About the Author(s)

Jaffary Awang symbol
Department of Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia

Muhamad S. Abdul Aziz Email symbol
Department of Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia

Department of Social Sciences and Foreign Languages, Faculty of Applied Communication, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia

Nur F. Abdul Rahman symbol
Department of Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia

Mohd I. Mohd Yusof symbol
Prime Minister Department Religious Affairs, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Awang, J., Aziz, M.S.A., Rahman, N.F.A. & Yusof, M.I.M., 2023, ‘Understanding Islamic-oriented non-governmental organisation and how they are contrasted with NGO in outdoing Malaysia LGBT phenomenon’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 79(1), a8616. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i1.8616

Original Research

Understanding Islamic-oriented non-governmental organisation and how they are contrasted with NGO in outdoing Malaysia LGBT phenomenon

Jaffary Awang, Muhamad S. Abdul Aziz, Nur F. Abdul Rahman, Mohd I. Mohd Yusof

Received: 10 Mar. 2023; Accepted: 15 Sept. 2023; Published: 21 Nov. 2023

Copyright: © 2023. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The term non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has been well-known for the development of human rights, charity works and organisational developments. On the other hand, some NGOs also have their specialised roles to help the community such as in conflict resolution, cultural preservation, policy analysis and information provision. Apart from that, there are many categories of NGOs: Islamic-oriented non-governmental organisation (IONGOs), faith-based organisation (FBO), humanitarian NGOs (HNGOs) and government organised NGOs (GONGOs). However, in this research, the researchers focus on how IONGOs compare with NGOs in assisting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community based on four hijrah NGOs: Persatuan Islah Movement, Persatuan Insaf Pahang, Hijrah Republique Network and Usrah Iqrak. These four NGOs were chosen because of their roles in assisting the LGBT community. In this research, the researchers adapt the qualitative research by using a case study method; phenomenological approaches and a document analysis have also been applied as well. The result shows that these four IONGOs are different from the NGOs based on the seven typologies applied: intersection, distinct, substantive, subset, co-existing, atomistic grouping and constitutive. The implications of this article highlight the fact that IONGOs are different from the LGBT NGOs in Malaysia as they focus more on spirituality and an Islamic pathway. Hence, future research should include focus group interviews with all the members in NGOs that assist the LGBT hijrah in the community.

Contribution: This study contributes to LGBT hijrah community and its relationship towards the establishment of Islamic-oriented non-governmental organisation (IONGOs).

Keywords: assisting; Islamic-oriented non-governmental organisation (IONGOs); Malaysia; non-governmental organisations (NGOs); typologies; hijrah.


There are many terms that have been used that involve non-governmental organisation (NGO) either locally or internationally or both. Enizahura (2019) explains that the growth and development of NGOs in Malaysia began in the 1970s. Besides that, their emergence has also become a decisive agent of change in society. Amongst these NGOs, there are faith-based organisation (FBO) (Chengpang & Ling 2014; Shofiqur Rahman, Haris & Rezaul Islam 2018), humanitarian NGOs (HNGOs) (Nihat Çelik & Emre İşeri 2016), government organised NGOs (GONGOs) (Chengpang & Ling 2014; Nihat Çelik & Emre İşeri 2016) and Islamic-oriented non-governmental organization (IONGOs) (Hassan 2005).

Firstly, according to Tadros (2010) FBO are linked with the identity politics of Islam, Christianity and Hinduism to meet people’s needs. Nevertheless, there are some factors that arise from FBNGOs as observed by Petersen and Le Moigne (2016): involvement in humanitarian aid, increasing visibility, desire to find more alternative partners and interest in Muslim NGOs after the incident of 11 September 2021 (9/11). Secondly, according to Nihat Çelik and Emre İşeri (2016) HNGOs were Islamic grassroot movements that were established in 1990s as implemented in the Turkish foreign policy. However, in the Malaysian context. Humanitarian NGOs can be classified as The Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR), which was established in 2011. Its mission is to provide an integrated approach towards the protection and promotion of human rights in Malaysia via its UndiMsia! and strategic litigation programmes (MCCHR website 2016). Thirdly, GONGOs is a vague NGO concept that is concerned about non-governmental roles.

