- The Washington Times - Monday, March 4, 2013

A two-day gathering aimed at educating and liberating Muslims in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community opened in Detroit on Friday.

Muslims for Progressive Values and the Agency for LGBT African Americans, or KICK, teamed up to create the Queer Muslim Gathering, which included a meet-and-greet on Friday and an all-day conference Saturday.

The gathering featured Imam Daayiee Abdullah of Washington, a gay Muslim leader who grew up in Detroit and converted from Southern Baptist Convention, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“We feel it is important for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) Muslims to be included as equals into the straight Muslim society,” Mr. Abdullah said.

He said the goal of the conference was to empower gay Muslims, “to educate them on their Islamic rights, to debunk homophobic theories that is passed on as ‘truth.’”

Topics discussed at the conference were homosexuality and the Quran, how to develop prayer spaces for gay Muslims, and how to “keep it halal,” or legally permissible in Islam, the Free Press reports.

KICK Executive Director Curtis Lipscomb told the Free Press that the conference is trying to “promote an egalitarian Islam where all are welcome regardless of race, denomination or sexual orientation.”

“We confidently believe that in the next 20 years, this Islam will be the norm in America.”