Header Image Liberal Islam Series
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Thursday, 30 March 2023

LGBT rights and Islam: Inherent oxymoron or possible harmony?

Attendance Event

Homosexuality constitutes an entrenched taboo in many Muslim countries and communities. LGBT people of Muslim origin are often treated as out-groups and they face severe discrimination and mistreatment, either as a result of harsh laws or due to the homophobic attitude of their families and communities. What are the causes of this problem? Our guest panelists will discuss whether it stems from Islam or rather from other elements, such as culture, colonial heritage, or an incorrect interpretation of the sacred texts.


Arash Guitoo is Iranian-born, research associate at Max Planck Institute for comparative and international Private Law in Hamburg. He received his PhD in Islamic Studies with a dissertation on the history of male same-sex desire in Iran.

Tugay Sarac is lecturer at the progressive Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque and does workshops on queer rights and women’s rights for young students in Berlin and Germany. He is project manager of the “Anlaufstelle Islam und Diversity”, a project by and for queer Muslims and ex-Muslims.



Tommaso Virgili is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Migration, Integration, Transnationalization Department. He works on Modernization Movements and Reform Theology within Islam in Response to the Challenge of Fundamentalism, with a Focus on Islam in Europe and the MENA region



The event is part of the Event Series "Islam and Liberalism in Contemporary Society".


The event will be recorded. The data protection notice on photo and film recordings can be found here.

The WZB is wheelchair-accessible.