France slated to open first gay mosque

November 25, 2012 02:02

Muhammad Ludovic Lütfi Zahed, a gay French-Algerian man, is slated to open the first gay mosque at the end of November.

The Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet first reported last week on the plan to establish the mosque. Zahed told the Turkish paper, “In normal mosques, women have to sit in the back seats and wear a headscarf and gay men are afraid of both verbal and physical aggression. After performing the Hajj, I realized that a mosque for gays was a must for gay Muslims who want to perform their prayers.”

The Jerusalem Post reported earlier this year on Zahed’s marriage to Qiyam al-Din, a South African, during a ceremony outside Paris in February, approved by an imam in France. The men had previously married in South Africa, where same-sex marriage is legal, but the French government under then-president Nicolas Sarkozy refused to recognize it.

Zahed told Hurriyet reporter Arzu Cakır Morin that “we will use a hall in a Buddhist chapel, which will be opened on November 30.”

The new mosque will not segregate men from women and will conduct joint gender prayers, noted the Hurriyet.

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