Western University posted an image on Instagram showing two women in hijabs about to kiss then deleted after being deemed “inappropriate” by the Muslim community.
On Tuesday, social media was lit up with posts marking “International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia,” also known as “IDAHOTB.”
Like most of the posts it was a diverse image with a wide range of people. There was a person with disabilities, a inter racial gay couple and two women in hijabs about to kiss each other.
The two ladies leaning in to kiss drew anger from the London, Ontario Muslim community, leading the university to delete the post.
local Muslim leader Iman Abd Alfatah Twakkal called the image “inappropriate,” and said the community was drafting a response according to the National Post
“We respect the human rights of everyone as protected under Ontario’s human rights bill,” Twakkal said. “While we appreciate that the intent is to promote inclusion, the poster is doing the opposite. Singling a Muslim religious symbol in that setting is inappropriate.”
National Post reported a petition was created and signed by 2,000 people.
“It should be made clear that this is not an attack on the LGBT+ community, and the existence of queer Muslims is acknowledged,” the petition noted, adding that what was portrayed in the post was “extremely disrespectful, insensitive and completely imperceptive to the Muslim community at large.”
Islam strictly forbids homosexuality and it is still a major taboo amongst the Muslim community even in Canada.
Western University’s equity, diversity, and inclusion authorities issued their own statement, explaining why they had decided to delete the post.
“We believe this presents an opportunity for genuine, thoughtful discussion about how we can best support members of the Queer Muslim community, and those from all faiths and backgrounds within the 2SLGBTQ+ community,” said equity leader Opiyo Oloya.
“In order to promote that discussion, we have removed the image from the post to not distract from these important conversations.”