I was once caught in a heavy rain storm, and whilst sheltering under a tree I caught the eye of a beautiful Muslim man. As he came towards me, I was filled with the prejudice that as a Muslim he would inherently despise me. This assumption and judgement allowed feelings of irrational hostility that are at the roots of all prejudice. He came right up to me and as we began to talk, it transpired that he was homosexual. He spoke about the conflict between his emerging sexuality and the expectations of family and religion. His biggest fear was that he would never be able to be happy as himself.
I feel great empathy for my friend during this Eid al Adha that celebrates God's wisdom in sparing Abraham's first born son, providing a goat in his place. Perhaps in 2012, God will consider the sacrifice of one's entire humanity too high a price as proof of faith and settle for a more metaphorical forfeiture. EID Mubarak to all.
Here are some images I recently took of a Muslim facing Mecca on the top of the Cow and Calf Rocks on Ilkley Moor, Yorkshire.
© Richard Ansett 2012