Fourthly, the term IONGOs has been used in Malaysia as anti-colonial movements in the late 19th century. During that colonial period, the movement was led by religious figures who received endless support from time to time. There were many religious leaders like Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong, Haji Zakaria and Tok Janggut in Terengganu and Kelantan (Hassan 2005). Historically, there are many IONGOs that served as welfare organisations and became the voice of the people for the government. During the 1970s, Mohamed Nawab and Saleena Saleem (2016) exemplified that several IONGOs were focused on da’wah (missionary) activities. However, among the earliest IONGOs that are engaged in political matters are Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (1971), Al-Arqam (1968) and Sisters in Islam (SIS) (1988). For the SIS, it can be exemplified that their IONGOs help to challenge some Islamic laws pertaining to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) group. As stated in the SIS website (2021), SIS is opposed to the amendment of Act 355 (RUU355) regarding a heavier punishment on lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBTQ). According to Malaysia’s fatwa, gender affirmation surgery was declared as haram (forbidden) in 1989 when referring to the transgender group (Majlis 2008). Not only that, the Syariah Court’s decision in Malaysia has decided that sodomy and lesbianism is also a crime under the Malaysian laws. Section 25 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 uses the term liwat that appears to overlap with ‘sexual intercourse against the order of nature’ and ‘outrages on decency’ in sections 377A and 377D of the Penal Code, respectively. This section 25 provides: ‘Any male person who commits liwat shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding 5000 ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to whipping not exceeding six strokes or to any combination thereof’ (Asghar & Yusuff 2018). As can be clearly seen the IONGOs involvement is varied; ABIM remains popular, widely accepted and revered, especially among the young Malay generation, Al-Arqam was banned in 1994 because of its deviant teachings and even some had revealed that this group was started in Kuala Lumpur. Lastly, SIS remains controversial with its radical and feminist interpretations of Islamic texts regarding women’s positions and rights.

Nevertheless, Hassan (2005) clearly explains that Malaysian IONGOs tend to maintain a non-political identity and are non-ethnic. Not only that, but there are also some IONGOs activists who have been exposed and have received western and liberal education before starting their NGOs. These activists are clearly focusing on awareness in activities like legal aspects, minority groups and human rights. The establishment and existence of these groups in society is to help enhance public voice in a democratic country. On the other hand, in a paper presented by Maszlee, Safwan & Hamidah (2018), it was revealed that NGOs are generally described as being separate from the government, participating in non-profitable activities and fighting for justice. Many issues are undertaken by the NGOs such as the rights of the LGBT specifically in Malaysia.

Because of the rising prevalence of the LGBT phenomenon, the researcher found that many hijrah NGOs have contributed towards the Islamic society itself. As Malaysia has 14 different states within its Islamic regulation, the number of hijrah NGOs has been expanding every year. This is because of the roles of other NGOs to guide and assist LGBT hijrah as a minority group. According to Mohd Izwan (2019), there are 12 hijrah NGOs in Malaysia focusing on the hijra LGBT community. However, in this paper, we are focusing only four hijrah NGOs that are Persatuan Islah Movement (2016), Persatuan Insaf Pahang (2013), Pertubuhan Hijrah Republique Network (2014) and Usrah Iqrak (2013). Four out of the 12 hijrah NGOs have been chosen because of their activities, approaches, usrah (religious meeting), Islamic gathering, mukhayyam (Islamic camp) and the number of members. These hijrah NGOs were inspired by one transgender individual who had passed away because of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease. The late Pak Cik Pie (who previously was a transgender individual) had written his story and journey as People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in his personal blog and secret group in Facebook named as AHP Positive Warriors Support Group. Apart from that, JAKIM as one of the religious bodies also plays pivotal roles in assisting the LGBT community and insist that they come back to the right path. There are many programs that have been carried out such as public talks, seminars, mukhayyam and many more.

