Muslim mother forced to resign after attending her gay son’s same-sex wedding

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A petition called for her to quit after pictures of the special occasion were shared on social media.

Siddika Jessa, secretary general of NASIMCO (the Organization of North American Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities), has been forced to resign after attending her gay son’s same-sex wedding earlier this month.

Ali married his long-time partner, Paul, during a ceremony in Vancouver in front of family and friends.

But after pictures of the special day were shared on social media with the hashtag #AliandPaul2017, a petition calling for Siddika’s resignation received over 1,000 signatures in just four days.

“It is indisputable that the Secretary General took part in the same-sex wedding of her son,” the petition read.

Sorry Khojas, you lost all my respect now. HISTORICAL ACHIEVEMENT FOR KHOJASHooray and Kudo to Ali Raza son of Firoz…

Posted by Abdullah Rafidhi Hussaini on Tuesday, 11 July 2017

“The wedding was celebrated openly and proudly, with #AliandPaul2017 hashtag on social media.

“This sin was not done in private, but rather was publicly celebrated and promoted.

“It goes against the legitimate majority interpretations of Jafari fiqh.”

Following the posting of the petition, NASIMCO released a statement saying that it “condones and advocates for behavior that is considered to be un-Islamic.”

They added that they would be looking into the matter.

Later that same day, Siddika announced that she had been forced to resign from her role, and defended her decision to support her son.

“Today, as a Muslim and a devoted mother who has had the privilege to serve our community institutions, I am being forced to resign by NASIMCO for the sole reason that my son has married a man, which I would like to point out is legal in Canada,” she said.

“Ten years ago, when my son Ali was 20 years old, he came to [my husband] Firoz and me and told us that he was gay. We were shocked, devastated, and heartbroken.

“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.”

She added: “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.

“We chose not to have that for our son. We wanted him to be the best human being possible.

“I did this as a mother who carried Ali in my womb for nine months and nurtured him. How could I, as a mother, discriminate against my own son, and if my God is so just, then how could I not take on this value of justice and act on it?”

The petition also called for the resignation of NASIMCO’s president, Mohammad A Dewji, claiming that he would have known about the same-sex wedding and should have publcily come out against it.

Dewji later resigned, along with NASIMCO’s vice-president, Sukaina Sumar-Ebrahim.

Related: Gay Muslim received shocking online abuse after getting married



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