For years, I’ve been asked what my personal views on homosexuality are, but I’ve always shied away from talking about it openly because homosexual and lesbian behavior are against the teachings of the Quran.

Also, I experienced a tremendous inner conflict, having seen that homosexuality has deep roots among Indian and Pakistani Muslims.

The Hindu culture has debated the issue of homosexuality and now in the United States, Massachusetts and California have legalized same-sex marriages.

The Quran is explicitly clear that God does not condone homosexual behavior.

Islamic religious scholars of the Sharia — Islamic laws derived through consensus on the Quran and Hadith — are unanimous in their conclusion that “homosexuality and lesbianism” is a crime. And as a crime, it is punishable.

It’s been understood that Islamic religious rules were bent for the rich and powerful. Girls were kidnapped and sold to the highest bidder to become part of a harem. Young boys were also recruited by rulers and influential people to practice their lust with them. But this does not make it right.

Islamic law still advocates death by stoning in the case of adulterous behavior. However, in the case of homosexuality, laws have differed in interpretation from country to country.

Some Islamic jurists say homosexuals or lesbians should be imprisoned until death relieves them or God finds a way out for



Now in the 21st century, as science has advanced, we all know that some people are born biologically imperfect in their sexual inclination. No two people are exactly the same. Children are helpless, only following what the chemicals in their body tell them.

What keeps me awake is the statement that there are no Muslim jurists living in the Western world who think that the Sharia could be moderated according to the conditions and situations that prevail in Western societies.

I say with full commitment to upholding the law of the land — that is, the separation of church or mosque and Western governments as they get more and more secularized — that the time has come for American-Islamic jurists to amend the laws of the Sharia according to circumstances and political climates in the United States, without losing the divinity of the messages in the Abrahamic faiths.

Rabbis, priests and Muslim scholars must sit down and peacefully agree on a common code of governance grounded in basic humanity.

Iftekhar Hai is president of the United Muslims of American Interfaith Alliance in South San Francisco.