The editor of gay Muslim magazine Huriyah has released a book about LGBT people in the Islamic World.
Afdhere Jama’s book ‘Illegal Citizens: Queer lives in the Muslim world’ follows the lives of 33 people in 22 countries including Nigeria, Lebanon, Indonesia, Bosnia, China, India, Israel, and Ukraine.
Jama told YahooNews: ‘I set out to tell the stories of people suffering everywhere.
‘Instead, I was confronted with diverse lives, including happy ones, sometimes in places I never imagined.
The lives of LGBT people in Islamic countries, however, are not always pleasant.
‘Horrible, horrible things happen,’ said Jama, ‘In many of these countries, people disappear without a trace.
‘And that happens only because gay and lesbian Muslims have no voice.
‘They can’t object to abuse because, as far as anyone is concerned, they don’t exist.’
Jama was born in Somalia. He moved to the USA after civil war broke out in his native country.
Jama was inspired to write the book after the execution of a lesbian couple in northern Somalia in 2001.
He said: ‘I’m particularly passionate about transgendered people and gay women.
‘We all know what it is to be a gay man in Pakisan or Morocco, but how many people have read stories of transsexuals or lesbians in these countries? Not many.’
‘Illegal Citizens: Queer Lives in the Muslim World’ is published by Salaam Press.
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