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     Question Forum :  Islamic View On Homosexuality     Date Posted:  09 - March  -  2002




Would an Islamic nation in Britain tolerate homosexuality? By tolerate I mean allow people to live their lives this way without state interference. Christianity does not tolerate homosexuality but it is not punishable by death. Would an Islamic state therefore 'condemn to death' Britain's 6.6 million homosexuals? 

To start with, the figure of 6.6 million (or more than 10% of the population) sounds propagandistic. Whilst few dare speak out against the practice of homosexuality due to the pressure exerted by gay rights groups and echoed in the media, the majority of the population do not regard it as an acceptable way of life. Islam condemns and outlaws homosexuality. As far as Islamic law is concerned, the rules are that the state does not interfere in the privacy of people's homes, but it would need to safeguard public decency by preventing any public advocacy for homosexuality. Such activity would come under the heading of public incitement. The death penalty the questioner mentions only applies to a public display of lewdness witnessed by several people.

Follow-Up Posted: 28th April 2002

In response to your answer on homosexuality, you appear to be making assumptions on peoples views on the subject. I would not agree that 6.6 million (or 1 in 11 of the population) is 'propagandistic' as that is statistically what it should be. Or are you and your party just scared that homosexuals outnumber Muslims in the UK? I am heterosexual myself, but I believe in peoples right to be what they want to be. I do wonder if your parties position would change if the government acted to outlaw Islam?

The questioner did not give a return email, and we thought it proper to add to the answer originally given by dispelling a few common misconceptions. 

The first is the assumption that the mere existence of a condition justifies its validity, and that decisions are to be taken on the basis of how much support there is rather than on the question whether something is morally justified. The logic of this argument would suggest that if the number of pedophiles increased in the UK, they would have to be protected by law against discrimination rather than prosecuted. For the same argument, that homosexuality is a condition which the individual cannot overcome, could be made for pedophilia. The moral argument, on the other hand, is that both are unnatural and a danger to society. UK law, however, accepts one and outlaws the other, simply on the basis of greater pressure and support for the former. The second issue is that just because somebody has an inclination, this does not mean it must be followed. People desire other people's property, yet we do not encourage them to help themselves. If we do not take decisions as to what is morally proper and what is not, we end up with a selfish law of the jungle, where might is right, even if we call it democracy and majority voting. People afflicted with unnatural conditions like homosexuality or pedophilia need treatment, not encouragement. Moral decisions are based on divine rules. God eradicated the city of Lot even though they almost unanimously agreed in their aberration; from a secular (democratic) point of view they had every right to decide on their own fate. From a religious point of view, their violation of divine injunctions sealed their fate. Therefore, in an Islamic ruling system, people may only decide their own affairs inasmuch as they do not transgress the clear boundaries already demarcated in the divine revelation. Muslims are not as irresponsible that they would grant a society the right to destroy itself which would be the logical conclusion of the line of argument presented by the questioner. This issue does not affect only the topic of homosexuality. The loss of moral standards by secular society equally has led to calls for the legalisation of euthanasia and suicide, and a society advocating such madness must eventually self-destruct. 

As for numbers, the government does not collect statistics on sexual orientation, and different interest groups claim different figures to further their opposing arguments.

Further Reading  
The unhappy search for the "gay" Muslim by Dr. Sahib Mustaqim Bleher, November 2002
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