Limbe Islamic Information Bureau (IIB) Coordinator has said it is unfortunate to learn from someone who claims to be a sheikh in the country suggesting that those practicing homosexuality should be accepted by religious leaders and the communities and be loved and taken care of by protecting their rights.
Sheikh Ahmad Chienda said this in reaction to a news article carried in the Nation on Sunday on 20th October 2013 which quoted Mr Mdala Ali Tambuli saying he is in favor of gay rights saying homosexuals need love and understanding from religious leaders and the society.
Tambuli who is based in Namwera, Mangochi condemned homophobia against gays just as other sinners like those practicing witchcraft, sex worker and womanizers saying if people protect these sinners then why they canât do the same for gays.
âAs religious leaders we are saying nowhere in the Bible or Quran it is written that homosexuality is supposed to be there or promoted. On the other hand what we are saying is that people who are practicing this are supposed to be served on three things â be given love, protection and also we have to look after them because they are human beings and are totally entitled to all human rights,â said Tambuli.
Tambuli is said to have made the controversial remarks in Blantyre on the sidelines of a sexual reproductive health and rights with special focus on minority.
But Sheikh Chienda described the remark as unfortunate and said IIB is upset and donât understand how could such controversial statement come from a sheikh. He said that the only love that can be shown to these people is telling them to stop practicing homosexuality because itâs a sin before the Almighty Allah.
âWhat he has said brings confusion in the society because it is sending a wrong signal in regard to Islamâs stance on this sinful act. What should be done is to tell people stop indulging themselves in such sinful acts not protecting their rights.
âAnd you know that they (gays) are on the wrong side, the best way one can do is to tell them to stop the sin. But not loving them to condone their activities or protecting their rights â thatâs not the best way to go. Remember Allah the Almighty punished people of Lot because of the same act. Based on the holy Quran, these sinners just like any other sinners canât be protected. Even those who indulge in adultery and robbery the holy book has put punishment for them,â said highly charged Chienda.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Chienda has asked his fellow sheikhs to avoid making these controversial remarks that are not in line with the Islamic teachings.
âSheikhs are put in tricky manner because they donât get much as a salary. And most of the times when they attend such events they are paid heftily. But we should not sell our deen and iman because of these worldly things. Letâs focus on hereafter. Normally people want to use a single mistake we make in order to achieve their goals. 2012 afro barometer survey found that 95 percent of Malawians said rejected homosexuality because of religion,â he said.
Muslim Association of Malawi is to make its official statement on the matter.
Reporting by Ali Blessings Idi