A call for tolerance from one of Egypt’s highest-ranking religious officials may signal a new dawn for the North African country’s lesbian and gay community. The Orlando massacre was enough for Grand Mufti Shawki Allam to issue a statement denouncing violence against the LGB community. It isn’t all good, though, he also nonchalantly threw in that being gay or lesbian is still a sin. But this is huge coming from such an influential leader—particularly when 95% of Egyptians believe that homosexuality should be rejected. The peace offering is said to have come when the leader heard of the 49 people killed in Orlando.
“Yes, it is religiously not allowed and not accepted practice in a correctly practiced Islam. But that does not give anyone the right to hurt homosexuals or to take the law into their own hands,” he told Süddeutsche Zeitung. “But we live in a system and have to respect it. Islam is not alone in condemning homosexuality. The Pope of the Coptic Church in Egypt has quoted the Bible and condemned homosexuality. He continued: “But even if we view homosexuality as a religious sin, it does not give anyone the freedom to anyone to injure other people, each person is equally inviolable.
The country’s 19th Grand Mufti who is known for his moderate views added: “What happened in Orlando, is totally unacceptable.”
This is major progress in the country (and the Arab world), Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, the last Imam, preached that gays and lesbians should be stoned to death. [StarObserver]