Imam Mushin Hendricks, from South African Hivos partner The Inner Circle, has been awarded the Bob Angelo Award given out annually by the Dutch LGBT federation, COC.
The 2013 COC Bob Angelo medals were awarded on January 27th to Imam Muhsin Hendricks and to the Dutch transgender movement because of their special contributions to the emancipation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT).
The South African Hendricks followed an orthodox imam training in Pakistan and came to the conclusion that the Koran does not condemn homosexuality. In 1996, he founded ‘The Inner Circle’ to share this insight and support LGBT Muslims. Inner Circle has been a Hivos partner for the last five years.
"Hendricks has made an extraordinarily valuable contribution to the debate on sexual orientation, gender identity and Islam in the Netherlands, South Africa and the world," said COC President Tanja Ineke. "But he is being honoured foremost because he gives so many LGBT Muslims the strength to be who they are: Muslim and LGBT."
COC invited Imam Hendricks to visit the Netherlands in 2011 and 2012. During his visits, he met with LGBT Muslims and migrant organisations, and helped COC to establish a Dutch branch of ‘The Inner Circle’.
COC Netherlands has been advocating the rights of LGBT groups since 1946. It strives for the decriminalisation of sexual orientation and gender identity and advocates for equal rights, emancipation and social acceptance of LGBT people all over the world.
LGBT Rights has been part of Hivos’ Rights and Citizenship programme since the 1990s and consists of financial support, knowledge exchanges and policy advocacy for LGBT rights. Hivos backs the acceptance of sexual minorities and the fight against homophobia, supporting over 50 LGBT organisations worldwide.