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Is this the Mountain that will Break the Back of Civilisation as we know it? By Shaykh Riyad Nadwi, PhD
01 February 2006

Homosexuality has made the headlines in the past month with unprecedented frequency, from a series of high profile public celebrations over civil partnerships (so-called “gay marriages”) to Oscar-nominated blockbusters and a chain of political career meltdowns following forced confessions of homosexual behaviour. Behind the smoke screen of lame excuses (e.g. lack of honesty in politics), the tendency to shy away from endorsing this behaviour remains as alive as it was in the 1950s when Sir John Wolfenden popularised the idea that homosexuality could only be a “condition” rather than the result of conditioning. The major difference today is that instead of changing man-made laws, all energies are focused on challenging God’s laws and warnings. This is especially ironic since Wolfenden had defended his recommendation to decriminalise homosexual activity on the grounds that he was only “concerned with crime and not with sin”. Nowadays sin seems to have become a primary obsession.

In the last fortnight, Channel Four continued its “attack religion” series with two prime time documentaries on homosexuality: one on “Gay Muslims” and the other on “Gay Bishops”. In the first programme we were told that, “the chances are, [we] are all related to a gay Muslim and [we] don’t even know it”. So said the president of a support group calling itself “Imaan”. It is interesting to note that the choice of this name, which means “belief”, may have been to pre-empt the likely scepticism among Muslims about its existence.

Following the clip of a “Mr Abdullah” dancing in a gay night club, the Channel Four commentator Sonia Deol informed the viewers that “Mr Abdullah is a practising Muslim… he is well-known on the local Asian gay scene”. He “prays regularly” and he also dances wildly to rock music throughout the gay pride parade. In addition to a string of incoherent reporting, the programme was also offensive to Muslims with its home-grown philosophy and ad hoc exegesis (tafsir) of the Quran. A “Mr Adnan” declared proudly in the programme that, “the love I offer to my [male] partner is a form of worship,” whilst one Dr Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle argued that “Islam does not address homosexuality as an identity”. According to him, the prohibition of sodomy is merely “a matter of interpretation… when you are talking about the Imams there is just not an acknowledgement that there is a sexual orientation dimension to people’s personality. You have no rational control, but until there is that very basic acknowledgment that people have different inter-dispositions, a straight imam is really not going to be able to deal with a gay Muslim at any level”. Put bluntly, the underlying assumption is that homosexuality is determined by genetic composition and people should, therefore, be exempted from accountability for acts of sodomy or lesbianism as long as they claim to be gay.

The Natural Selection Trap

If you are wondering why it is that some people are so keen nowadays to change the words and meanings of religious texts to justify their behaviour, in stark conflict with the clear pronouncements of those texts, a simple explanation will suffice. The answer may be found in the fact that, despite the pretence of having solid evidence, those who accept the theory of evolution and claim that sexuality is governed by genes are faced with a colossal consistency problem.

According to the theory of evolution, human beings evolved through a process of natural selection. That selection has chosen sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction as the means to propagate and preserve the genetic make up of the species. In this process, it is necessary to accept that any gene guiding its host away from reproductive sexual activity would have been selected out of existence. The theory depends heavily on the supposition of long periods of time – hundreds of thousands of years – for selective reproduction and this places the gay gene theory in jeopardy. Put simply, according to this logic, if cave men clubbed their fellow men over the head instead of women, or practised abstinence on account of an inability to find same-sex partners, their gay genes could not conceivably be in existence today. Natural selection would have extirpated them from the human genome.

The only satisfactory way out of this conundrum for evolutionists, at least until the 1950s in the UK and the 1970s in the United States, was that homosexuality was predominantly the result of psychosis. Indeed, until 1973, the standard official reference guide for the American Psychiatric Association, the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (or DSM), listed homosexuality as a treatable sexual disorder, an illness that was routinely treated by psychiatrists with varying degrees of success. The experts at the time argued that while genetic traits such as skin colour were traceable through identifiable inheritance patterns, homosexuals are only identified by their claims and actions rather than a trait or gene.

