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Interview: Devyn Springer, Queer Black Muslim, On Homophobia In Islamic Spaces

Devyn Springer is a queer black Muslim. In this three-part video series, which is part of Roqayah Chamseddine’s project, “Islam In America,” Springer talks about the difficulty of fighting homophobia in Islamic spaces.

“Oftentimes, if we’re being completely honest, I don’t fight it,” Springer confesses. “I really don’t. I stay silent most of the time. I’m very courageous when I’m at the front line of a protest, but then when you put me in a room with my umma, I stay silent. I think that’s a problem.”

As Springer shares, he used to fight homophobia when faced with it at his mosque and the Muslim student association at his school. But he has chosen silence lately just like women tired of trying to fight sexism or misogyny in Islam might choose silence.

Muslims choose silence because they want to be “model minorities,” according to Springer.

“So many Muslims are concerned with being a model minority and trying to paint this perfect picture of Islam, and it’s damaging. We want to live up to white supremacy and to whiteness and to all these Americanisms so much that we’re not willing to address the very problems in our communities. It has to stop,” Springer declares.

“We’re not model minorities. The model minority doesn’t exist. It’s a myth just to get people to assimilate.”

Roqayah’s “Islam In America” series is an ongoing project, which amplifies the stories of American Muslims and what they struggle with in their day-to-day lives beyond just Islamophobia. It promotes an alternative to the fear of Donald Trump’s presidential administration.

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