A gay Muslim imam in Malaysia has caused controversy in his homeland by arguing that there is no condemnation of loving relationships between people of the same sex or being homosexual so long as the individuals involved remain celibate.
The imam, who gave his name as only ‘Adik,’ broadcast his message via the Twitter account @twt_LGBT which is a curated account used by LGBTI Malaysians to talk anonymously about their lives and issues.
Adik was given control of the account for the whole of this week and used it to spark discussion about LGBTI people and their place in the Islamic faith.
‘I am an imam, and I am homosexual,’ Adik announced on Twitter as he began tweeting on Sunday.
‘I live in a medium sized suburban community, working as a mosque executive,’ adding that it was not a ‘progressive community.’
He then asked the internet for questions and it obliged.
Asked if the people around him knew he was gay, Adik responded, ‘Surely no. I am comfortable that way.
Many accused Adik of being unqualified for being an imam because of his sexuality or of mocking religion but he challenged them to find any Islamic text that condemned a person for merely being a homosexual and not specific sexual acts.
‘None also disallow. Prohibition is for sexual acts.’ he tweeted in response.
Adik also revealed that he was in a celibate relationship with another man and that he saw no conflict between that and his faith.
‘Take note, I am a celibat[e] imam and I have a partner. Celibat[e]: not married and no sex.’
‘According to [Islamic] law, Sex without marriage is a sin. Anal sex (men and women), a sin. I chose to abstain from both.’
Adik’s tweets caused a heated debate online.
‘It’s just crazy to even imagine the concept of a gay imam,’ one user tweeted.
‘I have nothing against gay and I have a gay friend too. But to say that gay isn’t against Islam. It’s so wrong in so many ways.’
However others praised him for his thoughts and candor.
‘Dude you are special. We need more wise people like you,’ another user tweeted.