Reformist Muslims back call for decriminalisation of homosexuality

Dilwar Hussain of New Horizons on British Islam

The head of a reformist Muslim organisation has called for an end to violence and criminalisation against LGBT+ people and for a global ban on conversion therapy.

Dilwar Hussain, of New Horizons in British Islam, is one of only four Muslims to sign a global declaration which says that “certain religious teachings have, throughout the ages, been misused to cause deep pain and offense to those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex.”

The declaration was signed by more than 370 mainly Christian and Jewish figures ahead of a UK government sponsored conference on December 16.

The other Muslim signatories were Naved Siddiqi, also of New Horizons in British Islam, Imam Dr Ludovic Mohamed Zahed, a “gay imam,” and Muhsin Hendricks, who is described as “an imam who has devoted his life to giving LGBT Muslims a safe space in which to worship, away from the condemnation of orthodox faith leaders, many of whom see homosexuality as a sin.”

The declaration says that it “aims to provide a strong and authoritative voice from religious leaders across the global faith community who wish to affirm and celebrate the dignity of all, independent of a person’s sexuality, gender expression and gender identity.”

Dilwar Hussain told The Guardian, that he had been pushing Muslim organisations to engage with LGBT+ justice, but admitted it was “challenging.”

He added: “There’s a lot of talk in Muslim communities of equality, prejudice, discrimination … If we’re going to be serious about addressing issues of justice and injustice in our society, we’ve got to have an argument that’s morally consistent.”

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New Horizons in British Islam is behind the annual The British Islam conference which has featured Zionists, ex-Muslims, secularists, radical feminists and pro-LGBTQ speakers.

Homosexual acts are prohibited in Islam by all mainstream Muslims sects according to a consensus of scholars.

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