I may not be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, but I am a Muslim woman. Because of this, I was able to take into consideration of everything that Faisal Alam had said. I agree with him that LGBT Muslims should have their equal roles in society, should not be discriminated against, and should not have to worry about standing up for their religious beliefs, no matter what their views are.
There are some things, however, that I feel that Faisal has not come to complete understanding about Islam. One of his misconceptions that I noticed he had, and will go into a bit since I feel that it is important, is the same misconception that I have found many people to have, and that is the equal role between men and women in Islam. The complex relationship between women and Islam is defined by both Islamic texts and the history and culture of the Muslim world. The Quran states both that men and women are equal, but also, as in 4:34, that “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard.” Although the Quran does say this, the superiority of men is interpreted in terms of strength by the context – men maintain women. This verse however becomes misinterpreted easily. What it is referring to is the relationship between a husband and wife, not as a society in whole. Men and women are both equal, and are given equal rights in Islam.
I believed, and was hoping that the speech was going to be more about Alam’s life struggles, and how he had made it past his struggles. I personally believe that his words would have proved to be a lot more helpful that way so that others who are facing similar struggles as he had, would become more motivated by having an idea of how to cope with their own issues from listening to someone else’s story. I feel that Alam is a nice man, and I wish him the best, but in my opinion, he should have redirected his speech towards what would be helpful advice to the students of the University of Michigan-Dearborn.