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ICNA’s Stance on President’s Support for Gay Marriage

05 14 12



JAMAICA, New York (May 11, 2012) – In a press release issued today, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) expressed dismay at President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage.

Like Christianity and Judaism, Islam views marriage as a sacred bond between a man and a woman that serves as the basis for the family and thereby society. We believe that sexual relations can only be between a man and a woman within the context of marriage; indeed the family itself can only be formed from these relations. This traditional structure has allowed communities to flourish for thousands of years. The push to redefine the established institution of marriage and embrace homosexuality can only lead to the deterioration of the very structure of our communities and society as a whole.

President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage is a violation of God’s laws as spelled out in the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. God Almighty states, “And among His signs is that He has created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may live in tranquility with them” (Chapter 30, The Romans; Verse 21). These laws can also be found in other religious texts including the Bible, which states, “But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2).

Islam regards homosexuality as a sin, but also supports the belief that God Almighty created every human being equally and that He alone will hold them responsible for their deeds. As Muslims and people of faith we must also remember that God has directed us to defend all people equally against bigotry, violence and abuse.

The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the application of Islamic values. Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts.


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  • But what do you think posting this will actually accomplish? Do you think the POTUS will actually read this, and then — even more unlikely — decide to change his mind again? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big fan of his, and I can acknowledge the fact that his “evolution” on the issue is probably little more than a political move, but I just don’t see the point of releasing a decree about his opinion. It seems like it would be about as important to him as the fact that Bristol Palin, who had a child out of wedlock, similarly spoke out against his view.

  • Note: I did not mean to imply that ICNA is anything like Bristol Palin. I just meant that the POTUS probably cares just as little about ICNA’s opinion as he does about that of Miss Palin, that’s all.

  • .@ICNA, “US most followed #Muslim org”, says #Obama’s announcement will lead to “deterioration of [American] community”

  • JJ

    Homosexuality has been in every culture throughout time as a sexual variant so claiming it isn’t normal is an enormously ignorant thing to say. By making it into such a big deal is what’s abnormal. Why do you care so much what two same-sex people do in their bedrooms? Worry about your own lives

  • Eeman

    To me incests make more sense than homosexuals.

  • Freedom2B

    “‘We teach our kids to live up to the Golden Rule but in our daily lives as adults we often fail miserably’, says MPV President Ani Zonneveld. ‘This is an epic example of living out that Golden Rule and, as Muslims, we should remember that Islam is a faith rooted in justice and from justice sprouts equality. We know that marriage equality is about justice for all so we must support it on both legal and religious fronts.’ The Quran teaches us marriage is between two souls. It is time the law of the land allows LGBTs their God given right to marry.”

    Muslims For Progressive Values Applauds President Obama’s Support Of Marriage Equality

  • Nafea Ali via Facebook

    Obama lost my vote.

  • Catherine B

    I suggest you read Darwin’s Descent of Man where he argues that animals can indeed reason–in fact, they are cable of most higher emotions. Think of puppies who “love” there mothers. Before you tell me this is mere instinct, I’ll tell you there is a different between instinct, learned behaviors and association of habits. Read chapter 21; it will take you less than 10 minutes. Their moral faculties may not be the same as ours, but you cannot reduce them to animated machines. My suggestions will be completely in vain, however, if you don’t buy into the theory of evolution (which you’d be hard pressed to argue against nowadays). Best.

  • .@ICNA, “US most followed #Muslim org”, says #Obama’s announcement will lead to “deterioration of [American] community”

  • Jalaledin Ebrahim

    Asalaam Alaikum: I highly recommend Scott Kugle’s book “Homosexuality in Islam.” I think it is important to understand the phenomenon before offering unenlightened opinions. Scott Kugle is an openly gay Muslim and Professor of Islamic Studies. Love, light and shadow, Jalaledin Ebrahim, Licensed psychotherapist

  • Steven

    There is an Islamic precedent for allowing communities outside of our own to be governed by their own laws. In regards to marriage in particular, there was a Zoroastrian practice called “self-marriage” in which men would marry their direct female relatives (mothers, sisters, daughters) in order to protect their people from intermixing. This is very clearly against Islamic law, but Ibn Qayim al-Jawziya ruled that if a Zoroastrian was to come to the Muslims for adjudication regarding “self marriage”, it would be judged according to Zoroastrian law.

    This community needs to understand that an Islamic marriage and a secular marriage are two different things — your nikkah means nothing to the government, and your government marriage papers mean nothing in Islam. Ideologically mixing the two in a legal sense is problematic and unnecessary.

