The ArQuives Digital Exhibitions


Salaam at Pride

Salaam at Pride, ca. 2007

As a space dedicated to serving the needs of LGBTQ+ Muslims – a demographic multiply marginalized by Islamophobia, racism, transphobia, and homophobia – as well as guided by those who are often high-profile and otherwise involved in activist efforts, Salaam was implicated, directly or indirectly, in politically-charged disputes over its lifetime.

Salaam's history includes disputes between regional organizers, feelings of exclusion based on racial identity, difficulty with top-down organizing, and Toronto-centrism, among other things.

Community Discussion Guide - Salaam Canada

Community Discussion Guide

One recurring issue was the absence of particular demographics of LGBTQ+ Muslims. Accusations of exclusion were fueled by a homogenous leadership dominated by middle-upper-class, cis, gay, city-living men of South Asian origin - a demographic disproportion that has overseen a similar imbalance in terms of participants. 

Following Salaam's reemergence in 2001, the organization's subtitle was updated from "a social support group for lesbian and gay Muslims" to become "Queer Muslim Community" in recognition of the diverse members who make up Salaam. This change in name also reflected shifting public opinions of both the larger LGBTQ+ and Muslim Communities since Salaam's founding. 

Finally, Salaam also experienced tumult based on geography. Salaam has always been headquartered out of Toronto, and its regional groups are primarily in other major cities; consequently, its programming has been disproportionately available to city-residing LGBTQ+ Muslims.