For the first time, Muslim homosexuals took part in the Oslo gay parade, mainly to show that they exist. They experience threats and violence, forced marriage, persecution and ridicule, both from their family and from Muslim leaders in Norway.
Out of fear of more persecution, they wore niqabs, covering their faces. A girl walking in the parade with a niqab said that it's not a problem to show, but she fears the consequences.
Another girl said: We exist. The Muslim population must realize that there are also homosexual Muslims and give us the respect we deserve.
Jon Reidar Øyan, head of the Norwegian National Association for Lesbian and Gay Liberation, told Yeye news that the participation of homosexual Muslims was exceedinly important. The head of the Islamic Council says that he can count all the homosexual Muslims on one hand, but this parade shows that he's wrong.
For Muslim writer Sara Azmeh Rasmussen, the parade was supposed to be a personal highlight.
She told TV2 that it's criticism against a symbol of women's oppression. Also, in this context where homo Muslims don't dare show their face, it's also to show that they won't allow themselves to be ruled by fear.
Sara Azmeh Rasmussen came out of the closet earlier this year, and this year she intended to burn a niqab. Rasmussen says that first and foremost it's to support freedom of express which is under pressure from radical forces. Her protest was stopped by the police and niqab-burning did not become a reality.
Rasmussen says she doesn't feel free and that it's unreasonable that she isn't permitted to burn clothing of oppression, while Muslims are allowed to burn Norwegian flags.
Source: Nettavisen, TV2 (Norwegian), h/t Snaphanen (Danish)
See also: Norway: the story of a homosexual Muslim, Norway: Islamic Council doesn't want to say 'no' to death sentence for homosexuals