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In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The Al-Fatiha Foundation proudly presents

The Second North American Conference for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning (LGBTQ) Muslims & their Friends

“Reclaiming Our Faith and Re-igniting our Spirit” “Therefore be patient with what they say, and celebrate (constantly) the praises of thy Lord, before the rising of the sun, and before its setting; yea, celebrate them for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day: that thou mayest have (spiritual) joy.” – The Holy Quran (Surah Ta-ha Ayat 130)

Thursday, June 21 – Sunday, June 24, 2001 San Francisco, California, USA __________________________________________________________________________

Al-Fatiha is an international organization dedicated to Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, those questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, and their Friends.


In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The Al-Fatiha Foundation Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Questioning (LGBTQ) Muslims & Friends

FACT SHEET Contact Information: Al-Fatiha Foundation PO Box 33532 Washington, DC 20033

Email: gaymuslims@yahoo.com Web site: http://www.al-fatiha.net

Mission Statement: The Al-Fatiha Foundation is an international organization dedicated to Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered, those questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, and their friends. Al-Fatiha's goal is to provide a safe space and a forum for LGBTQ Muslims to address issues of common concern, share individual experiences, and institutional resources. The Al-Fatiha Foundation aims to support LGBTQ Muslims in reconciling their sexual orientation or gender identity with Islam. Al-Fatiha promotes the Islamic notions of social justice, peace and tolerance, to bring all closer to a world that is free from prejudice, injustice and discrimination. Goals and Objectives 1. Support Muslims who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and those who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity. 2. Foster spirituality among LGBTQ Muslims. 3. Provide a supportive and understanding environment for LGBTQ Muslims who seek to reconcile their sexuality or gender identity with Islam. 4. Empower LGBTQ Muslims by creating safe spaces to share individual experiences and by providing information about institutional resources. 5. Advocate on behalf of LGBTQ Muslims in national and international forums 6. Encourage and initiate dialogue with Muslim communities around issues of sexuality and gender.

The Al-Fatiha Foundation aims to accomplish its mission, goals, and objectives by:  Establishing local support & discussion groups for LGBTQ Muslims in the U.S. and abroad.  Holding regional, North American, and international meetings.  Outreach on the internet


In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Thursday, June 21, 2001 Dear brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues, family members and allies: Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullah, May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you. On behalf of the Al-Fatiha Foundation for LGBTQ Muslims & Friends, I’d like to welcome you to our Second North American Conference. No one can underestimate the amount of difficulty we face in our lives as LGBTQ-identified Muslims. Together with family, community, and societal expectations and pressures, our lives are further complicated by the fact that we live in North America - minorities within a minority (we are not only Muslims in a Non-Muslim land, but we are also lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered). Here we face issues ranging from immigration and asylum concerns, coming out to family and friends, dating and finding a partner, and HIV/AIDS (and the stigmas attached to the virus in our community). On top of all of this, we continue to strive towards reconciling our sexuality or gender identity with our religion of Islam. The mental, physical and spiritual strife that this combination causes is enormous. While I reflect upon the insurmountable task of living our lives in peace and happiness as Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered, I am relieved to know that finally we have a community who can support us and a forum where these issues can be addressed. Al-Fatiha’s mission to support Muslims who are LGBTQ-identified and to help them through the process of reconciling their sexual orientation or gender identity with Islam is not an easy mission. But it is my sincere hope that by participating in this conference we will gain further understanding into the issues that affect us. Together as a community we can begin to truly “reclaim our faith” and “re-ignite our spirit - A faith that we have been robbed of through spiritual violence and a spirit that has become dim in the midst of oppression. Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran, “O believers, seek assistance in patience and prayer. Allah is with those that are patient.” With these words in mind, we must continue with our lives with perseverance and with patience in times when we face trials and struggles. With these thoughts in mind, I would like to welcome you once again to our humble conference. I hope your stay will be enjoyable in the San Francisco Bay Area and that your participation at the 2 nd North American Conference for LGBTQ Muslims & Friends will be meaningful and rewarding. With peace and blessings, Yours sincerely, Faisal Alam Founder & Director Al-Fatiha Foundation for LGBTQ Muslims & Friends


PROGRAM OF EVENTS AT A GLANCE Thursday, June 21, 2001 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Check-in and Registration 10:00 am - 11:30 am Introductions & Group Ice Breakers 11:30 am - 1:00 pm History of the 'LGBT’ Muslim Movement 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Lunch 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm Salaat-ul Zuhr / Mid-Day Prayers 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Session #1: 1) Ancient Laws Governing Homosexual Acts and Gender Identity 2) Workshop: Islam - Religion or Culture 4:00 pm - 4:15 pm Break 4:15 pm - 7:30 pm Welcome & Plenary #1: Islam & Homosexuality 7:30 pm Salaat-ul-Asr / Afternoon Prayers

