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Mission Statement

The Al-Fatiha Foundation is an international organization dedicated to Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trasngendered, those questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, and their friends. Al-Fatiha's goal is to provide a safe space and a forum for LGBTQ Muslims to address issues of common concern, share individual experiences, and institutional resources. The Al-Fatiha Foundation aims to support LGBTQ Muslims in reconciling their sexual orientation or gender identity with Islam. Al-Fatiha promotes the Islamic notions of social justice, peace, and tolerance through its work, to bring all closer to a world that is free from injustice, prejudice, and discrimination.

Goals and Objectives

  1. Support Muslims who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and those who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity.

  2. Provide a supportive and understanding environment for LGBTQ Muslims who are trying to reconcile their sexuality or gender identity with Islam.

  3. Empower LGBTQ Muslims by creating safe spaces to share individual experiences, advocating on their behalf in national and international forums, and providing information about institutional resources.

  4. Foster spirituality among LGBTQ Muslims.

  5. Encourage dialogue with the larger Muslim community around issues of sexuality and gender.

The Al-Fatiha Foundation aims to accomplish its mission, goals, and objectives by:

Establishing local support & discussion groups for LGBTQ Muslims in the U.S. and abroad.

Holding regional, North American, and international meetings.

Outreach on the internet.


 Past, Present & Future of the Foundation


The Al-Fatiha Foundation started in November of 1997 when its Founder, Faisal Alam, started a listserv (internet-based email discussion group). The listserve now hosts more than 275 subscribers from over twenty countries around the world. Subscribers of the listserve decided soon after to meet in person at what became the First International Retreat for GLBT Muslims, held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, in October 1998. More than 40 participants attended representing thirteen ethnicities and nationalities, including four international participants who came from South Africa, Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands. At the end of the three-day retreat participants formally decided that an international organization was needed in order to address the specific issues and problems facing the "gay" Muslim community. Al-Fatiha, Arabic for "The Opening," which was the theme of the retreat was thus adopted as the name of the organization to be established.

Since the retreat took place in 1998, six chapters of the Al-Fatiha Foundation have started in North America (in Atlanta, New York City, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington DC). In November of 1999, Al-Fatiha established its first chapter abroad, in London, England. In the next few years, Al-Fatiha plans on establishing future chapters in cities across the United States and Canada, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Montreal and eventually across the world.

First North American Conference for LGBTQ Muslims & Friends:

In May of 1999, Al-Fatiha hosted the First North American Conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) Muslims & Friends. With more than sixty participants from across the U.S. and Canada, including two people from abroad, Al-Fatiha successfully hosted this historical event which was called the "first of its kind," in New York City, USA. With more than ten workshops and five plenary sessions, participants engaged in discussions on the many issues affecting their lives, their families, and their communities.

Media Coverage:

Since November of 1997, the Al-Fatiha Foundation has received enormous media coverage across the United States, Canada, England and around the world. Most major gay and lesbian newspapers in the U.S. including publications in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, San Francisco, & Washington DC have written articles about Al-Fatiha and its activities. Additionally Al-Fatiha and its members have been featured in The New York Blade, Southern Voice, The Washington Blade, Trikone Magazine, The Advocate, Out Magazine, XY Magazine, The Gay Times of UK, and Diva Magazine. Al-Fatiha has also been featured in mainstream publications including The New York Times, India Abroad, and The Washington Post. In August of 1999, Al-Fatiha was featured in the Akutel magazine of Turkey (a mainstream "lifestyle" publication). Also coverage has been received abroad in Bangladesh, India, South Africa, and the Far East. In addition to press coverage, Al-Fatiha has been featured on radio programs in Vancouver and Chicago. Additionally, in May of 1999 Dignity (the GLBT Catholic group) of New York City featured Al-Fatiha on their weekly television program, which broadcasts to thousands of people in the New York City metropolitan area.

Structural and Organizational Development:

In February 1999, the Al-Fatiha Foundation became incorporated in the state of New York as an official tax-exempt, non-profit, religious organization. In January of 2000, Al-Fatiha formed a board of directors consisting of seven people to oversee the development of the organization. In the Spring of 2001, Al-Fatiha will launch an official membership drive to generate on-going revenue and to establish a formal membership.

Future Chapters:

In the years to come, the Al-Fatiha Foundation hopes to establish chapters across the United States and Canada, as well as countries abroad. By working with other LGBTQ organizations, non-governmental agencies, HIV/AIDS groups, human rights organizations, etc., Al-Fatiha will increase its visibility around the world and bring to light the complex issues facing the LGBTQ Muslim community.

Future Events:

In May of 2000, Al-Fatiha will host its Second International Retreat for LGBTQ Muslims & Friends in London, England. This retreat will formally launch Al-Fatiha outside the U.S. & Canada into the global world. In the year 2001, Al-Fatiha will convene its Second North American Conference for LGBTQ Muslims & Friends in San Francisco, California, USA. And in 2002, Al-Fatiha will host its Third International Retreat for LGBTQ Muslims & Friends in an undecided location.

Al-Fatiha Foundation, Inc.


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