HALIFAX – A group of Canadian homosexuals have announced their plans to open a “unity” mosque in Halifax city in the eastern Canadian province of Nova Scotia, where gays, transgender and women Imams would worship openly.
“It’s not so much that they’re not welcome, but they can’t affirm that aspect of their identity,” Syed Adnan Hussein, a member of the Muslim group which wants to open the mosque, told CBC on Wednesday, December 11.
“You can be a queer but you can’t affirm your identity when you’re in a religious space like a mosque.
“So you couldn’t, for example, be trans. and decide that you wanted to pray on the women’s side if you looked more male.”
According to Hussein, the new unity mosque aims to gay and transgender Muslims an opportunity to be ‘themselves’.
Halifax’s planned mosque would also allow ‘women imams’ where women could lead followers in prayers.
Although there are no accurate figures of the gay or transgender Muslims in Canada’s Nova Scotia, Hussien asserted the importance of such a place of worshipping.
“To me, creating a spiritual space where all are equal is really important because that might impact their lives outside of the spiritual arena as well,” he said.
Muslims make around 2.8 percent of Canada’s 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the north American country.
Same-sex relationship and marriage are totally prohibited in Islam, Christianity and all divine religions.
Islam teaches that believers should neither do the obscene acts, nor in any way indulge in their propagation.
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is not a sin, but considers homosexual intercourse as sinful.
Muslim scholars in Canada’s Halifax have slammed the idea of the gay mosque as contradicting with the Islamic teachings.
“What the Qur’an says clearly, just like the Bible, that homosexuality is not accepted,” said Jamal Badawi, a professor emeritus at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.
“It is not regarded as the norm in terms of the needs of society and the relationship between men and women.”
Professor Badawi has also underscored the difference between rejecting same-sex relations on Islam and the anti-homosexuality bias.
“There is a big difference between disagreement and discrimination. You can disagree with people and their views,” he said.
“Everybody’s entitled to the right to agree or disagree with anybody’s ideas. But discrimination, that’s what we all should be against.”
Halifax imams have also argued that everyone is welcomed in the city mosques regardless of their ‘sexual orientation’.
“All mosques, everybody is welcome in the mosque regardless of race, color, gender, whatever,” said Imam Ibrahim Alshanti, of the United Muslims of Halifax.
“To open a new mosque specially for these people, maybe it’s not necessary.”
Last November, a French homosexual opened a mosque in Paris that welcomed gay worshippers and women who do not wear hijab.
The move triggered condemnations from French Muslims, as Muslim scholars denounced it for promoting immoralities and wrongdoings.