Saudi Cleric Says Muslim Countries Should not Punish Homosexuals
(MENAFN- Morocco World News) Salman al-Ouda a leading cleric in Saudi Arabia said that governments in Muslim countries should not punish individuals for homosexuality even though he believes it to be a sin in Islam.
During his visit to Syrian refugees in Sweden the Saudi cleric said that the punishment should come only from God stressing that homosexuals would be punished “after death.” In an interview with the Swedish Sydsvenskan newspaper the cleric warns that condemning homosexuals to death is 'committing a graver sin than homosexuality itself' stressing that “one of the fundamentals of Islam is man’s freedom to act as he wants.' “Homosexuals are not deviating from Islam. Homosexuality is a grave sin but those who say that homosexuals deviate from Islam are the real deviators. By condemning homosexuals to death they are committing a graver sin than homosexuality itself” Ouda said. The Muslim cleric added that homosexuality which is still punishable by the death penalty in Saudi Arabia is considered 'a sin in all the Semitic holy books' however 'it does not require any punishment in this world.' Ouda evidently remained confident that homosexual conduct would be punished 'after death' saying that 'It is a sin that will accompany its committer in the life after death.' While the cleric a member of the International Union for Muslim Scholars and director of Islam Today is against criminally punishing homosexuality he stressed that Islam does not 'encourage individuals who have same-sex attraction to show their feelings in public.' According to the Jerusalem Post thestatements of the Saudi cleric have already provoked a controversy in his country and in the Islamic world. A campaign under the hashtag “Ouda permits homosexuality” was launched. “According to Sharia law homosexuals should be killed. How can you say homosexuality should not be punishable Sheikh?” Fadi Matiri a Saudi citizen commented on Twitter according to the same source.
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