Michael Sinan-a.k.a. Mr Gay Denmark-should be considered one of Islam’s modern heroes.
Mr. Sinan’s life and message would be considered radical-probably even blasphemous-among Conservative Muslims, but I feel that they should be broadcast to the world. While many people, whether straight Americans or fanatic Muslims, would laugh at Mr. Sinan and deride him for his hypocritical actions, I feel that he was very eloquent in how he expressed his ideas and beliefs. He spoke with all the skill and diplomacy of, well, a diplomat–and in fact, the man knows, besides Danish (and probably English and a dozen other European languages) Farsi, Urdu and Pashto. He clearly knows a thing or two about interacting with those who do not share similar traditions.
Traditions is a key word to remember when reading this article (found on HuffPost-again, sometimes they do have a rare gem article hidden among the fluff). Many would say that Sinan was not a Muslim, because he walked around in speedo-like shorts in a pageant; that he occasionally drank and ate pork; that he had numerous tatoos; and, of course, that he was gay (something “forbidden” in Islam). But Sinan (rightly) acknowledged that just because he had converted to Islam didn’t mean he had to give up all the traditions of the culture he was born with; in fact, a current problem in Islam is that many traditions that WERE cultural have become considered “traditional” (for instance, the niqab was a tradition in Turkiye, but spread in popularity during Ottoman rule).
We Muslims are numerous today, and it’s impossible to keep living in the past. Christians can’t live according to Biblical norms, and neither can we. There are things that even extremists can’t abide by.
Every.single.Muslim. should take note of these words. In fact, so should every Christian, Jew,and anybody else who follows an organized religion. Most of the world’s religions were created (I hate to use that word; perhaps came about?) thousands of years ago, when life was obviously the polar opposite of what it is today. If God did not want us to advance, he would not have given us minds nor technology. Already ideas like slavery have been outlawed in Islam, despite their showing up in the Qu’ran; so even the most conservative have acknowledged that times can change. And, as already stated, many of the visible concepts that are argued-over in Islam are, again, more culturally-based than Qu’ran-based.
I feel loved by Allah. I fear him, but I love him more. I simply do what my heart tells me. In the name of Allah, people have judged, marginalized, and even killed…being homosexual can’t be worse than that.
This is what religion is all about: what’s in your heart. Religious books are guidelines-as I’ve mentioned more than once in this blog-and thus everyone should do what they feel is right and just. Mr. Sinan also comments about not going to prayer halls in Denmark because he doesn’t “feel the spirit” there, which others might find strange but, one should point out, that religion is everywhere. Outward symbols of faith do not necessarily mean that one is faithful nor good and just: Mr. Sinan outwardly looks like a blasphemer and non-believer, but from his words we see that that is simply not true.
I hope that more Muslims and even non-Muslims hear the story of Michael Sinan. I hope everyone can one day be as comfortable with themselves and their religion (if they follow one) as he is. After all, religion should be about love and comfort, not some great test where your life is rigidly controlled. Religion is personal; no two people feel the same way about it. And as for those who want to judge, Michael Sinan put it best:
Who are you to decide who’s a good Muslim? Are you Allah? Only one being can judge us, and that’s Allah.