Malaysia’s official Islamic authority has openly endorsed ‘gay cure’ therapy.
The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) released a video last week explaining how non-LGBTI people could change their sexuality if they wanted to.
In the three minute video, Jakim said sexuality was like learning to ride a horse and if a LGBTI person wanted to become heterosexual they should receive training and guidance.
Some methods suggested for people to try to change their sexuality were to marry the opposite gender or to subdue sexual desires by refusing to eat.
Jakim said a person should want to be ‘cured’ from homosexuality for ‘God’s sake’. The video also urged people to be patient with their LGBTI friends and to help them onto the path of heterosexuality.
Formed in 1968 under a different name, Jakim’s objective is ‘to ensure that the development plans for the ummah and the development of Islam in the country is implemented in an integrated manner based on effective plans and coordination‘.
Jakim’s family, social and community department assistant senior director, Dr Mohd Izwan Yusof, confirmed the department created the video.
Pray the gay away?
Social activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi published the video saying ‘there are those among Muslims that has non-heterosexual orientation but remains steadfast on the path of Islam’.
‘For them, this is a test of Allah, and they choose to face the test appropriate with what Islam demands,’ he said.
Social media was divided about the message of the video with some people praising Jakim for its ‘soft-lined’ approach to the issue.
‘Color me surprised with rainbow colors,’ said Luq Harith.
‘Jakim actually came out with a video that is non-hateful of the LGBTI community.
‘While the idea of one person can change their orientation is debatable (I know some of you will say they won’t change but there are legit stories of people going straight out of their own will), the video’s soft approach on advising, respect for privacy and emphasis on free will is definitely commendable.
‘This is far better than saying they’re sinners, they’re going to Hell, bla bla bla (sic).’
Other people said the video would promote false ideas about conversion therapies.
‘This video is going to make people believe that there is a way to ‘change’ homosexuals into heterosexuals. No way you can do that,’ Sheelabanu Sri Jaya.
‘Not impressed with the content but kudos to Jakim for focusing on not being hateful or violent towards LGBTI people,’ Huda Mutalib said.
No gays on TV in Malaysia
Sodomy and oral sex are banned in Malaysia and a man found of “gross indecency with another male person” could face jail time or corporal punishment.
In 2010 the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia said it would only allow depictions of homosexuals onscreen if they repent or die.
‘Gay cure’ therapy is considered incredibly harmful to a person’s mental and physical health. It has been condemned by every mainstream health organization in the world as dangerous and a con as it does not work.
The full video in Malay is below: