Muslim Bisexuality: Numb

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Listening to Imam Yousef Kader’s sermon and hearing him condemn Western society for its many excesses, I nodded along with the rest of the brothers. At the Sal Al Din Mosque of West London, England, we were used to harsh sermons from preachers whose views often seem at odds with the times in which we live. Hearing them speak about the decadence of the society around us, from drug usage to female promiscuity, homosexual males, sexually provocative clothing and the like. Always good fodder for our Imams, those three Western evils, so to speak.

When I go to Masjid, I go there to connect with Allah. I pray at home when I can but prefer to come to the same Masjid my family and I have been attending since I was born. I need Allah in my life. The preacher and his politics, those things are secondary. Still, something about the Imam’s words that day piqued my interest. If you were to ask across the Ummah, the majority of Muslims think of homosexuality and lesbianism as haram or forbidden and dirty. Most Muslims believe that one cannot be gay or lesbian and still consider themselves Muslim. I once held these views. Now I’m not so sure.

I finished my prayer, then silently walked out. For I knew what was coming. Imam Yousef Kader never missed a chance to warn us about the dangers of sexual immorality. Just as I was exiting, I heard him express his outrage about two young women he saw on the subway, hugging and kissing. I closed my eyes, hard. I walked out of the Masjid, looking like any other brother. I wore a dark blue Thawb, a sort of ankle-length flowing robe, and a Kufi hat. I walked to my car, a Ford F150, and pulled out of the mosque parking lot. My eyes were misty and my heart thundered in my chest as conflicting emotions warred within me. Imam Yousef is a man I respect a great deal. Like many of the young brothers in our Masjid, I look up to him. Yet I can’t shake the feeling that he would despise me if he knew what I was.

My name is Hamidou Souleymane and I was born in Berkshire, England, to immigrant parents originally from the Republic of Mali. My father, Aziz Souleymane is a Constable with the London Metropolitan Police Service. My mother Safiatou is a schoolteacher. My older brother Alfousseini is a Captain with the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom. Like me, he was born here and has never known another land. I am a British citizen of Mali descent, and a proud Sunni Muslim. I am also bisexual, in spite of my attempts at removing these forbidden feelings from my mind. I remain attracted to both women and men. Since I can’t will myself to become totally heterosexual, I’m doing the next best thing. I’m focusing exclusively on women, because if my family and friends found out about the other side of me, I’d be deader than Elvis Priestley. There is no place in Islam for those who deviate from our cultural and social norms.

Just the other day on Yahoo news I read about a supposedly homosexual Somali man in Somaliland who got crushed to death by a crowd of angry people in his own village. Reading this bit of news disturbed me to no end. And of course, there was no one I could talk to about it. I can’t talk about my fears and doubts to anyone because people across the Ummah gossip worse than those in the outside world. Westerners in their more paranoid moments think there’s a great big Muslim conspiracy out there. If they only knew. Most Muslims can’t keep a secret if you pay them. We gossip worse than those glossy magazines that always have something to say about John Travolta’s sex life or the dating habits of the Kardashian girls. Of course, my brothers and sisters in Islam will vigorously deny their gossip mongering if queried on the subject. What can I say? Gossip is the lifeblood of many communities. Among the Ummah, it’s our raison d’etre.

I return to my apartment. I live in the town of Uxbridge, in West London, not too far from Brunel University which I attend. I’m a civil engineering student. My parents live about three kilometers from my flat and like all true African parents, they like to drop by unannounced. I turn the key and enter my place, and I am instantly greeted by my dog Wassa, a feisty Pomeranian female I rescued from an animal shelter two years ago. It always surprises my friends, both Muslim and non-Muslim, when they see me with my dog. Wassa wags her tail happily when she sees me, and I pick her up and give her a big kiss. Her warm brown eyes look at me and she licks my hand. I feed her, then go to the living room to watch TV. In about an hour I’m going to step out and take her for a walk.

