There are at least ten predominantly Muslim countries around the world which forbid homosexuality and the laws of those countries set a punishment of death for the practice of homosexuality.
Sounds sort of barbaric, does it not? If in these countries you are a practicing homosexual (LGBT), you can be tried, convicted and sentenced to death!
No fewer than 40 out of 57 Muslim majority countries or territories have laws that criminalize homosexuality, prescribing punishments ranging from fines and short jail sentences to whippings and even ten or more years in prison. Of those ten countries which punish homosexuality by death, the Shiites believe that the penalty should be death by stoning or by the sword. Some believe the punishment should be throwing the homosexual culprit from a high wall or, perhaps even burning the convicted to death. Stoning, the sword, burning or throwing from a high wall. Incredible ways to die if you are a convicted homosexual in any of these predominantly Muslim countries.
Iran is notorious for hanging men accused of homosexual behavior.
And then there is ISIS. The Associated Press reports that since 2014, ISIS has executed at least 30 people in Syria and Iraq for being homosexual including three men who were dropped from the top of a 100 foot building in Mosul in June 2015.
It seems as though the overwhelming majority of the population of these predominantly Muslim countries are very much against the practice of homosexuality. In 2013, the Pew Research Center surveyed the beliefs of Muslims in 36 countries. In 33 out of the 36 countries, more than 75% of those surveyed answered that homosexuality was “morally wrong.” And, in only three of those surveyed countries did more than 10% of those surveyed believe that homosexuality was “morally acceptable.”
Ms. Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School provides these insights to what she says is Islam’s jihad against homosexuals. It seems, says Ms. Ali that Muslim homophobia is institutionalized. Islamic Law, Sharia Law as derived from the Quran and as evolved over several centuries, not only condemns the practice of homosexuality but prescribes cruel and unusual punishments for such practice. Institutional Islam identifies the practice of homosexuality, judges it to be morally wrong, proscribes the practice thereof and severely punishes the convicted.
In addition, Ali says, many Muslim-majority countries have their own laws, secularly driven, that criminalize and punish homosexuals in the very same as Islamic or Sharia Law. Small wonder she says that the majority of Muslims in these countries (75% or more) are indeed homophobic and that, as they may migrate to the West, they take, she says “those attitudes with them.”
Ali goes on to say that the rise of modern Islamic-extremism has worsened the intolerance toward homosexuality. Extremists do not just commit violence against LGBT people, but they also spread such prejudice and homophobia globally by preaching that homosexuality is both a disease and a crime.
The world knows full well the horrific killings, the massacres in Orlando as Omar Mateen slaughtered some 49 people with an assault rifle in a gay bar. Mateen’s parents originated from Afghanistan where LGBT people face as much danger from their families or even vigilantes as they do from the authorities. Whatever Mateen’s motives may have been, he and his parents come from a country where homosexuality is considered morally wrong, severely punished and where such and one as Mateen could face every bit as much danger from his family as from the authorities. Mateen had claimed allegiance to ISIS, to the Islamic state, notorious for homophobia, and perhaps that was a main motivator in carrying out the massacre. In fact, Omar Mateen’s father said the following:
“God himself will give punishment to homosexuality. It is not for people to decide.”
Obviously, the father was homophobic and perhaps that is where the son got it.
While same-sex attraction has historically been tolerated in some Muslim societies, gay sex has always been illegal because it occurs OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE. Jonathan Brown, an expert in Islamic Law at Georgetown University said the following:
“In Islamic Law, all sex outside elicit relationship is forbidden. So by definition you can not have a licit sexual relationship between two men or two women.”
Marriage of course is between man and woman and consequently, by definition, excludes any form of homosexuality.
But, no matter how aggressive the laws may be, in practice countries rarely mete out the most severe punishments. That is so because Sharia or Islamic Law sets a very high standard of proof before an individual can be convicted. That proof can be either a confession from the homosexual him or herself, or adequate proof for conviction must consist of the testimony of four upstanding men who witnessed the act. In short, the male witnesses must be of the strongest character and have actually witnessed the illicit and illegal homosexual act in order to convict. Small wonder that few are actually convicted.
Where Omar Mateen and his family come from, Afghanistan, Afghan law penalizes homosexual relations with penalties of 5 to 15 years in prison. It seems as though Afghan police routinely harass, detain and use violence against gay people. Violence then is predictable conduct as homosexuality is dealt with, and perhaps that is where Omar Mateen got his motivation to carry out his brutal act.
But again, there is no country or territory as barbaric is Islamic State (ISIS), known for a brutally extreme hatred of homosexuals. In one instance of punishment, a blindfolded man was thrown from the roof of a two story building in Iraq. He survived the fall with critical injuries but was immediately stoned to death in front of a crowd of spectators, including children. The barbarism of ISIS is simply unbelievable.