It is somewhat surprising that the establishment of other hijrah NGOs has been of great significance to the LGBT hijrah community. Apart from that, four IONGOs were chosen because they focus on sexual orientation, lesbian, gay and transgender. It can be clearly explained that the Persatuan Islah Movement (2016) in Malacca and Usrah Iqrak (2013) in Federal Territory of Putrajaya have focused on the lesbian community. On the other hand, Persatuan Insaf Pahang (2013), which is in Kuantan, Pahang, has been established to help the Mak Nyah community. The focus of the Pertubuhan Hijrah Republique Network (2014) is homosexuality among men (MSM) or the gay community in Klang Valley, Langkawi Island, Penang, Perak and Kedah. There are differences in the sexual orientations in these NGOs, but other groups are well-welcome to join the NGOs as well.

The Persatuan Islah Movement (2016), which is based in Malacca, has its mission to inculcate the awareness of HIV and LGBT issues according to the Islamic pathway. Apart from that, it has a mission to eliminate the stigma and prejudice towards people living with HIV/AIDS (PHLIV) and to bring together society to help this community. Not only that, the Persatuan Islah Movement insists in including the LGBT community without discriminating them in society. There are many projects and activities that have been conducted in the past such as Siri Getting Near You, Usrah Iqra’ and Counselling Session. The Persatuan Islah Movement has nearly 10 lesbian members who insist on coming back to the right path. As one of the NGO members was a former lesbian, she believes that lesbians should be supported in many ways by the NGO hijrah as a medium to change.

Pertubuhan Hijrah Republique Network (2014) has been established by a group of young people to provide religious, health, sexual knowledge and counselling. This NGO is open to individuals from various backgrounds like drug addicts, LGBTs and even focus on homosexuality. This organisation started in the Klang Valley area has many branches in Langkawi Island, Penang, Perak and Kedah. The vision of the Hijrah Republique Network is to become a major organisation in protecting the targeted communities. To assist the LGBT community, there are many activities, seminars, talks and events that have been conducted like Di Sebalik Gelombang, Bengkel Perancangan dan Penyelarasan Program-Program Sosial Bersama Majlis Agama Islam Negeri /Jabatan Agama Islam Negeri. This NGO has nearly around 250 men as members who are gay individuals who insisted to be identified as hijrah. This NGO has been established as its president was a former gay who had returned to the Islamic pathway.

Persatuan Insaf Pahang (2013), which is based in Kuantan, was established after a Mukhayyam program held in 2011 at Semuji Agro Resort, Kuantan. The objective of this NGO is to serve as a platform with its focus on spiritual activities for the transgender community. In assisting the LGBT phenomenon, Persatuan Insaf Pahang supervises and monitors this community from being exploited by pro-LGBT, which is contradictory to Islamic teachings. With the aid from Majlis Ugama Islam Pahang (MUIP), there are many activities and events that have been conducted like mukhayam tarbawi (religious teaching), umrah, business assistance, leadership course, mak nyah outreach programs and others. This NGO has around 100 transgender individuals who insisted to change themselves to become masculine in their sexual orientation. This NGO was also started by a former transgender who has changed himself to be a man and is assisting other transgender individuals by channelling them to this NGO.

Usrah Iqra’ (2013) focuses solely on the lesbian community to bring them back into the Islamic pathway. The organisation is located at Putrajaya and has organised many activities, events and articles to help and protect the lesbian community. There are Getting Near You mukhayyam programs, Facebook sharing and basic counselling workshops. The initiative from this NGO was because of the al-Quran teaching classes held in November 2013 at Surau al-Rahman, Taman Karun Mas, Balakong that was joined by around three to five lesbian individuals (Mohd Izwan 2019). Till date, there are around 30 lesbian members who have joined the Quranic lessons and teachings led by Mohd Izwan Md Yusof from JAKIM.

