Humza Yousaf: LGBTQ lifestyles and abortion are not morally wrong

Humza Yousaf. Pic: Scottish Government

The narrow favourite to become the next leader of Scotland, Humza Yousaf, said in a TV debate on Channel 4 last night that there is nothing morally wrong about LGBTQ lifestyles or abortion.

Yousaf, who calls himself a “proud Muslim,” also reiterated in the debate between Scottish National Party candidates that his faith will not be the basis on which he legislates or leads.

He said: “For me it’s very simple… my faith, and I’m a proud Muslim, is not the basis by which I make legislation or policy. There are of course some exceptions which are issues of conscience and we will come to an agreement as a government, as a party to allow a free vote, but for the vast majority of votes I think it’s very clear for me that religion and faith should not be the basis of legislation because people need to… know that the person who is First Minister is not just going to protect their rights but… advance them… They need to know that if there is an attack on our rights, on equal marriage for example, that their First Minister will defend their rights.”

He added (addressing the presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy):”I don’t believe that abortion is wrong if that’s what you are about to ask me… even in the Islamic faith of course abortion is allowed under certain circumstances but as First Minister and leader of the country I would say very, very clearly that not only would we want to uphold those rights, I’d be a supporter of safe access, those buffer zone effectively so people can’t protest outside abortion clinics.”

According to a consensus of Islamic scholars the homosexual act is a major sin.

Islam’s position on abortion is more complex – it decrees that life is sacred and must be honoured and promoted, and once the woman’s egg is fertilised it is impermissible to terminate the pregnancy without the mutual agreement of both parents.

Once the foetus reaches 40 days from conception, abortion becomes impermissible according to most scholars, unless a pressing need exists which justifies it in the eyes of Islamic law.

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Once the foetus reaches 120 days, all scholars agree that terminating the gestation of a living foetus would only be allowed to save the mother’s life.

The scholars also deem abortion in the case of fetal demise permissible at any point, as the soul is no longer believed to be present.

Meanwhile, polling from Channel 4 News and Ipsos shows that amongst those who voted SNP at the last Scottish Parliament election, Humza Yousaf is leading the leadership race by a fraction. One third (33 per cent) of this group said Yousaf would make the best First Minister, with Kate Forbes on 32 per cent.

However, Forbes has taken an eight-point lead amongst the wider public which could be crucial as the SNP needs to persuade non members of the case for independence. .

Almost one in three people (32 per cent) named her as the best FM. Around one quarter (24 per cent) said Yousaf was their choice.

The polling, which included more than 1,500 adults, 580 of whom voted SNP in 2021, was conducted on March 6-7.

Voting for a new leader to replace Nicola Sturgeon opens at noon on March 13 and runs until midday on March 27, with the result to be announced the same day.

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