During 2016, Kroma supported an individual who was an asylum seeker. Due to their religion and family they had to keep their gay status secret and still do. However, due to incompetence by professionals, our friend had his application turned down by the Home Office. Luckily our friend found a new solicitor and went for appeal and Kroma was asked to step up.
A letter explaining that the process of coming out isn’t an easy process and can be kept hidden inside for so long. The letter was personal, explaining the Chair’s own reasons for not coming out in his teens and in fact it was when he was 30, after being married for 5 years to a woman and that relationship broke down, did he suddenly realise that he wanted to be himself. The letter also included reference to Peter Tatchell’s Foundation and walking side by side with members of the Muslim community from East London, during London Pride in 2016.
A quote in an article about this event states:
‘Tehmina Kazi, the Muslim human rights activist and volunteer at the Inclusive Mosque Initiative, said: “LGBT Muslims often face ostracisation from their families, communities and mosques. Many have to live double lives, and hide their orientation or same-sex partners from their families. There is evidence that some have even been forced into marriages with members of the opposite sex and been subjected to honour-based violence if they refuse. The dominant interpretations of Islam run counter to LGBT equality and contemporary human rights standards…’
Originally accessed from the Peter Tatchell Foundation website on 7th November 2016
It is quite normal for someone who is Muslim, to have to an opposite-sex relationship to hide and protect who they are.
Apart from the letter, personal attendance at the appeal was required.
Last month, January 2017, it was announced that our friend was successfully granted his asylum.
We forget how lucky we are, sometimes, and how far behind us, other societies and communities can be.