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Why Muslim groups in north India want the government to re-criminalize gay sex

Why Muslim groups in north India want the government to re-criminalize gay sex

Muslim groups urge India's government to challenge the end of India's gay sex ban (Photo: YouTube)

A prominent Muslim group in north India has spoken out against the Supreme Court of India’s decision to end the country’s gay sex ban.

Anjuman-e-Imamia’s Jammu chapter told a press conference on Sunday (14 October)  gay sex was against nature.

Vice President, Syed Afaq Kazmi, said it went against the rich cultural traditions of India.

India’s estimated LGBTI population of 78 million celebrated last month’s ruling that Section 377 of the Penal Code was unconstitutional.

Kazmi, however, appealed to India’s government to challenge the decision. ‘There are strong objections from various sections of the society,” Kazmi said, according to the Tribune.

A Muslim cleric, also present at the press conference, Maulana Sheikh Mohammad Ali Mohammadi, said the top court verdict was a threat to age-old social and ethical values of Indian culture.

Showqat Gujjar, of the Gujjar Federation, reportedly said: ‘Ours is not a European society. No doubt women should be given equal rights, but this is something which is unacceptable.’

‘Self-destruction’

India’s 1861 Penal Code criminalized ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’. The law applied to anal and oral sex, with LGBTI advocates arguing it criminalizes homosexuality. People convicted under the law faced up to 10 years in jail.

‘We have to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusion, and ensure equal rights,’ said Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra in his judgment on 7 September.

The judges, therefore, enshrined LGBT equality. It was largely welcomed by the ruling party and some religious organizations.

In recent weeks, the judiciary has shown it is keen to uphold the ruling in LGBTI cases. Judges in Kerala and Delhi ruled in favor of same-sex couples who were being harassed by their families.

Leading English language Islamic paper Milli Gazette, however, labelled the repeal of India’s gay sex ban a ‘step toward self-destruction’.