One of the (very) few openly gay Muslim clerics in the whole world, South African Imam Muhsin Hendricks reflected upon how Islam can be adjusted with homosexuality during a Q&A with Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Hendricks, while speaking about sexuality said that it was better to come out rather than spending the life being a different person. He also set up an organization called ‘The Inner Circle’ helping gay Muslims to adjust their sexuality with the teachings of Islam.
The personality of Hendricks, if not in South Africa, would definitely be considered highly controversial elsewhere because what this Imam preaches and teaches is detestable in the Muslim world.
Homosexuality is an abomination in Islam and it’s not a debatable topic. But Muhsin Hendricks has spent quite a lot of time debating and arguing over this subject with the help of his own interpretation of verses from the Holy Quran. According to him, “The Koran only speaks about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Koran doesn't use the word homosexuality. It's only a term that was coined in the 18th century, and the Koran was a 7th century book. The story has been interpreted for years to refer to the atrocities of Sodom and Gomorrah as homosexuality so what I do is I unpack it.”
Hendricks believes that lack of information leads to discrimination anti-gay violence. He said in his interview, “If you perhaps were living in more developed cities in South Africa like Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth, you'd probably see less of that discrimination, but the more you move you into townships where there is a lack of education, there is a lack of information around these issues, you do still see violence and discrimination happening.”
Since homosexuality doesn’t really have any place in Islam, Hendricks’ interview is bound to spark criticism, but that remains to be seen.