First Gay Mosque to Open in Paris: Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed


Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, a gay Muslim activist and an expert on the Koran plans to open Europe’s first gay-friendly mosque in Paris at the end of this month. He calls it a place of shelter as well as a place of worship.He believes, if the Prophet Mohammad was alive today, he would marry gay couples. He himself is the first gay man to marry partner in a Muslim ceremony in France. He is an Algerian PhD student writing his thesis on Islam and homosexuality, a subject he also addressed in a book “The Koran and the Flesh.”

“Common prayer, practiced in an egalitarian setting and without any form of gender-based discrimination, is one of the pillars supporting the proposed reforms of our progressive representation of Islam,” he said.
“The Unity” mosque will initially operate in a Buddhist temple in a neighborhood in eastern Paris, and will emphasize “accepting everyone as equally God’s creation….I hope straight men will pray together with gay men and women, everyone,” said Zahed who declines to make public the address of the venue, due to security concerns.
Zahed’s mosque will honor some Islamic traditions, like Friday prayers (Jumu’ah), and the Muslim marriage contract (Nikah) to bless same-sex marriage. It will also perform funeral rites (Janazah) for those who have been denied a traditional Islamic funeral based on Sharia law because of their sexual orientation.
“Current Islamic ethics may condemn this sexual orientation,” Zahed said, “but in fact nothing in Islam or the Koran forbids homosexuality. Indeed, for centuries, Muslims did not consider homosexuality to be the supreme abomination that they do today.”
There are believed to be 21 other gay mosques sprinkled through the U.S., Canada and South Africa.

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