August 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
New LGBT-friendly mosque to host community meeting

D.C.’s Light of Reform Mosque, which formed in February and provides weekly prayer services for LGBT Muslims and others, is hosting a community forum in Washington in October that will discuss LGBT-related issues pertaining to the Islamic faith, according to Imam Daayiee Abdullah.

Abdullah said the forum will take place Oct. 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Human Rights Campaign building at 17th and Rhode Island Ave., N.W. He said U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) will be among the speakers at the event.

The forum is being sponsored by Muslims for Progressive Values USA, a group that formed in Los Angeles in 2000 to promote, among other things, tolerance within the Islamic faith for LGBT people, Abdulla said.

He said Light of Reform Mosque holds its weekly prayer service and a discussion session every Friday from noon to 2 p.m. at a meeting room in the Cleveland Park Public Library at 3310 Connecticut Ave., N.W.

“All are welcome,” he said. “It’s a mixture of folks who attend, gay and straight.”

Abdullah, who founded the Light of Reform Mosque, said he became certified as an imam last year through the Toronto, Canada based El-Tawhid Juma Circle, which identifies itself as a “sacred prayer center or mosque,” he said. He said he’s also certified to perform marriages in D.C. as a clergy person.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • I’ve lived extensive period in several Muslim countries and there is not such thing as a gay-friendly mosque. Dream on.

  • Laurelboy2, salaam. Whatever you experienced by living in Muslims states (and I have studied and worked as an expat in several myself), is not the only way believers worship around the world. If you accept your experience as the truest formulation of Islamic theological thought, you have swallowed whole a proscribed variant that does not speak for all 1.5 billion Muslim believers, and you ignore the dynamism of progressive Islam. It is not a dream to honor Quranic teachings by recognizing all who are believers. God provides everyone many probabilities, and the Light of Reformation mosque is women and gay friendly, intrafaith welcoming and interfaith active. Women led prayer, the Imam is openly gay, and all are welcome to participate in our worship service. I welcome you to join us one Friday to experience Islam as you may have never done before.

    • As-Salaam alaikum, Imam. I fear you are being used by the enemies of Islam to create a great fitna. Your sexual orientation is your business, and none of mine, unless you choose to make it so. Our Beloved Messenger (SAW) said: “A good Muslim stays away from things that do not concern him.” As an Imam, you must know, as I do that the Shari’a only prohibits OPEN (or “out”) Gay/Lesbian identity. Tolerance of Gay people has existed for centuries within the Ummah.
      A perfect example is an immigrant Muslim family I know. The son of the family caught polio, and is severely handicapped, being unable to walk with out leg braces and crutches. Very unfortunately, this leaves him basically unmarriagable, yet he still has the same sex drive Allah has created us all with. The Brother’s “best friend” is obviously gay. His Mother and Father, myself and others look at this, but don’t see it. Anything is contrary to good Akhlaq, our code of good manners. If we even mention it, we are backbiting. Do you see how Allah shields the Believers so they can seek forgiveness?

      Related by Abu Huraira:
      I heard Allah’s Messenger (saws) saying, “All the sins of my followers will be forgiven except those of the ‘Mujahirin’ (those who commit a sin openly or disclose their sins to the people). An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin at night and though Allah screens it from the public, then he comes in the morning, and says, ‘O so-and-so, I did such-and-such (evil) deed yesterday,’ though he spent his night screened by his Lord (none knew of the sin except the one who committed it and Allah) and in the morning he removes Allah’s screen from himself.” – Bukhari 8:95

      Being out removes the screen that Allah’s Mercy has used to conceal your sins, and these sins are not forgiven, by the speech of Rasoolullah (SAW). Don’t you want Maghfirah? Or have you been deceived by Shaytan into believing that Gay sexuality isn’t sinful?

      Also, as an Imam, you have to know that the Shari’a doesn’t allow a woman to lead a jama’at of men and women. The imam has to be a man, not my rule, Islam’s. Why are you doing this? You have to know as your Masjid becomes more and more publicized, that these practices will cause a great deal of embarrassment to more conservative members of the Ummah in the USA, and our elders. Do you have close relatives in this country?

      I think you and your congregation may well be used by the powers who are trying to destroy Islam to say to the rest of us: “See, Masjid Annural Isslaah is self-proclaimed Queer-friendly, and allows women Imams, why can’t the rest of you do this?” Don’t let yourself be a pawn of Zionists, and the New World Order. Finally, and most disturbing of all, your website states that you have performed Ijtihad, making a new interpretation and ruling that the Shari’a allows the practices done at the Masjid. Unfortunately, Ijtihad is only valid when done by those who are qualified. You state that you are merely an Imam. Are you also a Mufti or other qualified ‘Aalim? If not, you seem to be falling even deeper into misguidance. I look forward to a response from you, and am willing to correspond privately via email afterward, to remove our discussion from prying eyes. May Allah grant us all Hidaya, Ameen.

      Yours in Islam,
      Musa Ibraheem

    • I appreciate your response. I’m not gay, but I’m looking for a progressive welcoming space to explore the religion of my youth. Are there classes at the religious center?

  • Just because it’s not in a Muslim-majority country, doesn’t mean it’s non-existent. I’d be hard-pressed to find a mosque with a nursery in Muslim-majority countries, but several American and Canadian mosques have them.

  • Wow I think I wanna check it out. I enjoy studying and experiencing other faiths and cultures but sometimes its hard, me being openly lesbian, to find more open minded places.

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