Imam Backs Shariah Shock! October 22, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Media, Shari'ah.
From an OutRage press release:
Killing gays is OK, says Muslim Imam
Manchester Imam defends execution of gay people
20 October 2006
Manchester’s leading Imam has confirmed that he thinks the execution of sexually active gay men is justified. Mr. Arshad Misbahi, who is based at the Manchester Central Mosque, confirmed his views in a conversation to Dr John Casson, a local psychotherapist.
Dr 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.'”
“He told me that no Muslim would have spoken to him as I had done – they would have been too afraid, ashamed or inhibited: he admired my courage and openness.”
Commenting on Imam Arshad Misbahi’s views, Dr John Casson said:
“I support the human rights of all people peacefully to practice their religion, including the right of Muslim women to wear the veil if they choose. Equally gay men and women must enjoy the right to be themselves without the fear of being beaten, killed or condemned by homophobic religious people. These condemnatory attitudes have an adverse psychological impact on lesbians and gay men, especially lesbian and gay Muslims.”
Gay and human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, of the gay rights group OutRage!, added: “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 succour 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 defence of the human rights of lesbians and gay men,” said Mr Tatchell.
Notes to editors
- In July 2005, two gay teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari, aged 16, and Ayaz Marhoni, 18, were executed in Mashhad, Iran. They had been kept in prison for 14 months and given 228 lashes. They are two of hundreds, possibly thousands, of gay people who have been flogged, jailed, tortured and executed in Iran.
- Dr John Casson has been a therapist in adult mental health for over 21 years, 11 of which have been in the British NHS. He is now in private practice and trains psychodramatists in the Northern School of Psychodrama. His doctoral research (1996-2002) was with people who hear voices (auditory hallucinations).
- The meeting between Mr. Arshad Misbahi and Dr John Casson took place on Wednesday 11th October 2006 at the Central Mosque, Upper Park Road, Victoria Park, Manchester. “My motivation for this meeting was to encourage a dialogue on lesbian and gay issues with a representative of the Muslim community,” said Dr Casson.
George Broadhead, secretary of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association, said he was appalled by these comments.“Given the explicit condemnation of homosexual practices and the punishments meted out to their perpetrators in Islamic holy texts, it is hardly surprising. GALHA has written to Manchester City Council asking it to publicly condemn this outrageous and dangerous expression of homophobia.”
Why is this news? Nothing has actually happened. OutRage just wants to highlight more Muslim “homophobia” – but they have actually shot themselves in the foot, because the more random Imams they interrogate, the more they contradict their claim to support “moderates” and oppose only extremists. The same grounds on which they called for Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s exclusion from the UK could be used to justify getting rid of British Muslims in general!
We’ve documented the involvement of OutRage and Peter Tatchell in the opposition to Sheikh Qaradawi’s visit previously. The statement released by the StraightWay Foundation at that time is relevant also to this case, so do have a look:
The Question of Punishment
Islam prescribes punishments to protect society; these are applied only in the context of a state based (not superficially) on the Shari’ah. They include strict measures against fornication and adultery. Sodomy is somewhat analogous; hence the head of the Islamic state may opt for punishment against people who commit sodomy, based on the precedent of the Prophet’s companions. However, the lack of textual evidence for a worldly punishment has caused disagreement, with most scholars agreeing that such should be applied. They differ as to its exact nature, with many stating that the death penalty should be applied; others have suggested alternatives.
Muslims around the world have had little chance for internal debate over the issue of homosexuality, as they have faced more pressing issues related to basic freedoms and national integrities. Yet British and other Western Muslims should now engage in proper dialogue, involving ‘gay Muslims’ and the wider society, in order to maintain harmonious integration without compromising Islamic faith and life.
Certainly Islam does not call for British Muslims to attack ‘homosexuals’, any more than it calls for them to persecute people who have sex before marriage, or who wish to! Rather, we have a message to share; and we will stand firm in our view that Islam is a way of life designed for the well-being of the individual and the whole society.
For more details about the question of punishment, you can take a look at the following:
UPDATE: Here’s what I wrote to John Casson and Peter Tatchell in response to their posts at the Imaan Forum:
Dr. Casson: I can believe your heart was in the right place, but what you need to ponder on is the tension between your keenness that people can observe religious commandments like headscarves, and that there is something wrong with believing in the teachings regarding homosexuality. I don’t know much about this Imam (I saw him on Shariah TV and wasn’t impressed) – but what he said to you, as you reported it, seems perfectly reasonable as far as scriptual interpretation and Islamic jurisprudence is concerned. You can see my blog for further discussion on that.
Peter Tatchell: I’m not going to involve myself in a debate on the respective merits of OutRage and Imaan, as I see precious little merit in either. But your recent campaigns in particular certainly reek of something beyond “homosexual terrorism”, as one paper put it so long ago.
To keep myself brief, I would note only that your attacks on (and I quote) “right-wing Islamists”, “fundamentalists”, “the barbarism of Sharia law”, “Islamo-fascism”, “Islamist clerical fascism” etc… are convenient ways for you to claim you are not against us for the religion we follow.
Your attempts to prove support for “liberal, progressive Muslims” are pathetic; case in point: http://www.petertatchell.net/religion/pthrf2006.htm – They’re pathetic because you will only be satisfied with Muslims who have nothing to do with Islam. So how will you define “Muslim”? I’m genuinely interested to know.
Your obsession with Sheikh Qaradawi (just one scholar, albeit a prominent one, among so many thousands who say much the same thing on homosexuality) and attempts to undermine the MCB (hardly perfect, but surely a better attempt at representation than your so-called “Sheikh Dr. Muhammad Nobody”) just reveal your intentions for what they are – anything but sincere. I have written quite a few posts commenting on your antics, and here you can find them: https://gaymuslims.wordpress.com/?s=tatchell