Mufti: Respect LGBTs although they are ‘sinners’

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KUALA LUMPUR ― Perlis mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has called on Malaysians to respect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, even as he labelled homosexuals “sinners” who must be guided back to the right path.

In a Facebook post on his official page, he likened homosexuality to incest and bestiality, but said some of those in such relations may have been victims of their lust ― and should be helped towards repentance.

“It does not mean that those who sin are denied their rights in other matters — just like illicit sex or homosexuality, drinking alcohol, gambling and so on,” he wrote.

“These sins are rejected and renounced, but those who commit a sin are not denied their enshrined rights. In living within a country, each citizen has specific rights.”

Mohd Asri said the LGBT community deserve their right to education, work and justice “despite committing a major sin” and as long as they “do not contravene any laws”.

He said Islam does not allow Muslims from publicly shaming and accusing others of committing homosexuality which, he added, is an act as big a sin as homosexuality.

Describing homosexuality as a “vice”, the mufti urged the public to oppose it if it “committed” in public.

“If there is a public campaign for the vice, the response must also be public. This is because a public act brings the vice out from a person’s personal space with his God, with a public campaign that disturbs others and the surrounding climate.”

Mohd Asri insisted homosexuality is rejected by Islam because “it destroys the nature of God’s creation” of humans as males and females.

“Homosexuality destroys a person’s spiritual and physical existence. It is like incest or bestiality. If homosexuality is recognised as a human right, then incest, extramarital sex, and bestiality will also be recognised on the same basis.

“As a religion of nature, Islam will never recognise all these. Islam rejects them and thinks of them as despicable.”

He said LGBT Muslims still count as adherents, adding that they must seek repentance from God for their so-called sins.