23 February 2011
Yesterday I was in Amsterdam for, amongst other things, a meeting organised by the Culture and Leisure Centre, the world’s oldest organised gay and lesbian group. The guest speaker was the South Africa-born ‘pink imam’, Mushin Hendricks. It was an impressive and moving gathering. In total contrast to the zeitgeist blowing through Europe bringing tension between religions, between secular and believer, what we heard here was a message of hope. Just as in Egypt, Tunisia and all those other countries in which Muslims are taking to the streets to demand democracy and human rights, there appears to be talk of revolution in the Netherlands, too, though a relatively quiet one. Five years ago a meeting of this kind would have been impossible, but now Muslim gays and lesbians are daring to express their natures openly. And the imam? He looked, and saw that it was good.