It seems that there is at least one Muslim clergyman out there willing to break ranks with Islam’s unfavorable view of gay people.
According to Al Arabiya, a gay Mauritian imam named Jamal presided over the marriage of Ludovic Mohamed Zahed, a French man of Algerian origin, (on right in photo at right) and Qiyam al-Din (left) in Din’s native South Africa earlier this year.
Furthermore, Zahed says Jamal introduced him to his new life partner at a conference on AIDS in South Africa a few months earlier.
Zahed tells France 24 TV of how he met his new partner through the gay imam:
“I was in the lecture hall when an imam, who incidentally is gay himself, introduced me to Din. We discovered we had a lot in common and a mutual admiration was cemented. I stayed on after the convention for two months, deciding to get married, since South African laws were more friendly [to same sex unions]…
“Being married in front of my family, was like a new start of life for me, I could have never imagined such a day would come, seeing the joy in my parents’ eyes after they had battled with my sexuality and tried with all their might to change the course of my sexual orientation.”
Zahed and Din returned to France recently, but have been having trouble getting their marriage recognized by the French government. Continues Al Arabiya:
Zahed wants to pursue his doctoral studies in Islam and homosexuality and he also heads an organization that researches issues relating to Islam and homosexuality. He said his absolute priority is to get a legal permit for his new spouse to stay and work in France.
The couple does not intend to travel to an Arab or Muslim nation for fear of being discriminated against. “We want to stay in France, because my husband really likes this country. However, if it becomes impossible for him to stay, we will return to South Africa to live.”
What an amazing, inspiring story. Zahed and Din can hold out hope that Francois Hollande will beat Nicolas Sarkozy in the upcoming French presidential election. Hollande has stated he will push the legalization of gay marriage as a priority in 2013.
Photo via Facebook