Outside Audre Lorde Room Audre Lorde Room Audre Lorde Room On Your Own Audre Lorde Room Conference Room A Audre Lorde Room Audre Lorde Room Audre Lorde Room

Friday, June 22, 2001 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Check-in and Registration 10:00 am - 11:00 am Welcome Back and Re-Introductions 11:00 am – 12:00 pm Press Briefing 11:00 am - 12:30 pm Session #2: 1) Presentation: Contextual Interpretation of Scripture 2) Caucus: Allies & Friends 3) Coming Out 101 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm Salaat-ul Juma’a / Friday Prayers 2:15 pm - 3:45 pm Session #3: 1) Panel Discussion: Human Rights in Islamic Countries 2) Workshop: Media Skills 101 3) Workshop: HIV/AIDS in the Islamic Community 3:45 pm - 4:00 pm Break 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm Al-Fatiha Strategic Planning Introduction 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Session #4: 1) Workshop: Immigration & Asylum Issues Facing LGBT People 2) Workshop: Dating and Relationships in North America 3) Trans 101 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm Regional Breakouts / Regional Caucuses 6:30 pm - 6:45 pm Salaat-ul Asr / Afternoon Prayers 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm Reception & Plenary #2: Reclaiming Our Faith 8:45 pm - 9:00 pm Salaat-ul Maghrib / Evening Prayers 9:15 pm -10:15pm Candle Light Vigil and Procession to the Castro

Audre Lorde Room Audre Lorde Room Conference Room B Conference Room A Dolores Park Audre Lorde Room On Your Own Audre Lorde Room Audre Lorde Room Conference Room B Conference Room A Audre Lorde Room Conference Room A Audre Lorde Room Conference Room B Auditorium Auditorium Auditorium Auditorium Venue to Harvey Milk Plaza

Saturday, June 23, 2001 10:00 am - 11:30 am Session #5: 1) Panel Discussion: Issues Facing LBT Muslim Women 2) Workshop: Al-Fatiha Chapter Organizing 11:30 am - 11:45 am Break 11:45 am - 1:15 pm Session #6: 1) Strategies for Dealing with the Mainstream Muslim community 2) Panel Discussion: Gender Socialization in Islam 1:15 pm - 1:30 pm Salaat-ul Zuhr / Mid-Day Prayers 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm Lunch 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm Presentation & Discussion about Al-Fatiha Strategy 3:45 pm - 4:00 pm Break 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm Session #7: 1) Panel Discussion: Sexual Ethics and Morality for LGBT Muslims 2) Women's Caucus / Women's Workshop 5:30 pm – 5:45 pm Break 5:45 pm - 7:45 pm Closing & Plenary #3: Re-Igniting Our Spirit 7:45 pm Salaat-ul Asr / Afternoon Prayer

Audre Lorde Room Conference Room A Conference Room A Audre Lorde Room Audre Lorde Room On Your Own Audre Lorde Room Audre Lorde Room Dolores Park Audre Lorde Room Audre Lorde Room

Sunday, June 24, 2001 31st Annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Festival

Meet at Beale between Mission and Market @ 11 am


PROGRAM OF EVENTS Thursday, June 21, 2001 9:00 am – 12:00 pm 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Check-in and Registration Introductions & Group Ice Breakers

11:30 am - 1:00 pm

History of the 'LGBT’ Muslim Movement The History of the LGBT Muslim movement has yet to be documented. Participants will engage in a hands-on ritual exploring the cultural and historical roots of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered Muslim movement. Events throughout Islamic history will be explored and documented to create a “living memorial” that can be added to in the future. Facilitator: Faisal Alam

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Lunch Salaat-ul Zuhr / Mid-Day Prayers

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Session #1: 1) Presentation: Ancient Laws Governing Homosexual Acts and Gender Identity Was it possible to be a luti (sodomite) and a mukhannat (effeminate) at the same time? In broad strokes and using texts from a range of cultures, Faris reveals four archaic gender stereotypes – virile rapists, impotent sissies, fertile whores, and chaste amzons. He shows that the homosexual acts which were prohibited were not committed by homosexuals, but by ordinary non-homosexual males who had no defined “sexual orientation.” The latter misapplication of ancient taboos in order persecute homosexuals was intended for the purpose of outlawing rivals to state religious authority. Presenter: Faris Malik 2) Workshop: Islam - Religion or Culture Members of Al-Fatiha will explore the issue of multiple identities in the lives of Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and those questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity. How has Islam enforced historical cultural standards of gender inequality? Is there a difference between Islam and nationalistic cultures in Muslim countries? These and other questions will be explored in this interactive workshop. Facilitators: Faisal Alam and Betty Shabazz

4:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Break

4:15 pm - 7:30 pm

Welcome & Plenary #1

Welcoming Remarks and Introduction of Speakers: Welcome and Opening Ritual: Opening Remarks: Cultural History of LGBT Muslims:

