Amsterdam, 13 June 2016 The Maruf Foundation is deeply shocked and wants to express its condolences on the fifty individuals that died during the Orlando shooting Sunday night. Our first thoughts are with the bereaved and our prayers are with you. Shortly after the tragedy deeply rooted feelings of hate and intolerance were displayed on social media. This included a variety of exclusion and blame. It saddens us to see that the identity of the attacker is already widening the gap between LGBTQI+ and Muslims. The Maruf Foundation tries time after time to close that gap by showing that within the Queer community there are also Muslim members and we will do so again this time. It disappoints to witness that certain individuals speak out their support for the assassin. It shows that our efforts for equality are necessary, the more so it shows that a strong Queer movement is indispensable. Queer Muslims are part of that movement and we will not allow that certain types of phobia will exclude us from grieving over this tragedy. By attributing this act of hate to a religion, you are already excluding a part of the victims. We could be the ones celebrating our liberty that night at Florida Pulse, we could be the ones that lost a friend or a lover to an assassin that was only driven by blind hate. Let us commemorate collectively without excluding anyone, because this act of violence is not only hurting LGBTQI+ people, it is also hurting queers who consider themselves Muslims.
Bussemaker supports European Queer Muslim Network Maruf and the Dutch ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences are joining hands to establish a European Muslim LGBT Network. The Dutch minister Bussenmaker of Education, Culture and Sciences announced her support for a European Queer Muslim Network (EQMN) during the IDAHO FORUM 2016 in Copenhagen. The Dutch government will fund the project for two years. Stichting Maruf, a Dutch knowledge center on Islam and sexual diversity, is the initiator of the network. The network consists of eight Queer Muslim Organizations that will collaborate to address the issue of sexual diversity within the Muslim communities. The formation of the network is a unique first step in the pursuit of the European empowerment of Muslim LGBT.
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Maruf gratefully acknowledges financial support from:
Stichting Maruf 1e Weteringsplantsoen 2C 1017 SJ Amsterdam The Netherlands