Norway: Islamic Council turns to European Fatwa Council for ruling on homosexuals

The Islamic Council of Norway has turned to the European Council for Fatwa for help in deciding what attitudes Norwegian Muslims should have towards homosexuality. One of the most difficult questions that the fatwa council will now have to take a position on is whether Muslims in Europe should support or reject death sentence for homosexuals. This question has not been clarified so far by the Islamic Council of Norway.

The European Fatwa council, which principally answers questions for Muslims in Europe is now being asked for the first time to come up with a clear answer about attitudes towards homosexuality.

The question about Norwegian Muslims attitude towards homosexuality has been on the agenda after Dagsavisen reported on Nov. 18 that homosexuals are being sent abroad to become heterosexuals. Non-profit organizations fear for the lives of homosexual immigrants who are being forcibly sent back to their parent's homeland. Forced marriage and "reorienting" through koran lessons are methods used on young homosexuals who parents and family want to "cure" them from their homosexual leanings. In several Muslim countries, like Iran, there's a death sentence on homosexuality.

The head of the Islamic Council of Norway, Senaid Kobilica told Dagsavisen that they have now entered a process where they discuss problems related to homosexuality. The most important reference point for them is the European Council for Fatwa and they are asking the council to help them clarify these difficult questions.

Kobilica is a highly respected imam and has formerly clearly expressed himself on his and Norwegian Muslims' detest for the use of terrorism and violence. When asked by Dagsavisen if he supports death sentence for homosexuals he answered that as a Muslim in Norway reacts to being confronted with such a question.

As Muslims in Norway we have always respected Norwegian law, and will continue. We are obligated, according to Islam, to respect the law of the countries where we live, and that we do fully, says Kobilica who hopes the European Council will help Muslims in Europe have a uniform position on homosexuality. He says it's obvious that Muslims in Norway agree on their opinion in this question. Some might like it, others not, but they must sooner or later express themselves on this issue.

This will happen after an internal discussion among Muslims in Norway and after the Islamic Council of Norway consults Islamic authorities in Europe.

Kobilica says that while these processes are going on, he asks for understanding and respect on the fact that he can't express himself, neither on his personal standpoint nor on the Islamic Council of Norway' standpoint towards homosexuality related questions.

"Skeiv Verden", a group for homosexual and lesbian youth of immigrant background, reported that they got many shocked inquiries after the Islamic Council of Norway refused to reject the death sentence for homosexuals. The organization is now initiating an appeal to be handed to the Islamic council, the government and Norwegian political parties.

Source: Dagsavisen (Norwegian)

See also: Norway: Islamic Council doesn't want to say 'no' to death sentence for homosexuals , Norway: Homosexual immigrant youth fear for their lives, Norway: First Muslim homosexual (and a bit on antisemitism)

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