Earlier this month, Ali Reza, a gay muslim, married his partner Paul in Vancouver.
Reza’s mum Siddika, who serves as a high-ranking member in a Muslim group, was forced to resign for refusing to condemn Ali for being gay.
According to The Independent, following her attendance at the wedding, she has since been publically condemned from leaders of their Shia Ithna-Asheri sect, often referred to as Khoja.
A petition was created demanding her resignation from her position as the secretary general of NASIMCO (the Organisation of North American Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities). It has been signed by over 1,000 people within her community.
“It is indisputable that the Secretary General, [Siddika], took part in the same-sex wedding of her son,” states the petition.
The wedding was celebrated on various social media platforms, complete with the hashtag #AliandPaul2017
“While we believe it is not necessary to extensively or deeply examine the personal lives of the members of NASIMCO, this incident cannot be dismissed as ‘the personal lives of [Ali Reza’s] family.’
“Traditionally, a wedding is a public demonstration of a relationship. This sin was not done in private, but rather was publicly celebrated and promoted. It goes against the legitimate majoritarian interpretations of Jaffari fiqh, which NASIMCO must uphold.”
Since the petition, Siddika has resigned from her post.
In an open letter, she penned “For us, this is about standing up for Ali’s God-given right to live a life that would not be filled with the burden of religious guilt and compounded by communal scorn and societal shame. The guilt and the scorn could potentially drown anyone and effect the human character. Many turn to drugs and alcohol (social vices) and some commit suicide.” She continued “We chose not to have that for our son. We wanted him to be the best human being possible. When he chose Paul, we agreed to support him to settle down. It has been a painful and challenging journey that only a mother can understand… in moments of darkness, I realised that the only way for Ali to live an authentic life and not have to hide and fear rejection was to give him space to reach his human potential as God’s creation.”
A recent statement from the president of NASIMCO said “NASIMCO strongly rejects recent allegations that suggest the organisation condones and advocates for behaviour that is considered to be un-Islamic. We strive to uphold and promote the values, ideals and practices of the Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri faith. Any information to the contrary is false and misleading. In regard to the specific matter highlighting the private life of a NASIMCO official, we assure all community members that we are looking into the issue quite seriously and will address it in an appropriate and timely manner.”