- Uganda's leading Muslim cleric Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje has proposed to President Yoweri Museveni that homosexuals be rounded up and marooned on an island in Lake Victoria until they die. (Reference)
- Iraq’s supreme religious authority for Shi'ites Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, on his website and in statements claims sodomy (homosexuality) and lesbianism are ‘forbidden’ and ‘must be punished’ and sodomites should be killed in the worst manner possible. (Reference)
- In Britain, cleric Arshad Misbahi, Manchester’s leading imam from their central mosque, confirmed in an interview that executing sexually active gay men is justified and is part of Islam, not just culture! (The Punishments) ‘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.” ‘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.’” (Reference)
- Britain’s Sheik Omar Bakri has praised the September 11 terrorists as 'magnificent', called Israel 'a cancer' and said homosexuals should be 'thrown from Big Ben'. (Deportation not fair, says extremist (on benefits) 6th August 2005 (Reference)
- 2005 Australia: Channel Nine’s ‘60 Minutes’, 24/7/05 showed US imam Sheik Khalid Yasin preaching at Lakemba that Islamic law prescribed the death penalty for gay sex. The sharia is very clear about it, the punishment for homosexuality, bestiality or anything like that is death. We don’t make any excuses about that,.’..
1) Some history Any who read Arab poetry, tales from travellers over centuries- some shocked at the rampant homosexuality and paedophilia and others there to enjoy it, will know that homosexuality, sex with boys (and the abuse of young girls) occurred throughout Islam’s history and is widespread even today! See point 8, boys in paradise!
Eg The Afghan caravan drivers were accompanied by boys and lads almost in women's attire who were ‘travelling wives’ (Burton, R The book of a thousand nights and a night London ) In Egypt, all normal Siwah men and boys practice sodomy. (Cline 1936 from his field work in western Egypt, quoted in Leach, E Social Anthropology London 1982).
According to ahadith, Mohammad asked sodomites to be executed. Some early caliphs stoned, burned or threw homosexuals off a minaret, but during the Abbasid period 750-1258 (vicious, religious) many caliphs seem to have been homosexual -al-Amin(809), al-Mutasim(833), the Aghlabid Ibrahim (875), at Cordoba, Abd al-Rahman(912), and the great Saladin (Salah al-Din 1169) who fought against the crusaders.
Many great Arabic poets glorified homosexuality eg Abu Nuwas 'O the joy of sodomy! So now be sodomites you Arabs…Turn not away from it-therein is wondrous pleasure. Take some coy lad with kiss-curls twisting on his temple and ride him as ha stands like some gazelle standing to her mate .-A lad whom all can see girt with sword and belt not like your whore who has to go veiled…..Make for smooth faced boys and do your very best to mount them, for women are the mounts of devils! (Perfumed Garden and Thousand and one nights Abu Nuwas- cited by Ibn Warraq above)
2) Why such homosexuality? Well, as Nawas implies, women are loathed and segregated from men.
Sodomy of course is NOT necessarily practised by homosexuals and can be practiced on male and female adults and children.
It is also almost impossible to compare Islamic and western societies. In the west men and women can mix freely and enjoy sexual freedom but they are segregated particularly in Islamic middle-eastern countries. Women’s bodies in the west may be used to advertise everything but at least they’re regarded as beautiful and act of their freewill while Islam regards women as offensive and shameful and they must be covered (see articles on hijab). This segregation coupled with the appalling attitudes to women in Islam create psychosexual pathologies that have been linked with violence, child-sexual abuse, terrorism, abuse of women, sadism, and dehumanising sex where sex is used to humiliate whether the act is inflicted as male on male, male on female or male on child with anal sex apparently common in all cases! Many males, sodomised as children, denied the affection, friendship, love and sexual outlets with women turn into violent men who gain their release where they can—this is very different to the west where some people, in my opinion, are simply born homosexual or bisexual and can form affectionate relationships with others, a freedom that is rare in the Islamic world! Hence in the Islamic world eg middle-east ‘sodomy’ is a weapon, not an act of sexual passion or love and homosexuality is more like prison ‘homosexuality’ than love between two adult men. To say that Islam is totally screwed up about sex is an understatement! It is impossible to discuss homosexuality/sodomy without discussing the subjugation of women, incest and child sexual abuse in the home, madrasses .eg.