Finally, these NGOs are playing crucial roles in assisting LGBTs to face the pro-LGBT NGOs. More recent attention has been focused on the establishment of Islamic organisations in assisting the LGBTs. The researchers will differentiate on how IONGOs in this research are different from other NGOs in the discussions and findings.

Literature review

Non-governmental Organisations play a crucial role in voicing out and assisting the community. There are many roles of NGOs such as promotional activities and grassroots awareness campaigns (Maszlee et al. 2018). In research conducted by Sani (2016), Islamic NGOs in Kano State, Nigeria has come out with welfare schemes for orphans and widows, economic empowerment and other social programmes. On the other hand, Islam (2014) has conducted research on two NGOs, Proshika and Practical Action Bangladesh, where both NGOs have played a crucial role in social capital development and community empowerment.

In terms of NGOs, there are many sub terms that bring different contexts and meanings. Much of the current literature on NGOs pays particular attention to civil organisations. According to the study by Nihat Çelik & Emre İşeri (2016), a HNGO was established to provide humanitarian aid to Bosnia. It has been conclusively shown based on case study that there are four HNGOs in Turkey for the purpose of charity. However, the term HNGOs can also be interpreted as Islamic oriented. On the other hand, Hassan (2005) focuses on the Malaysian context where particularly there is a Malay Muslim majority population. In this research, there can be questions on the theoretical and philosophical aspects related to the non-Muslim citizens as well. Thus, IONGOs is one of the NGOs to help the Muslim society and the grassroots of this organisation are based on the principles of al-Quran and as-Sunnah.

As Malaysia has Muslim and non-Muslim citizens, non-Muslims will have FBOs. In FBO, Petersen and Le Moigne (2016) explained that increasing visibility like donation, sermons, prayers and others that are involved in humanitarian aid. In addition, the FBO was generally founded by religious leaders, religious individuals and religious organisations to serve the public (Cnaan & Boddie 2002; Wuthnow 2004). Nevertheless, GONGO is organised or owned by the government that has some characteristics such as the sources and respective amounts of funding, the staff are government employees and its channel of funds (Kirby 2013). On top of that, according to Hasmath, Hildebrandt and Hsu (2019), the research is focused on the similarities and differences in terms of the main activities and functions, source of power and dilemmas between the GONGOs and NGOs. However, McGaughey (2018:126) found that there are two types of GONGOs, those that: ‘intervene in conflicts between states and the “laudatory and imitative NGOs”’.

There is a relatively small body of literature that is concerned with IONGOs that are particularly based on Islamic orientation and focus on LGBT NGOs. One study by Noor Hafizah and Norsaleha (2018) examined the trend in IONGOs, which are known as Pertubuhan Usrah Fitrah located and operated by the Klang Islamic Religious Council. There are several programs or events to enlighten LGBT individuals on the spiritual aspects such as motivation and awareness program, Fardhu ain (Islamic) classes, street dakwah and many more. Not only that, a report by Mohd Izwan (2019) showed there are Hijrah Committee NGOs by LGBT individuals or groups that are Muslims in some states of Malaysia; Persatuan Insaf Pahang, Kuantan, Pahang; Usrah Iqra’, Putrajaya; Hijrah Republique, Ampang, Alor Setar, Kedah and Perlis; My Hijrah My Adventure, Johor Bharu, T-Fitrah, Kuala Terengganu; Usrah Fitrah and Pertubuhan Permata Insan Disayangi, Selangor; Kifahuna Jemaa, Kota Bharu; Islah Movement, Melaka and al-Quran and Fardhu Ain Classes, Ipoh.

In general, there are many NGOs in Malaysia that are either focusing nationally or internationally. Somehow, the NGOs in Malaysia have connections with NGOs worldwide where they may have special funding or be funded by other main NGOs. The existence of NGOs in Malaysia has been a milestone and achievement for the local community to voice out their opinions, thoughts and movements (Silva-Castan˜eda 2012). According to Saodah and Abu Sadat (2012), the Islamic NGOs have to adopt principles of Islam in all aspects and to establish virtues and good deeds and prevent vices and bad deeds in the society. It can be mentioned that the management and members of NGOs play crucial roles in volunteering their work (Noor Hafizah & Norsaleha 2018). Nevertheless, Jose, Natalia and Ines (2019) explain that volunteering is a key word in different aspects of modern society.

