Muslim Activist Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed: Why I’m Opening A Gay-Friendly Mosque In Paris

My plan is not strictly about opening a “gay mosque,” or even about celebrating gay marriages. Muslims consider marriage as a social contract between two consenting individuals, to be established in front of at least two witnesses, and celebrated in front of their community – that is, those who see them as a couple. The prayers of the imam only work to call attendees to bless the happiness of the newly wed, and they’re certainly not intended to seal a contract between two zawjan – a gender neutral Arabic term meaning “spouse”. Unlike the Catholic church, for example, which continues to unilaterally decide who may or may not marry, Muslims do not regard marriage as a sacrament.

This project gives hope back to many believers in my community. Common prayer, practised in an egalitarian setting and without any form of gender-based discrimination, is one of the pillars supporting the proposed reforms of our progressive representation of Islam.”

—Gay Muslim Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed explains decision to  build a LGBT-friendly mosque in Paris, in  The Guardian.

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  • sfbeast

    Ludovic, you would do better to let go of your backward bigoted religion

  • andy_d

    My prayers go with Mr. Ludovic that he is able to succeed in this endeavor.

  • andy_d

    By posting this, are you then calling the kettle black, Mr. Pot?

  • Cam

    Another conservative religion whose orthodoxy is slowly being chipped at by it’s followers no longer being isolated and having access to the internet.

    Anti-gay clerics, take a look at the Mormons, the Catholics, the Baptists, the Orthodox branch of the Jews etc… and look at what has happened to their numbers in the last 15 years. Welcome to the club.

  • the other Greg

    So in gay-friendly Islam, can a gay guy have four husbands? And all the husbands would also get to have four husbands? Religion gets so-o-o complicated! :-)

  • jmmartin

    @andy_d: What good are prayers. If they come true, you cannot necessarily claim prayer had anything to do with it, and if they do not come true, you always say God did not want it so. Either way, you are not thinking logically.

  • jmmartin

    @the other Greg: Just think, if you go on a Jihad and are killed, you go immediately to Paradise and find 72 virgins waiting for you. Hope you like twinks. Oh, wait! It’s actually a mistranslation. It’s only 72 raisins.

  • Charlie in Charge

    This is a win, people.

  • SteveMD2


    God protect this man from the wahabis of Saudi land – who gave us 9-11.

  • IMI

    Think its important to remember that UK context is very different to the French one, that no physical space can ever be politic-less, and that this debate is being framed, yet again, as homosexual OR muslim :(

    In UK it seems that the issue is much more about access and inclusivity; making sure that every muslim has equal access to mosque spaces, regardless of gender, sexuality, nationality, interpretative stance, education, race, or language. Sexuality is an issue within the muslim community, as it is within all faith (and secular) communities, but it is not the only one. Discussions of inclusivity and mosques need to happen within the muslim community (not outside of it) and are a long-term project, which will not be fixed by new buildings alone.

    I’m part of a group of british muslims (from a range of backgrounds, genders and sexualities) working together to set up an inclusive mosque space here in the UK. Our main aim is to establish a place of worship for the promotion and practice of an inclusive Islam, and to

    -provide a peaceful, enriching environment for worship and remembrance of Allah
    ?-create an inclusive sacred space that welcomes people of all ages, race, ability, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, culture, language, social status, education and religion
    ?-respect the natural environment
    ?-value gender expression and gender justice as an integral manifestation of Islamic practice
    -facilitate inter-community and inter-faith dialogue and collaborate with others who are seeking change for social and economic welfare and justice

  • Cass.Edwards

    It’s truly saddening to be following a story like this on the internet and come across some of the comments that have crept on to this message board regarding Mr. Zahed’s plans. Instead of an outpouring of support for a task that requires not only incredible courage and conviction but also entails significant risk not just from conservative members of both the Muslim and political communities, I read comments instead on how he should renounce his faith or mock his beliefs. He should be applauded for his efforts, and encouraged not only to work for social, political, and religious justice not only for gay Muslims in France, but for misunderstood and ostracized communities everywhere.

  • darkorient

    I don’t understand these religious lot. It’s obvious that their religions forbid homosexuality. If they believe in their religions, they should just repent, try to repress their sexuality and be miserable for the rest of their lives. For the record, I am a guy from the country with the largest Muslim population in the world.

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