Muslim Leaders Condemn Gay Mosque
Paris: A Muslim prayer centre, which has been dubbed Europe’s first gay-friendly mosque, opened in Paris on December 2. Its founder described it as the first step in breaking “prejudices in Islam”, but it has been criticised by religious leaders for going “against the spirit of Islam”. The new “mosque”, opened on Friday in a small room inside the house of a Buddhist monk. But the prayer room located in the eastern suburbs of Paris is not supported by any formal Muslim institution and many imams in France oppose it.
While a handful of gay-friendly mosques now exist in Canada, South Africa and the United States, Zahed believes his project is breaking new boundaries in France and Europe. It now boasts over 300 members.
French government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem has condemned the inflammatory language used by the Union of Islamic Organizations in France (UOIF) in opposing gay marriage, including equating same-sex marriage to bestiality. The UOIF also added that everyone should understand “the consequences that it could have on society, if this new form of marriage and parenthood is legalized”. President François Hollande’s government has recently drafted a bill on “marriage for all” that could allow same-sex couples to get married in France as early as 2013.