In-the-Closet-Saladin - A Human Being, New English Review, November 2015
http://www.newenglishreview.org/A._Huma ... t-Saladin/
... A Night Journey to the farthest mosque.
Deeper now . . . deeper . . . inside now . . . inside this truth of amnesiac "boy play" memories . . . and how he had repeated that same play with his youthful compatriots who had also learned that form of submission from their elders.
And deeper than that now . . . for deeper still . . . was the truth that this was never abuse. And deeper still . . . was the truth that these truths passed single file . . . from the man behind.
And so . . . with the camera pressing the weight of its religious momentum on him . . . In-the-closet-Saladin recited:
“It has always been… my fondest desire… to turn my body… my body… into deadly shrapnel against the kuffar… and to knock on the doors of Jannah… with the skulls of kuffar.”
And he read that, rather woodenly, from the cue cards that the man behind the man behind the cameraman held for him.
And under this pressure . . . pressed and pressed as he was — exactly as Aisha had long ago described that pressure that had pressed upon the prophet — pressed him so hard that he could not bear it . . . In-the-closet-Saladin broke.
And as he broke . . . he spoke:
“Gentlemen, what are the prophet’s views on homosexuality? He seemed to utterly condemn it one moment, didn’t he, then give it lighter rebukes the next? Was the prophet then . . . ambivalent? Was Allah?
“What you now ask me to do today with all this dynamite, and what I have committed to do . . . is terrorism.
“What does ‘true Islam’ say of terrorism, gentlemen? ‘I will instill terror in the hearts of all unbelievers!’ Allah had said through Muhammad. And yet Sufis seem to have developed a philosophy of peace. And is it, therefore, no longer ‘true Islam’?
“And why . . . why is it, gentlemen . . . that the people who have tried to humanize Islam have always ended up . . . systematically murdered?
“And you in this room, gentlemen, are you all . . . openly jihadist . . . or still in the closet?
“Is a ‘true Muslim’ one who can understand the Quran in his own language? Or is a ‘true Muslim’ a hafiz who can completely recite the Arabic Quran with no understanding of it’s meaning? Or can one be a ‘true Muslim’ simply by being born into the community? Being circumcised? And can a Shite Muslim ever be ‘true’? Can a Sufi? Or are they hypocrites or polytheists?
“Is a ‘true Muslim’ then . . . only a nonsensical idea at best . . . that only reveals a person’s prejudices?
“Is it a term that we can now relax into . . . once we admit to our own prejudices and preferences? ...
Much more at the link. A sort of stream-of-consciousness piece about growing up gay in a jihadist environment.