In response to my essay on homosexuality, a lot of people have asked me why I didn’t address the political side of the issue or the question of Islamic law and hadith and tafsir, or why I didn’t talk about how to counsel Muslims struggling with same-sex desires and other such interpersonal topics.
Part of the reason is I am not qualified to address some of these areas (though I am working on an essay on the question of politics and whether Muslims should support gay rights/marriage, etc.). But, I wanted to focus my essay on the moral-ethical dimension of the issue. Reason being, I don’t think many talk about that side of things despite the importance and need.
I definitely think that the tafsir/fiqh, political, and interpersonal dimensions are all important. My frustration over the years is that no one seems to want to talk about the underlying moral-ethical questions that underlie all these dimensions. Modernist liberal normative assumptions on homosexuality are almost always just taken for granted, and that ends up biasing any conversation we can have on politics, hermeneutics, or pastoral care. If those liberal assumptions are sufficiently problematized, however, then the conversation in those other areas becomes much more unbiased and fruitful.
Of course, problematizing liberalism is half of the moral equation, defending the reasonabiility and morality of Islamic law against modernist attack is the other. I tried to incorporate both sides in the essay to some extent.