Dr. Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, a French-Algerian gay imam who founded gay-friendly mosques in Paris and Marseille was interviewed on France 24 TV. Dr. Zahed presented his theory that the Quran does not oppose homosexuality and that all the Quranic verses that discussed Sodom and Gomorrah were referring to rape and not to homosexual relationships. He was confronted by anti-gay activist Rachid Elamarty, who claimed that "the homosexuals of our times want to turn society topsy-turvy." Dr. Zahed responded that the only thing that Arab homosexuals were asking for was their rights and their dignity, and that Arab anti-gay activism stems from the same fascism that persecutes religious minorities. "The question is clear: Do we believe that [true] Islam is the Islam of ISIS?" he said. The show aired on April 22.
Following are excerpts
Interviewer: We have with us in the studio the gay Imam Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, who has a Ph.D. in humanities and who wrote his dissertation about Islam and homosexuality. He is also the imam and founder of the Tawhid Mosque in Paris and Marseilles. Ludovic-Mohamed, you are French of Algerian origin. You are a homosexual and an imam, and you perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed: Yes, absolutely. I don't believe that Islam fights homosexuality at all. The people who fight homosexuality and the homosexuals are the people who fight all the minorities in the Arab world - and we see it day in and day out in Syria and Iraq, and in Algeria as well - and they fight them from a fascist perspective, which has nothing to do with Islam as a spiritual creed, or with Arab culture.
Interviewer: You say that according to the Quran, Allah was angry with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah not because they were homosexuals, but because they practiced violent sex.
Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed :True. Allah mentions the people of Sodom and Gomorrah in over 70 Quranic verses, but not a single verse mentions homosexuality. The verses talk about rape of women and men, especially women, as well as theft, robbery, and so on. I believe that homosexuality... In the days of the Prophet Muhammad, they were called effeminate men and masculine women, and today, we call them homosexuals. There is a great difference between homosexuality - effeminate men and masculine women - and the abomination practiced by the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They used to rape, and this is prohibited in Islam, of course.
Rachid Elamarty French Anti-Gay Activist: The homosexuals of our times want to turn society topsy-turvy. Why? First of all, they also demand to adopt children... They want to cut down the tree...
Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed: I am a homosexual. Ask me what we want. Don't say: "The homosexuals want..."
Rachid Elamarty: What do you want?
Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed: Homosexuals want dignity and peace. This is Islam. The core of Islam is dignity, not a war against sexual and religious minorities...
The question is clear: Do we believe that (true) Islam is the Islam of ISIS?
Interviewer: But he is not an ISIS member. He is a regular cleric. Even the Al-Azhar cleric [we interviewed] said the same things.
Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed: True, but there are great differences between the various ulema. Ibn Hazm said many centuries ago...
Interviewer: Okay, what do the homosexuals want today?
Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed: I believe...
Interviewer:We were talking about the cause and about rights...
Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed: Our rights and dignity are all we want.