Mosque for gays to open in France
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
AFP photoDaily Hürriyet reporter Arzu Çakır Morin has conducted an interview with an unusual Muslim man in France, who has been trying to open a "mosque for gays."
"When I was 12 years old, I started exploring Islam and performing prayers. At first, I was impressed by the Salafists in Algeria, afterwards I became distant from them because of the terrorist attacks they performed," Mohammed Ludovic Lütfi Zahed said, explaining his approaching to Islam.
"After my first night with a man, I realized that I was gay. I have found out that I had been pushing down my feelings with the help of Islam," he said.
Çakır questioned the reason why Zahed felt he needed a "mosque for gays."
"In normal mosques, women have to sit in the back seats and wear a headscarf and gay men are afraid of both verbal and physical aggression. After performing the Hajj, I realized that a mosque for gays was a must for gay Muslims who want to perform their prayers," Zahed said.
"We will use a hall in a Buddhist chapel, which will be opened on Nov. 30th" he said, adding that in the new mosque women and men would be able to perform their prayers together in the same space.
In response to a question as to whether same-sex marriage ceremonies would be performed, Zahed said: "We will start with Friday prayers, but we will perform marriages afterwards."
More than 100,000 people turned out Saturday across France for rallies against government plans to approve same-sex marriage and adoption, as police clashed with counter-demonstrators in one city.