Imam with history of anti-LGBTIQA+ comments joins NSW faith council

A Muslim religious leader, who has a history of making anti-LGBTIQA+ comments, has been appointed to New South Wales faith council which advises the state government.

The appointment was highlighted by The Australian newspaper earlier this week.

Imam Shadi Alsuleiman is the Australian National Imams Council’s president, and he’ll now also take a position on the New South Wales government’s non-binary advisory board which comments on community issues and security concerns.

In 2013 Alsuleiman delivered a sermon where he accused members of the LGBTIQA+ communities, and people who had sex outside of marriage, of spreading diseases. In his sermon the religious leader described such behaviour as “evil actions”.

When the comments were unearthed by The Australian newspaper in 2016 the Muslim leader rejected the suggestion that his comments might put LGBTIQA+ people in danger.

“I reject the claim that I made statements wishing or wanting punishment against the gay community… I have previously noted passages in the holy Koran which do not support homosexuality. However, I always follow such statements with a personal commitment to tolerance and encouragement that all Muslims and all people approach all individuals, no matter their faith, race or sexuality, in a considerate and respectful way.” Alsuleiman said in 2016.

The new faith council in New South Wales brings together nineteen different religious leaders to provide advice to the government. The government has indicated it also plans to set up an LGBTIQA+ advisory body in the future.

OIP Staff

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