Multicultural Group Organizes Soccer Tournament Between Gays and Muslims

March 16, 2006

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Wire Service: AP

On March 16, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "A Dutch multicultural group is organizing a soccer tournament between gays and Muslims, hoping to counter what a study published on Thursday said was a rising tide of fear among gays.

A nationwide survey by the Police Research Academy said that most gays questioned feel unsafe and reported experiencing verbal attacks in the last year.

Of the 776 homosexuals who responded to an internet questionnaire... [o]nly 3 percent said they were physically assaulted, Vlek said in an interview, but some 40 percent claimed they had been insulted or verbally abused.

Youths from Moroccan and Turkish backgrounds often were blamed for the incidents, Vlek said, since homosexuality is not widely accepted in many Muslim cultures.

'Parts of the Muslim community still resist homosexuality and receive little education about it,' he said.

Muslim-gay tension is the theme of the soccer tournament organized by the Institute of Multicultural Development, to be held next week.

An organizer of the group, Suzanne Ijsselmuiden, said she hoped the competition will 'help ease these tensions so that people can openly talk about homosexuality.'

Gay Muslims can take their choice of teams, she said. 'People can have many identities.'"