Islam and homosexuality

Jail sentence demanded over “Ramazan can’t interfere with Şaban and Recep’s love” banner

A lawsuit was filed against three people who held a banner that read “Ramazan can’t interfere with Şaban and Recep’s love”*, during the LGBTI Pride March organized last year in Beyoğlu, Istanbul. The prosecutor’s office has demanded a prison sentence from 6 months to a year.

Source: “ ‘Şaban’la Recep’in aşkına Ramazan engel olamaz’ pankartına hapis istemi!,  May 26, 2016, T24,,342253

It was suggested that the banner mocked the months highly revered by Muslims.

According to the daily Posta, the investigation regarding the three suspects who held a banner that read “Ramazan can’t interfere with Şaban and Recep’s love” during the event called LGBTI (Union of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Turkey) Pride March on June 28 last year in Beyoğlu, Istanbul has been completed.

The indictment was prepared by Umut Tepe, a prosecutor from the Bureau of Press Offenses of the Istanbul Office of Chief Public Prosecutor. It lists Mehmet Yalçınkaya, Hasan Emre Okumuş and Davut Karacan as plaintiffs and Hacer K., Muhittin G. and Guris Ö. as suspects. The indictment suggests that the suspects were detected from footage taken at the scene and their statements taken, and claims that it is not possible to accept that liberties are absolutely unlimited.

The indictment expresses that when one liberty breaches upon another liberty it results in the restriction of the said liberty: “The constitution states that the freedom of expression is unlimited to the extent that it does not breach upon the freedom of religion and conscience, it indicates the necessity for the respect of those who do not believe (in a religion) for those who believe in various religions, as well as for the respect of those who believe for those who do not.”

“They have mocked the months which are highly revered by the Muslims”

The indictment stresses that Recep, Şaban and Ramazan are deemed the “three months” that symbolize a spiritually important time and indicates that the significance of these months are expressed by phrases such as “Sacred Three Months” and “Sultan of Eleven Months”, an expression used for the month of Ramadan. The indictment states “It is known by everyone that [these] three months are crucially important for Muslims”.

“In spite of this, the banner opened by the suspects during the march organized under the name of ‘Pride March’ which read ‘Ramazan can’t interfere with Şaban and Recep’s love’ mocks the months revered by the Muslims” the indictment continues, stating that the suspects are denigrating the religious values adopted by a certain part of the public.

They will each stand trial for imprisonment up to a year

The prosecution demanded a sentence of imprisonment from six months to a year for each of the three suspects, on the charges of “deliberately denigrating the religious values adopted by a certain part of the public”. The indictment was approved by the Office of Chief Prosecutor and accepted by the Istanbul Criminal Court of First Instance. The three suspects are to stand in trial in October.

* Translator’s Note: Ramazan, Şaban and Recep are Turkish names for the three sacred months of Islam, Ramadan, Sha’ban and Rajab. These names are also given as male names in Turkey, hence the pun.

Sabah Newspaper: “Criminal Complaint against LGBT Banner”

The text below is a verbatim translation of an article that appeared on pro-government news site Sabah. It provides an example of religious arguments against LGBTI and Pride.

Source: Sabah, “LGBT pankartına suç duyurusu”, (“Criminal Complaint against LGBT Banner”),, 29 June 2015,



The banner “Ramazan cannot prevent Şaban and Recep’s love” [1], opened at the LGBT protest called ‘Pride’ [‘Honor’] march that took place yesterday in Taksim, was taken to court.

A criminal complaint was filed by Lawyer Hasan Emre Okumuş against the banner “Ramazan cannot prevent Şaban and Recep’s love” at LGBT march. Okumuş gave a statement to and said he’ll be following the issue.

The criminal complaint is in the petition below:

As it is known by the public, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) persons held the “Trans Pride March” on 28/06/2015 and opened a banner that contains insult regarding Ramazan that we are currently in. LGBTs who opened the banner “Ramazan cannot prevent Şaban and Recep’s love” for pride march have insulted the most holy value that Muslims have and have integrated the most holy month with homosexuality.

As it is known, our society is composed in majority of citizens who belong to the Religion of Islam. In such a society, insulting the Islamic Religion’s holy values, making fun of holy months and integrating it with homosexuality banned by Islam, would be an act that would create hatred and enmity towards people who are not of the Islamic Religion or who do not hold religious sensitivities and especially towards LGBTIs who joined the march. Furthermore, even if society’s majority did not belong to the Islamic religion, insult and integrating any religion’s values deemed holy with values that are banned would constitute a situation against freedom of belief and respecting beliefs and would constitute a defamation and insult against the members of that religion. This is a situation that is suitable for spoiling public peace. [2]

As a Muslim who is a member of the Islamic Religion, I also have been affected by the suspects’ act, have felt anguish and sadness when the three months that the Islamic Religion deems holy, which I believe to be blessed, were made fun of and on top of it all, the acts took place in the blessed days of the Month of Qur’an, and have felt feelings of rage and temper towards the persons who committed that vile act.

Due to these reasons, I am forced to file a complaint against the suspects for their vile acts.


They made fun of the three months: DISRESPECTING THE HOLY AT LGBT MARCH

[1] Ramazan or Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. Rejep or Rajab is the seventh month of the Islamic calendar and is regarded as one of the four sacred months in Islam in which battles are prohibited. The month is also a prelude to the month of Ramadan, which follows after the intervening month of Şaban or Sha’aban. Ramazan, Recep, and Şaban are popular male names in Turkey.

[2] In Turkey, the rhetorics of “producing enmity and anger” and “insulting religion” are historically used both in advocating for mass violence and in legitimizing violence in courts after the fact. As such, it is prudent to read this paragraph, along with the newspaper’s choice of words (mobilization) as implicit threats of violence against LGBTIs in Turkey. -Trans.

Berlin Mosque to Host “Islam and Homophobia” Panel

Update: Şehitlik Mosque in Berlin has released a press statement to withdraw from hosting the panel on November 24, as reported elsewhere by Yeni Akit.

Source: Ömer Akpınar, “Muslims and gays can live together freely”,, 12 November 2014,

Şehitlik Mosque in Berlin will open its doors to gays for a visit and a panel on “Islam and Homophobia” on November 24. Organized by the gay organizations Völklinger Kreis e.V., Leadership Berlin, LSVD (The Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany) Berlin-Brandenburg, the event will focus on prejudices on spirituality and sexuality.

Sehitlik Camii, Berlin. Source:

Sehitlik Camii, Berlin. Source: OpenStreetMap Contributors.

Völklinger Kreis e.V. Board Member Daniel Philipp Worat talked to about panel.

What does an anti-discrimination panel titled “Islam and Homophobia” mean to Berlin?

I have been living here in Berlin since 2007. Berlin is a city of diversity in many regards. We have so many cultures here, so many types of religions, so many companies from all over the world and we share this only one city with each other. We must be tolerant to each other and we have to respect each other in this “little” town to feel free and safe. Muslims and the LGBTIs are parts of the city, but I feel that the majority of both sides have prejudices about each other.