It's not that simple.

I read an article by Katie Hopkins this morning. It seemed to follow quite a reasoned path. Then it veered straight off to a place of wild nonsense. I’ll briefly respond to a single point in her article: “Until Islam is tolerant of gay rights, we cannot tolerate Islam.”

Why won’t the Left admit the inconvenient truth about Islam? It hates everything else they love

After the tragic mass-shooting at gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the gunman was found to have pledged allegiance to Islamic State. The attack was not planned or co-ordinated. He was a lone gunman inspired by his own hatred.

In light of this, Katie Hopkins paints a black and white picture of Islam’s integration in western society. She says that Islamic teachings are absolute. She says that all Muslims follow Islam to the letter, holding the Qur’an as the word of God. She highlights Islam’s objection to gay rights and says this means it is not compatible with our society. It’s not that simple.

I agree that there is a cultural difference between traditional Islam and liberal western society. This quote from the Guardian about a recent poll of Muslim attitudes in the UK shows it clearly:

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.

A religion’s stance on a particular issue may not fit our society. However, that does not mean we must oppose that religion.

Discrimination against LGBT people in the UK is illegal under the Equality Act 2010 and prior acts. By using the law to protect people in specific circumstances, we ensure these protections are unbiased. Whether you’re Muslim or Christian, from Afghanistan or Cheshire, UK law applies to you equally. We don’t need a special clause for Katie Hopkins’ view of Islam.

Full protections and equality for LGBT are not there yet, but there is definitive progress. If Katie Hopkins really is a supporter of LGBT rights – and not just using this article to stand against Islam – I enourage her to speak up for the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights in all their forms, in all circumstances.

We absolutely should accept Islam in the ways it fits with our society. We should not tollerate any discrimination towards LGBT people, from Islam or not. That distinction is important.

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