/killed/fixed. That indoctrination starts as early as seven years old and if you're lucky, stops when you are seventeen. 

Yup, I'm talking about the religious study classes that are mandatory for all Muslim children who attend government schools.

I was no different, and what's worse, I grew up in the 1980s at the height of the AIDS epidemic. I was a precocious reader, material-wise, and had begun devouring the broadsheet by the time I was nine years old. So imagine being told that the people of Lot is evil, and lo and behold! They are dying in the most terrible ways all over the world.

I went to an all-girls school so statistically speaking at least 1 out of 10 of my friends is gay. There was a transwoman in my parents' social circles; but everyone seemed to accept her as a woman although there may have been sniggers about whether a woman's wudhu is invalided after shaking hands with her.

As the majority, it behooves us to be aware of the lived experience of the minorities, which include those of the LGBTQIA community. Understanding can only create empathy and acceptance, unless you are a pathological sociopath. As said by Mahatma Gandhi, “A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” 

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