- DEMI LYNCH -
Europe’s largest charity for LGBTQI Muslims, Imaan, is launching a festival dedicated to the queer Muslim community.
The London based charity is hoping to raise £5,000 to put on the festival in 2020.
Joy Muhammad is a member of Imann and spoke with Radio 1 Newsbeat about her experience as a queer Muslim in the UK.
She said there is often pressure for the LGBTQI Muslim community to 'choose' between their sexuality and their religion.
"Not only within the Muslim community but also with other religious communities - we're being told to choose between our religion and our queer identity," Joy said.
Lesbian campaigner and Imann trustee Anjum Mauj spoke with Metro News and said that queer Muslims end up being stuck in the middle of homophobia and Islamophobia.
"The current political climate, together with Brexit, migrant crisis, Boris, and Trump has emboldened Islamophobes," she said.
"As LGBTQI Muslims we are caught in the middle."
"It’s a very apt time to celebrate with a LGBTQI Muslim festival and celebrate our unique identities and bring some joy into the world."
This year will mark 20 years since Imaan began operating in London as a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans Muslims.
According to the Imaan Crowdfunder page, "The event will build on the incredible events we organised in the past and feature panels, discussions, speakers, arts, culture and history - a first for LGBTQI Muslims."
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