There’s nothing good on TV, other than reruns of Being Human. Still wearing my Thawb robe and Kufi hat, I step out with Wassa on a leash, and a plastic bag just in case nature calls my favorite four-legged fur gebze escort ball while we’re out. We walk through the park, and I spot a familiar figure about ten meters away. A tall young Black woman wearing a long-sleeved blue T-shirt, black jeans and boots, along with a marine blue hijab. Instantly I recognize the young woman as Khadija Samad, a gorgeous Somali sister I’ve spoken to a couple of times at community events. She goes to Brunel University too. I greet her warmly and she eyes me coolly, looking at Wassa the way people look at cockroaches. Hello Khadija, I say warmly. My mom and dad taught me good manners, even if I don’t always listen. I pick up Wassa and scratch her behind the ears. Wassa looks at Khadija and tenses. My dog knows when someone doesn’t like her, she’s perceptive like that.

Khadija smiles at me and asks me how I’m doing. We exchange pleasantries for a couple of minutes, with her trying hard not to stare at the dog and failing miserably. Most strict Muslims consider dogs to be haram and the ones who do own them are seen as strange, for they’re considered unclean. Me? I swear I love my little Wassa more than most of the Ummah sometimes. She never judges me and loves me unconditionally. How can I not appreciate that? Khadija is going on and on about how excited she is about the upcoming visit of a famed preacher from Saudi Arabia. Legendary Imam Ali Shariff. I’m less than thrilled about his visit and I guess it showed on my face because Khadija called me on it. I tried to play it off but she wouldn’t let me.

Looking Khadija in the eyes, I tell her that a lot of our most prominent preachers are out of touch with reality. Her eyes widen, and her succulent-looking lips quiver. I can tell she doesn’t like what I’m saying to her but I am on a roll now. I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. Continuing with my little spiel, I tell her that we live in a strange world. I mean, all around the Muslim world, secular and moderate voices are being silenced and the more radical elements are rising to power. From Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan, from Pakistan to Nigeria, from Mali to Yemen, preachers are calling for the unification of the planet-wide Ummah and for a global war against non-Muslims. Shaking my head, I tell Khadija that I think such ramblings are utter foolishness. The last thing the Muslim world needs is for the Europeans, the Americans, the Hindus, the African Christians, the Jews and the Atheists to unite against us.

Khadija scoffs at what I said, and looking into her lovely brown eyes, I see the fire of fanaticism. Isn’t it prophesized by Mohammed himself that Islam must dominate the world? She asks, eyes blazing. We need to unite against the unbelievers and take the world by force. Look at the British, the Americans and others, they’re so haram in how they dress, how they think and how they live! I pursed my lips, waiting for her to finish with her virulent, intolerance-filled diatribe. If we rise against the West, the rest of the world will join them against us. It’s not just Europeans, Americans and Australians who don’t trust Islam. The Chinese and the Hindus have no love for us, and the Christian half of Africa is ready to go to war against us as we speak. Humanity’s six billion against Islam’s one point six billion? With nuclear warheads and ethno-specific viruses being built by NATO and Europe as we speak? Ha! Shaking my head, I tell Khadija that I am not suicidal.

Khadija’s eyes widen, and I can see her chest rise and fall. She’s filled with emotion, and none of it positive, if you know what I mean. Her eyes narrow, her lips twist into a snarl, and she lets me have it. Glaring at me the way a cat looks at a feisty little mouse that will soon be lunch, she tells me that I’ve allowed myself to be brainwashed by the West’s propaganda, that I’m not a true Muslim. With a scoff, she calls me a Kaffir, and walks away. I stand there and watch her walk away. Damn she looks good. Great ass, that’s for sure. Still, she’s nuttier than a nut bar. Wise man sees a woman like that, he knows that staying away from her is in his best interests. Wassa watches Khadija walk away and lets loose a particularly nasty bark. I smile and pat her head. The little Pomeranian licks my hand. You’re the only bitch I need in my life, I say as I kiss her on the forehead. We walk around for another half hour, Wassa does her business, then we head on home.

