Akbar Abdul Rasul
Academic, Former Journalist, Humanitarian, Progressive Islam Advocate, Public Speaker
Akbar Abdul Rasul
Academic, Former Journalist, Humanitarian, Progressive Islam Advocate, Public Speaker
About Me

Hello! I’m Akbar
My story depicts the inner journey of discovery and acceptance of a gay
Muslim against the unique backdrop of being raised in an orthodox Muslim
family of Indian origin, rooted for generations in East Africa.

  • Vision: Acceptance of difference
  • PayPal: info@akbarabdulrasul.com
  • Swish: 0765764072
  • Address: Sweden

My Bio

One of the Muslim worlds most outspoken speakers, Akbar Abdul Rasul is known for his directness and honesty. As a gay Muslim man of African (Burundian ) origin and of Indian descent, at the age of 19, Akbar was
forced to leave Burundi, after announcing that he was gay. This
declaration saw him facing grave difficulty, not just from his
family, but his society and religion which sees LGBTQ people as abominations. To save his own life, he went into exile in Sweden quickly becoming a recognized speaker in international relations social commentator and media personality on Islamic, LGBTQ, Indian and
African issues.

His blog on progresssive Islam (:https://akbarprogressiveislam.wordpress.com/)
sees Akbar gaining much recognition in Sweden. He is fluent in 7
languages, French, Swahili , Kirundi , Kinyarwanda , Swedish and
converse in Hindi , including English which he studied with scholarship in the United Kingdom. Akbar has worked with the Swedish Red Cross, helping newcomers integrate into Swedish society. He has also worked with the municipality of Stockholm to improve the lives of unaccompanied children seeking asylum. He also did an internship at the Swedish Association for Sexual Education where he writo an evaluation of a
project on sexual reproductive health in migrant community.

While free to speak out in Sweden on issues close to his heart, he also finds the society cold to migrants, with newcomers feeling isolated and hard to be integrated. Akbar does not believe that Islam is contradictory to homosexuality. He also champions that all countries banning and penalizing LGBTQ should be held accountable as human rights
violators and any laws that criminalize homosexuality should be scrapped out. Most of all, he wants his family to accept his sexual preference.

Shaped by their society, even his own parents could not recognize or accept his lifestyle. Coming from an African elitist background, his community would rather cut him out of the picture than dialogue for change. Akbar is also a poet.

Akbar writings on progressive Islam has been featured in Swedish magazine : Aftonbladet
, dagensämhället and alltinget ( see google)

Akbar writes his memoire and continues to try to find a publisher who will be interested to publish such a story.

My Work
Progressive Advocacy

Advocating for a progressive way of thinking, which leads to creating a more tolerant and inclusive Islam.

Public Speaking

Taking my message of reconciliation and tolerance to masses and changing minds one at a time.

Every professing Muslim should consider that if we as Muslims are to be able to expect the protection of Islamophobia, hatred and discrimination in society and the world around us, we must, in solidarity with these rights, be ready to defend other groups from hatred and discrimination.
Abdul Rasul
Abdul Rasul
Photo Gallery
Support My Work

For supporting Akbar advocacy work on progressive Islam and various cases, you can donate via PayPal

In Arabic, Akbar means “Greatest.” I am from Burundi , a country in central Africa , and also have Indian heritage: Three of my great-grand parents are from the Indian Community of East Africa known as the Shia Khoja Community, which migrated from india in the 18 century and my paternal grand mom was an African Burundian woman. I was named after “Akbar the great”, the Indian emperor and reformist who advocated for a reform of the Islamic faith. 
 Akbar the great could not write and his version of Islam, the “Islam Deen Elahi’, which was a mixture of islam and several hindu rituals. This disappeared with the course of time because of the non-documentations. 
Litte did I know that this would be one of my life mission – To challenge the dogma and the patriarchal interpretation of the Islamic holy scripture and show that there is different way to believe, and that we are all at final one truth in different form. I practice Hindu rituals through my Indian heritage , and my motherland of Burundi is a roman catholic country. This gives me insights and perspectives for the different ways of believing, which goes back to the same sources .
This mission has been a life-long journey. After the Orlando attack, I took the reading of the Quran as an adult in order to understand what the text says about being gay and Muslim. The text argued that everything God made was excellent ( 25: 2 ). I then realized that the Qur’an must be interpreted through hermeunetics ( examination of what word means at the time it was written and reveal). I also realized that the raw materials existed there but needed people like me who dare to choose to come to the table with bold interpretation of sacred text and do not let people dicate what to do. I believe Islam is based on personal relation to God ( Tahwid ) and we do no need people to dictate us but we have to live that path, but mostly reconcile our orientation with our beliefs. We should also be our own authority and empower each other for truth.

My story depicts the inner journey of discovery and acceptance of a gay Muslim against the unique backdrop of being raised in an orthodox Muslim family of Indian origin, rooted for generations in East Africa. Entering adulthood, impartial pursuits in journalism gave way to activism and my influence grew until I was eventually forced into exile. While Sweden has become a place of refuge, it is also true to say that one set of oppressions has been traded for another. With 9 years academia in International Relations, Sociology, Political Science and a Masters in Human Rights, it has been and is a struggle to secure a paid job due to the complexity of the person I represent. As I navigate life under various structural barriers, the past 14 years have taught me as much about what I can learn here as it has about what I can teach, and to be able to raise awareness about various context. I have been able to raise awareness on structural racism and the damage it can cause to one’s self esteem and how inequal opportunities affect the whole society,also from a postcolonial perspective. My story contributes to broadening the popular understanding of the “gay Muslim” accepted in the West and brings attention to the diversity within Islamic society overlooked in popular representations. It explores a personal account of how the intersection of Islam, sexual identity, gender dynamics, war, and a colonial legacy has shaped identities and prejudices. As society attempts to increase inclusivity, we have acknowledged the multidimensional nature of human beings and put names to the various identities that help define them – religion, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality. As a Muslim, gay man, of Indian and Burundian origin raised in East Africa, mine is a story distinctive yet relatable. While there are millions of individuals who share some of my identities, there are a few represented in Western culture with this specific intersection. My mission is to inspire people that it is possible to re-read the Islamic text and find them compatible for who you are and concentrate on a personal relation to a creator .

Get in Touch
  • Address: Sweden
  • Email: info@akbarabdulrasul.com
  • Swish: 0765764072
  • Web: akbarabdulrasul.com
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