Having recognised the futility of reliance on the genetic arguments in a society that accepted natural selection, the queer lobby, building on Wolfenden’s 1957 “condition” argument, diverted the focus of attention from “behaviour” to one of “rights”. Instead of seeking acceptance based on sexual preference, they managed to convince the media and politicians that their genetic assumptions were a foregone conclusion and they were now a “genetic entity” worthy of “minority” status.

By adopting the language and posture of human rights activists, they were able to shift the attention of policy makers and public opinion away from taking the genetic assumption to its theoretical conclusion, i.e. that the gay gene should have been selected out of existence many hundreds of years ago.

The Genetic Evidence Myth

The gay lobby likes to quote sensational, media-spun research. To name a few examples: Kallman’s 1952 research, which all future attempts failed to replicate; Dr Simon LeVay's (1991) brains research which was grossly misrepresented; and Dean Hamer’s (1993) X chromosome research that could not confirm whether the “gay gene” was present in heterosexuals. However, a major headache for such people is that, among homosexuals of monozygotic (identical) twins, nearly half are paired with heterosexual siblings. If, as they claim, “this is a condition based on the genetic make up of the individual”, then it becomes necessary to explain how on earth two people with identical genes (monozygotic twins) can have different sexualities? Some studies have placed the concordance rate as low as 38 per cent, which means that in 62 per cent of twins studied, one sibling was not homosexual. In this area of research there is a large, indisputable body of evidence. For example, in the extensive study conducted by Bailey et al at the University of Queensland in Australia with over 14,000 Australian twin subjects, they found that if one twin was homosexual, 62 per cent of the time his identical brother was heterosexual. For lesbianism, it was 70 per cent (Bailey, JM; Dunne, MP; Martin, NG (2000): Genetic and Environmental influences on sexual orientation and its correlates in an Australian twin sample. J. Pers. Social Psychology 78, 524-536).

If a “homosexuality gene” did exist, then the rate of homosexual orientation in identical twins should be 100 per cent but there is a consensus in the scientific community that sexuality in monozygotic twins has never been found to be so. Indeed, some studies have found that even adoptive brothers shared a concordance rate higher than that of non-twin biological brothers (Byne, William and Bruce Parsons (1993), Human Sexual Orientation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 50:228-239). If there were a significant genetic influence on homosexuality, the result would have been the reverse.

In response to these embarrassing studies of monozygotic twins, the gay lobby has often resorted to claiming that “it is not all about genes”. Environment also plays a part. Our response to this schizophrenic escape should be that they cannot have their cake and eat it. The scientific community is in agreement that environmental influences on behaviour are, by and large, receptive to therapy. They are not like skin colour, which is identical in monozygotic twins. When the queer lobby campaigns on the basis that homosexual orientation is unchangeable because of genes and declares, “Just as a person cannot help being black, female, or Asian, we cannot help being homosexual. We were all born this way and as such we should be treated equally,” they cannot be allowed to seek refuge with “environmental factors” whenever the genetic evidence proves them wrong. Environmental influence is a door they have shut upon themselves by promoting this “gay-gene permanence” myth. It is a myth they have used effectively in conjunction with “civil rights” rhetoric to browbeat major mental health associations into condoning the position that “although there is insufficient research on the matter, it is nevertheless unethical to attempt reparative therapy on homosexuals”. “Homophobia as intimidation’ is one of the most pervasive techniques used to silence anyone who would disagree with the gay activist agenda” (Former President of American Psychological Association, Dr Nicholas Cummings speaking in conference at the Marina Del Rey Marriott Hotel, 12 November 2005).

The Numbers Myth

Queer “evangelists” persist in their claims that 10 per cent of the population is homosexual, a figure that is more than double that of the oft-cited Kinsey Institute report (Kinsey et al, 1948, 1953). The most authoritative study of sexual practices in the United States is the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS). According to the NHSLS statistics, 2.8 per cent of males, and 1.4 per cent of females identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual (Laumann et al, 1994). However, only 0.9 per cent of men and 0.4 per cent of women reported having only same-sex partners since the age of 18. The 2000 Census revealed that the total number of households in the United States is 106,741,426. Unmarried, same-sex households number 601,209, which translates to 0.42 per cent of the total – less than half of one per cent. So, in order to portray accurately the 2000 US Census Bureau’s ratio of homosexuals in TV sitcoms, you would need 199 heterosexual actors to every one homosexual. In reality today, the ratio in TV sitcoms in the United States (and the UK very soon) is one homosexual among four heterosexuals (Harrub et al 2003, Apologetics Press, Inc.).

