Commentary by Samir Khalil Samir
How is sharia, the Islamic law, being applied in the Islamic world? In seven nations, homosexual relations are officially punishable by death: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania, Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, Yemen and Afghanistan at the time of the Taliban. In many countries, homosexuality is punished with incarceration, or corporal punishment, as in Bahrain, Qatar, Algeria, Maldives, etc. In some countries (Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Mali, etc.), homosexuality is not prohibited as such, but gays can be condemned for offending public morality, as happened in Cairo on May 11, 2001, when 52 men were arrested on board the Queen Boat Nightclub, anchored in the Nile. Iran is the country where the situation is of the greatest injustice: since the Islamic revolution, the Iranian government has executed more than 4000 people accused of homosexual relations.
Imam Yûsuf al Qaradâwi, the scholar most accredited with modern Sunni Islam, writes « Islamic jurists have had opposing opinions on the punishment for this abominable practice. Should punishment be that foreseen for zina (fornication), or should both the active and passive participants be killed? Even if such punishment can seem cruel, it has been recommended to maintain the purity of Islamic society, and to cleanse it of perverted elements (Al-halâl w-al-harâm fî l-Islâm - The licit and the illicit in Islam).
According to the Tradition of Muhammad (Sunnah), homosexuality, both male and female, whether active or passive, is equivalent to adultery, and is thus punishable by death.
The first hadith [Sayings of Mohammed; therefore canonical and orthodox Islam,] says "When a male mounts another male, God's throne trembles." The second says "Kill the person who is active and the person who is passive." The third deals with lesbians: "The sihâq of women is fornication ((zinâ)."
Islam's battle against the West, seen as depraved, will continue, taking on violent forms, because Western behaviour violates the conscience of the Muslim world on important points.