The vast majority of Muslims believe that being gay is not morally acceptable

“Do you personally believe that Homosexuality is….”
Morally acceptable Morally unacceptable Not a moral issue
United States 23 37 35
Britain 30 15 50
Russia 9 72 9
Turkey 4 78 12
Egypt 1 95 1
Jordan 2 95 3
Lebanon 7 80 11
Palestinian Territories 1 94 4
Tunisia 0 92 4
Israel 27 43 25
China 13 61 17
Indonesia 3 93 2
Malaysia 4 88 6
Pakistan 1 85 3
Ghana 1 98 1
Kenya 3 88 9
Nigeria 1 85 11
Senegal 3 68 26
South Africa 18 62 12
Uganda 1 93 5

Source: Global Views On Morality

For various reasons which I won’t get into there is in much of the West a developing Left-progressive/Muslim alliance. Alliances need only be situational and of the moment. But because of the nature of alliances and the feelings they endgender often one has to assert that one’s allies are somewhat different than they really are, so as to diminish the cognitive dissonance that occurs when there is deep divergence in views between allies.

One aspect that is really strange is the attempt by Left-progressives to diminish the anti-gay stance which is normative and dominant among Muslims the world over. Though it is true some Western Muslim communities are less anti-gay than the Ummah as a whole, as Muslims like to remind us there are 1.5 billion of the, and most do not live in the West. It is true there are LGBTQ Muslims. It is true that most Muslims are not extremists. But the existence of a vibrant community of LGBTQ Muslims is feasible in Western societies where Muslims are not the majority (as opposed to homosexual activity, which is common in Muslim countries). And by definition most Muslims are not extremists, but the typical Muslim in the world is basically anti-gay.

You can spend 15 seconds looking on Google. The above data are from Pew. I put in some non-Muslim nations for comparison. The fact is most of the world is anti-gay; the West is exceptional. But Muslim nations are exceptionally anti-gay.

As I don’t think there is any such thing as a religious essence I wouldn’t be surprised if Muslims change their views in the future on this issue. But, I’m kind of tired of the lying which progressives engage in with no shame on this issue (or they are deluding themselves). The anti-gay stance of Muslims the world over doesn’t mean that gay progressives shouldn’t stand up for the civil rights of Muslims in the West, even those who are anti-gay. People who deserve rights are not always people you agree with, or even people who like you personally. One of the insights of liberal democracy is that laws apply to us all, irrespective of who we are. You can defend someone’s rights without having to pretend they are someone they aren’t. But it seems today that people need to feel like one big happy family to treat each other with dignity.

Note: I know these numbers are well known .But sometimes I want to publicize them again because my Twitter feed gets tiresome.

11 thoughts on “The vast majority of Muslims believe that being gay is not morally acceptable

  1. I’m well aware that the vast majority of Muslims have views on many issues that are different than mine. But, in the contemporary United States, all non-Christians collectively, despite their varied views, sometimes have common cause.

    The same forces that vandalized mosques in Aurora and Fort Collins, Colorado in last month could easily turn on me, as an atheist, next month. That is, if they don’t victimize the Sikh Temple in Commerce City, the several Buddhist temples in Denver, the Bahai place of worship in my neighborhood, or the Jewish Community Center and synagogues I drive past on my way to drop my kids off at school, first.

    Alliances in the face of an existential threat make sense far more today, when that threat really is imminent, than they did when I was working in student government to get the dinning halls to accommodate the needs of Pakistani Muslim students during Ramadan when I was a student at Oberlin College.

  2. what the fuck does that have to do with my post? i acknowledged your point pretty clearly.

    my point was that people should stop lying. what was your point? changing the subject?

  3. I’m sorry Razib, but as someone who is on the left, and has been involved in left wing movements my whole adult life, this seems like a bit of a strawman argument. Could you provide some links to show me what you’re talking about?

    I have heard leftists argue that Islam is a religion of peace. I’ve also heard them talk about Islam as if it is a racial category rather than a religious one. I’ve never once heard someone make a claim that Islam is LGBT-friendly, either in an absolute sense or relative to Christianity. They might ignore the issue, but honestly I think much of this comes down to the left’s discomfort with criticizing any regressive social practice outside of the west due to the taint of “colonialism.” Within the U.S. context the extent of Muslim homophobia is not discussed much of course. But despite not even being part of the greater left wing coalition, the many regressive gender and sexual policies of ultra-orthodox Jews are barely mentioned either. I think it has more to do with it being highly unlikely that any small minority group would ever be in the position to enforce moral norms outside of their own small community.

  4. I am not sure if they are lying. The progressive forces on twitter who engage with you on twitter etc. also engage with and follow other activist American Muslims on twitter. These activist American Muslims are either mildly supportive of LGBTQ rights or just completely silent on this issue compared to the American Christian Right and a lot of conservatives who are way more adversarial on this issue (mostly on political lines).

    Look at the largest American Muslim organizations. When have you seen Council On American Islamic Relations (CAIR) or the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) offer support for governors of Indiana and North Carolina for stopping trannies in bathrooms and stopping Muslim bakers from being compelled to make gay wedding cakes. They are completely silent on the “religious” implications of these issues. Not a coincidence. I name these groups because they are the most prominent and Islamic in orientation and have actual grassroots support in mosques across the country.