The “Impossible to Change” Myth

When children are born with a genetic condition such as Down’s syndrome they remain in that condition for the rest of their lives. Many homosexuals, in contrast, are found to fluctuate between heterosexual, bisexual and homosexual orientations. The fact is that single-sex populations (e.g. prisons and boarding schools) or gender-separated societies with a low or nil marriage rate tend to gravitate towards fulfilling their sexual impulses with same sex partners. Chaplains and counsellors in prisons routinely report on the trauma of heterosexual inmates realising that they might be turning into homosexuals, only to discover on release from prison that it was the situation that had led them to think and feel that way. Out of prison, not only did their heterosexual orientation return but their revulsion towards sodomy had returned to almost the same intensity that it had been prior to their incarceration.

According to a recent study conducted by Texas Tech University researchers J Travis Garland, Robert D Morgan and Amanda M Beer, despite the fact that 99 per cent of prisoners described themselves as initially heterosexual, the longer a prisoner remained in prison the more likely he was to acknowledge a homosexual orientation. The study found that those serving shorter prison sentences were more likely to maintain a heterosexual orientation. “[H]owever, inmates currently serving a longer sentence experience a significant shift toward a sexual preference for the same sex” (Garland et al, (2005) Impact of Time in Prison and Security Level on Inmates' Sexual Attitude, Behavior and Identity, Psychological Services, Vol. 2, No. 2, 151-162).

Evidence for effective rehabilitation therapy in homosexuals is emerging on a regular basis. One study in particular deserves attention because its author, Dr Robert L Spitzer, is a prominent psychiatrist who used to be considered a champion of the gay movement. He had played a major role in the removal of homosexuality from the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM) in 1973. Rather surprisingly now, after conducting a study of 200 subjects, he says that “mental health professionals should stop moving in the direction of banning therapy that has, as a goal, a change in sexual orientation. Many patients, provided with informed consent about the possibility that they will be disappointed if the therapy does not succeed, can make a rational choice to work toward developing their heterosexual potential and minimizing their unwanted homosexual attractions” (Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 32, No. 5, October 2003, pp. 403-417).

The most significant aspect of Wolfenden’s 1957 Report was not that it was instrumental in decriminalising private homosexual activity in a number of western countries, but rather its role in promoting – despite the testimony of numerous psychiatrists and psychoanalysts to the contrary – the idea that homosexuality was merely a “condition”. We now know that when compiling the report, Sir Wolfenden’s Eton-educated son, Jeremy, informed him that he was homosexual. It would not be unreasonable to explore the emotional and psychological implication of that disclosure upon Sir John Wolfenden at the time of compiling his report. We need to reassess the fundamental assumptions of the 1950s in the light of what we now know from a large body of research on monozygotic twins, prison inmates and reparative therapy.

Seeking Refuge in Religion

Religion has become another distraction device in the gay movement. In 2004, the former Democratic presidential candidate and Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean, signed a bill legalising civil unions for homosexuals in his state. He argued: “The overwhelming evidence is that there is a very significant, substantial, genetic component to it. From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people” (Vande Hei, Jim (2004), Dean Says Faith Swayed Decision on Gay Unions, The Washington Post, p. A-1, 08 January).

The attraction of securing legitimacy in the religious (“creationist”) camp is its potential to provide a way out of having to deal with the unnerving inconsistencies inherent in the evolutionist camp, where natural selection poses a problem. All that gays would need to say is “God made me this way”. Period. Unfortunately for them, God happens to be categorical in His condemnation of this activity and His retribution when it is endorsed by society at large.

