London was set to host the first ever Muslim LGBTIQ+ festival this weekend, but has rescheduled the event to December due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Spearheaded by the UK's leading Muslim LGBTIQ+ charity Imaan, ImaanFest organisers successfully raised close to $20,000 in order to host the groundbreaking event.
"Over the weekend the Imaan team has been in discussion about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the implications for our Muslim Pride event, ImaanFest in London on Saturday 11th April 2020," Imaan tweeted last week.
"Because of the fast-moving situation and uncertainty around how the pandemic will evolve, we've taken the difficult decision to postpone the event until Saturday 12th December 2020."
The statement continued: "Tickets will be valid for the new date but refunds are available from EventBrite for those who are no longer able to attend.
"We know this will be a huge disappointment and inconvenience but given the gravity of the situation with this virus, we hope you'll agree it's the sensible thing to do."
"Please bear with us as we work now to reschedule for the new date, especially if you have any specific non-urgent questions."
The organisation's statement concluded: "We're not deterred from celebrating LGBTIQ+ Muslim identities and look forward to welcoming you all in December, inshallah."
Prior to being postponed, ImanFest was gaining momentum across social media, being described as the "perfect counter-narative" to usual depictions of Muslim culture in the mainstream media.
“The media has tried to control the narrative about Queer Islamic identities for too long, often thrusting us into a horrific culture war, as if Islam is the mortal enemy of queer identity,” British-Iraqi filmmaker Amrou Al-Kadhi, who was set to appear at the event, previously said in a statement.
“Imaan Fest, Muslim Pride is the perfect counter-narrative, reveling in the joys of queer Muslim identities, and giving us the chance to make our own space.”