Al-Fatiha (named after al-Fātiha , the first Quranic surah ) was an international organization of Muslims that existed from 1998 to 2011 and addressed lesbian , gay , bisexual and transsexual Muslims and their families and friends.
Al-Fatiha was in the US a registered non-profit organization with local chapters in the USA (Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington DC) and Canada (Toronto and Vancouver) and sister organizations in Canada, the UK and South Africa . In 2002 the network had around 900 members worldwide.
Al-Fatiha served as a forum for LGBT Muslims to share their experiences with their friends. The organization wanted to offer support with the problem of reconciling one's own sexual orientation or the search for gender identity with belonging to Islam . In addition to the internal exchange, it was also about the representation of LGBT Muslims in society and about international networking in the fight against disadvantage and threats. The overriding concern was to stand up against prejudice and discrimination and to promote social justice, peace and tolerance as values of Islam.
In November 1997, Faisal Alam, then 19 years old from Pakistan, started a mailing list for LGBT Muslims. In March 1998, four members of the list met for the first time in Washington, DC. None of them had met a single LGBT Muslim personally. More than 40 people came to another meeting in October 1998 in Boston , a mixture of 13 ethnicities and nations: Most of the participants lived in America, with one participant each from South Africa, Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands. At this three-day meeting in Boston, the founding of Al-Fatiha was decided. The first local association was founded in Toronto after just a few months. In 1999 the local chapter in London was founded as the first local chapter on another continent. In January 1999, Al-Fatiha was formally registered in the United States as a tax-exempt and non-profit religious organization.
In 2002, at a strategy meeting, it was decided that Al-Fatiha in the USA should be named Al-Fatiha Foundation and concentrate on issues in the United States, but should keep in touch with sister organizations in other countries. Sister organizations included Imaan in the UK (250 members in 2002), Salaam in Canada and Al-Fitrah in South Africa.
After the founding meeting in Boston in 1998, Al-Fatiha held further conferences and working meetings every year in different locations: 1999 in New York, 2000 in London, 2001 in San Francisco, 2002 in Washington, 2003 in Toronto, 2004 in Los Angeles and the last time in 2005 in Atlanta . The organization developed into a recognized partner for the media.
In 2005, Faisal Alam handed over the reins to the board members Khalida Sayed and Syed Asif Hassan. In 2011 the organization dissolved.
- Jörg Litwinschuh: Gay Lesbian in the Name of Allah , LSVD circular October 2002 part 3
- About Al Fatiha al-fatiha.org, as of 2007 (archived website)
- Conferences & Retreats al-fatiha.org, status 2007 (archived website)
- New Leadership , in: Pride No. 82, 2004, p. 49
- Faisal Alam cagspeakers.com (English)