Pakistan - Abid Tanoli, was possibly blinded after acid was thrown in his face for refusing sex with a cleric. Sexual abuse was regarded as endemic but the scandal of sexual abuse in religious schools is normally hushed up (Telegraph). (see articles in reference section re sexual behaviour)
Adult male pleasure is through violent domination (not a mutually pleasurable act between equal partners), so, while homosexuality (particularly with affection..) is officially despised, sex with boys or effeminate men is a social norm.
Christianity may regard sodomy and sexual transgressions as ’sins’ that require forgiveness, but not as crimes that require punishment. Islam regards them as crimes with severe punishments from allah. Stoning for sexual transgressions is in ancient Jewish text-Torah /Old Testament (pre-Christian) but Islamic text tells us that by the time of Mohammad, Jews nolonger stoned- eg Muslim book 17 no. 4214, Bukhari Vol 8 book 82 no. 809 but Mohammad reinstated stoning and stoned people for sexual transgressions eg also Abu Dawud book 38 nos 4426, 4429; Muslim book 17 nos 4216, 4218; Bukhari vol 3 nos 508, 885; Maliks Muwatta book 41, no. 41.1.1 etc!
3) Koranic text:
a) Koran Meccan period: The Koran badly repeats the story of Lot from the bible but fails to mention where Lot lives, attributes ‘sexual depravity-homosexuality’ alone as the reason the people were destroyed and kills Lot’s wife...
Eg suras 7:80-84, 11:77-83, 15:59-77, 26:160-175, 27:54-58, 29:28-35. Lot’s people are destroyed because of their lust for men, not women; Lot offers his daughters for sex..., Homosexuality is clearly a death sentence.
b) Koran Medina period:-the law of abrogation means the later written text overrules earlier text.
Sura 4:15 If any of your women commit a lewd act, call four witnesses from among you, then, if they testify to their guilt, keep the women at home until death comes to them or until allah gives them another way out.
Sura 4:16 If two men(two of you) commit a lewd act, punish them both; if they repent and mend their ways, leave them alone—God is ready to accept repentance from those who do evil out of ignorance and soon afterwards repent: these are the ones God will forgive.
Do these verses refer to homosexual or heterosexual acts? Interestingly the men will be punished but can ‘repent’ –other text notes that repentance doesn’t stop punishment for the crime committed but means you won’t be punished again---presumably you won’t do it again!
c) Koran: Abrogation of 4.15, 16 by sura 24.2. While homosexuality isn’t specifically mentioned the general principle of sexual immorality and its punishments is extended to homosexuality/sodomy. Hadiths linked to this verse demand stoning or flogging!
Sura 24.2 The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.
4) Death for Sodomy in ahadith (see laws point 7): Mohammad makes sexual transgressions/sodomy crimes and ‘the way out’ is by punishments such as whipping (see point 6 if treated like adultery), stoning, execution...not through forgiveness!
Abu-Dawud Book 38, Number 4448: Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
If a man who is not married is seized committing sodomy, he will be stoned to death.
Does that mean it is OK for a married man to commit sodomy (on his wife)? One hadith does ban sodomy on women but, Islamic text has a great array of conflicting statements!
Punishments for homosexuality cited in James M. Arlandson ... (Reference)
He notes that in Mishkat al-Masabih, (trans. James Robson, vol. 2, p. 763, Prescribed Punishments) the hadith editor Timidhi repeats Ibn Abbas’ narration (see Abu-Dawud book 38 nos. 4447, 4448 above) : ‘that God’s messenger [Muhammad] said: ‘If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.’"