    American Muslim organizations and activists are now becoming progressive and partisan on all issues of importance to the Left. This is actually an incredible development. I am old enough to remember that the leaders of the American Muslim groups through the American Muslim Task Force endorsed George Bush for President in 2000! Now they all operate as partisan hacks for the Democratic Party. This also means either supporting LGBT rights or saying nothing negative about it, at least publicly.

    So if you swim in the activist America Muslim twitter world, its not a surprise that you will come to believe that these American Muslim activists are representative of the global Ummah. So lying – no.

    As a side note on American Muslims
    and gays: It’s actually quite amazing that Muslim Advocates and MPAC and CAIR have not said one negative word about the SCOTUS gay marriage decision or Indiana bakers or Trans in NC Bathrooms. The cynic in me says that this is just pressure to conform – Is the ACLU and Center for Constitutional Rights and the Brennen Center and Center for American Progress going to stand with you on the Muslim travel ban if you send out press releases blasting the burden being placed on the Muslim baker in Gary who has to bake gay cakes! On the other hand – maybe there is a change taking place – Allah Hu Alim

  5. One more data point – notice the only two Muslim Congressmen are either supportive of LGBT rights or completely silent about it. A sophist may say that the average Muslim in US Congress is more supportive of LGBT than the average Christian in US Congress 🙂

    It would of course be a very misleading statement. But it’s instructive. The Muslims in Congress for the foreseeable future are going to be Democrats. Are Brother Bernie and Sister Warren going to let you introduce them to 30,000 screaming college kids when you tweeted about the rights of the baker who hates gay cakes the evening before?

    So the pressure to conform to progressive politics leads to truce or support on the LGBT issue. These are the people who populate the twitter world. Look at the American Muslims who get retweeted. Most of them will never say anything remotely similar to what your average Republican will say on Twitter regarding LGBT rights. Hence the confusion.

  6. this sort of disjunction is also happening in the anglican communion. but the size and historical position of the groups differ. i don’t think muslims outside of the west will feel as beholden to western muslims as anglicans in africa do to european anglicans. OTOH, the muslim world will probably slowly liberalize…but it will take a while.

  7. I get the impression that Muslim activists are not really concerned with religious liberties in the abstract. They couldn’t care less if conservative Christians are forced bake gay wedding cakes, as long as they are not forced to. And, honestly, what is the likelihood of progressives going after a conservative Muslim business that refuses to cater to a gay wedding?

  8. See, to me this has nothing to do with Islam in particular, but this weird stance which has developed that making any statement about a group of people – even if it reflects reality in general – is a stereotype, and thus must be combated.

    I ran into this the other day when in an online discussion in a forum where many of the participants were younger than I was. Someone made a comment about how “we all know women can have sex drives just as high as men.” I made a jokey response that he might feel different about that after five years of marriage, which resulted in a bunch of people jumping down my throat. Even when I presented not just anecdote, but statistical evidence that in long term relationships men tended to be the ones who complained more frequently about the frequency of sex, a lot of people were still upset. As far as I can determine, to even use hard data to make an inference towards tendency is a nonstarter in certain quarters. The implication seems to be that you can not use any evidence from other people to ever make a judgement of the person in front of you – at least if they’re from a disadvantaged class.

    That said, the person you linked to was responding to a clear troll post by Richard Dawkins. It seems the category mistake people made responding to the meme was thinking that that Dawkins was talking about Muslims as in a group of people when he was really talking about Islam as a belief system. Dawkins believes being Muslim (or Christian) is more akin to being a Marxist than to being black, hence he can criticize the religion as a whole without making any statement about the individual people who practice the religion.

  9. The affinity of leftists for Islam has two sources.

    One source is history. In the early stages of the cold war, the Soviet Union sought to establish its power in the Middle East and drive Britain and France out of the region. (The US presence in the area was minimal. One of the prongs of its campaign was to demonize the Western powers as “imperialists”, “colonialists”, and “racists”. Various political groups both in the West and in MENA were happy to take up the banners. Like many other disinformation campaigns (opposition to nuclear power) it assumed a life of its own and has continued to the present day.

    The second factor is alliance against a common enemy. The left is defined by its opposition to the liberal political order. Many Muslims oppose various aspects of that order, and most politicians in MENA set it up as their foreign enemy. Leftists see those politicians and their followers as allies in the struggle against the liberal political order.

    Leftists do not seem to be able to wrap their heads around the depth of the gap of values and principles that separates them from Muslims. The rights of homosexuals are only a single issue. Another example is atheism which is the most commonly held religious belief of leftists. Muslims regard it as a heresy punishable by death. Another example is private property which leftists regard as an anathema, but which is a basic principle of sharia.

    That these differences do not register on the left is a testimony to their arrogance and their cognitive egocentrism*.

    *Expalined at:

    That website has a lot of informative material for people seeking to understand why the Western left has become apologists and enablers for the worst tendencies of the Muslim world.

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