Faisal Alam & Faris Malik Christian de la Huerta and Muiz Brinkerhoff Rev. Elder Troy Perry Stephen O. Murray

Plenary #1: Islam & Homosexuality:

Daayiee Abdullah, Faisal Alam, and Omar Nahas

Presenters will discuss the theological debate surround Islam and homosexuality. What does the Quran say about homosexuality? Is there misinterpretation in the translation of the Quran in relations to these verses? Why was the nation of Lut (peace be upon him) destroyed? What acts (if any) are prohibited between same-sex partners? These and other questions will be explored in this panel discussion. 7:30 pm

Salaat-ul-Asr / Afternoon Prayers


Friday, June 22, 2001 9:00 am - 12:00 pm 10:00 am - 11:00 am 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Check-in and Registration Welcome Back and Re-Introductions Press Briefing

11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Session #2: 1) Presentation: Contextual Interpretation of Scripture The contextual interpretation of the Quran and Bible will be discussed in this interactive presentation. The concept of hermenutics and the context in which the Quran and Bible were revealed will be explored. What was the role of society and culture in relations to the verses that condemn homosexuality? How were the Quran and Bible collated into one book? The science of Quranic methodology and Biblical liberation theology will also be explored. Presenters: Daayiee Abdullah and Rev. Elder Troy Perry 2) Caucus: Allies & Friends How do we become trustworthy and effective allies to our Muslim sisters and brothers? What does it mean to be a “friend” to a Muslim queer/BLTG/samegender-loving people and communities? Discuss what’s working (or not) in our own locales, and share ideas and resources. Develop thoughtful and snappy comebacks for the inevitable blank look or potentially hostile/ignorant questions when you try to explain what you’re doing and why. Facilitator: Heather MacAllister 3) Coming Out 101 Coming Out to family, friends, and community continues to be an extremely difficult issue for LGBTQ Muslims. Join a representative of the Asian and Pacific Islander Family project of PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) as she discusses the many facets of coming out to families and community. The difficulties of coming out to a Muslim family and an Islamic community will also be explored. Presenter: Belinda Dronkers-Laureta

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm

Lunch Salaat-ul Juma’a / Friday Prayers

2:15 pm - 3:45 pm

Session #3: 1) Panel Discussion: Human Rights in Islamic Countries Presenters will discuss the work that their individual organizations are doing to advocate for LGBT human rights in Islamic countries. Presenters will also discuss ways in which individuals can get more involved in advancing the human rights of LGBT Muslims. The concepts of human rights and Islamic human rights will also be explored. Presenters: Suha Dabbouseh, Anissa Helie, Tinku Ali Ishtiaq 2) Workshop: Media Skills 101 A representative from GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation will present a media skills workshop. Topics including writing and distributing a press release, organizing a press conference, and interviewing with reporters and the media will be discussed. This workshop is a must for anyone who wants to publicize the work of their organization and/or Al-Fatiha chapter to local mainstream press as well as the LGBT media. Presenter: Loren R. Jaiver


Friday, June 22, 2001 (continued) 3) Workshop: HIV/AIDS in the Islamic Community June 5, 2001 marked the 20th anniversary of the day that HIV/AIDS was declared an epidemic. Since that time millions of people have been ravaged by this disease that continues to kill men, women, and children regardless of their race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Yet governments and religious institutions around the world continue to ignore the epidemic. This workshop will explore the various issues facing the Islamic community in dealing with HIV/AIDS. How does HIV/AIDS affect us as LGBT Muslims and what can we do to fight the epidemic? Facilitators: Aleem Raja and Faris Malik 3:45 pm - 4:00 pm

Break

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Al-Fatiha Strategic Planning Introduction As Al-Fatiha continues to grow it has become more evident that our community has differing opinions on almost every issue that affects us. Although our sexuality or gender identity and our faith unites us as a community, many issues still divide us. Al-Fatiha will present a document at this strategic planning introduction session that will serve as a work in progress so that we can begin to discuss the values and ethics that will guide us as a community. Presenter: Faisal Alam

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Session #4: 1) Workshop: Immigration & Asylum Issues Facing LGBT People This workshop will entertain a moderated discussion about some of the issues that the LGBT/HIV queer immigrant community face in this country. What is Asylum? Who can claim Asylum Based on Sexual Orientation? How are same-gender binational couples affected? What can we do? And other many issues that you will bring to the table, are some of the questions to be posed at this workshop. 2) Workshop: Dating and Relationships in North America Al-Fatiha members will lead a discussion in which issues surrounding relationships in North America will be discussed. Challenges of finding a partner, dealing with family and relatives, and the issues surrounding marriages and marriages of convenience will also be discussed. The goal of this workshop will be to discuss the many facets of inter-religious relationships and how that affects individuals – both LGBT Muslims and LGBT non-Muslims. Facilitators: Faisal Alam and Zahir (Ron Squibbs) 3) Trans 101 Transgendered people have been at the forefront of the “gay” rights movement. But the issues surrounding transgendered individuals continue to be an enigma to the larger gay, lesbian, and bisexual community. What does it mean to be transgendered? What is the difference between sex, gender, and sexual orientation? What does Islam have to say about transgenderism? How can we be more supportive and inclusive of transgender concerns? These and other issues will be discussed in this interactive workshop. Facilitator: Raja Qasim

6:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Regional Breakouts / Regional Caucuses East Coast USA: Midwest: West Coast USA: Canada: International:

Daayiee Abdullah and Aamer Ibrahim Heather MacAllister Salman Usman Imtiaz Popat Tamsila Tauqir and Anissa Helie


Friday, June 22, 2001 (continued) 6:30 - 6:45 pm

Salaat-ul Asr / Afternoon Prayers

6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Reception & Plenary #2: Reclaiming Our Faith

Welcoming Remarks and Introduction: Welcome and Opening Ritual: Opening Remarks and Introduction of Speakers: Brief Remarks Keynote Address Keynote Address Keynote Address Closing Remarks: 8:45 pm - 9:00 9:15 pm -10:15pm

Faisal Alam Christian de la Huerta Surina Khan Rev. Elder Troy Perry Kerry Lobel Alvan Quamina Rev. Mel White Faisal Alam

Salaat-ul Maghrib / Evening Prayers Candle Light Vigil and Procession to the Castro

Saturday, June 23, 2001 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Session #5: 1) Panel Discussion: Issues Facing LBT Muslim Women Presenters will address the unique challenges facing lesbian, bisexual and transgender Muslim Women. Issues of gender socialization and gender inequality in Islamic countries will also be addressed. Specific challenges and problems including sexism, male dominance in ‘gay’ organizations, and the loss of women’s voices will also be addressed in this panel discussion. A diverse group of women will also share their own personal experiences of growing up as women in Islamic communities. Panelists: Urooj Arshad, Suha Dabbouseh, Anissa Helie, Surina Khan Moderator: Surina Khan 2) Workshop: Al-Fatiha Chapter Organizing This workshop will show participants a hands-on approach to starting an Al-Fatiha chapter. New and old chapter coordinators and anyone wishing to become more involved with Al-Fatiha on a local level is invited to attend this workshop. The history of Al-Fatiha as well as the organization’s growth, development, and current structure will be discussed. Facilitator: Faisal Alam

11:30 am - 11:45 am

Break

11:45 am - 1:15 pm

Session #6: 1) Srategies for Dealing with the Mainstream Muslim community As Al-Fatiha and the LGBTQ Muslim movement continues to grow the problems of dealing with the orthodox and mainstream Muslim community becomes more and more challenging. Presenters will discuss two events, one in London, and the other in Washington DC, where Al-Fatiha members confronted the mainstream Muslim leadership on the issue of Islam and Homosexuality. Strategies of challenging the orthodox Muslim community will be discussed as well as ways of bringing up issues of sex and sexuality without attacking the mainstream will be addressed. Presenters: Daayiee Abdullah and Adnan Ali


2) Panel Discussion: Gender Socialization in Islam Members of Al-Fatiha will facilitate a discussion that will analyze the imbedded notions of female and male gender roles and gender identities in the lives of LGBT Muslims. From blue diapers to Muslim women veiling, to men standing in front of women in prayer, Muslim are taught the roles that men and women are supposed to play in society. How has this gender socialization affected our notions of sexuality and gender identity? How can we overcome this process of indoctrination and gain freedom from these oppressed notions of male and female? Can we? And do we want to? These questions amongst others will be explored during this panel discussion. Panelists: Faisal Alam, Anissa Helie, and Raja Qasim. Moderator: Anissa Helie 1:15 pm - 1:30 pm 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Salaat-ul Zuhr / Mid-Day Prayers Lunch

2:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Presentation & Discussion about Al-Fatiha Strategy A presentation will be made about the vision and future of Al-Fatiha. A working document will also be presented that will address the values and morals that will guide the work that we do as a community and the identity that we begin to forge as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Muslims. This session promises to be historic in the development of the LGBTQ Muslim movement in North America and abroad. Presenter: Faisal Alam

3:45 pm - 4:00 pm

Break

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Session #7: 1) Panel Discussion: Sexual Ethics and Morality for LGBT Muslims As LGBTQ Muslims begin to come together and address the issues concerning their lives, the challenges of sexual ethics and morality become more apparent. Islam is seemingly very negative in dealing with same-sex sexual relations. What does mean for our community? Are committed relationships or marriages for LGBTQ Muslims allowed? A discussion about whether our community will create a new LGBT Muslim theology or keep our sexual ethics within a heterosexual model, will be addressed in this exciting and historic panel discussion. Panelists: Daayiee Abdullah, Faisal Alam, Aamer Ibrahim, Omar Nahas. Moderator: Daayiee Abdullah 2) Women's Caucus / Women's Workshop This caucus will allow for an on-going discussion amongst lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered women about the challenges that our community faces. This freeflowing discussion will be a time to bond, network, and socialize in a women’s only space. Facilitator: Urooj Arshad

5:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Break

5:45 pm - 7:45 pm

Closing & Plenary #3: Re-Igniting Our Spirit

Closing Ritual Future of Al-Fatiha and the LGBT Muslim Movement Presentation on the future vision of Al-Fatiha Closing Remarks Closing Dua / Prayer 7:45 pm – 8:00 pm

Ji-Sing Surina Khan Faisal Alam Rev. Elder Troy Perry Aamer Ibrahim

Salaat-ul Asr (Afternoon Prayers)

Sunday, June 24, 2001 31st Annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Festival

Meet at Beale between Mission and Market @ 11 am


KEYNOTE SPEAKERS Christian de la Huerta is author of the best-selling and critically-acclaimed book Coming Out Spiritually. Chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the ten best religion books of 1999, the book was also nominated for a Lambda Award. Christian hosts “Spirit Wave,” an online radio program heard weekly at www.gaybc.com, and his writing has appeared in The Advocate, Hero, Genre, and other publications. He is founder of Q-Spirit, an international network of gays and lesbians in spirituality. Graduating with honors from Tulane University, de la Huerta holds a degree in Psychology. He has been a seminar leader and group facilitator for the past ten years.

Surina Khan has been an activist in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement since 1990. Before joining IGLHRC in May 2000, Surina was a research analyst at Political Research Associates, (PRA), a national progressive think-tank based in Massachusetts. At PRA, she was charged with monitoring and analyzing the US political right as well as the ex-gay movement in the US and abroad. Her research and writing have been widely published and she is a well-known speaker about the right's assault on LGBT people. Surina is also co-chair of the board of directors of the Funding Exchange, a national network of progressive community foundations, and has served on the boards of several other educational, funding, and advocacy organizations. She is the author of numerous articles and essays including "Calculated Compassion: How the Ex-Gay Movement Serves the Right's Attack on Democracy," an in-depth report co-published by PRA, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Equal Partners in Faith. Surina was born in Pakistan and raised in both the US and Pakistan.

Kerry Lobel is one of the nation’s most astute and beloved leaders in the contemporary movement for social justice. Best known for her groundbreaking work in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement, she has made an indelible mark in the lesbian feminist movement as well. Lobel’s integrity and commitment to politics of inclusion helped broaden the scope of both the LGBT movement and the progressive movement at large. Most recently, Lobel served as the Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force from 1996 to 2000. Under Lobel’s leadership, NGLTF was transformed: the organization nearly doubled its budget and staff; received first-time grants from the Ford Foundation, Open Society Institute and the Kellogg Foundation. While traversing the country, Lobel became a touchstone to a virtual sea of activists. She became renowned for her steady insistence that the struggles of transgendered people, bisexuals, people of color and people of faith be fully recognized by and incorporated into the LGBT movement. Regarded as an eloquent and powerful speaker, she has been quoted by every major newspaper in the country and has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC. Currently, Lobel is the Executive Producer of the Avalon Project – a collaboration with the acclaimed singer-songwriter Margie Adam. Lobel also staffs the Lesbian Equity Foundation of Silicon Valley – which funds projects that recognize the intersections of what it means to be Jewish, a woman and a lesbian.

Stephen O. Murray, a San Francisco writer and sociologist, is the author or coauthor of thirteen books, including Islamic Homosexualities (New York University Press, 1997) and Homosexualities (University of Chicago Press, 2001).

The Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry has spent time helping others discover the loving and caring God to whom he has devoted the majority of his life. As the founder of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), he has watched the membership grow from 12 to over 42,000 in the past 30 years. The UFMCC was the first church organized to minister to the needs of gays and lesbians throughout the world. It is through that ministry that Perry has become one of the leading activists for gay and lesbian rights. In addition to being a national civil rights leader, Rev. Perry has found time to write three books, The Lord Is My Shepherd and Knows I’m Gay, Don’t Be Afraid Anymore, and Profiles in Gay and Lesbian Courage. He is working on a fourth book at this time called Ten Spiritual Truths for the Gay & Lesbian Community (and Everybody Else Too!). He has represented MCC and the gay and lesbian rights movement on a number of national and local television shows, including 60 Minutes and Phil Donohue. Virtually every major magazine and newspaper in the world has covered the story of the founding of MCC. Perry was one of the first persons to call for a national march on Washington DC for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered rights and he has participated in all three. Perry has led his denomination in the purchase of property in West Hollywood, California that contains the Global Headquarters of the UFMCC and historical Mother Church of the denomination, at a cost of $3.8 million plus $1.6 million for furnishings and renovations. Rev. Perry believes in challenging religious bodies and he takes that as his life mission – to repeat the message that “God didn’t create anyone so God could have something to sit around and hate.” While Rev. Perry realizes the oppression still facing gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people, he stands at the vanguard of the movement, telling his flock – and the rest of the world – “We’re Not Afraid Anymore!”


