Religious leaders are not pleased with the Delhi high court order. Interestingly, this is one rare issue maulanas, saffron brigade and the Church seem to agree on.
Lucknow's Naib Imam and a member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali quoted Soorate Houd, verse number 88 of the Quran, to say those who practised homosexuality in times of Hazrat Houd became victims of divine wrath.
Bajrang Dal's national convener Prakash Sharma said: "The judgment is unfortunate... this is a Congress conspiracy... it seems some top Congress leaders are gay."
"Homosexuality is an offence under Islam and there are very few nations that have legalised it," the Maulana elaborated. He termed it unnatural, ungodly and against Indian culture and moral values. "Sanctioning it should not be tolerated. Legalising homosexuality would lead to an increase in sex-related crimes, especially sodomy, where children would be victims," he said.
"The Centre is giving undue attention to this non-issue... there are so many other important things which deserve the government's attention," the Maulana said.
Sharma said: "We will fight this (court order). We will go to the Supreme Court, even take to the streets, if need be.
"The government should bring an ordinance to ban homosexuality... on one hand, we are spending crores on AIDS prevention ads and on the other, we legalise gay sex."
Mufti Mohammad Abdul Khalik Madarsi, deputy vice-chancellor of Dar-ul-Uloom (Deoband) is alarmed at the "contemptible move likely to corrupt the gullible in society". He warned the government "not to pander to the wishes of the sinful few".
Mufti Mohammad Arshad Farooqui of the fatwa department of Dar-ul-Uloom said, "A joint forum of Hindus, Muslim and Christians should be set up to check legalisation of homosexuality. In a country with five million HIV-affected, sanctioning homosexuality in the name of radical thinking would be like committing suicide. Even medical science has proved its harmful impact on human civilisation."
Maulana Naimuddin, secretary, Islamic Centre of India, said Islam allowed physical relationship between man and woman only. "Rest of the gair fitri (unnatural) bonds are strictly prohibited."
"This verdict will spoil the future generations," Kamal Farooqi, another AIMPLBmember said.
"Homosexuality is not an acceptable behaviour. This can't be treated as a matter of legality alone, it's highly immoral," Father Babu Joseph, spokesperson for the Catholic Bishop's Conference of India, said.
Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev said, "The verdict will encourage criminality and sick mentality. This kind of thing is shameful and insulting. We are blindly following the West in everything. This is breaking the family system in India. Homosexuals are sick people, they should be sent to hospitals for treatment. If the government brings this law, I will take to the streets of Delhi in protest."
The Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Ahmed Bukhari, said, "This is such a dirty issue. I have decided I will not even speak about it because if I do, it will be an insult to our belief and me. The government cannot dare to make this legal."
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