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Pride

LGBT Muslims need your urgent help to make dream of first-ever Pride festival a reality

Reiss Smith October 28, 2019
Members of Imaan wave from atop a float during the EuroPride parade.

Members of Imaan wave from atop a float during the EuroPride parade. (Gideon Mendel/Corbis via Getty)

A new LGBT+ Muslim Pride festival is just £400 away from reaching its crowdfunding goal.

Imaan, Europe’s biggest charity sporting LGBT+ Muslims, is trying to raise £10,000 to put on an event which will “provide a space for LGBTQI Muslims from across the UK to be empowered, engaged and to make no apologies for being practising Muslims and LGBTQI people”.

With a day left until the campaign ends on Tuesday afternoon, October 29, the crowdfunder is £403 short of its goal.

Imaan posted on Twitter: “With now just 1 day left – dare we dream we can do it? The pressure’s too much!! PLEASE chip in anything. A LIKE/SHARE IS A FREE WAY TO HELP.”

Imaan originally sought to raise £5,000 for the event, a target it smashed in September.

The crowdfunder was extended to £10,000 in order to “produce a bigger, bolder, more exciting event and subsidise a number of places for those who cannot afford to attend”.

New Pride festival will provide a safe space for LGBT+ Muslims.

A spokesperson from Imaan told PinkNews that the festival, which will be held in London in spring 2020, aims to show that people can be both LGBT+ and Muslim.

“Often LGBTQI Muslims are caught in the middle of Islamophobia and homophobia, so we want to provide a safe and inclusive space where people feel like they do not have to choose between identities and that they can be LGBTQI and Muslim without pressure from those who say otherwise,” they said.

Imaan will also be recruiting volunteers to support the festival and will be calling on both LGBT+ and Muslim organisations for practical support.

Often LGBTQI Muslims are caught in the middle of islamophobia and homophobia, so we want to provide a safe and inclusive space where people feel like they do not have to choose between identities.

Plans for the festival come at a time when reported incidents of both Islamophobia and homophobia in the UK have spiked in recent years.

In March, it was reported that Islamophobic incidents in the UK rocketed by nearly 600 percent in the week after a terror attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 51 people.

And, in June, a Guardian investigation revealed that hate crimes against LGBT+ people have more than doubled in the past four years.

Imaan praised for setting up LGBT+ Muslim Pride festival.

Campaigners from LGBT+ faith organisations have praised Imaan for working to setup the festival.

Matt Mahmood-Ogston, who set up the Naz and Matt Foundation, which works to tackle homophobia triggered by religious and cultural beliefs, praised Imaan for creating the “fabulous” new event.

“The launch of the festival will create an exciting new platform that will inspire hearts, and help many more people understand and celebrate the beauty of LGBTQI+ Muslim culture,” Mahmood-Ogston told PinkNews.

“Too often members of the community, and many of the LGBTQI+ Muslims who come to our charity for support, are forced into choosing between their religion and their queer identity.

“This festival will become a safe place – an event to look forward to – where this choice never has to be considered. We can’t wait for the festival to begin!”

To donate to support Imaan Fest, visit: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/imaan-lgbtqi

More: Imaan, Islam, Muslims, Naz and Matt Foundation, Pride

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