The Scriptures (the Torah, the Bible and the Quran) are unanimous and unambiguous on this matter. “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination” (Torah, Leviticus 18:22). “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination” (Torah, Leviticus 20:13). “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground” (Bible, Genesis 19:24).

“We also sent Lot. He said to his people, Do you commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For you practise your lusts on men in preference to women; you are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds” (Al-Quran, 7:80-81). “What! Of all creatures do you come unto the males, And leave the wives your Lord created for you? Nay, you are people transgressing all limits.” (Al-Quran, 26:165-166). “We also sent Lot, As a Messenger: Behold, He said to his people, Do you do what is shameful though you see (its wickedness), Would you really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay you are people grossly ignorant” (Al-Quran, 27:54-55). “And remember Lot: Behold, He said to his people: You do commit lewdness such as no people in Creation ever committed before you. Do you indeed approach men, and cut off the highway? And practise wickedness even in your councils? But his people gave no answer but this: they said: Bring us the Wrath of God if thou tell the truth!” (Al-Quran, 29:28-29). “When Our decree issued, We turned the cities upside down and rained down on them brimstones hard as baked clay! Spread, layer on layer. Marked as from thy Lord. Nor are they very far from those who do wrong!” (Al-Quran 11:82-83).

There is a difference of opinion on the punishment in Islamic law for individuals involved in rare and isolated homosexual acts, as indeed, there are different rules pertaining to people born with malformed sexual organs. But these differences should not be used, as they have been lately, to blind people from the fact that the Quran and the Scriptures before it are categorical about the sinful nature of this activity, especially if it turns into a mass movement with proselytising proficiency and a mission to claim a significant percentage (10%) of the population.

Piggyback Agenda

What is it that makes people like Dr Scott Kugle in the Channel Four programme and others go out on so weak a limb to try to justify homosexuality and sodomy in Islam when there are so many explicit verses in the Quran warning of dire consequences?

An interesting twist to this story is that these people, despite appearances, are not primarily concerned with gay rights per se. Just as the queer movement adopted the clothing of the civil rights movement to promote its own agenda, people like Dr Kugle and other so-called "Muslim intellectuals" are riding piggyback on the gay and feminist movements to further another agenda. Homosexuality is a crucial component in a coordinated mission to force a reformation on Islam.

Incredible as this may sound, there are groups of such activists who enjoy the backing of governments, academic institutions and large publishing houses. A significant part of what we saw on Channel Four was, in fact, consistent with that agenda to use the gay debate as an excuse to deconstruct the Quran.

The two fault lines through which they hope to shake the foundation of Muslim attachment to the Quran are homosexuality and feminism. Sarah Eltantawi, Communications Director of the Progressive Muslim Union of North Americag, said in an interview on Veer Towards Queer/Radioactive Radio in the US (12/01/2005): “One thing that we realise, many of us, especially the founders [of the PMU], is that what separates progressive Islam from other aspects of the community is along the fault lines of gender and sexuality… sometimes the only thing that is different between progressives and conservatives is gender and sexuality issues… we see that as very central... this is the fault line… as Professor Omid Safi writes, and he is the Chairman of PMU, gender and sexuality need to be used as a measuring stick for broader questions.”

When asked how she would go about convincing Muslims who are reluctant to accept homosexuality in Islam, she responded: “Yes, that’s a really important question. I think one thing that I have just noticed that is really important and something that really works, is to simply incorporate more queers in daily Muslim life so that it becomes extremely hard to discriminate when someone is... praying next to you or standing next to you… so I think incorporating gays and lesbians in daily Muslim affairs would, I think, be a very revolutionary thing to do”. Muslims will be well advised to remember the words of Paul Wolfowitz at this point: “We need an Islamic reformation and I think there is real hope for one” (Paul Wolfowitz, David Ignatius, The Read on Wolfowitz, The Washington Post, 17 January 2003, p. A230).

In conclusion, I say to members of the support group “Imaan” and all the so-called “Muslim intellectuals” who think they can attack Islam and deconstruct the Quran with postmodern mumbo-jumbo, please remember that it is the Word of God you have chosen as your target, God, Who says: “We have, without doubt, sent down this Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)” (Al-Quran: 15:9).