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Secretive Gay Mosque Set to Open in Paris


"...nothing in Islam or the Koran forbids homosexuality."

A Hungarian participant holds a rainbow flag during the Gay Pride parade in downtown of Budapest on July 7, 2012. Some 3,000 people took part Saturday in Budapest's Gay Pride parade, which went off without incident despite fears of disruption by far-right protesters. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

There's a controversial house of worship set to open in Paris, France. Koranic expert Ludovic Mohammed Zahed is preparing to launch Europe's first gay mosque -- a location that he claims will shelter homosexuals who wish to participate in the Islamic faith.

The house of worship, the location of which is being kept secret over security concerns, will include some traditional Muslim traditions, applying them to gay adherents. Friday prayers (Jumu'ah), the Islamic marriage contract (Nikah) for same-sex couples and funeral rites (Janazah) for homosexuals will all be undertaken at the location.

"We need to have a safe space for people who do not feel comfortable and at ease in normal mosques," Zahed said in an interview with ABC News. "There are transgender people who fear aggression, women who do not want to wear head scarf or sit in the back of the mosque. This project gives hope back to many believers in my community."

The mosque, which is being called "The Unity" will start by taking place inside of a Buddhist temple in eastern Paris. Its name has much to do with its intended purpose -- to allow everyone inside and to view each individual as one of God's unique creations. Congregants will be invited in to speak about any and all subjects with faith leaders, with Zahed calling it "a safe place to worship."

Ludovic Mohammed Zahed (Photo Credit: ABC News/Ludovic Mohammed Zahed)

"Our imams will talk on any taboo topic," he explained. "Current Islamic ethics may condemn this sexual orientation, but in fact nothing in Islam or the Koran forbids homosexuality."

Zahed, who is currently a PhD student, has researched homosexuality extensively and contends that it wasn't until European colonization took root that Islamic societies began cracking down on same-sex relations. If the Prophet Muhammad were alive today, the faith leader believes he would marry gay couples.

The announcement of the gay mosque comes as the French are heavily debating governmental plans to legalize gay marriage. You can read more about the house of worship here.

(H/T: ABC News)



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