Saudi-Kuwaiti singer Shams Bandar said that she accepts Jews, Christians, and people with no religion. Responding to criticism of a tweet blessing Jews on a holiday, she said sarcastically: "So burn them. Bring Hitler back. Bring ovens… We have modern ovens that burn faster." When asked about tweets deemed "pro-homosexual," she said that she "neither supports nor opposes" gays. She said that she opposes gay marriage, and that she viewed homosexuals as suffering from mental and physical problems, adding: "Most of them end up committing suicide." The interview aired on Kuwait’s ATV channel on September 23.
Following are excerpts:
Interviewer 1: Many of your tweets are controversial. For one thing, you blessed the Jews on the Muslim New Year. This caused quite a bit of commotion.
Shams Bandar: It caused a commotion? I didn't know…
Interviewer 1: It did. How could you not know…
Shams Bandar: Swear by Allah that it caused a commotion…
Interviewer 1: By Allah, it did. Maybe people didn't understand correctly. There are people who do not differentiate between Jews and Israelis, which is a different situation. There is another tweet in which you talked about the homosexuals. You said something along the lines of "leave the creations to the Creator."
First tell us about the tweet blessing the Jewish religion.
Shams Bandar: What about it? What's your problem?
Interviewer 1: You provoked people's sentiments by writing this.
Shams Bandar: So burn them. Bring Hitler back, bring ovens… We have modern ovens that burn faster… You can solve it this way… How is this your business? Who created the Jews? I don't understand, who created them? Did Mandela create them? No, God created them. Moses is mentioned in the Quran more than the Prophet Muhammad. Moses is mentioned in the Quran 145 times.
I accept the Jews, I accept the Christians, and I accept every person – even people with no religion. For me, it's all about one's actions. If you treat me well, that is your religion as far as I am concerned.
Interviewer 1: And what about the homosexuals?
Shams Bandar: What about them?
Interviewer 1: Do you support them?
Shams Bandar: What do you mean by that?
Interviewer 1: Some people do not condone these things. It's forbidden.
Shams Bandar: OK, they're right. There are those who oppose them and those who support them. Am I allowed, with your permission, to be somebody who neither opposes nor supports them? Is it wrong?
Interviewer 1: You're among the people who say "no comment."
Shams Bandar: No, no. That's not me. Saying "no comment" is cowardice. No, I am neither in favor nor opposed.
You're talking to me about "the homosexuals." These people – sorry for saying this – did not commit the sin in my bed. So how is it my business? I don't have any homosexuals in my family, okay? I myself don't have a problem, and I don't have anything to prove. Someone homosexual has a problem. He has mental problems, or physical ones, or hormonal ones. Don't think he's happy that he's a homosexual. Women too. No woman hopes to become butch, right? She would rather be a normal woman, because she is suffering. A girl who has lost her sexual identity is suffering. A boy or young man who has lost his sexual identity, and who, God forbid, doesn't see himself as either boy or girl, is suffering and is not happy. By the way, most of them end up committing suicide.
Interviewer 2: Correct.
Shams Bandar: He is missing something. We need to thank God… I'm not against them, nor do I support their demands that society allow them to get "married," let's say. We all came from a mother and a father. So how can we… If you accept homosexuality as a way of life, it spells the end of both male and female. The Quran says: "Indeed, We have created you from male and female." I came from a mother… We would become extinct. How can that be? I have to defend…
Interviewer 2: Of course, humanity would become extinct. We're running out of time…
Shams Bandar: I have to defend the natural way of things. All of us here came from a mother and a father, a man and a woman.