One Iowa Stands with LGBTQ Muslims

One Iowa truly believes in one Iowa. Iowa not only has a legacy of equality, but also a legacy of welcoming immigrants and refugees. Our state is made better by the diversity of its inhabitants.

This is also true of our state’s LGBTQ community. The LGBTQ community includes all race and ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, and socioeconomic statuses. It includes those living in rural and urban areas, those who are religious and not, and so much more. It is crucial for us to honor the way these identities and lived experiences intersect with one another as we work toward preserving and advancing equality in our state.

Screenshot from Upworthy’s video featuring Frederique Boudouani

We must recognize that the LGBTQ community in our state includes Muslim LGBTQ Iowans. One such Iowan is Frederique Boudouani, a Muslim gay man from Algeria who moved to Elkader, Iowa with his husband Brian Bruening to open a restaurant. They still live in northeast Iowa and have shared their story, adding their face and voice to our community. You can witness their story in an Upworthy video here.

President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travelers and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries is an attack on LGBTQ Muslims like Frederique. Already, LGBTQ Muslims who reside in this country legally are facing huge roadblocks to reentering the United States. Maysam Sodagari, a green card-holding engineer from Iran who was detained for more than four hours while attempting to return home from a gay cruise, is just one example.

Historically, the LGBTQ community has been ostracized among and alongside communities targeted because they are different. During the Holocaust, LGBTQ people were imprisoned and killed among and alongside Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, people with disabilities, and others.

We must not let history repeat itself. We must stand together and make our voices heard. We must make Iowa a warm and welcoming state for all refugees.

We stand with our Muslim friends, and we will fight for LGBTQ Muslims.

We hope you’ll join us in this crucial fight. Please support One Iowa however you are able, whether through volunteering (click here to navigate to our volunteer form), making a generous donation (click here to navigate to our donation form), joining our email list to stay up-to-date on ways you can get involved (click here to sign up) or speaking out to politicians and fellow Iowans. Your actions will be crucial as we work to support LGBTQ Muslims in Iowa.

Thank you.