Western University LGBTQ poster draws backlash from Muslim community

A Western University social media post supporting the fight against homophobia included an illustration of two women in hijabs about to kiss, prompting a backlash from London’s Muslim community that forced officials to the school to remove it.

Content of the article

A Western University social media post supporting the fight against homophobia included an illustration of two women in hijabs about to kiss, prompting a backlash from London’s Muslim community that forced officials to the school to remove it.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

The image, posted to the school’s Instagram account on Tuesday to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, drew a storm of criticism from people offended by the images.

They said the message was “inappropriate” and “disrespectful” because the hijab, an Islamic veil, has religious and spiritual connotations. One person wrote, “Shame on you Western for such a mocking message insulting my religion.”

This Western University poster, created to support the fight against homophobia, sparked a backlash from the local Muslim community for including a depiction of two women in hijabs about to kiss.
This Western University poster, created to support the fight against homophobia, sparked a backlash from the local Muslim community for including a depiction of two women in hijabs about to kiss.

In response, school officials initially appeared to stand behind the poster, noting that they understood “how complex and intersectional this subject is” and that “the imagery may disturb some Muslims.” But on Wednesday, a Western official who oversees equity, diversity and inclusion released a statement noting that the image had been removed.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

“We believe this provides an opportunity for an authentic and thoughtful discussion about how best to support members of the queer Muslim community, and those of all faiths and backgrounds within the 2SLGBTQ+ community,” Opiyo said. Oloya.

“To promote this discussion, we’ve removed the image from the post so it doesn’t distract from these important conversations.”

A Muslim community leader, Iman Abd Alfatah Twakkal, said the Muslim community in London was drafting a response to the footage, which he called “inappropriate”.

“We respect everyone’s human rights as protected by Ontario human rights law,” he said. “While we understand the intent is to promote inclusion, the poster does the opposite. . . isolating a Muslim religious symbol in this context is inappropriate.”

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

The poster also sparked a petition asking the school to remove the representation of Muslim women. The petition had more than 2,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.

“It should be clear that this is not an attack on the LGBT+ community and that the existence of gay Muslims is acknowledged,” the petition reads. “What is depicted is extremely disrespectful, insensitive and completely unnoticeable to the Muslim community as a whole.”

The poster was also supported on social media. One Twitter user wrote: “I can’t believe people are mad that he acknowledges that gay Muslims exist.

[email protected]

Advertising

Advertisement 1

Comments are closed.