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Jakarta Post

Loving God by loving transgender people

  • Julia Suryakusuma


Jakarta   /   Wed, September 30 2020   /  01:00 am
No difference: Shinta Ratri (second from left), a transgender worshiper, performs mahgrib (dusk) prayers with female volunteers after breaking the fast at Al-Fatah pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in Kotagede, Yogyakarta, in June 2017. (JP/Magnus Hendratmo)

Sometimes I am very ashamed to be a Muslim when I see Islam used as a “reason” for intolerance and for spreading hatred, especially toward minorities, like lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people for example. But recently, I found two books that made me really proud to be Muslim: Santri Waria (Transgender Students of Islam) and Memahami Keragaman. Gender dan Seksualitas: Sebuah Tafsir Kontekstual Islam (Understanding Diversity. Gender and Sexuality: a Contextual Interpretation of Islam). Both express not just love, but total acceptance, respect and regard for transgender people who both authors say are perfect creations of God. Santri Waria (Diva Press, 2020) by Masthuriyah Sa’dan, is about the life of the students of the Al-Fatah Islamic school in Kotagede, Yogyakarta. Santri is what the students of a pesantren (Islamic boarding school) are called, a...