Mohamed Al Maimouni, a spokesperson for the Danish Islamic Council – which is behind the construction of Denmark’s new grand mosque set to open tomorrow – is in hot water after saying that homosexuality is a "disease".
Al Maimouni, who earlier in the week lamented that the limited number of politicians taking part in the mosque opening celebration would compromise integration, said that homosexuality was wrong and should be considered an illness.
“Within Islam, homosexuality is wrong, of course,” Al Maimouni told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “It’s considered an illness. In the Koran homosexuality is what we call ‘haram’ – forbidden.”
Al Maimouni underlined that everyone was welcome at the mosque whatever their sexual orientation, and that the mosque would be happy to advise people who want to “get out of the situation they are in”.
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The minister of integration, Manu Sareen, called the remarks ridiculous and showed the taboos and sanctions associated with being gay in certain ethnic minority groups.
“That homosexuality should be a disease is a completely absurd statement, and I think it is sad that a prominent person within Islam comes forward with rubbish like that in Denmark of today,” Sareen said.
Martin Henriksen, the integration spokesperson for Dansk Folkeparti, said that the statement was an example of the conservative form of Islam coming from Qatar, which donated 150 million kroner for the establishment of the mosque.