The phenomenon of LGBT in Malaysia has been rapidly increasing every year with the establishment of hijrah NGOs. Much of the current literature on NGOs pay particular attention to the LGBT community in every state in Malaysia. However, with the existence of NGOs in Malaysia, somehow the LGBT community may be slightly confused with IONGOs that solely focus on Islamic-oriented activities that are based on al-Quran and as-Sunnah principles. It has been demonstrated that many NGOs are assisting the phenomenon of LGBT like the Persatuan Islah Movement (2016), Persatuan Insaf Pahang (2013), Pertubuhan Hijrah Republique Network (2014) and Usrah Iqra’ (2013). In research conducted by Harley (2016:526) it is stated that: ‘religious and faith communities occupy important, unique, and specific roles and functions in society’. Because of that, Hassan (2005) states that IONGOs in Malaysia solely focused on Islamic welfare and activities.

Previous studies have focused on renowned and well-known NGOs such as ABIM (Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia) (1971), Malaysian Muslim Solidarity (ISMA) (1997), Islamic Renaissance Front (2009) and others. The emergence of IONGOs is because of organisational developments for social change that occurred from time to time. By comparing IONGOs to NGOs, there are seven typologies that need to be applied: intersection, distinct, substantive, subset, coexisting, atomistic grouping and constitutive (Clarke & Ware 2015). After all these typologies have been applied, the researcher will show how IONGOs are different from NGOs in assisting the phenomenon of LGBT in Malaysia.

Methods and objectives

In this paper, we are using a qualitative study that uses a case study method and phenomenological approaches, by adapting theory and document analysis. According to Collins and Carrie (2018), there are several main types of study designs used to identify theory, theoretical frameworks, theory of method and conceptual frameworks. The variations of qualitative research are enormous, and ‘theory addresses the issue of sense-making. It keeps us from getting caught up in rendering accounts dismissed as travelogues or personal diaries’ (Wolcott 1995:184). The first step in this paper is to adapt the theories by Matthew Clarke and Vicki-Anne Ware (2015). The benefit of this approach is that the researchers can broaden the perspective in this study within its scope and make a critical analysis (Wolcott 1995).

After that, the researchers will analyse the theories by applying it to the four NGOs, which are Persatuan Islah Movement (2016), Persatuan Insaf Pahang (2013), Pertubuhan Hijrah Republique Network (2014) and Usrah Iqra’ (2013). These four hijrah NGOs have been chosen because they deal with the different sexual orientation: lesbian, gay and transgender community. These four NGOs have been the case study in assisting the LGBT phenomenon that occurs in the Malaysian context. Khalida, Kokom and Ade (2018) explain that the objective of phenomenology study is to understand the realisation, thoughts and actions as well as to construct the meaning and concept based on the relationship with other people. The phenomenology approaches have been applied by referring to the number of hijrah individuals in each NGO. The number of these NGOs is increasing every year because of the phenomenon where it is required to be on the right Islamic pathway.

To differentiate the IONGOs from the NGOs, the researchers referred to document analysis that consisted of activities, events, programs, seminars conducted by IONGOs in assisting the LGBT phenomenon in Malaysia. To measure the typologies introduced by Matthew Clarke and Vicki-Anne Ware (2015), the finding will focus on seven typologies only.

Results and discussion

Based on the seven typologies differentiate the IONGOs from the NGOs, the researchers found that IONGOs played a crucial role in assisting the LGBT hijrah community in Malaysia. The establishment of IONGOs is very important to guide any LGBT hijrah to strengthen their Islamic spirituality as well their resilience by transforming them into good Muslims. The adaption of the seven typologies of Matthew Clarke and Vicki-Anne Ware (2015) can be illustrated by referring to Figure 1:

FIGURE 1: Seven typologies adapted in non-profit organisations.

