'No' to additional ImaanFest-Muslim Pride in London, especially over the Easter weekend.

'No' to additional ImaanFest-Muslim Pride in London, especially over the Easter weekend.

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Emma Grace A started this petition to Pride and

Say NO to invidivual groups (Muslim Pride ImaanFest) holding separate Pride parades in London - especially on the original date (Easter Saturday).

*** ImaanFest has been postponed until Saturday 12th December 2020 after discussions regarding Covid-19.  My feelings on the original date still stand. ***

It is extremely disappointing that the Muslim community needs to have an additional separate ImaanFest - Muslim Pride event on Saturday 11th April 2020. There is clearly not enough support for Muslims within their own communities and this must be better addressed. The Pride in London event is committed in making Pride accessible for all and offer to work within (the Muslim) community to help them do better.

A separate Muslim Pride could be implying that it is harder for a Muslim to be an LGBT+ member of society than for an individual belonging to any other religious group? It is a well known fact that many communities and individuals face continuous ‘bashing’ purely for their sexuality.

Isn't the Pride a provider of a safe space? A space to display arts, culture and history - for the first time Pride is being included in ‘FIFTY-TWO’ and this is an exciting opportunity. Pride opens up all the conversations you desire and gives any LGBT+ individual a platform to speak about and rejoice in their sexuality.

And so Muslims should, celebrate and take their rightful place in the UK’s Pride parade. Of course they should be part of the loving family that chooses to participate in this.

What I do not understand is why there has to be an additional Pride for religion/ Muslims. In my opinion there is already a London Pride which is inclusive, welcoming and the main point of raising awareness of, and enjoying LGBT in London - “a home for every part of London’s LGBT+ community”. It seems to me contradictory that LGBT+ Muslims wish to feel included and accepted but, this very act makes them appear as outsiders, segregated. “In a climate where LGBT+ communities feel more divided than ever, this year’s theme calls out the crucial need for allyship in order to heal rifts between groups.” We should be standing together at Pride, the UK’s Pride Parade in London on June 27th 2020.

Pride states “Historically, the Pride movement was built on a core foundation of us standing up for one another. As LGBT+ people, especially those from marginalised communities, continue to come under attack from many sides, this allyship is as important now as it has ever been. It's down to all of us to celebrate identity, and make sure Pride in London is a pride for everyone. It's down to You, Me, Us, We.”

I have also addressed the fact that ImaanFest - Muslim Pride is being held over the most important festival of the year for Christians which is Holy Week and Easter and this extremely insensitive. They have not considered the faith which teaches this and how those that follow this faith will be feeling on this day. Easter celebrates Jesus rising from the dead, which is the foundation of faith. On Good Friday Christians remember the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It is a sombre day where churches meet, pray and reflect on the sacrifice Jesus paid for all our sins. Many participate in a walk to remember that Jesus had to carry his cross publicly through the streets of Jerusalem. It is a public statement of faith. This period of time is a very sacred and intimate period for a believer, follower of Jesus. The mourning for Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent death continues throughout Easter Saturday into the evening when Christians wait expectantly for the resurrection of Jesus. 

As mourning takes place and Jesus is believed to be lying in the tomb there will be a huge celebratory festival going on across London.  Holy week deserves to be recognised and respected. Holding this Muslim Pride festival over Easter is seen as rude and uncaring.

It is also noted that the UK’s official religion is Christianity (encompassing all it’s denominations). Our Majesty the Queen is also the head of The Church of England. 

(This needs to be investigated) I do not know a lot about the Muslim faith and practising Islam but, we think that some Muslims do believe that Jesus should at least be acknowledged, that he is called Isa and he is named many times in the Qur’an. He is called the ‘word’ of God but, not the Son of God. He is possibly within a pillar of your faith. I also think that Muslims do not accept that Jesus was crucified on the cross. Maybe this is why the Easter Saturday was not recognised for many as such an important anniversary encompassing grief and great sadness?

Where do we go next? Sikh Pride? Jewish Pride? Buddhist Pride? Pride of other groups?  Pride as we know it will break down. Smaller groups splitting off takes away from the event that is Pride in London (even if they also participate in the main event) and in my view this Festival does not advocate togetherness or working and coming together.

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