  • Kelly Kaufmann via Facebook

    We need to be careful in saying our religious positions should impact law. We don’t like the thought of other religion’s impacting U.S. law. We can’t have it both ways – saying mosques shouldn’t be prevented from being built but saying our religion should impact laws. Lets keep laws & religion separate and focus our efforts (and ‘position’ statements) on peace between us ALL.

  • Hateful & ignorant statement. Shame on u, @icna! “ICNA’s Stance on President’s Support for Gay Marriage” #muslim #islam

  • Azeem

    Just because we live in a secular society, does not mean that we need to become secular Muslims. We have religious views which should absolutely affect our public views. We have every right to take a stand in what we believe in. Part of our beliefs are that public sins can bring upon the wrath of Allah (God). Homosexuality is not the only social ill that we are concerned with, but despite its current popularity and support we can not change our religion in exchange for meeting the demands of current trends.

  • ^Thank you for articulating in one short comment what I was trying to say in all of those long essays, haha.

  • Perfect! For those wondering what is our thought on this recent development, Here it is. And, its politics every where as usual.

  • Just because we live in a secular society, that does not mean that we should become secular Muslims.

  • Kelly Kaufmann, there’s a big difference don’t you think?

    We didn’t use any hate speech nor are we speaking out against anyone’s religious views. It was a small fringe that was protesting the Mosque being built, there wasn’t a National uproar.

  • ^In regards to your first comment, ICNA admin, that is not the point at all. I think you know that. The point is simply that posting this decree of sorts will do absolutely nothing to deter the POTUS from making any decisions in the future, so what’s the point of even posting it? No one is talking about being “secular”, but we are to follow the laws of the land in which we live. Since same-sex marriage would only be an option and not mandatory upon all of us, we wouldn’t even have to worry about such a law, period.

  • Kelly Kaufmann via Facebook

    ICNA – OK I will give a more direct comparison: Do you think the U.S. should have laws against polygamy?

  • Br. Hamza Dawud Flanagan, “The point is simply that posting this decree of sorts will do absolutely nothing to deter the POTUS from making any decisions in the future, so what’s the point of even posting it?” SubhanAllah does that mean we shouldn’t speak out against something even if others think “it won’t do anything”? Can you imagine the Sahaba telling the Prophet (saw) there’s no point in talking to the Quraish about leaving their worship of idols, it’s not like they’re going to listen? Or if Nuh (as) who spent 950 years preaching but only ended up with a handful of followers, said to himself “no one is listening so I should just stop” ? Or if Musa (as) said the same about Pharoah?

  • We should be happy a Muslim organization is talking about this matter (in a gentle manner of course) and shouldn’t discourage them.

  • Noora

    JJ, London
    We don’t care what homosexuals do in their bedrooms but why do they want to call their union a marriage and force us to accept it as a marraige. They can call it a civil union or any name they want. Marriage is a religious institution and laws of any land have nothing to do with it.

  • I don’t care! RT @RaquelEvita: folks who support & fundraise for @icna. Your response to #ICNA on same-sex marriage??

  • Steven

    I guess I can’t be terribly surprised that my post was glossed over. Let me be more direct — how does this at all benefit me as a Muslim in North America? What even called for this? I can’t imagine that your phones were ringing and your doors were being knocked down hoping for a reaction to Obama’s recent stance.

    I can’t imagine that this will be beneficial for our community. You’re taking an incredibly simplistic approach to understanding Islamic law, and I expected much more out of this organization.

  • abdurrahman

    We as muslims should not support “gay rights” in any matter if I’m not mistaken if you look to the islamic rulings on gay people is that they are stoned to death…burned…. or thrown off the highest mountain Allahu Akbar

  • Abdul Sattar Ahmed via Facebook

    This facebook group does not represent the views of ICNA leadership, membership, scholars, scholarship students, or volunteers.

    All posts are the opinions of the web managers.

    Though I’m sure everyone appreciates their work, I just wanted to make that clear.

  • ^Correct, the original linked statement is ICNA’s official response. For any of the admins, when we visit the page it has us post as “ICNA” so the response could be from any one of the admins of the facebook page from our social media team.

  • FYI ICNA fb page admins are both members and volunteers who have been entrusted with handling ICNA’s social media presence.

  • Qasim, I hope you’re not comparing ICNA admins to any of the prophets. That is a poor analogy IMO. Just because ICNA refers to itself as an Islamic organization does not mean that it or any of its members have authority over the Ummah, and they’re certainly not bringing any new messages. The intention of the prophets/messengers was to bring people to God. We do not know the intentions of anyone living nowadays, so please watch how you formulate your comparisons and contrasts.