Throughout history there is evidence of prejudices against homosexuality and it has only been in the last half of the 20th century that modern civil rights discussions included gay rights in Western society. Homosexuality appears to be a threat to communities in relationship to procreation, thus the response to those who have sexual preferences that are not based on procreative purposes have been met with punishment, shunning, and a general lack of acceptance in society. Where religious devotion is present there seems to be the least amount of acceptance of homosexual attraction and relationships.
The following paper will explore the nature of homosexuality in the Islamic community in the context of acceptance. Homosexuality has been a problem throughout history and while some acceptance has been seen in parts of the world, the Muslim faith is unlikely to find acceptance in the near future.
2. Sexuality and Muslim Tradition Dialmy (2010, p. 160) discusses the nature of Islamic sexual dynamics in terms of distinctions between men and women. Men have a far more expressive capacity in social terms than do women. Women cannot express their sexuality nor have sex with more than one person, their husband. Men, under specific circumstances, can have more than one wife, thus they are permitted multiple partners in the context of polygyny where it is allowed (Kotb, 2004). Neither gender is able to express or have homosexual interactions. This conflict in society has created a dynamic in which sex both is and is not part of the overall discourse on family and appropriate Muslim behaviours. Kotb (2004) writes that sexuality is recognized as one of the five basic instincts. The suppression of human sexual desire is a part of living within the world, the social construct having limited the ability for human need to outweigh societal need. Kotb (2004) writes that “In the Islamic context, it signifies effective and moderate coping with the human concupiscence”. In other words, it is imperative that the wholesome of the intention outweigh the intentions based on desire. Sex is encouraged in Islam as a part of healthy living, but is confined to marriage for both men and women. Kotb (2004) condemns the acts of homosexuality using scripture as a basis for the discourse. Kotb (2004) writes that “Just as a person who has a sexual urge should not satisfy it by committing zina (fornication or adultery), a person who has this perverted thought should not act upon it. In order to maintain the purity of the Muslim society, most Muslim scholars have ruled that the punishment for this act should be the same as for zina”. Punishment for Zina as given by the Qur’an is giving one hundred lashes to a man who has never been married and stoning a man who is married to death. Therefore, the punishment for homosexual behavior would be zina and some interpret the words of the Prophet when he said “Kill the doer and the one to whom it was done” to mean that both partners should be stoned to death if caught having homosexual relations (Kotb 2004). 2.1. Identity Theory Social identity theory defines the ability to create the self through group identification. This theory suggests that people will gravitate towards social groups that have similar identifying features in order to gain self esteem by finding a position in that group and through comparisons of their own group to others in