'Is Green A Part Of The Rainbow? Sharia, Homosexuality, and LGBT Rights in the Muslim World: Some Critical Reflections'

Professor Javaid Rehman Brunel Law School, Brunel University London

Friday 6 December 2013, 1–2pm

Room MD008, Magee Campus

Light refreshments will be provided

The seminar will examine the legitimacy and validity of the claims for criminalization of homosexuality and discrimination against LGBT individuals from within the Sharia, as practiced in modern Muslim societies. It demonstrates that several passages of the Qur’an acknowledge homosexuality and celebrate sexual diversity, and that it is therefore inaccurate to suggest that there is a prohibition of homosexuality in Islam and to advocate criminalization or adoption of discriminatory practices targeting sexual minorities. Furthermore, it is argued that religious views and societal practices that suppress queerness or discriminate against LGBT persons are not only incompatible with human rights law, but also contradict the fundamental principles of the Sharia. Contrary to most of the established scholarly approaches, the paper argues that Sharia neither prohibits nor punishes homosexuality. To the contrary, a genuine enforcement of the laws based upon the Sharia in contemporary Muslim societies requires absolute recognition and celebration of diverse gender identities.

Javaid Rehman is a Professor of Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law and is the Director of Brunel University Research Centre, Security, Human Rights and the Media (SHRM). He was Head of Brunel Law School, Brunel University (2009-2013). During 2002–2005, he was a Professor of international law at University of Ulster (Magee). Professor Rehman was a member of the International Bar Association (IBA) Taskforce on International Terrorism (2009–2011). Professor Rehman is a member of the executive council of the Asian Society of International law and is a member of the International Law Association (ILA), and acts as the co-rapporteur for the ILA’s Committee on International Law and Islamic Law. His authored books include International Human Rights Law (Longman 2009) and Islamic State Practices, International Law and the Threat from Terrorism (Hart publishing 2005).

RSVP: Emer Carlin e.carlin@ulster.ac.uk

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