The Mishkhat al-Masabih, includes the punishments of being burned to death and having heavy objects thrown on the guilty homosexuals:
Ibn Abbas and Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, "Accursed is he who does what Lot’s people did." In a version . . . on the authority of Ibn Abbas it says that Ali [Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law] had two people burned and that Abu Bakr [Muhammad’s chief companion] had a wall thrown down on them. (vol. 1, p. 765, Prescribed Punishments;)
Finally, Muhammad Aashiq Illahi Muhajir Madani, a modern-day Mufti (jurist), wrote Illuminating Discourses on the Noble Quran, 2nd ed. trans. and ed. Mufti A. H. Elias, (Karachi: Pakistan, Zam Zam, 2003). In his commentary on Sura 4:15-16, he is open to the interpretation that the two verses speak of homosexuality, so he provides two hadith that he considers reliable, which deal with punishing homosexuals (vol. 2, pp. 365-69).
a) With regard to the method in which these people [homosexuals] are to executed, Abu Bakr after consulting with Ali and other Sahaaba [companions of Muhammad], ruled that they be burnt.
b). . . Ibn Abbas ruled that they be thrown headlong from the highest summit.
It seems Mohammad and his companions/later caliphs ordered killing, stoning, burning, being thrown from a high point or being crushed under a wall/building or possibly flogging for sodomy.
5) Ambiguity with regard to women and sodomy---
Koran sura 2.223 ”Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will…” (Often the translations are sanitized)
Abu Dawud Book 11, Number 2159: Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas:
Ibn Umar misunderstood (the Qur'anic verse, "So come to your tilth however you will")--may Allah forgive him. The fact is that this clan of the Ansar, who were idolaters, lived in the company of the Jews who were the people of the Book. They (the Ansar) accepted their superiority over themselves in respect of knowledge, and they followed most of their actions. The people of the Book (i.e. the Jews) used to have intercourse with their women on one side alone (i.e. lying on their backs). This was the most concealing position for (the vagina of) the women. This clan of the Ansar adopted this practice from them. But this tribe of the Quraysh used to uncover their women completely, and seek pleasure with them from in front and behind and laying them on their backs. (surely laying them on their backs is 'in front' so what does the phrase 'from in front and behind and laying them on their backs' mean??? If they were on their stomachs a woman could be attacked in the vagina or anus – this isn't possible when on her back-and suggests that both occurred when the woman wasn't on her back!! -my addition)- cont..
When the muhajirun (the immigrants) came to Medina, a man married a woman of the Ansar. He began to do the same kind of action with her, but she disliked it, and said to him: We were approached on one side (i.e. lying on the back); do it so, otherwise keep away from me. This matter of theirs spread widely, and it reached the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him).
So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur'anic verse: "Your wives are a tilth to you, so come to your tilth however you will," i.e. from in front, from behind or lying on the back.
(Santized explanation –'But this verse meant the place of the delivery of the child, i.e. the vagina.'!!! Is added today to the end.)
6) Often homosexuality is included with adultery/fornication—though some (eg Reliance of the traveller) regard sodomy as worse than adultery!
Muslim Chapters 3 and 4 deal with punishments for adultery. Punishments for zina- sexual immorality-are extended to homosexuality.
Muslim Book 17, Number 4191: (also no.4192, 4193-no mention of 1 year just exile, just lashed..)
'Ubada b. as-Samit reported: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Receive (teaching) from me, receive (teaching) from me. Allah has ordained a way for those (women). When an unmarried male commits adultery with an unmarried female (they should receive) one hundred lashes and banishment for one year. And in case of married male committing adultery with a married female, they shall receive one hundred lashes and be stoned to death.
Mohammad abuses effeminate men and mannish women (though this doesn’t mean they were homosexual) –and said don’t let them into the house, turn them out of the community...eg Bukhari v7 book 72, nos. 773, 774, 775; v8 book 82 no.820; v7 book 62 no. 162, v5 book 59 no. 613. Also Malik’s Muwatta 22.214.171.124
7) Laws: Death for sodomy Reliance of the Traveller. A classic manual of Islamic sacred Law. Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Amana USA 1994) Countries that carry the death penalty for homosexual acts, justify this punishment with sharia.
Eg m5.4 p 526 A husband possess full right to enjoy his wife's person in what does not physically harm her. (added in brackets from top of head to her toes but anal intercourse forbidden!!)
p17.1 page 664 that sodomy is an enormity. It is even viler and uglier than adultery’’
P17.2 page 665–quotes Koran 26: 165-166 ‘Do you approach the males...”
P17.3 The Prophet ...said:
(1) "Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him."
(2) "May Allah curse him who does what Lot's people did."
(3) "Lesbianism by women is adultery between them."
O121-6 pages 610-611 This is long and gives punishments as scourging (whip, lash) or stoning.
