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Islam, homophobia and education: a reply to Michael Merry

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Focusing on the disagreements between Muslims and homosexuals over sexuality education, this article highlights the need in liberal societies for respectful dialogue between groups that hold diametrically opposed beliefs and values. The article argues that it should be possible for Muslims to set out a religious perspective that is critical of homosexual behaviour without being accused of homophobia, just as it is possible for homosexuals to criticise Islamic teaching about sexual behaviour without being accused of Islamophobia. It further argues that any attempt to force Muslims to accept Western attitudes towards sexuality might run the risk of becoming a new form of cultural domination. Genuine respect (which is a major goal of moral education) requires a willingness to listen to others and to accept people for what they are.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Plymouth UK

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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