One of the world’s leading Sunni clerics, Chairman of the European Council for FATWA and Research, was asked how gay people should be punished. He replied as follows:
“Some say we should throw them from a high place, like God did with the people of Sodom. Some say we should burn them, and so on. There is disagreement. But, the important thing is to TREAT THIS ACT AS A CRIME!”
This Sunni cleric clearly says that homosexuality is criminal in nature, morally wrong and therefore must be treated as a CRIME. Virtually all Islamic clerics agree.
In the United States, one Muzammil Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America wrote the following:
“Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and corruption. No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born a thief, a liar or a murderer. People acquire these evil habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education.”
So then, this Muslim leader thinks that homosexuality is a moral disorder and a disease. He thinks it is also a sin and corruption, morally wrong. Siddiqi thinks that homosexuality is not genetic, that one is not born homosexual but the practice thereof acquired primarily as a result of improper guidance and education. Small wonder then that there seems to be indeed, in the words of Ms. Ali, an Islamic jihad against homosexuals.
President Obama blames the horrific Orlando attack by Omar Mateen on lax gun laws. Donald Trump blames immigration allowing terrorists in America. But, Professor Ali says that neither is right. This is not, she says, primarily about guns or immigration but rather:
“It is about a deeply dangerous ideology that is infiltrating American society in the guise of religion.”
This deeply dangerous ideology to which Professor Ali refers is of course the Islamic version of homophobia. Ali goes on to say the following:
“Homophobia comes in many forms. But none is more dangerous in our time than the Islamic version.”
How right the professor is if in fact this dangerous ideology, this Islamic version of homophobia can sponsor killings and mass murders of homosexuals as occurred in Orlando. Violence against homosexuals is abominable, no matter your own personal beliefs about homosexuality. That violence, whether driven by Islam or any other ideology, must be stopped. The wicked heart of man produces the violence, not the gun or the immigrant-terrorist. One may believe that the practice of homosexuality is morally wrong but such a judgment can never justify violence, never. Our country and the world over will continue to see the Orlando massacre replicated unless this dangerous ideology, this hatred is confronted and eradicated. Islam, of all ideologies, should take the lead in condemning violence against homosexuals in every way.
But there does seem to be a growing number of gay Muslims who are “coming out openly,” declaring themselves as such and defying Islam. Such an one was Michael Sinan who earned the title of:
MR GAY DENMARK
Sinan says openly:
“It is possible to be gay and a devoted Muslim.”
Of course, the vast majority of Muslims disagree but Sinan goes forward unafraid. That is so even though he has been treated with disrespect, “as a joke” and by other Muslims who have been cruel and hateful to him. Sinan, undeterred, continues the practice of Islam, worshipping, associating and fellowshipping with other Muslims no matter the backlash. He continues to encourage other Muslims who are gay to come out, openly identify and practice their lifestyle all the while continuing the full practice of Islam. As with the Christian church, which condemns homosexuality as morally wrong, now so with Islam, challenged, even defied and the battle rages. It will be most interesting to see how predominantly Muslim countries react. There are laws religious (Sharia) and secular which forbid the practice of homosexuality and provide severe punishment as retribution. The world will watch to see whether Islam stands firm, convicts and metes out punishment or whether a new tolerance or acceptance will continue to grow the world over. That would undoubtedly never happen in Iran, or Islamic State or perhaps nations like Afghanistan or even Saudi Arabia. But, with the growing number of Islamic LGBT members, and as these new Muslims practice homosexuality, official Islam will be required to take positions one way or another. Most now state that homosexuality is morally wrong and legally wrong. Will they continue to do so?
Whatever position official Islam takes, it should rise up and condemn violence, violence of any kind, especially the kind of Omar Mateen violence in Orlando. That kind of barbaric action and conduct should be condemned the world over, not only by Islam, but by every religion and in fact all of civilized mankind. One can firmly believe that homosexuality, LGBT lifestyle is morally wrong and at the same time, condemn any form of violence. Perhaps the issue should be confined to the moral, the spiritual and there should be no laws, no secular laws which punish the practice. What do you think? Our very own country not only condemns laws against homosexuality, but has elevated the practice, lifestyle and priorities of homosexuality to the level of a constitutional right. The LGBT community thinks that all countries should do the same, including and especially Muslim-majority countries. What do you think?
Most thinking people think homophobia is wrong. Are you one of them? But many other thinking people think homosexuality is morally wrong. Are you one of them? The issue won’t go away. We have the right, even the duty to clarify our own thinking and personal judgments. No matter what they are, no one, no one has the right to commit violence against homosexuals. NO ONE!
We should do everything possible to make certain that another Omar Mateen massacre never happens again!