A section of Muslim clerics has called on the government to allow them to apply Shariah Law to deal with homosexuals and the rising cases of sodomy. Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya organizing Secretary Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa said if allowed the Sharia laws would enable clerics to punish such offenders as stipulated by the Quran.
"Death is the only punishment prescribed by Law for such people (homosexuals) as done in China and Iran. We urge the government to consider allowing us to use such methods to deal with these dehumanizing acts," Sheik Khalif told reporters on the sidelines of an anti homosexuality workshop held in Mombasa. The workshop was attended by more than 150 madras teachers.
Last month, a madras teacher of Pakistani origin was almost lynched by irate persons after he was accused of sodomizing young boys who attended his Islamic instruction classes at a mosque in Mombasa. Two weeks later, another preacher was arrested by police in Mombasa and charged with defiling two minors.
The clerics also demanded a crackdown of institutions that head the rights of gays and lesbians. In addition, they blamed homosexuality for the ills that plague Kenya.
"The rising cost of living and drought are due to the behavior of these Kenyans who are not ready to change" said Sheik Obed Majid the principal of Kisauni Islamic College, Mombasa who was present.
When contacted for comment, David Kuria, Gay Kenya’s Executive Director, said that the call by Muslims to hang homosexuals was not legal and is an incitement.
"How can you call for human being to be hanged? That is inciting and is considered as hate speech and illegal. These clerics are also not sure what they are against. Sodomy is not homosexuality and homosexuality is not sodomy. The cases of the two Muslim clerics who sodomized the young boys were pedophilia."Muslim clerics in the Coast have lead anti-gay pogroms in the past as was seen in 2009 in Mtwapa where they joined their Christian counterparts to attack suspected gays.
"We urge these clerics to be tolerant and magnanimous and to stop issuing death threats against homosexual persons. Cases of pedophilia are wrong, criminal and these must be investigated by relevant authorities" said Kuria.
- See our reporting on last year's attacks on gays near Mombassa, partly fueled by these same clerics