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20190930

Sayeeda Warsi asks why Islam and same-sex attraction are often presented as black and white - binary opposites - when the picture has many shades of grey.

The question could not be more timely. Protests outside primary schools in Birmingham have highlighted the often testy relationship between homosexuality and Islam, a problem which several of the contributors in Sayeeda’s previous documentary on Radio 4 - about women and Islam - said required urgent attention.

And now, speaking to five Muslims who experience same-sex attraction, Sayeeda will give it that attention. This is more than just a theological question: it comes laden with practical problems – from keeping their sexuality and relationships hidden, choosing whether, when and how to come out, and in the case of one of Sayeeda's interviewees, rejecting his attraction to other men altogether, choosing instead to marry and have children - telling neither his wife nor his family.

But their problems aren’t limited to being gay whilst Muslim. It’s often also challenging to be Muslim whilst gay, and Sayeeda will hear about the discrimination some of them have experienced in gay communities, as they try to balance and reconcile their different identities, to themselves and others.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Sayeeda Warsi examines the many shades of grey around Islam and same-sex attraction.