The 2014 Annual International Retreat comprises of the following programs:

Islamic Peace Circles (IPC)

This is a 4-day intensive training program that is specifically geared toward helping queer Muslims to reconcile Islam with their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  Participants will be trained through the ‘On Becoming YOU’ training manual developed by Imam Muhsin Hendricks in 2010 and has a 95% success rate amongst queer Muslims.  Due to the nature of this program and the sensitivity of the training material, the 3 circles will only permit 8 participants per circle and each circle will be facilitated by 2 TIC certified trainers.

This is a closed circle and applicants would have to register. TIC will sponsor 12 applicants from South Africa and 6 international applicants to attend this program and the rest of the AIR program.  Preference will be given to applicants:

a)    From Africa & Asia
b)    Who can partly sponsor themselves.

Applicants will be selected based on the following criteria:

1)    An identifiable need to reconcile Islam with sexual orientation and gender identity.
2)    The applicant is queer and Muslim and both these identities are important to them.
3)    The applicant has a desire to establish / enhance a spiritual relationship with Allah.
4)    The applicant can motivate how this training will be of personal benefit.
5)    The applicant can demonstrate a desire to serve others with the knowledge gained through AIR.

It was identified by the facilitators of this program that past participants who have failed to complete the training because they:

  • … did not value a relationship with Allah.
  • … had low levels of commitment.
  • … did not allow themselves to be challenged.
  • … had no desire to make an impact.
  • … were boring and lacked creativity.
  • … denied the fact that there was internal conflict between Islam and their sexual orientation or gender identity.

We would encourage only those who do not identify with any of the above to apply.

The Conference for the Empowerment of Women (ICEW)

This is a 3-day conference that deals with women’s mental health, reproductive rights and gender-based violence within the Muslim community.  Anyone who is interested in these topics may apply, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Inner Circle will sponsor 20 applicants from South Africa and 10 international applicants.  Anyone who has signed up for the Seminars and Workshops may also attend parts of this conference.  Applicants will be selected based on:

1)    Scholarly or activist engagement with gender issues.
2)    A motivation on how the knowledge/ skills gained at the conference will be utilized.
3)    A desire to be part of a global movement of gender activists who advocate the rights and well-being of women irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
4)    A desire to promote Islam as an all-inclusive and compassion-centred way of life.

The Forum for Religious Leaders (FRL)

This is a closed 4-day forum and only 24 spaces have been allocated.  These spaces will be made up of 6 queer Muslims who will share their life stories,  3 queer Imams,  9 Imams from the mainstream community and 3 academics. The forum will be facilitated by 3 facilitators with backgrounds in the humanities and healing sciences. Participants will be selected based on their experience and openness to dialogue and building a movement.

The Global Queer Muslim network meeting (GQMN)

This is a closed 4-day meeting for representatives from member organizations.  Currently the member organizations are The Inner Circle – South Africa, Merhaba-Brussels, Bedayaa – Egypt / Sudan and Ma’ruf – Netherlands.  These are the organizations who have responded to the call to create a network in 2010.  This year the network representatives will work to complete the founding documentation and selection criteria, thereafter the call for membership will be opened to all formal organizations working in the sector of sexual orientation and gender identity, within the context of Islam.

TIC currently serves in an administrative role and hence will be sponsoring the 6 representatives from the member organizations to attend this meeting.

AIR Plenaries, Workshops & Seminars

Various topics related to Islam, sexual orientation, gender identity, movement building and mainstreaming will be presented by scholars, academics and activists.

For more information on seminars and workshops please click here

Please click the image below to get and overview the AIR program


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