It is a matter of record that the United Kingdom has become increasingly tolerant of that which is called the “LGBT” community over recent decades. Indeed successive British Governments have been actively encouraging such open-minded tolerance in other countries around the world. Gay people are now routinely seen in pretty much all aspects of public life and little offence is taken by a large section of the British population.

It’s worth remembering that all this has taken place against the faith background of a largely Christian country and again that group have been reasonably accommodating of LGBT people despite the fact that the Bible does teach that sodomy is a sin, but despite this, Christians should learn to love the sinner even if they reject the sin!

It’s also worth pointing out that any more fundamentalist Christian who criticises homosexual behaviour is likely to be arrested.

But not ALL faith groups in the UK are prepared to tolerate homosexual behaviour. The problem arises when it becomes clear that Islam, the fastest-growing faith group in the UK, thinks that not only is homosexuality morally wrong but that it should be made illegal! Given that the 1968 Sexual Offences Act decriminalised sexual activity between men in England and Wales, it seems that we have a problem that some don’t want to confront.

In a comprehensive 2016 study of British Muslim thinking, we discover that;

“When asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed that homosexuality should be legal in Britain, 18% said they agreed and 52% said they disagreed, compared with 5% among the public at large who disagreed. Almost half (47%) said they did not agree that it was acceptable for a gay person to become a teacher, compared with 14% of the general population”

This can be viewed against the global background that same-sex intercourse carries the death penalty in five officially Muslim nations: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania, Sudan, and Yemen. There is zero tolerance for LGBT people in these nations and given that Saudi, in particular, is for many people the “home of Islam”, and the location of the cities of Mecca and Medina, where Muhammad, the messenger of the Islamic faith, lived and died, it is not too difficult to understand why Muslims seeking to follow their faith in non-muslims countries also show great antipathy towards those of a different sexual persuasion.

This antipathy is increasingly manifest in the public square. Here is a street confrontation between an Islamist and an LGBT activist in the  Walthamstow Forest area in London, and there seems little meeting of the minds.

As an aside. Walthamstow Police have launched an investigation into this as an alleged street “hate crime” but how can they possibly identify the culprit given that she wears Islamic garb completely obscuring her face and preventing any identification? The UK authorities insist that Muslim women must have the right to dress accordingly yet the UK Police seek to identify someone who becomes unidentifiable as a consequence!!!

This follows on from the tumult over LGBT lessons in Parkfield Community School and Anderton Park School in Birmingham, with Muslim parents objecting to the teaching of LGBT lessons to children as young as four. Muslim activist Dilly Hussain said that the parents concerned have the right to fight against lessons that go against their belief. He claimed it is not homophobia as they are not “inciting violence and hatred”, adding Muslims can “coexist peacefully with people of different sexualities”.

Some may choose to agree with him but there are some problems that arise from all of this;

  • Why should only Muslims be given permission to object to homosexuality without being tarred as homophobes?
  • Can there really be the peaceful co-existance between a vibrant LGBT community and a devout Islamic community?
  • Which Countries that follow the Islamic faith allow such peaceful co-existance?

The Labour Party in the UK is going to find that it has positioned itself at the interesection of this conflict. Labour continually signals its embrace of all aspects of the LGBT agenda even as it seeks to maximise the Muslim vote. How can this situation endure?

Only one side can prevail and a pluralist outward looking United Kingdom may struggle to embrace the outright hostility a section of Islam has for the LGBT community. The culture war in underway, who will win it and what happens to the losers?