Why Freedom is to Blame for Pride Month
At public and Catholic schools across the country, throughout the month of June, Pride Month is being celebrated. Students of all ages are subjected to rainbow flags, teachers dressed in colorful outfits, and in some cases, men performing in women’s clothing; all in the name of celebrating the gay and transgender lifestyle.
This campaign has the broad support of provincial governments and teachers unions. In Ontario, both the Conservative government’s education minister Stephen Lecce, and even the president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association have come out in support of this month.
There are some pockets of resistance, with some Catholic school boards refusing to fly the pride flags, along with many Christian and Muslim parents keeping their children home to avoid pride related activities at school. Even this simple gesture of disagreement, to just keep your kids at home, has been met with criticism. A teacher in an Alberta school berated a Muslim student for suggesting not showing up for pride activities, telling him that if he wants to be respected as a Muslim, he has to support LGBT rights, and that if he can’t understand that he is not Canadian and should go live somewhere else.
Pride Month has become an annual event that Muslim families all over the country are subjected to. How should Muslims navigate this month?
Blame Freedom for Pride Month
Before formulating a strategy to deal with Pride Month, it is crucial to ask, what is it for? The purpose of the month is not a generic celebration of diversity. It is also not designed to change the sexual inclinations of our children. Rather, the entire focus of the month is to normalize the idea of sexual freedom. The idea that a person is not bound by any societal obligations when it comes to fulfilling their desires. To the extent that a person should not be limited by the biology of their own body and can use and modify it as they please.
It is under this umbrella of freedom that all the messaging of Pride Month falls under. Behind all the messages of “being your true self” and “love is love”, the real message is, “you are free to do what you want with whoever you want”. It is this message that all the public schools and educators want our children to accept and internalize.
The Ideology of Freedom
It is not surprising that behind the coordinated campaign to celebrate “pride” across the country in schools, government agencies, and even large corporations, is the message of maximizing personal freedom. This is because we live in a Capitalist country, and Capitalism is an ideology built on freedom. The fundamental premise of this ideology is that an individual should be free to act upon their own self-interest, with no concern for how their actions are impacting society as long as they are not directly being violent to someone. This applies to all realms. For example, the elite use their wealth to lobby politicians to pass laws that benefit them and maximize their freedom of ownership. The poor are free to do the same: it is their problem that they do not have the means to achieve the same advantages.
When it comes to the issue of sexual liberation, it is built on the same idea. That is, the Capitalist ideology applies the idea that people are free to have relations with whomever they please. In other words, they apply the concept of freedom to the social system – just as they apply to it the economic system. Consequently, it should now be clear that celebrating “pride” is not a simple mistake in a Capitalist society, rather it reflects the concept of personal freedom which is core to the ideology.
The Role of Freedom in Unraveling the Family Structure
Freedom is fundamentally at odds with the concept of family, which is built on obligation and sacrifice. Husbands and wives will experience this turmoil between the ideology and the reality of their relationship. They will be in a constant state of turmoil, with the ideology telling them to be free of all things. At the same time, the marriage contract is an obstacle to this freedom. A similar logic leads to a mentality where they are unwilling to acknowledge that they have their own predetermined roles in this relationship and should not just be doing whatever they want. Similarly, children and teenagers are incentivized by freedom to disobey their parents and will continually seek to break out of whatever rules are laid down upon them.
The increased hyper-individualism in our children is a direct consequence of freedom. This ideology leads them to question the idea that they have any obligations to the society around them, or the fact that their wealth, gender or abilities would obligate certain actions or roles on them.
Ultimately, this leads to a loss of purpose in our youth. If they are free to do whatever they want, as Capitalism tells them they are, then they should be free to live a life of meaningless pleasure and endless distraction. What is to stop them from spending their entire day perfecting dance moves that they learned on social media, or playing hours of video games? Why should they spend their life feeling obligated to serve some higher purpose?
Freedom Is the Opposite of Submitting to Allah (swt)
In contrast to Capitalism, Islam is a deen that is built upon submission and enslavement to the Creator; not freedom. Allah (swt) has explained our desires are not a guide for us:
“It may be that you dislike a thing, which is good for you. And it may be you like something, which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” [TMQ 2:216]
Instead, our deen is comprehensive, which provides clear guidance on how we should conduct our personal lives, who we should marry, how we should structure our relationships, what kind of socio-economic system we should collectively live under, and what our ultimate purpose of existence is.