In this research, the researchers have decided to apply seven typologies that have been applied in previous research to differentiate FBOs from NGOs. This is because faith-based organisation may refer to any un-Islamic organisation as Hindu, Buddhist and Christianity NGOs. As for this research, the researchers believe that the seven typologies can be adapted in contrasting IONGOs with NGOs in assisting the LGBT phenomenon. On the other hand, IONGOs that focus more on Islamic approaches are more suitable to the LGBT hijrah community in assisting the LGBT phenomenon in Malaysia. There are seven typologies that have been applied, which are intersection, distinct, substantive, constitutive, co-existing, subset and atomistic grouping. These seven typologies are very important to differentiate between IONGOs and NGOs where these typologies are further explained and analysed as discussed further.

First and foremost, the intersection is a meaning between NGOs and religious organisations where IONGOs are infused or informed by the religious teachings. It can be exemplified that the four NGOs were established on their faith-based identity and became representatives in certain states in Malaysia to specifically assist the LGBT community. Apart from that, the differences between these IONGOs and NGOs were derived from their development where they may not focus on faith and being Islamic oriented. Based on the activities conducted by Usrah Iqra’ (2013), there is a slot for Quranic reading and teaching at least once a week led by religious teachers. Apart from that, Persatuan Insaf Pahang (2013) also conducted Islamic teaching and Quranic lesson for the transgender community. In addition, Pertubuhan Hijrah Republique Network (2014) has conducted weekly Quranic lesson for the gay or MSM community and the Persatuan Islah Movement (2016) has also opened for any religious and Quranic teaching for the lesbian community. However, these IONGOs are not solely focused on the Malay ethnic group only but they accept and welcome other ethnic groups such as Indian Muslim, Chinese Muslim, Thai and others to learn Islamic teaching and Quranic lesson for free.

Secondly, the second typology is completely distinct between NGOs and IONGOs even though they may have similar activities. This is because the differences can be in terms of types of activities, its objectives, participants and the outcomes. In assisting the LGBT phenomenon, these IONGOs focus on inculcating Islamic teaching and strengthening their faith and spirituality as well. The most well-known and important activity conducted and joined by them is a Mukhayyam program, which is organised by JAKIM. The program has involved many IONGOs across Malaysia and it was started in 2011. In contrasting IONGOs with NGOs, there are several categories that can be classified; firstly, Islamic-oriented and faith-based organisations, secondly is IONGOs focused on Islamic approaches and psycho-spiritual elements and thirdly its involvement to help LGBT communities to learn more about Islam. It can be exemplified that these four IONGOS, Persatuan Insaf Pahang (2013), Usrah Iqra’ (2013), Pertubuhan Hijrah Republique Network (2014) and Persatuan Islah Movement (2016), have participated in many series of Mukhayyam programs.

Thirdly, substitive is a bit different from previous typology where it focuses on the similarity between IONGOs and NGOs. It can be commonly interpreted that both NGOs have their religious operations that include spiritual guidance, religious gathering and activities. For example, Usrah Iqra’ (2013) has weekly Islamic activities or gatherings such as reading al-Quran, attending Islamic sermons and many more. In assisting the LGBT phenomenon in Malaysia, IONGOs play a very crucial role; however, other NGOs, such as pro-LGBT, also have their gatherings, meetings, weekly activities among others but are not solely focused on Islamic matters. They merely focus on freedom and justice, human rights and denying of Islamic law or fatwas. To sum up, IONGOs can be classified as effective as NGOs; however, they are interchangeable at the same time.

Fourthly, the differences between IONGOs and NGOs can be seen by analysing the next typology that is a subset. In this typology, the researchers have considered IONGOs as a subset of NGOs because NGOs is a very broad and wide term and is considered as an array of organisations. NGOs can also be determined by certain criteria such as partnership arrangements, geographical location, transnational presence, budget, fundraising approach, development goals, political orientation and others. After that, in distinguishing NGOs (including IONGOs) within civil society, there are four types of IONGOs; firstly, Pertubuhan Hijrah Republique Network based in Klang Valley area. However, up to date, it has many branches such as in Langkawi Island, Kedah, Perak and Perlis. Secondly, Pertubuhan Islah Movement, which is based in the south Malacca. Thirdly is Persatuan Insaf Pahang, which is based in east coast, Pahang. Fourthly, Usrah Iqra’ is in the Federal Territory of Putrajaya. The researchers believe that because of this phenomenon, the subsets of IONGOs will increase from time to time.

