First Gay Mosque Of Europe Opens In Paris


Europe’s first gay mosque has opened in Paris, amidst claims Islam must stop ignoring its gay community.

Run by married and gay Islamic scholar, Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, and the founder of Homosexual Muslims of France, the exact location of the new mosque has not officially made known as security fears are running high, with Islamic leaders condemning its opening.

Mr Zahed believes the mosque will stress the importance of “accepting everyone as equally God’s creation,” fighting off controversy as Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Grande Mosquée in Paris, claims: “worshippers go to a mosque to worship god, they don’t go to demonstrate their sexuality.”

The cleric added: “This is an abuse of the definition of a mosque.”

However, plans are in the making to perform same-sex marriages in the near future, as Mr Zahed told a Turkish newspaper: “We will start with Friday prayers, but we will perform marriages afterwards.”

Although not supported by any formal Muslim institution, the mosque may make way for Islam tobegin talks on LGBT issues, after a British Muslim student recently opened up about his struggle to cope with being gay, urging Islamic leaders to “stop sweeping the issue under the carpet.”

Known only as Yusef, the student is an active member of his university’s Islamic Society, who blames Muslim communities for failing to provide sufficient support to anyone that is LGBT. In a blog for The Huffington Post, he claims “Muslim communities tend to treat such deeply personal matters as elephants in the room.”

“Of course, one such elephant is homosexuality, specifically the idea that someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) can also be a devout Muslim.”

“If you’re a Muslim coming to terms with the fact that you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, I’m not going to offer you some generic advice and avoid the your actual concerns altogether, as some scholars might. I really wish I could point you in the right direction, but that’s part of the point: the Muslim community needs to do more to support those of us who are LGBT.”

Mr Zahed hopes the Parisian Mosque will provide a safe, gay-friendly alternative currently missing from Muslim religious spaces. “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 realised that a mosque for gays was a must for gay Muslims who want to perform their prayers.” In an article for the Guardian, he stressed that: “today in France, gay teenagers are almost 15 times more likely than those who are straight to kill themselves because of their sexual orientation.”

He added that he believed his religion had aided the suppression of his sexual orientation: “I have found out that I had been pushing down my feelings with the help of Islam.”

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