IT'S OK TO KILL GAYS - BRITISH IMAM
24 October 2006
The leading imam in Manchester, confirms that he thinks the execution of sexually active gay men is justified, the rights group Outrage reported.
Arshad Misbahi of the Manchester Central Mosque confirmed his views in a conversation to John Casson, a local psychotherapist.
Casson said: "I asked him if the execution of gay Muslims in Iran and Iraq was an acceptable punishment in Sharia law, or the result of culture, not religion.
"He told me that in a true Islamic state, such punishments were part of Islam: If the person had had a trial, at which four witnesses testified that they had seen the actual homosexual acts."
"I asked him what would be the British Muslim view? He repeated that in an Islamic state these punishments were justified. They might result in the deaths of thousands but if this deterred millions from having sex, and spreading disease, then it was worthwhile to protect the wider community."
"I checked again that this was not a matter of tradition, culture or local prejudice. 'No,' he said, 'It is part of the central tenets of Islam: that sex outside marriage is forbidden; this is stated in the Koran and the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had stated that these punishments were due to such behaviours.'"
Gay man rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said, "It is disturbing that some British imams are endorsing the execution of gay and lesbian Muslims.
"Imam Arshad Misbahi's homophobic attitudes give comfort and succor to queer-bashers. They encourage conflict and disharmony between Manchester's large gay and Muslim communities.
"Muslim and gay people know the pain of prejudice and discrimination. We should be working together to challenge homophobia and Islamophobia. I hope liberal Muslims will speak out in defense of the human rights of lesbians and gay men," said Tatchell.
Adnan Ali, founder of the British branch of al-Fatiha, an organisation for gay and lesbian Muslims, told Gay.com that "a person with such an obsession about execution of human beings is not even entitled to be addressed as Imam."
"Islam is a very tolerant religion and celebrates the human diversity in its core message," Ali said.
"The holy book Qur'an does not mention anywhere about the execution or killing of human beings on the basis of their sexuality. What surprises is this obsession of the Islamic clerics to killing and execution. Why? What about dialogue? Discussion?
"Arshad Misbahi's comparison of same-sex relation to adultery is nothing but ignorant and utterly irresponsible rhetoric, manifesting the wrong teachings of Islam. The media should . . . not take it for granted as the general view of the Muslim community all over."