The UK capital, London, is set to host what is believed to be the first Pride festival aimed at LGBTQ Muslims.
The event is being organized by the long-running Muslim LGBTQ group, Imaan, following a successful crowdfunding campaign to help cover costs.
Imaanfest: Muslim Pride will take place on Saturday 11 April 2020 at an indoor location in East London. It will also act as a birthday anniversary for Imaan, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Tickets went on sale this week.
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The all-day event will offer workshops, panel discussions, food, films, DJs and performances. Confirmed participants include trans activist Asifa Lahore, activist and historian Blair Imani, and the writer and performer Amrou Al-Kadhi.
In a statement about the event, Amrou Al-Kadhi said, “The media has tried to control the narrative about Queer Islamic identities for too long, often thrusting us into a horrific culture war, as if Islam is the mortal enemy of queer identity. ImaanFest, Muslim Pride is the perfect counter narrative, reveling in the joys of queer Muslim identities, and giving us the chance to make our own space.”
US author Blair Imani said, “LGBTQIA+ Muslims are as beautiful and naturally occurring as the rainbow that represents us. Allah’s love knows no bounds and we are loved too.”
Festival director Faizan said, “We hope that our event will help dispel the idea that there is a singular narrative that represents the entire Muslim experience.
“Imaan with its rich history and membership is very much part of the Muslim community and our festival will celebrate our identities and culture in all its glorious diversity. We’re inviting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex Muslims from all cultural backgrounds to attend.”
Full-price tickets will cost £20 and will include lunch, dinner, refreshments, all sessions, panels and evening entertainment. There will be a limited number of £5 tickets available to those on a low-income.
For security reasons, the precise location will be shared with ticket holders nearer the date. No tickets will be sold on the door.