I sat in my living room, with Wassa playing with a chew toy as I read a book. It’s called One More River To Cross : Black And Gay In America by Keith Boykin. It was a very thoughtful book, written by a Black man about homophobia in the Black community. A lot of the things written in the book held true for me even though I’m Black British and not göztepe escort African-American. In the book, Boykin argued that gay and bisexual Black men should be more honest with themselves and their families, but he also talked about the rampant homophobia in the Black community. I can’t decide who’s more anti-gay, Black people or Muslims. And I’m Black, bisexual AND a Muslim! I put down the book, and lay on the couch, letting my thoughts drift. Even though I tried to stop it, my mind wandered back to my last relationship, and the day I realized there might not be a wedding day for me.

Six months ago, I was on top of the world. I was dating a young biracial woman named Wahidat Abassi, and life couldn’t be better. We met while I was visiting Kingston University in southwest London, and I guess we just clicked. You should have seen her, man. Five-foot-nine, athletic but curvy where it counts, with light brown skin, curly black hair and pale brown eyes. Oh, and before I forget, she has a heart-shaped ass that just won’t quit. Wahidat’s father was Nigerian and her mother Alicia Kingsley is White British, and believe me when I say she’s got the best of both worlds.

Wahidat’s Nigeria father Hassan Abassi was Muslim, but didn’t have much to do with her upbringing since he died when she was young and she grew up in a secular household. While raised in a strict Muslim household, I’ve always felt more at ease with women of other faiths than those of my religion. Wahidat and I began dating, and we had a very passionate relationship. Finally, here was someone I could be myself around. I told her things I had never told anyone before. The inner stuff. Like the fact that I find both girls and guys attractive, though I am afraid to explore it. Wahidat told me she accepted me for who and what I am. How cool was that? This feisty young biracial woman rocked my world. I’m happy to say she’s the first woman I had sexual relations with. She introduced me to a world of passion, and absolutely changed my life. I still shudder with excitement when I recall some of our more passionate lovemaking sessions.

One night, I came home to find her naked on my bed, with Wassa barking ceaselessly. I put the dog in the backyard, and went to work on Wahidat. My sexy lady really laid it on me that night. Wahidat grabbed my cock and balls and sucked me like her mouth was a milking machine, and when I came she drank every last drop of my cum. I spread her thighs and licked her sweet pussy, diving in with my mouth and fingers, tasting her, teasing her and exploring her thoroughly. Wahidat moaned as I pleasured her, licking her sweet pussy and delighting in her sweet aroma. When she was finally ready, I took her. Gently, I eased my hard dick into her wetness, and looked into her lovely eyes as I made love to her. We went at it all night, trying myriad positions. My favorite was when she got on all fours, shook her big ass at me and told me to take her. I sure did, and I enjoyed spanking her big ass while slamming my cock into her. The combination seemed to delight her as much as it did me. We made love all night, finally falling asleep, exhausted in the most pleasurable of ways.

In my eyes, Wahidat and I seemed like a match made in heaven. I introduced her to my parents, and although her ‘western ways’ irked my father, my mom was thrilled to see me with a young lady who was of partial African descent. My mother is always going on and on about brothers marrying white women, whom she considers fair-skinned servants of Iblis. Like a lot of Muslim immigrant women, my mother isn’t fond of the fact that lots of Muslim brothers from continental Africa, the Arab world and southeast Asia seem to prefer Caucasian women to their own Muslim immigrant sisters. Well, I assured my mama that she needn’t worry. I’ve got much love for my Black sisters, although they can be a bit of a pain sometimes.

Wahidat and I had been dating for several months when she dropped a bomb on me. She wanted to study for a year at the University of California in Los Angeles. As in she felt like moving to the United States. The land of opportunity. I was sad to see her go but an international scholarship is the sort of thing that comes around once in a lifetime. We promised we’d keep in touch, and for a while we did. We talked on the phone, and also communicated via Skype. Three months after she moved to Los Angeles, she informed that she’d fallen in love with an African-American brother named Solomon Kingsbury, a UCLA football player. By the way, she said she was sorry for breaking my heart but she was moving on. Isn’t that special?

