LABOUR Party MP Sadiq Khan is under police protection after receiving death threats for voting for gay marriage.
The threats followed, according to the Peter Tatchell Foundation, after Mufti Muhammed Aslam Naqshbandi Bandhalevi, imam at the Jamia Islamia Rizvia mosque in Bradford, issued a fatwa declaring Khan – one of the five pro-gay marriage Muslim MPs – as an “apostate” and that he should:
Repent before Allah.
Sadiq Khan MP explained on his website why he voted in favour of gay marriage:
I firmly believe in marriage. Marriage is an important statement of love and long-term commitment, and has long been the main way that the state recognises and shows support for loving relationships. I believe that couples who love each other and want to make that long-term commitment to each other should be able to have a civil marriage regardless of their gender or their sexuality.
Other Muslim MPs who voted for same-sex marriage have also received death threats and fatwas from Islamist extremists and clerics in the UK and Pakistan.
The mad Mufti said that Muslims MPs who supported the right of gay couples to marry had put themselves outside of Islam, according to a report in the Pakistan-based newspaper, The News International.
The same paper reported that at least three Pakistani clerics have declared that the MPs were no longer Muslims and they must repent.
It quoted Anjem Choudary, former UK head of extremist group Al-Muhajiroum who has organised demonstrations against the MPs, as saying they had committed:
Apostasy by declaring war on Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) by
voting for gay marriages. These MPs have allied themselves with parties that are responsible for the killing of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.
Several UK-based Islamist sects have denounced the MPs, including Hizb ut-Tahrir; as have posts on extremist websites such as Islamic Awakening and Izharudeen.com
Peter Tatchell ?said:
We are delighted that most Muslim MPs voted in favour of legalising gay marriage. The ban on same-sex marriage is discrimination. Discrimination is not an Islamic value. The clerics who issued these fatwas are preaching hatred. Islam encourages love and marriage. Religious leaders should welcome the fact that gay couples love each other and want to get married.
The people making the threats are a tiny extreme Islamist minority. They do not represent most Muslims in Britain. Increasingly, gay and Muslim people in the UK are working together to tackle the hatred, discrimination and violence that affects both our communities. We are taking a joint stand against all intolerance.
There is a huge British gay Muslim population and openly gay Muslim organisations, such as Imaan. They believe it is possible to be both Muslim and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). The acceptance of gay Muslims by the wider Muslim community is growing; although there is more room for improvement.
Here’s an interesting quote from an openly gay Muslim in Denmark. Michael Sinan.
The Koran is my sacred book, but it’s written for people in another era. The complicated part is that you are the one that has to interpret it. You can’t set yourself up as God and judge other people. Those who do so should be careful how they use the name of Allah. I am gay, and that’s something between Allah and me.
Sinan, who was voted Mr Gay Denmark, said in an interview with the Huffington Post last year that he had taken part in the contest because:
My objective was to show the gay community, and also Muslims, that there are modern Muslims in Denmark. The media fixates on extremist, aggressive Muslims who live according to customs more appropriate in the Middle Ages. That’s not fair. There’s a lot of us, and we’re mostly modern. I wanted to demonstrate that to be gay and Muslim is both possible and okay.
Sinan, a 34-year-old philologist, specialising in Pashto, Urdu, and Persian said he believed that:
The moment has arrived to come forward and assert the compatibility of homosexuality and Islam.
According to Sinan, Muslims have to adapt to the 21st century and, like Christians, abandon prejudices that are based on interpretations of ancient sacred texts.
We Muslims are numerous today, and it’s impossible to keep living in the past. Christians can’t live according to Biblical norms, and neither can we. There are things that even extremists can’t abide by.
I’m proud of being Danish, because we have freedom of expression and freedom of religion. We do have a problem with those who don’t integrate, but when it comes down to it, I believe that they really don’t belong to this society. I respect them, but perhaps they should consider moving to other countries more in line with their principles.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn (Khan report)