If They Are Sinners Then We Are Too

“Just because a religion tells you that something is a sin, it isn’t an excuse to discriminate the sinner in any way or to treat them cruelly.”

Recently, two women in Malaysia were sentenced to a public caning when they were found guilty and charged with performing lesbian sex.

Personally I think it’s disgusting (the punishment, not the act).

What irks me even more are the commenters who claim that the religion and the Quran encourages harsh punishments on those who carry out homosexual acts. And don’t get me started on the homophobic comments (and these come from people from other religious beliefs as well, not just Muslims so shame on all of you).

First of all, it is none of our business what a person does between closed doors, or what their relationship with God is like. None of us are perfect, stop having a holier than thou attitude. We learnt in Islamic class in High School that the way to treat homosexuality is by putting them away from that situation. There is NOTHING about mistreating them or abusing them or criminalising them.

Two, stop picking and choosing the sins you want to punish people for. A man carries out pedophilia and marries a child who was already underage under Islamic Law? SILENCE and people claiming that there are exceptions to the rule.

Muslims drinking in clubs and Muslim men missing Friday prayer? Silence. And everyone turns a blind eye (like don’t people who drink alcohol get caned as well, where is their punishment and education aye?).

Men looking at women who don’t cover themselves and objectify them? Nope, no silence. The anger is taken out on the women themselves even though Allah has decreed for men to lower their gaze.

But oooh suddenly when it comes to homosexuality everyone is verbal about it. And it’s not just the caning, it’s about how we look down on people who fit the so-called gay stereotype or who express these tendencies. Just because a religion (and I’m not just calling out Muslims here because other religions such as Christianity are just as bad in expressing their homophobia) tells you that something is a sin, it isn’t an excuse to discriminate the sinner in any way or to treat them cruelly.

God hates those who don’t treat people with dignity, or who discriminate just because we have different views. For you to openly punish someone for their sins,  you have committed a bigger sin in not treating them with dignity, for criminalising them and their family, for backbiting them and for not holding your tongue and lashing out on them.

Having empathy for the way these people are suffering doesn’t make you a sinner and doesn’t mean you’re saying ‘go forth and sin, children’.  After all, doesn’t the true teaching of Islam all about having humanity and empathy?

There were many instances when the prophet showed empathy and kindness and humanity towards the people who didn’t follow the Islamic teachings. If we’re going to follow the Quran then we should follow the Sunnah (the way of the Prophet) as well.

Did God not say that fitnah (spreading rumours and gossiping) is worse than killing 100 people? That the lowest level of hell is reserved for the hypocrites?

So fine, go on and continue to be narrow-minded, but remember this.

The next time you try to tell someone that their sexuality is going to make them burn in hell, remember that your hypocrisy will make you the fire’s fuel.

Disclaimer: All opinion pieces are my opinion and mine alone, and do not represent the views or the organisations I have worked for or am working for.

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