Photo by Rahal Eks - Andalusian tiles
'Aid mubarak! This time I celebrated the feast of the sacrifice with vegan food for a change and also to support animal rights and eat truly healthy on a day like this! From a Sufi perspective it is the animal nature that is symbolically sacrificed, in other words, the untamed not yet transformed Nafs and for that no real animals need to be slaughtered. The poor and needy can also be fed with vegetables, don't you think so? I always experienced the mass slaughtering during 'Aid festivals as rather surreal and too bloody for my taste!
Equally surreal and even more disturbing are the recent news from South Africa where a pro-gay all inclusive open mosque was burnt by arsonists on the eve of the 'Aid festival. Evidently this will not stop progressive, universal and all-inclusive Muslims to continue creating positive impacts on a global scale. But one should be aware that there are those who hate all-inclusive open mosques and open-minded/hearted people. However, we shall overcome! And stand firmly against hateful actions, extremism and intolerance. A clear "no" to the haters!
Meanwhile in Morocco a British man who recently visited a Moroccan man in Marrakesh was approached by the police at a bus stop and both men were detained September 18 on the grounds of suspected homosexuality! When hearing stuff like this one really doesn't want to encourage anymore visits to Morocco (I used to live there and clearly remember a much funkier reality, those were the days...).
On the list of positive events the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution against anti-LGBT violence and discrimination on Friday, September 26. The resolution was approved by a 25 - 14 vote margin and among the "yes" voters we find the US, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Montenegro, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, South Africa, Macedonia, the U.K., Venezuela and Vietnam. While the "no" voters list includes countries such as Algeria, Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Indonesia, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Of course some countries felt obliged to abstain: Burkina Faso, China, Congo, India, Kazakhstan, Namibia and Sierra Leone.
Also on the list of positive events is the fact that 126 Islamic scholars from diverse countries and positions agreed to write and sign a 17-page open letter to Al-Baghdadi and not leaving even half a drop of legitimacy with this self-claimed man, his followers and the pseudo-State. At last! That was really needed, just like the action "not in my name!"
On the negative list we can mark the sad news that grindr is being used by police in countries where homosexuality is problematic or illegal in order to catch queer offenders with fake dates. It is really sick!
Talking of grindr I'm coming to today's last issue on my list, related to art. Well, you wouldn't have guessed, right? Neither did I! But a gay Dutch artist called Dries Verhoeven came up with the rather doubtful idea to do a certain performance piece in Berlin. He was sitting in a glass container parked nearby Heinrichplatz in Kreuzberg broadcasting private grindr messages on a huge flat screen behind him for anyone passing by to read. Some of the "artist's" dates didn't take this too well: one man apparently showed up and beat up the performer, another attacked the glass container... In short, the Dutch man, who claims he was a grindr addict and who in the past delighted to sell himself online with punchlines such as "no strings attached" etc. might face legal actions against him and his sponsors due to not being conform with privacy laws. So much about art. Honestly, I didn't get the point of this performance piece and I'm so glad that I'm not on grindr or any other online dating sites.
Ishq bashad, saludos Rahal