London Queer Muslims is the United Kingdom’s first Zikir & Islamic study group run by and for queer muslims.
Founded in November 2017, LQM challenges the dominant narratives about queer muslims in both heteronormative Muslim spaces and simultaneously in homonormative “LGBT” spaces, not by debating whether or not it is correct to be Muslim and Queer, but by actualising a post-debate culture where Islamic identity is agreed, accepted and practiced as something that is not at odds with queerness. By centralising the intersection of Queer and Muslim thoughts and experiences in our group, we address some of the solutions queer muslims seek.
We run Ijtihad workshops; where we discuss ways to understand Islamic tradition from the standpoint that queerness is fundamental to our theology; each Ijtihad workshop has a set topic based on the concept of independent reasoning and consensus building, with a specific emphasis on Queer Istislah (common interest) and Queer Istihsan (seeking the good). We have covered topics such as Eco-Halal and Ethical Eating, Hijab and Modesty, Climate Change, Justice and Ashura, Friendship and Wilayah, Hajj and Queer Belonging.
We also run our Zikir circle; a devotional space for queer muslims to practice Sufi contemplation, where our identities are fully realised and where queerness is pivotal to our faith. Each Zikir session is followed by readings from selected literature. We affirm non-normativity as a source of empowerment. Our Zikir and Ijtihad sessions are completely egalitarian and our members take turns leading them.
London Queer Muslims has a full constitution and is governed by a secular unincorporated charitable framework with elected board members: a chair, secretary, treasurer and advisors. We place a strong emphasis on trans, intersex, non-binary, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual and asexual leadership, and we encourage participation by cisgendered and heterosexual allies.
Our experience has given many of our members a new understanding of Islam that enriches their relationship with their faith, culture and queerness.