The Rev. Dr. Mel White – During the past six years, Mel White and his partner, Gary Nixon, have traveled across the country, speaking on university campuses, teaching the “soul force” principles of Gandhi and King, organizing people of faith to do justice, and confronting religious leaders whose anti-gay rhetoric White believes, “leads to the suffering and death of God’s lesbian and gay children.” In 1997, in Atlanta, Georgia, the Rev. Dr. Mel White was awarded ACLU’s National Civil Liberties Award for his effort to apply the “soul force” principles of Gandhi and King to the struggle for justice for sexual minorities. Currently, Mel is writing a sequel to his bestselling autobiography, Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America. With tongue-in-cheek, Mel calls his sequel Storming the Gate. In fact, the sequel will be a dramatic look at nonviolence at work in Mel and Gary’s life as “militant gay activists.”

Alvan Quamina is the Executive Director of the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum, the only national organization dedicated to empowering the nation's 2.5 million black lesbian and gays. Founded in 1988, the Forum has thousands of members nationwide. The Leadership Forum is the only national organization whose sole mission is the empowerment of black lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered persons. It has been in existence for the past fourteen years, and has provided leadership development services for all of those fourteen years. The Leadership Forum has determined what it needs to do to serve our community at the national level. Over the next five years it intends to:  respond to national public policy and national media coverage of the Black LGBT Community  actively represent Black LGBT people in the larger “straight” Black Community  increase our activity in national HIV/AIDS policy work  activate in the area of womyn’s health generally, and lesbian health specifically  facilitate mentoring and leadership development for Black LGBT youth  expand our role as a liaison among local and regional Black LGBT organizations

This is love This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First, to let go of live. In the end, to take a step without feet; to regard this world as invisible, and to disregard what appears to be the self.

Heart, I said, what a gift it has been to enter this circle of lovers, to see beyond seeing itself, to reach and feel within the breast.

Jelauddin Rumi The Divani Shamsi Tabriz


SPEAKERS AND PRESENTERS Daayiee Abdullah – Daayiee Abdullah converted to Islam more than 15 years ago. He is a linguist and lawyer. Since 1991, after spending years studying in the Middle East, he has reinterpreted Quranic prohibitions against homosexuality and the misinterpretations in English Quranic translations. His first article in 1999 was on Homosexuality in Islam. The second is on “Promoting Homosexual Marriage in Islam.” The third article is on “Homosexual Stereotypes in the Quran, Hadith and Arab literature.” He is presently a MA student in Islamic Sciences and plans to complete his PhD in Shari’ah interpretation by 2004/2005. He is also writing a book on sexual mores in Islam and sexual rights within homosexual marriage. Daayiee is also the coordinator of the AlFatiha chapter in Washington, DC. Faisal Alam – Faisal is a 24 y.o. queer-identified Muslim activist of Pakistani descent. He is the Founder & Director of Al-Fatiha, an international organization dedicated to LGBTQ Muslims & Friends. Faisal is the youngest member of the National Religious Leadership Roundtable, a network of more than 45 LGBT religious leaders in the United States. He also serves on the steering committee of the RLR. In April 2001, he was asked to join the advisory board of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion (Berkeley, CA). He was also recently elected onto the board of directors of the Youth Pride Alliance in Washington DC. He is also active in local DC-based organizations including Khush, AQUA, and OUTfront. Faisal has been active in LGBT organizing, youth activism, LGBT faith work, and HIV/AIDS outreach and education for more than 5 years. Adnan Ali – Adnan is a graduate from RANA. He is a 29 y.o. old Pakistani, currently residing in London for the past 5 years. He is the co-coordintor of Al-Fatiha London. He is also a freelance designer and production manager by profession. Dusty Aráujo – Since 1991, Dusty Aráujo has been an activist in the lesbian and gay community in San Francisco. He has been a volunteer speaker with Community United Against Violence (CUAV) since 1994. He has also been involved in HIV prevention work in the Latino gay community. In 1995 Dusty became the Asylum Program Coordinator at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), supporting claims for asylum made by those who fear persecution due to their sexual orientation or HIV status. Urooj Arshad – Urooj is the Health Promotions Educator at the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, the only national organization that works to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. She was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan and has been living in the states for the past nine years. Muiz Brinkerhoff – Muiz was formally initiated on the path of Sufism in 1975, within the Sufi Islamia Ruhaniat Society, certified as a Leader of the Daces of Universal Peace in 1979, and raised to the post of Sheikh (teacher) in 1996. The Ruhaniat is an eclectic and particularly American embodiment of several of the more traditional Indian and Middle Eastern sufi schools of experiential spiritual growth and development. Muiz is trained in a variety of sufi subjects, including spiritual dance and walk, break practice, wazifa (mantra), zikr (remembrance of the Divine, concentration, magnetism and attunement. Suha Dabbouseh – Suha is a 26 y.o. Palestinian-American. She has been involved with Amnesty International for more than 10 years focusing primarily on identity-based human rights violations. She currently lives in Atlanta and works for Amnesty International in their Southern regional office doing youth organizing. Suha was rcently elected onto the board of directors at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. She is also a former AlFatiha Board Member. Anissa Helie - Anissa was born and raised in Algeria. A historian by training, she is an activist who has been involved in the feminist and women’s human rights movement for more than 15 years. She has consulted with women’s organizations in various countries and is currently a program coordinator at the International Coordination Office of the Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) Network. Anissa’s responsibilities include developing WLUML contacts in the area of sexuality – one of the Network’s priorities as identified in the Dhaka Plan of Action (1997). Attempting to tackle such a vast theme, her main focus so far has been to network with Muslim-identified gay and lesbian groups from Muslim countries and communities. Aamer Ibrahim – Aamer is a Muslim gay man from India. He resides in the southeastern United States and can be reached at family_10@hotmail.com. He appreciates the blessing of meeting Faisal Alam and others who are striving for justice and support for LGBTQ Muslims. He hopes more individuals become cognizant of the perfect principles of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Aamer is also the coordinator of the Al-Fatiha, Atlanta chapter. Tinku Ali Ishtiaq – Tinku comes from a Muslim family in Bangladesh. He is a founding member and former co-chair of Trikone, an organization for GLBT South Asians. He is also a former co-chair of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), having served on the board for almost a decade. For the past 15 years Tinku has been active in international political struggles – ranging from supporting anti-imperialist work in Central