Fifthly, coexisting is an understanding of the IONGOs where sometimes it can be described as coexisting with the NGOs. It can be illustrated that IONGOs have given an equal weightage with NGOs within the civil society. Because of the increasing number of LGBT numbers every year, IONGOs are equal or at the same level with NGOs, and it is not considered as a subgroup of NGOs, yet IONGOs have their legitimate and equal right as one of the organisations. In assisting the LGBT community to return to the Islamic pathway, these IONGOs have come out with many activities with other NGOs such as Yayasan Dakwah Islam Malaysia, Yayasan Ihtimam Malaysia, People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and so forth. These IONGOs have been a backbone for the LGBT community in a variety of ways such as through counselling, support groups, financial aids, accommodation, social development, religious guidance and capital aid to start businesses.

Sixthly, the next typology is an atomistic group of many individual and distinct organisations that have many differences but a common faith-based premise. It can be summarised that these IONGOs are organisations assisting the LGBT phenomenon across Malaysia. In general, these IONGOs have different approaches when dealing with the sexual orientation of an individual or group itself. As has been explained earlier, Usrah Iqra’ and Persatuan Islah Movement are more inclined towards lesbianism, Pertubuhan Hijrah Republique Network focuses more on the homosexual community and Persatuan Insaf Pahang on transgenderism. This typology, that is an atomistic group can be found in an individual as well the group in IONGOs. It can be further explained that if the lesbian is currently living in Kuantan, Pahang, she can join Persatuan Insaf Pahang and the distance and difficulty do not become limitations.

Seventhly, constitutive is an integration of all to differentiate IONGOs and understand their relationship with NGOs. The most interesting aspect of this typology is that IONGOs are constitutive of several bodies that are involved in development activities; they are religious organisations; Department of Islamic Affairs Malaysia (JAKIM), State Islamic Religious Council (MAIS); civil society organisations; Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia, Muslim Solidarity Front, NGO; Sisters in Islam, Justice for Sisters, Komuniti Muslim Universal and communities (layman people). Finally, these constituents of IONGOs are grouped together in assisting the LGBT phenomenon in Malaysia. They need each other in many aspects like source of funding, seminars, events and others. Some IONGOs members have joined pro-LGBT NGOs such as Sisters in Islam and Justice for Sisters before they realised the existence of IONGOs.

To summarise, these are seven typologies have been discussed by contrasting IONGOs with NGOs: intersection, distinct, substitive, subset, co-existing, atomistic grouping and constitutive.


In conclusion, this article has demonstrated how the four IONGOs, Persatuan Insaf Pahang (2013), Usrah Iqra’ (2013), Pertubuhan Hijrah Republique Network (2014) and Persatuan Islah Movement (2016), are contrasted with NGOs in assisting the LGBT phenomenon in Malaysia. As IONGOs, the researchers believe that the lesbian, gay and transgender individuals who wish to be on the right Islamic pathway will have the full guidance and assistance of the hijrah community across Malaysia. As has been explained before, the current number of IONGOs assisting the LGBT phenomenon is 12, yet the number will increase because of the demand by society and the nature of human beings to be occupied and living religiously.


Competing interests

The author(s) declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.

Authors’ contributions

The research was conducted by M.S.A.A. under the supervision of Associate Prof. Dr. J.A., Dr. N.F.A.R. and Dr. M.I.M.Y.

Ethical considerations

This article followed all ethical standards for research without direct contact with human or animal subjects.

Funding information

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Data availability

Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no new data were created or analysed in this study.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated agency of the author.


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