An openly “gay imam” is hoping to open Australia’s first “LGBT-friendly mosque” within the next year.
Nur Warsame, who publicly revealed his sexuality in 2010, says he wants to set up a haven in Melbourne for young Muslims whose families have shunned them.
Mr Warsame, who used to lead a mosque in Melbourne, came out as the country’s first openly gay Muslim leader in 2010. He says he has been cut off by the community since.
The Somali-born imam, who was married with a daughter, says he is dealing with an “avalanche of misery” and is in talks with philanthropists to build a refuge mosque in an undisclosed inner-city location for Muslims who have experienced violence from their families and their community.
Homosexuality is forbidden in Islam and considered a major sin.
The areas of Australia with the highest Muslim population voted overwhelmingly against gay marriage in last year’s postal vote survey, with the western Sydney seat of Watson, returning a 70 per cent No vote.