The new imam at the Ground Zero mosque and cultural center believes people who are gay were probably abused as children and that people who leave Islam and preach a new religion should be jailed.Remember now, even the slightest bit of intolerance toward the gay community, real or perceived, gets anyone on the right branded as homophobic. Imagine the uproar if someone on the right spoke of gays and the "animal kingdom" in the same breath. They're be a pariah. This guy, however, will probably get a free pass from Bloomnberg and company.
Abdallah Adhami's remarks on homosexuals, religious freedom and other topics have brought renewed criticism of the proposed community center and mosque near the World Trade Center site, which purports to be an inclusive organization.
Adhami, in a lecture on the Web site of his nonprofit, Sakeenah, says being gay is a "painful trial" caused by past trauma.
"An enormously overwhelming percentage of people struggle with homosexual feeling because of some form of violent emotional or sexual abuse at some point in their life," he says. "A small, tiny percentage of people are born with a natural inclination that they cannot explain. You find this in the animal kingdom at some level as well."
He says gays must fight this "propensity."
"When a religious leader of his standing opens up his mouth and spews this kind of ignorance and hateful statements, it does put his greater judgment into question," said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay-rights group.
Adhami also notes that if a Muslim leaves the faith and "preaches their views, they're jailed."
"The only thing you do not have the right to do is spread this conviction, lest you, quote unquote, 'pollute' others," he said when asked to give his personal opinion about apostates.
Jordan Sekulow, a lawyer at the Pat Robertson-founded American Center for Law and Justice in Washington, questioned why the mosque project, called Park51, would choose a leader who advocates retribution for those who leave the faith.
"To be in the United States of America and to tell former Muslims to 'keep your mouth shut' is against the Constitution," said Sekulow, whose organization is suing to stop Park51 from being built.