Salaam will walk with Queers Against Israeli Apartheid in Vancouver Pride parade

A lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender group of Muslims will march in solidarity with Queers Against Israeli Apartheid in the Vancouver Pride parade on Sunday (August 1).

Imtiaz Popat, coordinator of Salaam Vancouver, told the Straight that there are Palestinians in his group.

"Queers in Palestine have multiple jeopardy because they are Palestinian and they don't have rights in their own homeland, plus they're queer: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, whatever," Popat said.

Popat pointed out that earlier this year, Toronto Pride initially prohibited marchers from using the term "Israeli apartheid".

"There is a group of lobbyists out there who don't like activists using the term 'Israeli apartheid'," he said. "Hence, there was pressure put on Toronto Pride to ban the use of that term."

Toronto Pride reversed its decision after an uproar over censorship.

Popat said a local group registered to march in the Vancouver parade as Queers Against Israeli Apartheid to test whether they would be banned by the Vancouver Pride Society.

The VPS accepted the registration.

Today (July 30), Vancouver Queers Against Israeli Apartheid issued a news release, claiming "homophobia and transphobia exist in Israel, in other settler states such as Canada, and across many different borders".

One of the members, Magin Payet Scudellari, said in the news release: "Israel's apartheid system extends gay rights only to some people, based on race and status."

Another member, Caelie Frampton, declared: "We need more masturbation and an end to occupation! We're here to work in solidarity with anticolonial struggles, with queer and trans people leading their own struggles of resistance."

A third member, Proma Tagore, stated that there is "no pride in apartheid".

"Hetero- and gender-normativity collude with capitalism and racism daily to afford humanity, belonging, dignity and life to some at the expense of others," Tagore claimed in the news release.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Hillel Foundation, which is a Jewish registered charity, is marching in the Vancouver Pride parade for the first time.

Its director of B.C. programs, Pat Johnson, told the Straight yesterday that his group will try to send a message that Israel is "the gay mecca in the Middle East".

Popat questioned this claim, suggesting that LGBT Jewish people may enjoy freedom in Tel Aviv, but not necessarily in other parts of Israel.

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Robert Paulson

Jul 30, 2010 at 2:27pm

And Jesus wept. Or maybe just laughed.


Jul 30, 2010 at 7:22pm

Wait... these people would be killed in their home Muslim countries... yet, they want to march AGAINST the Israeli's?


Jul 30, 2010 at 7:51pm

"Hetero- and gender-normativity collude with capitalism and racism daily to afford humanity, belonging, dignity and life to some at the expense of others." ... It's so cool that people understand the complexities of society, yet cannot communicate with actual human beings.


Jul 30, 2010 at 8:21pm

Is there anything that unites Muslims more than their hatred of Israel? They don't seem to be able to get along with each other, but, boy, they sure do hate the Jews.


Jul 30, 2010 at 8:21pm

There are a few pride parades in Israel every year with tens of thousands attending.
If anyone knows of any pride parade in any muslim country please let me know... ya, i didnt think so.
Enough with the muslim hypocrisy!


Jul 30, 2010 at 8:53pm

What on earth do they mean free only in Tel Aviv? The same federal laws apply to the entire country. The right of gays to adopt, to serve in the military, to have same sex relationships recognized. These rights coverthe whole country not just one city. Try calling yourself queer and marching in Tehran. You'll be stoned to death before you make one block. Oh wait. I forgot. There are aparently no gays in Iran (at least according to their president).


Jul 30, 2010 at 8:55pm

I am very disappointed in this group Queers Against Israel. It seems to me that they should focus their energy on securing human rights for Palestinians and lobbying to ensure that Palestine offers some human rights protection to their queer citizens

While Queers against Israel are free to march in the parade with their Muslim friends in Salaam , I just wonder how they would feel if a group calling itself Queers Against Islam used the parade to promote this type of hate?

While I'm at it I was a leader in the forefront of lobbying for our first parades and I'm shocked that these newcomer groups are now using the parade I fought for to secure our freedoms, is now using this freedom day parade to spew their hatred of Israel and Jewish people.

Imtiaz Popat

Jul 30, 2010 at 9:35pm

We are marching Against Israeli apartheid, not against Israelis. Queers also get killed in Israel which everyone knows. Also lets not forget that Jesus was a Palestinian Jew and Arab Jews also don't enjoy equal status in Israel.


Jul 30, 2010 at 10:23pm

Leaving aside the well-documented history of Israel's brutal policies of apartheid, colonialism and racism towards Palestinians, this country is now 'gay mecca'. It is by definition a theocratic country, and one dominated by right-wing religious conservative political parties that are just as anti-gay as the one currently running Canada. This is pink-washing by supporters and apologists for Israel, pure and simple, and we shouldn't be duped.

I say right on to QUAIA Vancouver, if the theme of this year's parade is liberation then what better struggle to highlight than Palestine?