The Tolerance Deception: Beware of the Law of Reciprocity
As Malcolm X once explained, there is a difference between being friendly and a friend. The context of his statement was directed at liberals who he held were like foxes – in contrast to the conservatives, which were like wolves. As he points out, both were intent on getting the lamb chop (he was referring to the African American community) on the plate. Each party differed only in their methods and not their objectives. The hate-filled, vitriol unleashed by the teacher in Alberta upon the Muslim student illustrates that not much has changed since Malcolm X made that profound observation.
The teacher’s words reveal that when the overtures of tolerance are extended – in terms of being able to pray, wear hijab, build masjids and celebrate our festivals – it is not given based on a genuine respect for Islam. Instead, it is based on the Law of Reciprocity. As she said they only celebrate Ramadhan, so we celebrate homosexuality. In her words, accept and adopt, or, if not: “then you don’t belong here”. In other words, go home.
What their Hearts Conceal is Far Worse
Examining the teacher’s rant is useful for many reason. First, we should recall what Allah (swt) revealed:
“Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths: What their hearts conceal is far worse.” [TMQ 3:118]
Second, the immigration policy in Canada is driven by economics; not by humanitarian objectives. Canada is facing a demographic problem. According to StatsCan, the birth rate in 2020 was 1.4 births per woman – well below the 2.1 births required to replace the nation. Consequently, the Capitalist economic elite need Mahmoud and Hector to emigrate to Canada so that they pay taxes in order to fund the social programs (e.g., healthcare, pension, old age security) and keep wages down. What is ironic, however, is that this demographic problem is largely attributable to sexual freedom! Canadian society sees sex as a form of entertainment, instead of a means to build a family. Consequently, having children would be considered an obstacle to attaining their desires.
Third, we should reflect on the exchange between Musa (as) and Firaun and apply it to this “go home” argument used by this woman and others. Firaun asked Musa (as):
“Did we not raise you among us as a child, and you stayed several years of your life in our care?” [TMQ 26:18]
Musa (as), after recognizing he killed in ignorance, states:
“How can that be a ‘favour,’ of which you remind me, when it was only because you have enslaved the Children of Israel?” [TMQ 26:22]
What Allah (swt) teaches us through the illustrious example of Musa (as) is that we never accept the premise of the misguided. Instead, we reveal the truth. The reason that Musa (as) grew up in Firaun’s house was because Firaun was killing the male children of Bani Israel, i.e., when he was born. If Firaun had not committed that injustice, Musa (as) would have never floated down the river to be picked up by Firaun’s wife. Instead, he would have grown up among his own family! Similarly, we left our lands due to the colonial subjugation of the Muslim world that started in the 18th century and continues till this day. And so, we should not be shy to point out this inconvenient truth: Capitalism depends on the “freedom-loving-West” financing and arming the tyrannies that litter the Muslim world.
How Do We Protect Ourselves in this Hostile Environment?
Firstly, we must remind ourselves that the most important relationship that we have to protect is the relationship we have with our Creator. Our beloved Messenger (saw) reminds us:
“Know that if the whole world were to gather together in order to help you, they would not be able to help you except if Allah had written so. And if the whole world were to gather together in order to harm you, they would not harm you except if Allah had written so.” [Tirmidhi]
We will have no protection if we harm this relationship by disobeying Allah (swt) and conveying a message that is other than His guidance.
In terms of calling for our rights, we should follow the example of Ja’far bin Abi Talib (ra), who led the Muslim delegation (in Habasha) in responding to ‘Amr bin Al-’Aas’s accusations. He clearly mentioned that Isa (as) was a slave of Allah (swt), even though Christians believed he was the son of Allah (swt) – exalted is He above such a thing. But at the same time, he asked for An-Najashi’s protection. Consequently, it is permissible to seek the help of legal mechanisms to protect the legitimate rights that our Creator has given us, such as protecting ourselves and our masjids from attacks or violence.
However, the bigger point is that we are unable to secure our deen living in this environment. We see that we are under constant threat. Yesterday, it was the War on Terror. Today, it is the LGBTQ deviation from human nature. What will it be tomorrow? The constitutions are not designed to protect Muslims or Islam. If the Canadian Charter could not protect the people who protested in Ottawa in 2022, how can it possibly protect Muslims?
Consequently, the only solution is to build the shield that RasulAllah (saw) told us to put in place to protect ourselves:
“Behold, the Imam is but a shield from behind which people fight and by which they protect themselves.” [Muslim]
By re-establishing the Khilafah in the Muslim lands we will have the shield that will simultaneously protect our children from un-Islamic concepts and by which we can undo the rotten colonialism that the Capitalist have imposed upon us. It is only in the Khilafah where we as Muslims can practice the deen without fearing coercion and abuse.
“So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers.” [TMQ 3:139]