America, Asia, and the Middle East, to queer rights all over the world. In his spare time he works in the software industry. Loren R. Javier – Loren works to expand the visibility of the diversity within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community as the Cultural Interest Media Manager for GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Loren has been part of GLAAD’s staff for over seven years, and has developed and presented a variety of media trainings and panels for and about LGBT people of color. In 1997, he was named one of the “Best and Brightest Under 30” by The Advocate, in recognition of his work in the LGBT and online communities. Belinda Dronkers-Laureta is a Filipino immigrant. She is married and is the mother of three children. An active PFLAG member, she, with others, founded the Fremont/East Bay PFLAG Chapter in 1996 and was its first president, current position as co-president. She is a co-coordinator of the Asian/Pacific Islander API-PFLAG Family Project. Her current major focus is the local implementation of PFLAG's Safe School Project. For this task she is a member of: Fremont PTA Council board, Fremont Unified District Teachers Association's, Diversity Committee and FUSD Ethnic Race Relation Committee and Community Forum. She is the founder of the Committee to Assure Respect in Schools. CARS is a coalition of organizations to help implement the Safe School Project. Belinda is also a founding member of the Families of Color Network at PFLAG. Heather MacAllister – Heather is the Field Organizer for the Triangle Foundation, Michigan’s statewide civil rights, advocacy, and anti-violence organization for GLBT people. She’s been a community activist since 1985. In 1992 she founded and continues to facilitate the Venus Group, a social and support network for large women. Her anti-racist activism stems from formal and community education as well as on-the-ground work. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from Eastern Michigan University. Faris Malik – Faris is an independent researcher into biological and cultural aspects of human sexualities. He has done presentations of his work at the University of Wales, at UC Berkeley as part of its 2000 Queer Awareness Week program, and at the previous North American conference of Al-Fatiha. He has also produced the web site “Born Eunuchs.” He has been the coordinator of the Al-Fatiha, San Francisco Bay Area, chapter for more than two years. Omar Nahas – Omar is 37 y.o. and was born in Damascus, Syria. He has studied Languages and Cultures of the Middle East and Gay and Lesbian studies in the Netherlands. In 1995 he wrote a book in Arabic on homosexuality and currently he works as a researcher on Islam and homosexuality at the YOESUF Foundation, based in the Netherlands. Omar is especially interested in theological debates on Islam and homosexuality in mainstream Sunni Islam. Raja Qasim has rejuvenated his Islamic faith as a post-operative Muslim Transman. The son of a Pakistani family, Raja has managed to engender the support and encouragement of his father and much of the rest of his family. A banker by day, his real passion is creating awareness and understanding for transgender issues. As Executive Director of The Southern Association for Gender Education,an Atlanta based non-profit organization, Raja has presented his story in front of national and local groups. Using his indomitable good nature and sharp wit he has helped people to understand that the diversity of transgender transcends religion and culture. Aleem Raja – Aleem is originally from Pakistan but has been living in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for most of his life. He is involved in HIV/AIDS work both as an attorney for people with HIV/AIDS and as a member of the board of directors of AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP), a San Francisco-based AIDS service organization. He also serves on the board of directors of Trikone, an organization devoted to queer South Asians. Aleem is currently employed at the Public Interest Clearinghouse where he is developing technology tools to help poor people better deal with their legal problems. Betty Shabazz – Betty is a 29 y.o. woman of Pakistani origin who was born and brought up in London, England. She is a graduate in Arabic Studies from Leeds University, UK and spent a few years living and traveling in the Middle East working in Arabic broadcasting. Betty was co-founder of Al-Fatiha, UK and co-organized the 2nd International Retreat for LGBTQ Muslims & Friends (London, May 2000). She is also a DJ and a musician. Zahir (Ron Squibbs) – Zahir (Ron) is a 38 y.o. college professor. He came to Islam gradually over a 9-year period. He lives in the Atlanta area with his partner of 15 years and their two cats. He is also an active member of the AlFatiha, Atlanta chapter. Tamsila Tauqir - Tamsila is 27 years old and was born and raised in England. She has worked in various political organizations and has been involved in lesbian and gay groups since she was 17. Tamsila is currently the cocoordinator of Al-Fatiha, UK. She also works with Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) and is a technician in a secondary school.