So here I am. Alone once again. All the while I’d hoped that Wahidat would come back to old London and I’d surprise her with halkalı escort an engagement ring the moment she stepped off the plane. Yeah, I had it all planned out. You see, I cared for Wahidat deeply, and I thought we could have a life together. I also wanted to be a good Muslim. My people are conservative, as I’ve told you before. Muslim men and Muslim women are expected to marry and produce daughters and sons. The religion doesn’t provide exceptions for those of us who are gay, lesbian or bisexual. As a bisexual Black British man and a good Muslim, I want to marry a good woman and become a good husband and father. That’s why I push myself so hard in my civil engineering studies at Brunel University. I want to get a good job after graduation and be able to provide for my family.

I feel conflicted about my bisexuality. Recently, in spite of my iron will, I gave into temptation. I ran into a young man on the subway, and we started talking. His name is Malik, and he is Somali. Malik recently graduated from Kingston University, where he studied business administration. He presently works for the Churchill Insurance Company. The brother is over six feet tall, good-looking and decidedly charming. He is happily married to a Mauritanian sister named Cheikha and she recently gave birth to a son, little Mustapha. Malik is leading the kind of life I always wanted. Malik introduced me to his family and I was quite taken with him. To be successful and happily married, many men dream of such things.

Sadly, it is often those with the most who don’t appreciate what they have. Malik and I shared a secret, beyond being educated Muslim men of African descent living in London. One night, he invited me over for some beers. His wife was in Leicester visiting her mother, and she took their son with her. after a couple of beers, Malik put the moves on me and even though I tried to resist, we ended up in bed together. It was my first time with another man and it was definitely an eye-opener. Malik and I fucked over every inch of his townhouse. We really got it on, man. Malik kissed me passionately then sucked my dick, before bending me over and mounting me. The feel of his hard dick in my ass was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. It hurt, but also felt wickedly good. I did not want it to end. Malik pumped his cock into my ass while barking cuss words at me, and I absolutely loved it. So much that I let him cum inside of me. While it felt wickedly good at the time, in hindsight having sex with a guy without a condom and letting him cum inside of you ranks right up there in the list of BAD ideas.

Hours later, I would frantically rush to the sexual health center and get tested. They told me to come back in a few weeks. I went through the whole gamut of STD tests and thankfully I didn’t have HIV or syphilis or any of that crap. Sorry, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. The morning after we consumed our hidden passions proved to be an awkward one for Malik and me. It was like he couldn’t get away from me fast enough. We didn’t say much to each other, really. I just showered and left. This was my first and last sexual encounter with a man, by the way. While it brought pleasure to my body, sex with Malik left me feeling dirty and empty. I remember making love with Wahidat and how wonderful I felt before, during and after. By Allah, I’d give anything to feel that way again.

Here I am, alone in my little apartment with my dog as my only companion. Malik and I haven’t spoken since that day. I feel guilty about sleeping with him. I remember how lovely his wife Cheikha looked, how could he deceive a woman like that? Of course, I was complicit in that deception. Malik is what they call a Down Low brother in the States. A gay or bisexual Black man who engages in sex with other men while dating women. I have no desire to become like him. I was honest about my bisexuality with Wahidat, the woman of my dreams, and she accepted me for who and what I am. Such a shame that she left London and ended up with an American guy!

Will the day come when I meet another woman who accepts me for who I am? As I lay on my bed that night, I said a silent prayer to heaven. I am bisexual and a Muslim. Not the easiest thing in the world. I am not like the other hypocrites out there who hate on gays and bisexuals while being secretly queer themselves. Lots of Muslims out there are like that. I respect the right of gays, lesbians and others to lead their lives the way they want. I personally don’t think anyone should be persecuted because of their orientation. Anyhow, that’s how I feel about LGBT rights for non-Muslims. As a Muslim man, I don’t have that luxury. My faith matters to me, and so does my family and our traditions. Should the day come when I meet a woman who accepts me for who and what I am, I shall marry her. Doesn’t matter if she is black or white, Christian, Jewish, atheist or Muslim. All she has to do is love me for who I truly am. That’ s all I ask. May Allah grant me my fondest desire someday. I now know that God made us all, including gays, lesbians and bisexuals. Peace be upon you.

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