An Open Letter to Our Community from the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD) In 2012, a group of committed LGBTQ and allied Muslim organizers made the difficult decision to leave behind Al-Fatiha—an organization for LGBTQ Muslims founded in 1999—and to look ahead to a new future for the LGBTQ Muslim movement. It is with both sadness and optimism that we announce this end of an era. Al-Fatiha was born at a pivotal moment in history, filling a void felt by many LGBTQ Muslims in the United States and beyond its borders. Al-Fatiha’s founder, Faisal Alam, and two early members incorporated the non-profit organization in the state of New York in 1999. For nearly ten years, Al-Fatiha worked diligently to improve the lives of LGBTQ Muslims. Best known for holding community-building conferences, the organization also nurtured local LGBTQ Muslim groups, assisted asylum seekers in the United States, and provided much-needed education to the general public about the lives and challenges of LGBTQ Muslims. Despite the organization’s significant contributions to the LGBTQ Muslim movement, Al-Fatiha was not immune to the problems that befall many non-profits after changes in leadership. After several years of lack of attention, Al-Fatiha ceased to operate and began a process of legal dissolution. Al-Fatiha’s demise served as a powerful call to action. In 2011, a dozen concerned members of the community came together to assess the state of the LGBTQ Muslim movement—and strategize for its future. This strategy team brought together former leaders of Al-Fatiha, as well as other LGBTQ and allied Muslim activists who have emerged as leaders since 2005. With the generous support of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the group convened three times at the Creating Change conference. Each year, we have led sessions for and about LGBTQ Muslims and held community building caucuses, in addition to our strategy meetings. Between gatherings, we have continued our strategic planning—and our work has already born fruit. In 2011 and 2012, we produced the first LGBTQ Muslim retreats to be held in the United States since 2005. Theses retreats, held in Philadelphia, have welcomed 80 participants each, gathering LGBTQ Muslims from across America, and welcoming a number from Canada, the U.K., Spain, and Pakistan. We have raised funds to provide numerous scholarships for youth and adults. Our third annual retreat, which will take place in May, sold out in a matter of weeks. Now, we are proud to announce that our work has led to the launch of a new organization—the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD)*. MASGD is committed to building on the achievements of Al-Fatiha and revitalizing the LGBTQ Muslim movement. To that end, we are excited to join the work of other organizations that serve LGBTQ Muslims outside the U.S., such as Salaam (Canada), Imaan (U.K.), the Safra Project (U.K.), HM2F (France), CALEM (E.U.), and Inner Circle (South Africa).
2013 LGBTQ Muslim Retreat
Published on May 16, 2013
2013 LGBTQ Muslim Retreat Program Book - session details and presenter/facilitator bios will be provided on-site ONLY (for privacy and secu...