THANK YOU – JAZAKULLAH KHAIR Thank you – Jazakullah Khair to the following individuals and organizations for their generous support. Your hard work, monetary donations, dedication, and spiritual energy keep the mission of Al-Fatiha alive.

Al-Fatiha Conference Sponsors: Gold: $1000 Donation Gill Foundation The National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion Silver: $500 Donation GLAAD – Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation NYAC – National Youth Advocacy Coalition Bronze: $250 Donation The James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library NGLTF – National Gay and Lesbian Task Force OUTfront - LGBT Program of Amnesty International, USA PFLAG – Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee, Inc.

Al-Fatiha Chapter Coordinators: Atlanta, Georgia, USA London, England Los Angeles, California, USA New York City, New York, USA San Diego, California, USA San Francisco, California, USA Toronto, Canada Vancouver, Canada Washington DC, USA

Aamer Ibrahim Tamsila Tauqir and Adnan Ali Tayfur Ingalls Position Vacant Salman Usman Faris Malik Mohammed Khan Imtiaz Popat Daayiee Abdullah

Conference Volunteers: Daayiee Abdullah Azeem Ahmed Adnan Ali

Christopher Call Aamer Ibrahim Shareef Khatib

Faris Malik Mohammed Mujahid Betty Shabazz

Tamsila Tauqir RJ Thompson Zahir (Ron Squibbs)

Organizational Supporters: Craig Bowman and NYAC (National Youth Advocacy Coalition) Michael Heflin and OUTfront (LGBT Program of Amnesty International, USA) Loren R. Javier and GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Kirsten Kingdon and PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Jim Mitulski and The James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library Marielle Oetjen and the Gill Foundation Christina Trujillo and the staff of the Women’s Building Alvan Quamina and The National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum San Francisco Police Department Bernard Schlager and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (Pacific School of Religion) Rev. Ken South and NGLTF (National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) SWANABAQ (South West Asians and North African Bay Area Queers) Trikone, San Francisco (LGBT South Asians) Teddy Witherington and San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee, Inc.


Individual Supporters: Mo Bidair – Al-Fatiha Board Member Shaffiq Essajee – Al-Fatiha Board Member Ariel Herrera, OUTfront (LGBT Program of Amnesty International USA) Joo-Hyun Kang, Audre Lorde Project Bassam Kassab and SWANABAQ Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz, PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Rev. G. Penny Nixon, Metropolitan Community Church, San Francisco Donna Payne, HRC (Human Rights Campaign) Bryan Philpot, National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum Cathy Renna, GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Mary Ann-Tolbert, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (Pacific School of Religion) Brittany Weber, San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee, Inc.

Conference Program Ad Contributors: Audre Lorde Project HRC - Human Rights Campaign International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Community Housing Hosts: Stefan Bain Raj Dutta Adnan Hasan Syed Asif Hassan

YK Hong Ernest Krause Shaily Matani Mario

Rakesh Modi Paresh Erik Schnabel

Thank you to Faris Malik, Al-Fatiha, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Coordinator without whom this conference would not have been possible. May Allah (swt) bless you for your hard work in making this conference a success. Aamin

The beauty of the heart The beauty of the heart is the lasting beauty: its lips give to drink of the water of life. Truly it is the water, that which pours, and the one who drinks. All three become one when your talisman is shattered. That oneness you can't know by reasoning. By Jelauddin Rumi Mathnawi II, 716-718

Al-Fatiha Second North American Conference for LGBTQ Muslims and their Friends  

The Second North American Conference for LGBTQ Muslims and their Friends June 21 - June 24, 2001 San Francisco, CA

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