Other texts of Islamic Law eg Sharia the Islamic Law, 1998 by Abdur Rahman I. Doi; Publisher A.S. Noordeen, Malaysia and the Hedaya (THE HEDAYA COMMENTARY ON THE ISLAMIC LAWS (reprint 1994) Translated by Charles Hamilton, Published by Kitab Bhaban , New Delhi, ) note lashing, stoning, burning, casting offenders from a high place etc!
8) Young boys like pearls are promised to men in Islam’s paradise!
Koran sura 56.17-18 They shall recline on jewelled couches face to face, and there shall wait on them immortal youths with bowls and ewers and a cup of purest wine ........
Koran sura 52.24 And there shall wait on them (the Muslim faithful males) young boys of their own, as fair as virgin pearls.
Koran sura 76.19 They shall be attended by boys graced with eternal youth, who will seem like scattered pearls to the beholders.
Of course these boys aren’t there for sex so why don’t they just use slaves and why are the boys so ‘affectionately’ described?
9) How does this compare with Christian attitudes and practices which underly many of our laws?
James M. Arlandson (Reference) writes quite a good article comparing the attitudes and practices of ‘orthodox’ Christians and Islam towards homosexuality. Jesus was a Jew and presumably followed the Torah to some extent but he often differed particularly regarding punishments for certain sexual behaviours. Mr Arlandson notes that Jesus didn’t comment on homosexuality at all yet presumes that he would regard it as a ‘sin’ because the ancient Jews did- I disagree with this view! The Torah prescribes severe punishments for certain sexual sins but Jesus, acting many hundreds of years after the Torah was composed, doesn’t prescribe such punishments. On the contrary, Jesus, when confronted by an adulteress said only those without sin could throw the first stone and said to her ‘nor do I condemn thee, go and sin no more’ (John 8: 3-11-Mohammad stoned adulterers). Jesus told a prostitute to go in peace as her sins were forgiven (Luke 7;37-50). In the Christian view, Jesus’ death (there are several non-Christian records from the time of some-one called Jesus being killed/crucified) took all punishments for sins so people could have salvation. Jesus’ whole message was one of love and forgiveness. He did not set punishments for ‘sexual sins’ or poke his nose into the privacy of the bedroom. I’m not certain that Jesus regarded homosexuality, practised by consenting adults as a sin. It seems to me that he taught ‘love thy neighbour as thyself,’ and other general, humane principles, which would flow into how one treats others in a sexual association. What is the great crime in two men loving each other or two women.....yes there can be abuse, violence, ‘one night stands’ etc in both homo and heterosexual relationships and these would not satisfy Jesus’ ideal for human interaction but did he condemn love between adults of the same sex?
Mr Arlandson notes that ‘sins’ are not ‘crimes’ requiring punishment and that people can repent of their sins of their own free will. Fortunately, today those Christians who regard homosexuality as a ‘sin’ follow the ‘love the sinner’ and ‘forgiveness’ view and are strongly against any persecution or punishment of homosexuals.
Up the Khyber pass anyone?
References and associated articles:
Text: Koran Hadith
i) Islam's Love-Hate Relationship with Homosexuality By Serge Trifkovic FrontPageMagazine.com | January 24, 2003
ii) Boys of the Taliban By Jamie GlazovFrontPageMagazine.com | 1/1/2007 sexual abuse of young boys
iii) Bahrain Women’s rights Activist ---Ghada Jamshir on Al-arabiya TV (Dubai/Saudi Arabia) Dec 21 2005 oppression of women, sexual abuse of little girls. (LINK)
iv) The Psychoanalytic Roots of Islamic Terrorism ...
v) MEMRI Special Dispatch Series No. 1170 Tunisian Weekly ‘Realities’ dedicates series of articles to homosexuality in Tunisia
vi) The Psychology Behind Suicide Bombings By Pierre Rehov, documentary filmmaker
Pierre Rehov, a French filmmaker interviewqed on July 15, MSNBC's "Connected" program discussed the July 7th London attacks and his findings on Palestinian suicide bombers (film Suicide Killers) from interviews with families and would-be bombers.
I should state that I am a heterosexual atheist who does not regard homosexuality as deviant or a crime that demands punishment!