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Islamic Centre issues advice to Irish Muslims on same-sex marriage referendum

Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, said Muslims must believe in equality and inclusiveness.

 Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri pictured right.
Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri pictured right.

THE ISLAMIC CENTRE in Blanchardstown, Dublin, has issued advice to Irish Muslims on voting in the upcoming same-sex marriage referendum.

Today, the centre said it has received many queries from Muslims living here about the referendum. In a letter from Head Imam of Al Mustafa Islamic Centre, Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, circulated to the Muslim community, he said being entitled to vote and participate in a political process is a privilege.

He stressed thatt the referendum is not about changing Islamic marriage, but about changing marriage in the Irish constitution.

“Imams will not be obliged legally to conduct an Islamic marriage (Nikaah) between same sex couples.” However he said the referendum was not simply about equality for gay people.

The amendment will have serious consequences, as it will redefine marriage and parenthood. It will open the door to new definitions of marriage, which could extend further. These are consequences on children and future generations.

In the letter, Al-Qadri explained the Islamic tradition has always acknowledged that some people may have “homosexual impulses and this is not considered a sin in Islam”.

“To act on these sexual impulses is considered a sin in Islam.”

As Muslims we must believe in equality and inclusiveness. People should not be discriminated for any reason. It is important to humanise people and not to de humanise. 
The Islamic tradition teaches to hate the sin but not the sinner. The attitude of some Muslims towards homosexuals is incompatible with the spirit of mercy and kindness in Islam.

He asked Irish Muslims to keep in mind both the Islamic stance on homosexuality and the consequences of the amendment for society.

“The Irish constitution guarantees all Irish citizens the freedom of conscience and Muslims must exercise this right when voting on 22nd May 2015.”

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