Irish LGBTQ+ community groups react to “hurtful, disappointing comments” from cleric Dr Al-Qadri

Following Dr Al-Qadri’s defence of his views on gay sex and the spread of monkeypox, numerous organisations have spoken out on the situation.

A photo of Dr Umar Al-Qadri speaking. There is an Irish flag next to him.
Image: via instagram @islamictheologian

A number of LGBTQ+ community groups throughout the country have responded to the “hurtful, disappointing comments” made by cleric Dr Umar Al-Qadri in relation to the gay community and alleged comments on the spread of monkeypox.

The comments were first reported by Yusuf Murray, a practising Muslim and a gay man who had been a regular attendee at the Islamic Centre of Ireland in Blanchardstown. The centre is led by the well-known cleric Sheikh Dr Umar Al-Qadri.

Dr Al-Qadri reportedly stated that, “You cannot force me to believe that this lifestyle is right. In my view, according to Islam, this lifestyle, it contradicts the Koran. You like somebody from the same gender? Maybe that’s natural, but Islam, it strictly forbids from engaging in physical sexual activity with the same gender. Simple as that.”

Upon hearing these comments, community groups throughout the country released a statement which read:

“The comments attributed to Dublin based cleric Dr Umar Al-Qadri are disappointing and cannot be excused by placing them in a religious or any other context.

“One’s sexual orientation- and the expression of such- is a natural, innate part of a person’s identity. To describe this core aspect of one’s being as a ‘lifestyle’ is no less disparaging than to refer to a person’s race or ethnicity in such terms.”

The groups also wish to refute comments made relating to monkeypox.

“As science tells us, the spread of monkeypox is not determined by religious beliefs and whilst gay and bisexual men are disproportionately affected by this virus, we all have a responsibility not to perpetuate stigma and misinformation.”

The statement continues, “Dr Al-Qadri’s comments are all the more disappointing in light of previous interactions with our communities, where the opportunity was afforded to reject homophobia and receive the support of LGBT+ groups in pushing back against attempts to sow societal discord following the heinous killings in Sligo in particular.

“We are rightly proud of the greater diversity and modernisation that has occurred across Irish society in recent years. This includes being the first in the world to pass marriage equality by popular vote and enact progressive gender recognition legislation. 

“We believe the comments in question do nothing to help foster integration and equality for all in our society.

“Indeed many LGBT+ people from across the globe have come to Ireland precisely because it is easier to be their authentic selves. This includes LGBT+ Muslims, who will be especially hurt and dismayed. We express our full solidarity with them and with other inclusive faith voices.”

For anyone in need of support, please contact the national LGBT Helpline on 1800 929 539.

LGBT Ireland
National LGBT Federation (NXF)
Gay Project
LINC – Advocating for Lesbian & Bisexual Women in Ireland
GOSHH (Gender, Orientation, Sexual Health,HIV)
Outcomes (Dundalk)
Midlands LGBT+ Project
Cian O’Callaghan TD (Social Democrats)
Senator Fiona O’Loughlin (Fianna Fail)
LGBT+ activist Padraig Rice

The following organisations are also signatories to the above statement as members of the ‘Ban Conversion Practices’ Steering Group:
Gay Project
GOSHH (Limerick)
LGBT Ireland
Midlands LGBT+ Project
National LGBT Federation (NXF)
Outcomes (Dundalk)

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