The opening of Europe's first gay-friendly mosque in Paris last week was certain to be controversial and has already attracted criticism. The mosque has been declared an "aberration" by Muslim leaders in France.
Muslim leaders in France have been quick to criticise the opening of Europe's first gay mosque, intended to welcome homosexuals and break down the barriers which separate men and women in prayer. Digital Journal reported the mosque's founder, Mohammed Ludovic Zahed, said: "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." France 24 reported the mosque's Paris location has not been disclosed as Zahed is worried about the reaction of Islamic fanatics. He was prepared though for the criticism the mosque drew from Muslim leaders.
The rector of the Grande Mosque in Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, declared the gay-friendly mosque went against the tenets of Islam. He said: "The mosques that are already there accept everyone so creating one specifically for homosexuals is against the spirit of Islam. Worshippers go to a mosque to worship god, they don’t go to demonstrate their sexuality. This is an abuse of the definition of a mosque.”Boubakeur went on to add: "Homosexuality is condemned in 13 verses of the Qur'an. The only sexual relationship that is legitimate is between married men and women." He claims the mosque will remain outside the Muslim community.
Abdallah Zekri, the chairman of France's Islamophobia Observatory, joined in the criticism, saying: “We know that homosexual Muslims exist but opening a mosque (for them) is an aberration.”