Mohammed Ludovic Lütfi Zahed wants to open a mosque for gay muslims in France. Zahed realized he needed to start a “mosque for gays” after going on the holy pilgrimage.
“In normal mosques, women have to sit in the back seats and wear a headscarf and gay men are afraid of both verbal and physical aggression. After performing the Hajj, I realized that a mosque for gays was a must for gay Muslims who want to perform their prayers,” Zahed told Hurriyet Daily News.
Mohammed Ludovic Lütfi Zahed, an Algerian Muslim living in France who is married to his gay partner, has been trying to open the mosque for homosexuals.
In April, the couple tied the knot in France with the blessing of an imam.
Zahed and his South African partner Qiyam al-Din, were reportedly married in accordance to the Shariah (Islamic law) in the presence of a Mauritian imam named Jamal who blessed their union on February 12, 2012, according to a report in Al-bawbaba on April 2.
The two were previously able to marry in South Africa under the country’s same sex marriage laws, which also permits gay couples to adopt but France does not recognize same sex unions.
When Zahed was asked how will he set up a mosque for the Muslim gay community. He replied with “The mosque would be started inside the hall of a Buddhist chapel which will be opened on Nov. 30 where prayers, and eventually gay marriages, would be performed.” He added that in the new mosque women and men would be able to perform their prayers together in the same space
In response to a question as to whether same-sex marriage ceremonies would be performed, Zahed said: “We will start with Friday prayers, but we will perform marriages afterwards.”
France has been the scene of controversy in regard to same sex marriages. According to the Globe and Mail, over 100,000 protesters from various Catholic groups went to the streets last weekend to challenge any government inclination towards legalizing same-sex marriages.
Whereas a new generation of younger Muslims are seeking LGBT-friendly mosques as well as progressive reform and open acceptance of same-sex marriages, France hasn’t yet legalized same-sex marriage and many have not been open to accepting Islamic practices.
With such striking protests against the french Islamic community and same-sex marriages, this new mosque could cause even greater controversy in France. Eleven other countries have already legalized same-sex marriage, making France 12th if it proceeds in that direction.
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