KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7, 2015:
This week’s curator for the @twt_LGBT Twitter account has raised more eyebrows than usual.
Claiming himself to be a “gay imam”, the curator, who only refers himself as “Adik”, said that he anted to share his life story and experiences in being a homosexual Muslim in Malaysia.
“I am an imam, and I am homosexual.
“Saya nak kongsi hidup sebagai seorang imam yang gay (I would like to share my life as a gay imam),” he tweeted.
Aside from sharing his experiences, Adik also invoked several arguments and connotations on Islamic teachings in aspects of homosexuality and his opinion on what it was to be a gay Muslim.
In his string of over 30 tweets, he argued that there existed no definite specifications in Islam on the meaning of homosexuality, claiming that Islamic scriptures only forbid and object to gay relationships if they involved sexual acts.
“None also disallow. Prohibition is for sexual acts.”
He added that as Islam forbids sexual acts out of wedlock for heterosexual individuals, the concept also supposedly applied to homosexuals.
He viewed that if one abstained from any form of sexual activity, then gay and homosexual relationship without any form of intercourse could be accepted by the religion and cannot be considered as a sin.
“Take note, I am a celibating (celibate) imam and I have a partner. Celibating: not married and no sex.
“According to the law, Sex without marriage is a sin. Anal sex (men and women), a sin. I chose to abstain from both,” he argued.
The social media discussion has snowballed into a heated debate with netizens taking on both sides of the matter.
Twitter user @muhammadyusoffn said that he was appalled by the concept of a homosexual imam and claimed that the curator was insulting Islam with his stand and point of view.
Another user, @rodakakiman, said that it was unacceptable for an imam, a person who generally stood at the pinnacle of Islamic teachings, to accept homosexuality, let alone be gay himself: “It’s just crazy to even imagine the concept of a gay imam.”
“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,” tweeted user @sfatimahk.
Others, however, were open tothe notion of having a homosexual as an Islamic leader.
User @meiameira said: “Dude you are special. We need more wise people like you.”
Another user, @AlexandreIsz, accepted the notion of having a gay imam and saw the lighter side of the topic: “Hahah. You funny. Then we don’t need labels. At least we don’t need to be labelled by others. We don’t need other’s conformity.”
The twt_LGBT twitter account is a medium for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community to commune and converse.
The account operates based on a curator system where volunteers are selected each week to share their stories and knowledge on issues relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).
All major Islamic schools of thought find homosexuality to be unlawful.