Arab Americans comprise more than 40 percent of Dearborn’s population, which according to a 2010 U.S. Census report was 98,153.
Two Arabs from Dearborn said in parts of Beirut, Lebanon it can be less difficult for an Arab to be openly gay than it’s here. Lebanon is one of the few Arab countries on the forefront of organizing for LBGT rights.
Ramazzotti says a lot of people living in Dearborn follow conservative customs and beliefs they brought with them when emigrating from Arab countries to the United States, making it more difficult for second generation Arab Americans to come out.
He says Dearborn’s religious Arab community has got in the way of progressive attitudes about the LBGT community moving forward.
Ryan, a 23-year-old gay Arab from Dearborn who was kicked out of his house after coming out to his family, says there haven’t been any real conversations among community leaders about gay Arabs.
Ryan says people who support gay Arabs often fear speaking in support of them publicly because conservative Arabs and Muslims will commit hate crimes, or incite riots against them.
Faisal Alam, a nationally known Muslim gay rights activist spoke at the University of Michigan Dearborn last month where he presented the program, Hidden Voices: The Lives of LBGT Muslims.
The lecture was interrupted by a false alarm, and Alam along with other activists were escorted to their cars by security after their views were challenged.
Interesting how there has been so little news coverage of that. If a Muslim speaker had been forced out, there would have been a lot of coverage.
Ramazzotti has been threatened because of his sexual orientation. He says one gay Arab woman from Dearborn had to move out of her house after her brother went through text messages and emails and learned she had a girlfriend. He threatened to kill her. She’s in college, and now on her own struggling to make ends meet.
How real are threats like that? All too real. Honor killings happen in America and any other place that Muslim settle in.
Police say 20-yr-old Ahmed Tuma was angry with his sister because she is in a relationship with a woman. Police say Tuma said it is shameful to their family and against Muslim beliefs.
Police say Tuma’s sister and her fiancee arrived at home near 27th & M when he and a friend, 20-year-old Nathan Marks ran up to them. Police say Tuma tried to hit her with a crow bar. The couple escaped into their car, but police say Tuma repeatedly hit the car with the crowbar.
Where did this happen? Lincoln, Nebraska.
Too bad fear of Islamophobia keeps liberals from covering Islamic Homophobia.